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’ll see among target bows. Length, weight, side bar, v-bars — each tiny aspect of your recreational or hunting bow stabilizer setup can make your head spin trying to figure out where to start.
Over the years, I’ve read plenty of “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 in your compound or recurve bow stabilizer setup. 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
As 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 of your compound or recurve bow stabilizer setup work with you and not against you.
From there, 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 get a longer back bar) or remove weight from the front bar (or get a shorter front bar).
It can be very tricky to get the mass weight perfect while maintaining the appropriate amount of weight in the right places. If the hunting bow stabilizer setup is balanced where you want it but you still need some mass weight, you can add it directly to the riser.
Adjusting Your Compound and Recurve Bow Stabilizer Setup for Balance
Ideally, you want the bow to level itself once you hit anchor. You don’t 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, you can easily do this. You can adjust the back bar in and out until the bow levels 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 in the back, and it wants to pull high. This basic scenario has really helped me when it comes to balancing a recurve or compound bow stabilizer setup.
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We hope this insight will be useful in helping you determine the best recreational and hunting bow stabilizer setup for your shooting. For more helpful tips and articles, 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.