Here's How to Get Around Archer's Paradox in Slow Motion

Getting around Archer's Paradox is the goal of most archery enthusiasts. This video lays out the science behind doing exactly that.
Donna Fuscaldo

Anyone who is worth his or her salt when it comes to archery has heard of the Archer’s Paradox. 

It occurs when an arrow traveling in the direction it's pointed at in full draw, curves to the side of the target, missing it. Frustrating indeed, but there’s a reason for the pheromone, which was laid out in this video.

The term Archer’s Paradox has been around since 1913, but mentions of it can be found in archery literature dating back to 1859. When an arrow is placed in the bow, as it's drawn back and released, the bow gets in the way of the target, forcing the arrow to curve and miss the target.

Toy designers are able to get around this paradox by developing bow and arrows in which the arrows go through the middle. In other instances its offset so the arrow can hit the target. 

But in real life, it's not as easy to get around the Archer’s Paradox. 

Longbow shooters get around it thanks to a bendable arrow. As the arrow goes toward the bow it curves but then snaps back to hit the target. With a compound bow, there is a cut out in the middle. That enables the arrow to travel straight and hopefully hit the target. With a compound bow, the arrow bends as well.

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The stiffness of the arrow, otherwise known as the spine, is also important in ensuring the arrow hits the target. Using a spine tester to measure the stiffness of the arrow can eliminate the duds. In the video, Bryon Ferguson, who is a master of archery and demonstrated in a previous video how he can hit an aspirin with his bow and arrow, showed off his machine to test the spine’s stiffness. By doing that he is able to normalize the paradox and yes hit that aspirin as well as a slew of other targets.

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