The Strongest Man in Archery?

mauro-nespoliMauro Nespoli is not what you think of when you think “strong man”. He looks fit but there are no bulging muscles. No huge shoulders. Nothing to make you think he’s anything more than a fit and healthy 30 something who looks after himself. However Mauro has a secret.
The Italian internationalist draws one of the heaviest recurve poundages in competition today and even that is a reduction on what what he was drawing pre 2019!

What do I mean by heavy? Well an average bloke club archer will be drawing 32-36lbs. Naturally stronger or more regular shooters, by dint of being on the line a lot, might sneak up to 37-42lbs. Brady Ellison the world number 1 dropped down from 50 to 47 pounds in 2018 when he got faster limbs and felt the reduction would benefit his shooting. Mauro currently shoots 63lbs on the fingers but was shooting 67lbs up til 2019 when he decided that with age comes wisdom and wisdom was vigorously suggesting a reduction on the strain he was putting on his body.

mauro 2These are comparatively unheard of draw weights in modern recurve archery where the draw and expansion though the clicker while remaining stable on a target no bigger than a cd are much more demanding than muscling though a 180lbs longbow shot. (remember radically different techniques and musculature are required for longbow and recurve shots as is the demanded accuracy)

Nespoli made the move to the massive poundages for the 2012 London Olympics where the strong crosswinds at Lords cricket ground gave him a problem during the test event. By the actual event, Nauro had upped his poundage to 58lbs to help punch through the crosswinds. It was still a work in progress as he was put out in the 1st round of the singles. However, he went on to win the team gold for Italy with Michele Frangilli and Marco Galiazzo beating the US team in a last second thriller so not a disastrous decision by any measure!

This however does not mean you should be ramping up the draw weight on YOUR bow! Nespoli is renown for his exercise regime. Without the relentless working out, he would be seriously overbowed** and doing himself a great deal of physical damage to his shoulders and back. Always something to keep in mind if you are increasing your limb weight or start to cranking in those limb bolts.

Data File:

Mauro Nespoli’s World Archery entry
Italy win 2012 Olympic Team Gold video
Video Interview with Mauro Nespoli

**note: article on overbowing and its implications

Escape from House Arrest

As of the 26th April we will move to Level 3 restrictions … or in other words “Secure from Red Alert – Initiate Mauve Alert!” Now while we will get a little more leeway with respect to capacity, there’s not going to be much in the way of change down the archery field.

Artboard 5_3

What has significantly changed is how far archers can travel to take part in archery at the field. That’s important because there are so many archers we haven’t seen in some time due to the limit on allowed travel distance. It’s ok for the club Vice-chair who is living in one of our containers (allegedly) but we’d LOVE to see our travelling members back. So to you migratory archers we say … Go find your kit. Work out how to put your bow together and next time we have the field, get booking your slot … We’ll have a target, wildly inconsistent weather and buttload** of banter waiting for you. ;o)

Book your slot at:
If you are not a member of GA but are an AGB member and want to come join us, drop us an email at just the first time to confirm things thereafter just use the booking address.

Time slots for when we have the field are usually 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Check Glasgow Archer’s Facebook for the days we are allowed access – we usually know around the middle of the week if that weekend is a goer. The school sale is still dragging but we have a great relationship with Kelvinside which is how we are getting to shoot.

**Buttload: A medieval regional English measure of the capacity for a heavy cart (a butt). Contains 6 seams or 48 bushels. Roughly equivalent to 384 gallons and that’s a lot of banter! ;o)

Archery Observations


So if I cut 25mm off my arrows, I’ll HAVE to reduce my clicker draw by 25mm and decrease the size of my fletches … so is free will real or just an illusion?

Standing out in all weathers makes archers natural philosophers … here are a few of their thoughts:

“The archer that shoots badly has a lie ready.” … Spanish Proverb.

“Nothing clears a troubled mind better than shooting a bow.” … Fred Bear.

“No shot is hard to make, it’s just easier to miss.” 

“The ABC of Living the Good Life – Archery, Beer, Coffee” … Our Editor.

“Its harder to make the Korean National Team than it is to win the Olympic gold medal” … Korea Archery.

“I’m an Archery School Dropout (But, my dad pulled some strings and I’m back in)” … I’ll get my quiver!

