Splitting an arrow is the classic example of archery prowess in stories and movies. In keeping with stories like Robin Hood and the new Pixar movie Brave, Golden Gate JOAD held an arrow splitting contest for our archers. Splitting real arrows gets expensive, so we put up an alternative arrow to give our archers a fun challenge. We had three winners, including two students taking their first time lessons 🙂
Anyone interested in learning archery in San Francisco–from just starting out for fun to learning Olympic-level techniques that can get a dedicated archer on the road to splitting an arrow for real–should check out Golden Gate JOAD’s instruction and coaching program listed on our Learn Archery page. Oh, sure, it is a shameless plug, but we love archery and enjoy getting archers started in a way that is fun and supportive, but also backed with sound technique that can take archers as far as they want to go with archery.
Anyone who knows safe archery proceedures can put own their own arrow splitting contest. It’s easy. It just takes a cardboard tube and an arrow to suspend it from.
I’ve suspend our “arrow” from a specially prepared hardwood dowel. You can just shoot an arrow into the target and suspend the tube on it rather than a dowel. The arrow you suspend the tube from must be shot into the target from a bow, as you would normally. (Never force an arrow into an archery target using your hands. Arrows are made to be shot from bows not forced into targets with your hands. If forced they can break and cause injury.) By suspending the tube on an arrow you can easily remove it and easily retrieve winning arrows.
Remember to keep the “arrow” at a height and angle that lets even your shortest archer shoot straight into the tube. You can change the distance, or the size of the tubes to vary the challenge. Remember to always follow standard archery safety rules.
So, for some motivation to go split some arrows, here is the archery contest scene from the Pixar movie Brave:
Now that is some fine shooting by Merida, and some amazingly good animation based on some actual details of traditional archery. We’ll have more on arrow splitting inspired by Robin Hood and Brave next week.