Do Olympic Archers Use Releases?

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When it comes to the best of archery, Olympic archers have got it down. They consistently hit the bullseye and get those amazing scores that we all strive for. But how exactly do they succeed at getting accurate results every single time? It’s mostly down to technique, as well as the equipment that they use.

But one question arises and that is if Olympic archers use releases with their bows to make things easier for themselves?

Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this topic. We’re going to take a look at why Olympic archers don’t use releases, as well as why this isn’t really recommended for use with a recurve bow.

So let’s take a look at everything we need to know about Olympic archers using releases!

Do Olympic Archers Use Releases?

No, Olympic archers don’t use releases. This is because releases are only really meant to be used with compound bows, and compound bows aren’t allowed to be used at the Olympic level (this might change in 2022). Olympic archers shoot using recurve bows, which don’t require releases as part of the bow set up.

Even though some recurve archers do use a bow release with their set up, this isn’t common practice. This is because you would need to adjust the string that you are using so that there is a loop for the release to grip onto.

Some recurve archers do use releases, but generally most recurve archers shoot without a bow release. This includes Olympic archers, too. In fact, releases aren’t allowed to be used at Olympic level. It is thought that this is because using releases helps to make an archer more accurate, as the string will be more stable.

Without using releases, this makes archery more down to the archer’s skill than that of their equipment.

Seeing as Olympic level archery is looking for the best of the best, it’s only natural that they would be looking for the archer’s skill.

USA Archery rules dictate that bow releases can’t be used in competition with recurve bows. Recurve archers are only allowed to use a stabilizer, a sight, and a clicker.

Why Do Olympic Archers Let The Bow Drop?

Olympic archers let the bow drop because this helps to eliminate any movement from their hand which could influence the arrow once it has been shot. Basically, they are not “holding” the bow, and are trying to minimize any movement possibly caused by “gripping” the bow. In theory a bow would shoot “straight” without human interaction…

If you were to grip the riser firmly in your hand, once the arrow has been released, you could accidentally influence the direction of the arrow before it has fully left the riser.

Instead, Olympic archers will make use of a wrist sling to catch the bow once they let it drop. By allowing the bow to drop once they have fired an arrow, they can concentrate on leaving the arm that holds the bow still, eliminating any movement that can occur.

Do Olympic Archers Use Peep Sights?

Do Olympic Archers Use Releases

No, Olympic archers don’t use peep sights. This is because a peep sight is only really used on compound bows.

The actual peep sight is a part on the string itself, and compound archers can use it to look through along with their additional sight for greater accuracy.

So in order to use a peep sight, the recurve archer would need to change the string that they are using.

It’s also worth noting that peep sights aren’t made for recurve bows. Compound bows require a specific type of string, which often can include a peep sight.

What Brand Bows Do Olympic Archers Use?

The brand of bow that you use is often down to the archer’s personal choice. However, the most common brands that are used by Olympic archers are Hoyt, PSE, and others.

The vast majority of Olympic archers who ended up winning gold medals did so using a Hoyt bow. For most Olympic archers, they use a Hoyt Formula XI riser, complete with Hoyt Velos limbs.

In order to get the high results that are needed to get a medal, Olympic athletes need to use the best equipment possible.

Hoyt is a trusted brand for many archers, and the equipment has been designed to give them the accuracy that they need at all times.

So this will mean choosing a riser that gives even weight distribution and doesn’t impact the scores at all. The limbs will need to be lightweight, but give the bow the power it needs to reach the 70-meter target.

What Arrow Rest Do Olympic Archers Use?

When it comes down to finding the best arrow rest for your bow, it will ultimately come down to personal preference. However, the vast majority of Olympic archers tend to prefer a bolt-on magnetic arrow rest.

This is because these arrow rests tend to be highly durable and therefore will last much longer than the cheaper plastic arrow rest.

An archer will need to be sure that their arrow rest won’t fall off mid-competition, as this will then hamper their accuracy. It will break their concentration, as they will need to then get the arrow rest replaced.

So by choosing a bolt-on magnetic arrow rest, the Olympic archer can rest assured that the arrow rest will stay exactly where they need it to be – on the bow itself.

In Summary

So there you have it! You now know that Olympic archers don’t use bow releases and that they aren’t allowed to do this according to the rules of the competition.

Not allowing bow releases at the Olympic level, instead allows the archer’s natural skill to shine through so that the competition can find the best of the best. The only equipment that an Olympic recurve archer is allowed to use in the competition is the stabilizers, a sight, and a clicker.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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