GGJOAD Archers Brave Blistering Heat for First Indoor Distance Shoot of the Year

Did I say blistering heat? Well, it did peak at 90 degrees, which for San Francisco is blistering… ;-) Hoards of Golden Gate Archers came forth on October 4th to shoot for USA Archery Achievement Awards. Kids and adults braved the gorgeous shirtsleeve weather to come out to shoot for fun and for recognition of their hard work.

So, why are we now in the “indoor season,” which we shoot outdoors? There is actually a good reason for it. We switch to indoor distances to prepare for the state indoor championships which take place in January. Indoor distances are shorter, set at a distance one might reasonably be able to arrange indoors at a local archery pro-shop or indoor range. 18 meters is the most common indoor distance for adults for competition, and the only distance for Adult Achievement Shoots. Kid’s indoor distances are 9 or 18 meters depending age category for competitions, or the judgement of the Director of Shoot if it is a JOAD Achievement Shoot, which don’t have age categories.

Since the days will actually be getting colder in the coming months and it will be dark earlier and earlier in the evening, being able to shoot indoors helps many archers continue to practice throughout the year, especially in states that actually have seasons, unlike the bay area which has something more like suggestions of seasons. Meanwhile, Golden Gate JOAD archers will continue to brave the “indoors” outdoors through the fall and winter, and will be eligible for the coveted Golden Gate JOAD shooting in the rain pin if we manage to get some rain during one of our achievement shoots.

We will switch back to outdoor distances next year after the indoor state championships in time to prepare for the state outdoor championships. As a mostly recreational program, we don’t have to follow this convention, but a number of GG Archers do enjoy competitions, and it is also a good excuse to break up the shooting distances for some variety.

Posted in Archery Club News, Golden Gate Park Archery Range News

Shooting an Arrow-Mounted GoPro at Golden Gate JOAD

Archery is a great sport, but a challenge to make interesting on video, especially when using a super wide angle action camera such as a GoPro. Archers stand in the same place and do the same thing over and over again. Moving the camera is one way to make archery videos more dynamic. For the ultimate archery cam shot, I mounted a GoPro Hero3 Black on a custom, solid aluminum arrow. Then we shot it at Golden Gate JOAD using light draw weight bows, ranging from 16 to 24 pounds.

Shooting an arrow with a GoPro mounted on it is a challenge. A GoPro is very small and light for an HD video camera, but is really, really heavy as an arrow point. And mounting the camera to look back at the archer required the camera be offset from the arrow rather than centered. Because of the additional weight we took extra safety precautions:

First, I made a custom, solid aluminum arrow. It is normal for arrows to flex under acceleration, but regular tubular carbon and aluminum arrows are not built for the relatively enormous weight of a GoPro camera, and could snap in half as the bow string accelerates the arrow forward against the inertia of the camera, possibly sending the broken back half of the arrow through an archer’s hand. In fact, this highlights and important safety issue in archery. You need the right arrows for the draw weight of your bow, and the arrows need to be undamaged. Damaged arrows can break under acceleration. This is especially true for all-carbon arrows (carbon is brittle and fairly easy to damage) shot with high draw weight bows.

The second safety precaution we used was to shoot fairly light draw weight bows. That limited the flex of the arrow. Of course, it also limited the range of the arrow to about 18 meters, even at the maximum elevation. Safety first. We’ll work on distance second.

So, please do not attempt to shoot an arrow-mounted GoPro without expert supervision. In the meantime, we will improve our arrow-mounted GoPro set up so we can continue to find new ways to safely record interesting archery shots, and have fun with archery at Golden Gate JOAD :-)

Posted in Archery Club News, Archery News

Golden Gate JOAD Archer First to Earn USA Archery Bronze Olympian Award

Golden Gate JOAD's Tony Morosco Earns the USA Archery Bronze Olympian AwardGolden Gate JOAD Archer Tony Morosco is the first archer to earn the USA Archery Bronze Olympian Award in the Adult Barebow category this year, and possibly the first since the award was added to the Adult Achievement Program. Tony shot a 281 out of a possible 360 at 50 meters during our August Achievement Shoot using 26 pound limbs. Tony’s 281 is actually good enough to earn Silver Olympian required score but each of the USA Archery Adult Achievement Awards Pins must be earned in order. First things first!

Because adults do not qualify for Olympian apparel like the youth archers receive from USA Archery, we took it upon ourselves to print Tony a special shirt commemorating the hundreds of hours of practice he put in to achieve this rare goal.

Tony’s dedicated to archery goes beyond practice, however. ┬áVisit our practice site in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco an hour before the lesson begins and you’ll find Tony there, helping to setup the bales, adjusting their distances, and making sure they’re all straight. ┬áTony’s volunteer spirit shows leadership above and beyond his accomplishments as an archer.

Congratulations to Tony!




Posted in Archery Club News, Archery News