Olympic Arrows Can Make You A Better Bow Hunter
Every four years the world’s best shooters gather to compete at the highest level in archery. Olympic recurve archers line up and launch arrows at targets 70 meters downrange—often battling extreme crosswind conditions. All aspects of equipment are critical and only the best products are sufficient to get an archer to the top of the podium. At this level, no link in the equipment chain is more important than the arrow shaft. Since archery returned to the Games in 1972, Easton shaft technology has been used by archers to win every Individual Gold Medal at every Olympics. Throughout that time modernization of both the manufacturing process and the products have made incremental improvements that have resulted in ever escalating tournament scores.
While Olympic and target archery have been a high-profile aspect of Easton’s nearly century-long track record of success, bow hunting has always been at the very roots of the company. So how is Olympic arrow development meaningful to a bow hunter? Easton takes the technology of developing top-end tournament arrows and applies those characteristics into their hunting products. Many of the technologies and processes are applied to other products and wind up in throughout Easton’s product line, including hunting shafts.
It turns out that the very same characteristics that make an Olympic arrow, like the renowned X10, effective and successful in the hands of every Olympian, are very much the same traits important to every bow hunter. Let’s look at some of these characteristics.
Easton invented micro-diameter shafts, which require special materials and construction techniques. The micro-diameter design developed for arrows like Easton’s Olympic-winning A/C/E and X10 reduce the effects of wind-on-arrow flight for target shooters. That means micro arrows target on target better as they move downrange. Additionally, the lower profile means less drag, and therefore, more velocity at the target. And for the bowhunter it doesn’t stop there. That same friction reduction greatly improves penetration in game animals. Easton micro-diameter hunting shafts like the AXIS and FMJ stay on target better and fly straighter in crosswinds. The higher ballistic density, truer flight, and reduced surface area helps drive broadheads through tissue and bone to effectively kill by maximizing penetration.
Spine and Weight Consistency Affect Accuracy
Every arrow you shoot needs to have the same spine and weight to fly true. Spine is the stiffness of the arrow, and this is a critical value. Arrows that don’t have the same consistent spine from arrow to arrow are akin to changing your bow tune from shot to shot. In the same way a tournament archer needs spine consistency, it also greatly affects how well broadhead-tipped arrows will group as well. It also applies to the concept of spine-around-the-shaft, or “SAS” for short. SAS is the spine measurement 360-degrees around the arrow shaft. Arrows that have SAS inconsistencies need to be “clocked” (and some are even sold with the off-spine “line” as a “feature”). Olympic-grade arrows virtually eliminate this flaw. With premium arrows and their superior SAS characteristics, you can simply fletch the shafts and expect excellent accuracy.
Every arrow you shoot needs to be matched in weight for the best grouping in the target. Easton goes to great effort to ensure consistent weight for any given size of arrow. Easton also engineers the correct amount of weight to ensure the best down range performance for the shaft. In our Olympic arrows this is a very important characteristic- heavier arrows, like the X10, resist wind much better than lighter ones, having greater ballistic density.
This is also very important to bow hunters. The momentum of the shaft is a direct function of the mass, and is what determines the “drive” of the shaft through game animals. This is important with all types of broadheads, but particularly important with mechanical broadheads which use a bit of the energy that would otherwise be devoted to penetration. Easton hunting shafts like the FMJ are designed with higher ballistic density and create incredible penetration in game. An added benefit is that generally, heavier shafts allow the bow to be much quieter on arrow launch- an obvious benefit with wary game.
Every Olympian inherently understands how critical to score having straight arrows can be.
Arrow straightness is absolutely indispensable when hitting the 10-ring from 70 meters (76 yards) away in competition. It’s equally important to bow hunters looking for the maximum performance from their bow and arrow system.
Arrow straightness is important to the consistency of each arrow’s launch from the bow, as well as the alignment of forces both at launch and, for hunters, in penetrating the target. It’s particularly important with fixed-blade broadheads. Straighter arrow shafts also inherently have better nock and broadhead alignment. Misaligned broadheads, especially fixed-blade heads, can cause inaccuracy in flight, and misaligned mechanical heads can lose more energy on impact.
Misaligned nocks are perhaps the worst condition of all, because they cause misdirection of the launch forces while leaving the bow- again, as if you’re changing the bow tune from shot to shot. The overall straightness of Easton arrows is your ultimate assurance that these factors are well within the tolerances needed to ensure good arrow flight and good broadhead performance.
Olympians shoot thousands of shots every week, hundreds per day, and need strong- dependable arrow shafts to ensure both performance over the thousands of shots they take. Durability leads directly to performance in bowhunting as well, because the same technologies needed to make arrows hold up to the incredible demands of thousands of launches and impacts into hard target materials applies directly to the ability of an arrow to defeat bone, gristle and sinew while penetrating a game animal. The same design and material technologies needed to make the world’s most dependable target shafts have a particularly big payoff for hunters.
It’s easy to see that there really is a strong correlation between the many things that go into an Olympic winning arrow shaft, and one you’re about to launch at a Kansas whitetail. So, know that the research and development that sees a champion to the podium will find its way into the heart of your hunting shaft. Every arrow has a story to tell—whether that’s through the target on television in front of millions of viewers, or in that solitary whitetail you’ve worked for months to get into range.