Is the use of string stops on recurve bow permitted by World Archery?

What are String Stops? 

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On the 11 December 2013 World Archery published the following – The limb vibration damping devices in question are legal for the Recurve Bow Division.

These devices should not provide any additional aid in offering bowstring alignment.

The only stipulation is that the bowstring may not touch the damping device or devices when the bow is at its static resting brace height. That is, when the bow is strung, but not being short, the bowstring may not be in contact with the dampening device/s at brace height.


Multiple pin bow sights are mainly used for hunting although World Archery and Archery Australia allow the use of these sights for all Freestyle Compound activities, target field, indoor etc except for Unmarked Field.

Multiple pin sights are NOT permitted for Recurve.

The Whisper Biscuit Arrow Rest is used for hunting although World Archery and Archery Australia allow the use of these rests for all Freestyle Compound activities, target field, indoor etc except for Unmarked Field. Whisper Biscuit Arrow Rests are NOT permitted for Recurve, Barebow Recurve, Barebow Compound or Longbow.


When selecting a recurve bow it is very important to select the correct bow length to match your arrow/draw length.

By doing this the bow will feel smoother to draw and the performance of the bow will be maximised.

Recurve bow limbs are designed to be used within specific arrow/draw length ranges, for example; if you use a bow with limbs too long for your arrow/draw length (for example you have a 26″ arrow/draw length and use a 70″ bow), you won’t be working the limbs enough to efficiently propel the arrow.

If the bow is too short (for example 64” bow with a 30” arrow/draw length) the bow will most definitely be very efficient, as you will have over stress the limbs possibly to a point of damaging the limbs.

In this case the limbs will also stack, that is the limbs will unevenly gain bow weight as you draw further back creating an uncomfortable bow at full draw and a very sharp angle of the string on your fingers at full draw which cause pinching of the fingers.

The goal is to use a bow length matched for your arrow/draw length, this will deliver the correct amount of the energy to efficiently propel the arrow but will not under or over stress the limbs. The bow will also feel very comfortable to draw and shoot.

Industry standard arrow/draw length to bow length are –

14-16″ = 48″ bow

18-20″ = 54″ bow

20-22″ = 58″ bow

22-24″ = 62″ bow

24-26″ = 64″ bow

26-28″ = 66″ bow

28-30″ = 68″ bow

30+ = 70″ bow


A clicker is a piece of archery equipment used on a recurve bow and gives an audible “click” when the arrow point is drawn through the clicker.

The archer trains to use this “click” as the signal to shoot the arrow. New and intermediate experienced archers do not use the clicker as they develop the basis skills but as the archer develops and becomes more consistent and wants to achieve any sort of success in recurve archery the clicker is a must use device.

For a recurve archer the clicker serves a number of roles,

1. The clicker ensures consistent draw length, which equates to using the same amount of stored energy for each shot. Variations in draw length from shot to shot will store different amounts of energy in the bow and this will result in high/low and left to right variations from shot to shot. High/low shots due to variation in the amount of stored energy from shot to shot and this variation in stored energy will have an effect on how the arrow reacts when shot causing left /right

2. Although many may consider variation in stored energy a major factor when shooting the most important aspect of a clicker is to provide an audible signal “click” that the archer’s uses as an external stimuli to release. Using this audible signal to release directly leads to repeatable and consistent results. Ideally the release should be an auto response to learned stimuli such as the audible “click” of the clicker.

Without a clicker the archer must rely upon feel and visual inputs to indicate when to shoot, this will lead to ‘flinching, freezing, and creeping’ as the archer is never quite sure when to shoot.

Not using a clicker has a major effect on an archer’s ability to shoot repeatable and consistent scores from shot to shot.

The clicker is usually a flat piece of spring metal or recently introduced carbon fiber or a piece of wire activated by a magnet.  The clicker generally mounts to the inside of the bow window, most modern bows have pre-drilled holes designed to accept the clicker or in some cases may mount under the sight mounting block or onto the sight extension.


In use, the arrow is placed under the clicker, all arrows must be cut to exactly the same length, if not this will lead to inconsistency as variation in arrow length, which will lead to variation in stored energy at full draw.

·   As the bow is drawn the arrow moves back under the clicker so at full draw no more than 1mm to 2 mm of the point remains under the clicker.

·   The archer sets their anchor and aims while maintaining tension and their position under the clicker. As part of the drawing action when ready the archer simply exerts additional backward tension (back muscles) and the arrow is drawn through the clicker.

·       Where the clicker falls away from the arrow point its makes an audible clicking sound and the archer activates the release upon hearing this sound. It is important that the archer learns to release immediately they hear the sound.

The clicker is used as a trigger to shot.


It is imperative before an archer starts to use a clicker that must ensure they are using the correct length arrows and that all arrows are cut to the same length.

An archer’s draw length will vary from the initial draw length they had when they commenced learning the skill of shooting and settles down after a few weeks as they develop a consistent bio-mechanical technique.

It is important that a coach access the archer and assists them with determining their correct draw length.


Attach the clicker to the bow and have the coach roughly set the clicker in the position that suits the arrows to be used.

Initially the archer should be taught to watch the point of the arrow. As they draw they watch the clicker blade move onto the arrow point, as this happens they look away toward the target and aim, while maintaining the tension of the draw.

Watching the arrow point must never become a habit. In time watching the clicker is not necessary as it does interfere with concentration. As the archer develops the correct technique, posture and body alignment and becomes consistent with the drawing process they start to draw within a couple of mm of the clicker going off each shot, at this point they should stop watching the arrow point and only focus on the target when drawing.

If the archer’s draw technique, posture and body alignment is not consistent from shot to shot the process of moving the last couple of mm to make the clicker “go off” can’t be achieved in a smooth flowing movement but will require the use of excessive muscular effort or force.

If muscular effort or force is used make the clicker go off it will not be a smooth consistent process from shot to shot.

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