Building an Efficient Arrow – Reduce the Paradox

Archer’s paradox is something cool that allows an arrow to get around a stick bow with no shelf.  But today for most archers it just refers to the bend of the arrow caused by the shaft absorbing energy as we loose a fully drawn string.  The arrow still bends in the mid-section as the force of the string pushes the arrow forward and the extra weight sitting static at the front of the shaft made up by the broadhead/field point, insert/outsert, etc.

In building an arrow however, let me assume you want to get that arrow downrange toward your target.  Let me also bring your attention to the fact that every bit of energy that any bow limbs have transferred into the arrow is wasted in side-to-side movement.  

So reduce the paradox with a stiffer arrow shaft.  In fact imagine building your arrow to allow it only one or two flexes before the rest of the energy left is flying exactly forward. This is just basic physics in order to increase the impact when it gets to target or kinetic energy.

At the basic level, let us imagine the arrow being a tube of unbending steel.  If our form (or centre shot of the rest) is off in the slightest the shaft would go right or left as the energy is transferred from bowstring into the arrow.  The spine rating  of the shaft (it’s ability to flex) is key to building an arrow and we want the arrow to have the ability to perfectly absorb the energy our cams and/or limbs put into it in order to transfer that full energy into our target while still getting the weighted tip toward the target perfectly.

I dare you to stiffen the shaft of your arrow set-up though it will be hard in the current archery market.  The only improvement in technology that seems to be sellable is lighter and faster and I would urge you as a bowhunter not fall into this marketing guile.  For more discussion on why a heavy arrow is important for big game archery please read anything related to the extensive research of Dr. Edward Ashby and this much less extensive blurb.