Every day we have customers ask us what length their bow stabilizer should be and how much weight they should have on the ends. Stabilizers are probably the biggest variance you will see when looking at target bows. Length, weight, side bar, v-bars- each tiny aspect of your bow stabilizer can make your head spin trying to figure out where to start.
Over the years I’ve read ‘rules of thumbs’ and seen devices made to balance your bow, but I think that should all be taken with a grain of salt. Once you introduce the human element it changes everything. The way I hold my bow is not the same as the next guy. If we were all the same archery would be easy and we would all shoot perfect scores every time.
Setting the Correct Weight
When starting out a new target shooter I always start with a 30” front bar with 6 oz of weight and 12” back bar with 15 oz of weight. If you’re wondering how to install a bow stabilizer for a child or woman you can use your own judgment as to where to start with the weight, but I would try to stay close in that ratio. The key is to have the weight work with you and not against you.
From here I like to let the aim dictate what to do with the bow stabilizers and weights. In general, if the dot wants to float low either add weight to the back bar (or longer back bar) or remove from the front bar (or shorter front bar). It can be very tricky to get the mass weight to be perfect while having the appropriate amount of weight in the right places. If the bow stabilizer is balanced where you want it but you still need some mass weight you can add it directly to the riser.
Adjusting for Balance
Ideally, you want the bow to level itself once you hit anchor. You do not want to be wobbling back and forth at full draw trying to get your bubble perfect. Learning how to install a bow stabilizer properly requires experience, along with small alterations for better performance each practice. With all the adjustable side bars on the market this can easily be done. You can adjust the back bar in/out until the bow will level itself and you no longer have to fight it.
I like to think of your bow hand as a fulcrum that your bow is trying to balance on. Too much weight out front and your bow wants to pull low. Too much weight out back and it wants to pull high. This basic scenario has really helped me when it comes to balancing a bow stabilizer.
We hope this insight will be useful in helping you determine the best setup for your shooting. For more helpful tips and articles you can join our official newsletter. Don’t forget to check out our selections of custom strings for longbows, compound bows, and crossbows to find the gear you need today.