It has been raining off and on for days. Rain is good for the crops I’ve planted. Crops may be a bit of an embellishment. I have 18 vegetables beds, 18 fruit trees, grapes vines, and a row of blackberry bushes planted. This is somewhat of an in-between time for produce. Most of the spring and summer plants are harvested and the fall plants are just beginning to sprout, in small containers or still seed. Rain isn’t the best for an archer.
I’ve shot in tournaments during rain. Occasionally, the rain has been so bad the event was halted. Once, at an IBO World Championship it poured. My group was first on the range. The officials held all subsequent archers. No one missed my group. No horn was activated to let those archers, one group, on the course to know to stop. Without the horn we kept shooting.
When is say it rained it poured. Not one of our group remained upright as we tried to descend the steep slopes at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania. It rained so hard we missed a turn (the signs with the directional arrows having been blown away) and had to search for the lanes.
During the search we began to hope the tournament had been halted. None of us wanted to walk onto an active lane, under poor visibility with other archers trying to hit a target. Eventually, we found a road and stood under a large oak tree until conditions improved. By the time we began shooting again we were so far ahead we never saw another group of competitors.
Today, it is raining. It was also a rainy night in Georgia. There was a slight easing of the rain so I grabbed my bow and headed out to my range for morning practice.
The easing of the rain didn’t last. I was there wet and figure practice in the rain, because I know I’ll get rained on again during a tournament.
The harder the rain became the less optimistic I felt that I might not need to sound my own horn and head for shelter. What sent me in was my finger tab.
My finger tab is an inexpensive product. I paid $14.99 for it ordered from Lancaster Archery Supply. It is an Avalon Classic. The leather that is connected to the pad consists of two layers. The double leather pads called me in from the rain when they began to slide back and forth as I drew my arrows.
I practiced through this for a while with arrows landing mostly in the red rings of a 3-spot at 18-meters. I was hitting about 70% of the time in the red and 30% yellow. Yesterday, afternoon the opposite had occurred (71% yellow and 29% red).
It wasn’t all that frustrating and just a little bit fun to play in the rain. Fortunately, it wasn’t cold. But, the soaked tab was a nuisance.
It was good to learn how this particular tab responds to being soaking wet. I have no idea how a more expensive tab would respond the becoming as wet as my inexpensive tab; I’ve only ever shot my recurve using this Avalon Classic.
I’ll investigate the pricier tabs and see what I can learn. At the least I’ll order a second Avalon to have on hand for rainy days. If that happens I’d try to keep the both as dry as possible and perhaps rotate them in the manner footballs are rotated during rainy games.
Practicing archery in the rain might not be tops on your list of ideal training conditions. It is, however, a great way to learn how you and you equipment will respond to being soaked.