A Little Help From a Friend

It is too easy to waste money on sports equipment. Everyday there’s a new and better product to make athletes run faster, jump higher or go further. Archery, a sport where we don’t need to move a lot, isn’t immune to the gizmos and marketing hype that surrounds gear promising to deliver an almost practice free perfect shot.

Decades to competitive sports taught me a number of lessons. Among those lessons is that it is easy to waste money on the latest new toy. After I began competing in a sport that wasn’t supported by a public school program I began a long career of financing my athletics habit. The most costly was and remains cycling.

Fortunately, when I began racing bicycles I was still in high school meaning I didn’t have much money to waste on new fancy and often pointless innovations. Nevertheless, over decades I’ve ended up wasting a lot of many to replace gear that came on bikes that was simply wrong from the start. Where I am with archery is more bothersome.

When it comes to archery I am a novice, in that I’ve been involved with archery for 37 months. Today I’m a bit more conservative with my cash than I was just 3 years ago before I retired. So, for a large part I do my best to investigate before I purchase. That doesn’t mean that more than once I’ve put trust in a shop’s expert and walked away with pure archery crap. An example would be arrows.

I was on the road and had been for weeks when it became necessary to purchase more arrows. I bought the shop experts recommended product – a recognizable name brand. The arrows sucked.

They had the correct – per the labeling – spine. But, they popped and cracked so badly that I emailed the company to complain. I’d already tossed three of the arrows when the fourth broke. Their return policy was so encumbered that it would have ended up costing nearly the price of a new arrow to complete the transaction.

They offered to send me a new arrow after I completed forms, packaged and shipped the broken arrow. Once they received it and investigated the break my would consider sending me a replacement arrow.  Because I need to improve the specifications on arrows for indoor competition I was concerned that I’d screw up an order and relive the prior experience.

Of course, I went online and searched the top guns to see which arrows they shot. That was a little helpful. But, the real help came from Big John Chandler in Social Circle, GA.

Big John

John is an expert archer, a Level 4 USA Archery coach, and runs a bow shop. From our brief times together he knew some particulars about my equipment and needs. He sent me an exact detailed list of what I needed to order. We also talked by phone and he provided even more information.

John was a big help and probably saved me some cash and earned me some points on the range. This was an unexpected treat and I really appreciated the help.