By Russell Thornberry
-- Practice to Achieve the Ultimate Bow Hand Control.
Lateral torque is largely the product of improper bow hand contact with your bow's grip. If you have problems with erratic arrow flight, hitting right or left of center, chances are you are suffering from improper bow hand contact.
Photo: The shaded portion of the hand illustrates the only part of the bow hand that should contact the grip. The dotted line shows the lifeline in the center of the hand. If the bow hand is turned into the grip, making contact with the lifeline, expect lateral torque to be a problem and be prepared for the string to snap the inside of your forearm.
The bow hand is merely a contact point with the grip -- a fulcrum of sorts. That's why bow grips have steadily been reduced in size over the past years. Most competitive archers take the grips off their bows to further minimize bow hand contact with the riser.
Photo: This shows proper bow hand contact with the grip. Notice that the knuckles form a 45-degree angle in relationship to the riser.
Proper bow hand contact should never actually grip the grip. Gripping the bow handle is a major no-no. The only part of your bow hand that should contact the grip is the fleshy pad below your thumb. Never allow the lifeline in the middle of your hand to make contact with the grip. When at full draw, the knuckles on your bow hand should form a 45 degree angle with the riser. If your knuckles are vertical, then you've brought your whole hand into the grip, which creates two basic problems: 1) lateral torque, and 2) bow arm contact with the string.
Photo: This shows improper bow hand contact with the grip. Notice that the hand is turned fully into the grip and the vertical attitude of the knuckles.
The bow hand should be relaxed, and fingers should not be stiff or tense. They should dangle loosely, as opposed to pointing. A rigid bow hand begs for problems. A relaxed bow hand does not.
Attention to the proper bow hand contact will make you a better, more consistent archer, which translates to more bull's-eyes and more venison in the freezer.
-- All photos by Ryan Noffsinger