“I shoot an arrow into the air, where it lands I do not care: I get my arrows wholesale.” … Curly Howard.


… not seeing an issue!

“There is no excellence in archery without great labour.” … Maurice Thompson.

“The last person that touched my bow is buried in my back yard.” … DEFINITELY our editor.

“Without archery I would have probably killed people.” … Every club archer who leaves their stresses on the field.

“Draw Shoot Swear Repeat” … Archery distilled to it lowest level. 

“It’s not about being the best. It’s about being better than you were yesterday.” … A coach’s mantra to students.

kermit“In archery, we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the centre of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself.” … Confucius.

“The real distance you’re shooting is the measurement between your ears!” … Dont think too much! Just shoot.

“Forget the last arrow, only the next one counts.” … Every archer needs this tattooed on the inside of their eyelids.

“Real Archers Don’t Need Training Wheels” … Compounders, please note! :op

“Archery causes Tourettes” … GA Membership Secretary.

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming … Paulo Coelho

And probably the most important and accurate thought on this page ….. 
Money cant buy happiness but it can buy a bow and I never seen a sad person shootin’ a bow.

Weekend Archery Frenzy!

Thanks to an extremely wonderful person at Kelvinside Academy, GA has been allowed unlimited access to the field at Craigholme over the Easter Weekend of 2nd – 5th April … Thats all of it! … Friday to Monday!

So cancel those plans with the family and ……. SEE YOU AT THE FIELD FOR A FOUR DAY ARROW FLINGING FRENZY!

reserve your target at …
Sessions 10-1pm & 1-4pm – Booking email closes midnight on Thursday

Our Vice-Chair is doing this right now to the mellow sound of Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”


If you don’t know the scene where Tom Cruise celebrates his parents being out of town, watch it here – Risky Business (1983)

Stealth Health


Archery will make you look like this … mibi! (tashe optional)

Recently a very health conscious friend of an archer was mocking his mate for the rather sedentary nature of archery in comparison to his running, martial arts and gym based exercises. It came as somewhat of a shock to that person just how much exercise you can get in a session of archery.

Our Vice-chair did a little tallying to work out just what he had got up to over 3 weekends (4x8hr and 4x6hr sessions) where we had access to the field and he was present the entire time (approx 60 hours including setup/cleanup). He walked 58 miles (93km) up and down the field. Shot his bow roughly 1000 times (at a draw weight of 37lbs) for approximately 16.8 tonnes. Unpacked and repacked the container 16 times humphing 100lbs bosses and lifting smaller bosses to stack them as well as wheeling out and setting up multiple large foam bosses/frames for himself and less able archers.

That’s a fair workout and we haven’t even considered all the fresh air he breathed, the sunlight he absorbed and how much his skin was moisturized by the rain! :oD And that’s before we consider just how much benefit it was to his mental health (outside of the poor releases, the erratic wind, the flinching, dropping the string hand, dropping the bow arm, static release etc etc etc obviously) 

So there you have it … Archery, stealthily making you healthy though a pretty good workout and calming the mind while you obsess over brace height and string picture and hand position and tillering and arrow spine and sight marks and anchor point and release etc etc etc etc! Way more entertaining and mentally stimulating than that treadmill or boring weights and a lot less sweaty!

SOME GOOD NEWS … for once!

Thanks to some stealth networking, Glasgow Archers have access to “their” field at Craigholme Sports Hub. It was originally just for two weekends but this has turned into a semi regular thing so watch out for notification on the GA facebook site when there will be archery at our field. We tend to know midweek-ish! The sale of the school is still dragging on but THERE SHALL BE ARCHERY AT THAT THERE FIELD at least as long as Kelvinside continue to be very understanding of their bizarre tenants.

Obviously there are limits to how many can be accommodated due to covid restrictions and places will be allocated on a first come basis. Should you like to shoot please contact the booking system at … 
… to reserve your place. Sessions are 9am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 5.30pm on sat/sun 20th/21st and sat/sun 27th/28th March. There is unfortunately a fee for non club members. (Club members are all paid up) 
Remember there will be no access to the facilities – toilets/kitchen etc. Please bring your mask, gloves and sanitiser. You will need to put your own target up, clean it down and put it away too. Cleaning kit provided. Also be nice to our line captain … he’s pulling a long shift each day!

