Learning About Stabilizers

When I purchased stabilizers for my bow I went to the experts in Pennsylvania. Along with the stabilizers I added a sight and scope. I’d been shooting for several months and knew that my Mathews Apex 7, a target bow, needed a bit more than the stubby hunting stabilizer the prior sales expert had sold me. After a few weeks of shooting the stubby stabilizer I learned there were these really long ones for the front of the bow and even a side arm. And with that I was alerted to a need for something else to stabilize my bow.

The heightened awareness warranted a trip to Pennsylvania. As a novice archer I really did not have a clue what I needed. When I arrived in Pennsylvania and walked into the giant archery store it was like a trip to Archery Mecca. I had never seen so much archery gear. It was overwhelming.

I’d brought my Apex 7. I was quickly greeted and provided with a dedicated sale representative. Explaining my need and lack of knowledge the young man assigned to assist me took control.

He took my bow from me then headed into the back room. When he returned the bow was equipped with a front and side stabilizer. “It’s perfectly balanced,” he confidently stated. With no more data available I accepted his proclamations as fact.

Most archers reading this are already laughing. A few of you may be shaking your heads.  But, I honestly didn’t know any better. Today, I don’t know much more than I did twenty-four months ago. Heck, I wasn’t even alerted to any foul until I’d forgotten my bow on a range in Georgia and a Level 4 archery coach discovered my misplaced equipment. He’d said when he returned it to me, “When I saw the stabilizers, I thought this was some kid’s bow.”

Someone that knows archery, Charlie Sneed a Level 4 USA Archery Coach is currently teaching me. I’d guess he’s been polite trying not to embarrassing me regarding my gear. Essentially, I’ve been shooting an Elite hunting bow rigged with a beginner’s, as in a child’s, short lightweight (a total of 4 ounces added) stabilizers. He’s tactfully suggested I consider a ‘tournament’ bow. That would mean more money out of pocket. Being a little conservative on spending I decided to show him my old Mathews Apex 7.

I’d sold the Mathews bow about a year ago but got it back. One thing I knew was that I could not shoot that bow well. Another thing I’d read is the general statement by former Apex 7 owners, “I wish I’d never sold that bow.”

Since I had the Mathews sitting in my shed I decided to bring it to practice along with my Elite. When I showed the Mathews bow to Charlie he said, “I used to have one of those. I wish I’d never sold it.”

Last week, Charlie had diplomatically suggested he would bring to our next practice another set of stabilizers for me to try. He had them with him. Before I could say much he said, “Let’s go ahead and set up the Mathews.” Nice way of saying, “Let’s not bother with the other bow.”

(I have no complaint with the Elite bow. It has served me well.  In fact, I’ll be hunting with it in a few days! But, the rig while ideal for hunting is not my best option for all situations – like 18-meters for example.)

We pulled the sight and scope off the Elite and put them on the Apex 7. Next, we added Charlie’s stabilizers. When I held the bow I was impressed with the addition weight.

Under Charlie’s instruction we adjusted the side stabilizer, removed and added weights, and sighted the bow. Within a few minutes it became apparent my elementary stabilizers had been little beyond decoration.

These days I try to research anything I add that might help with archery performance. Archery equipment isn’t inexpensive. The stabilizers I purchased in Pennsylvania weren’t cheap. They, also, were far from correct.

All I can add is: Caveat emptor

3 thoughts on “Learning About Stabilizers”

    1. Hi Harry, Yes, the Apex 7 is an oldie but a goodie. I agree with you, there probably aren’t many people still using it. Thanks, David

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