Clickers – My progress with the Olympic bow

I recently decided to try out Olympic style archery, having come from the barebow world.

I had been using a heavy barebow riser so I purchased an appropriate riser and the gear involved.

One of the items I purchased is a clicker. For those that don’t know, it is a metal strip that rides against the outside edge of your arrow as it is drawn, when the arrow is pulled beyond the clicker, the clicker springs to the riser, striking it and making a sound, which indicates to the archer that they’ve reached their pre-determined draw and can release the arrow.

Clicker - front view

Sounds simple but for it to work well means that your draw and form have to be consistent.

What I’ve found is that this little strip of metal is quite the taskmaster and if you’re paying attention it will point out your form errors.

Getting your errors pointed out to you is often two sided. When I’m struggling to pull through the clicker and I’m feeling frustrated it can very much be a pain in the patookie.

When I take the time to analyze why I’m struggling, allow it to sink through, figure out what the issues are and then see arrows striking gold, I feel uplifted and happy about the challenge.  What have the issues been, you ask?

The easy one to catch for me was not locking my bow shoulder down and letting it ride up which makes going through the clicker near impossible.

Clicker - side view

I also caught inconsistent finger grip on the string. This one has absolutely forced me to pay close attention at how I hook the string and what happens to this hook once under tension at full draw.

More insidious though are things like stance and I am now suspecting head position.

I realize now that all these little problems have existed all along but I was mostly unaware of them. I’ve had my suspicions but nothing like the clicker to make you stop and figure it out.

One of the things that I’ve come to appreciate about this little strip of metal is that aside from it’s intended function it is a good training aid, a bit of the yellow canary of archery, it gives a warning that something is not as it should.

I’m excited about learning the ways of Olympic archery and although frustrating at times the knowledge that I’m improving pushes me along. More to come..


10 thoughts on “Clickers – My progress with the Olympic bow

  1. There are more ways to cheat a clicker than I can count. It sounds as if your analysis is good so far. I ask my students to always (always) when they struggle with a shot on point that they need to relax through it. Tension shortens muscles and makes it harder to get through the clicker, not easier. Another lesson a clicker can teach one, if one is prepared to listen to it.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hello Mark, The clicker in the picture is in fact the clicker I am using. It is a Spigarelli clicker, I purchased the clicker and it came with a Spigarelli Explorer riser, actually I purchased the riser and it comes with clicker and rest, very thorough of the Italians.

      As you know I am new to clickers but one thing I like about this clicker is that because of the design once you’re close you can see the clicker shift to the lower spoton the clicker getting a visual clue that you’re close. See picture of clicker to see what I mean.

      • Hello Charles,

        If it’s not too much of a hassle, can you post some pictures of the riser with the clicker extension installed? I would like to see how the extension is actually installed on the riser.

        Thank you for your time and attention!

  2. Hi Charles,

    Can you tell me how the clicker extension works for the Explorer II? Where does it go on the riser? Thanks!

  3. Hi !

    Funny that I just take the cliker off my bow and realize the almost same progress on my grip and my posture that you’d describe here… I’ve done a good progress during this summer with it even when I was being teased with this cliker on my barebow.

    By the way, very nice blog mister !
    Going to follow it.

    (Sorry if there’s bad writing I’m a frenchie)

  4. I shoot a Spigarelli Revolution Olympic recurve, but only ever use a clicker as a training aid while doing reversals. I never have it on the bow on the line, and while I am not anti-clicker I think a lot of archers get given them far too early and so become over reliant on them and never really develop a good solid anchor.

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