The Secret of Korean Archery

2020_1 - CopyIts been said that 50 of the top 100 archers in the world are Korean. In recent years, with the proliferation of Korean coaches active around the world, this ratio has arguably fallen. As Korean techniques and programs are embraced by more and more nations, the gap has perceptively narrowed. But there is still something that the Koreans seem to do better than any other nation and that’s prepare.

london 2012For the 2012 Olympics in London, the venue was Lords cricket ground. The test event showed that in the event of a breezy day, there was going to be a wicked crosswind at the targets. However, the archers would be protected from the wind by the bleachers so creating variable air conditions that the arrow would experience on its way to the target. To simulate the conditions, the Korean archers conducted “wind-fighting” archery practice on Jeju Island, a windblown tourist island that gets some of the country’s most extreme weather.

army baseAs a final preparation, the six Korean archers selected to compete in London held their final training session at a military base in Wonju, roughly 70 miles east of the capital Seoul. It was configured to give the same atmosphere of Lords to acclimatise the archers in advance. Scoreboards, screens and approximately 700 boisterous soldiers provided an audience .. shouting, chanting and even booing during each shot. Ironically at the actual event you could have heard a pin drop mainly because the audience was mostly made up of archers who are polite and classy sportspersons (even if they were wearing denim that day!).

korea 2021With the final preparations for the delayed Tokyo games underway, the Koreans have been preparing in the same methodical way. Early March 2021 they held a special team event. A WA 70m head to head competition in their training hall set up to replicate the atmosphere of the finals. It had cameras, an audience, spectator screens, scoreboards, noise, a bi-lingual blaring PA and was conducted exactly as the Olympic event would be even to the point of formal adjudication, introductions and the archers waving to the “crowd” on entry to the arena. As possible medal favourite Kim WooJin said, experiencing it now would allow him “to be more comfortable when shooting at the competition for real.”

This attention to detail in their preparation is probably one of the things that still differentiates Korean archery from the rest of the world. It will be interesting to see if the last 4 years since Rio has allowed the world to catch up to the big dogs of archery or whither the intense Korean preparation and attention to detail will see them through to another haul of Olympic gold.

Video of the Special Team matches can be found at Korea Archery on YouTube

My X doesn’t count? Noooooooo!

archery griefAs lockdown continues to frustrate, unused archery skills erode and the Craigholme sale drags on … Committee member Bill posted this cartoon as a mirror to where our archery will be when we return and our response to that erosion of skills.

All I can say is .. we know someone who has been there, done that (sort of). Our editor forgot to secure his wrist sling while blank bossing over xmas and lobbed his bow at the target**.
We’re told looking at the hole it caused, his long rod did score a 6, a 7 and an 8!

We suspect that World Archery would disallow that score on the grounds his long rod has a diameter great than 9.3mm. That’s the maximum diameter of arrows allowed under World Archery/ AGB rules. 

Easton do do a 2712 aluminium shaft with a diameter of 10.5mm but its not valid for competitions in the UK. It does partly explain why so many compounders get 300 scores in the Vegas indoor shoot. Well, that and they get to use the recurve 40cm face with the larger 10 ring, rather than the compound specific face where just the X ring counts for a 10! Seriously guys, you get to use a trigger, cams and telescopic sights … use your own faces!

** ps: our editor has form in throwing bows, here is video of him at his calmest. ;o)

Inoculating against Archery?

pfizer-1You will be happy to know that some of our more “experienced” and “seasoned” club members have already received their COVID jabs. Some have received the Pfizer vaccine and others have received the Oxford/AstraZeneca one.

But in one very special case, one of our archers reported that he had received the Fivics vaccine.

fivicsThis caused a little consternation as we were concerned he was being vaccinated against archery! Or at the very least, the socially acceptable if expensive virus where you get an insane desire to buy archery equipment**. In case you weren’t aware, Fivics is a Korean supplier of some pretty decent archery equipment. ;o)

If you fancy having a look at shiny things, Fivics web site is always an interesting browse which can be found here and this is their current catalogue.

** Yes, we know our Vice Chairman is a carrier and enthusiastic spreader of this virus. AGB and SAA advise that earplugs or running away from him are the best ways to avoid contracting it.