Summer Arrows

summer arrows

Hurricane Arthur is passing offshore of us and it is pouring, pouring, pouring. I am reminiscing of how sweet last weekend was, when I was nestled amongst the gardens, feeling the sun, in my world, letting go of arrow after arrow.

On days like those, archery feels like meditation. I think it is the intense, and single focus on target and or shot sequence, that allows the mind to push everything else aside. I feel centered, and with every arrow, I’m letting go.

There aren’t that many things that I do that allow me that “in the zone” sort of experience. Does archery ever make you feel that way? Let me know, leave me a comment if it does.

 

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I’m back

Some weeks ago I shot in the Maine State indoor Championship and did terrible. Shot one of my lowest scores in competition ever. I had all sorts of things go wrong. I couldn’t pull through the clicker consistently, I ran out of time with an arrow to shoot, I shot through the clicker, I dropped an arrow on the floor ahead of me and forgot to re-shoot it, you name it I did it.

Pro-shooter, Dave Cousins who was shooting a couple lanes from me was probably wondering “who let this guy in..”

Dave Cousins

Dave Cousins who shot a clean 300 – 60 x’s

I mean it really all went wrong, and it sounds bad but actually it was perfect. I was beaming and proud of having entered and shot the championship.

Archers on the line at Lakeside Archery

Archers on the line at Lakeside Archery

You see, I hadn’t shot a bow for nearly 6 months, because I’d hurt my shoulder, specifically my rotator cuff, I didn’t tear it but as the physical therapist put it I “impinged it”.

A few weeks prior I had picked my bow back up along with a new pair of ultra-light 14 pound limbs (16 lbs at my draw) and half a dozen skinny 2000 spine arrows (Carbon Express Medallion-XR’s).

The state championship was conveniently 3 weeks away so it gave me an ideal goal. I didn’t pre-register, I just made a deal with myself that If I felt I was up for it I’d shoot it as a walk-in, If I didn’t think I could handle it I’d go as a spectator.

I spent two weeks re-learning correct and safe form at a bale to prevent re-injuring myself. I also spent time with a physical therapist, a Formaster and a new daily routine strengthening my shoulder and back with stretch bands and 5 pound weights.

Scoring

One week before the tournament I switched to practicing on target. My bow was out of tune, as I really needed to crank it up an extra pound to get my arrows flying right but I didn’t dare go up in weight, so with my setup untuned I practiced on. Practiced every chance I got, by the end of the week I was feeling confident that I might have a chance against some of the eight year olds so with that bit of confidence I entered.

As already mentioned my score was poor but my heart and pride are full. Stepping up to the line had far more to do with creating a new beginning for myself than it did my performance, because, this is just a start, I now have an opportunity for a lot more archery and a strong and secure feeling that I’m back.

C.

 

Spigarelli Explorer II – a review

Last spring I purchased a Spigarelli Explorer II. Previously I had been shooting a Spigarelli Barebow which, by the way, is an excellent riser for those who delve into the mysteries of barebow archery, barebow risers tend to be heavy though and I wanted a
lighter riser where I could customize the balance of the bow by apportioning weight where I wanted on the riser body and still not end up with too heavy a bow.

Spig Explorer in snow

The Spigarelli Explorer II has been a good solution for me. It is thoughtfully designed and a versatile platform for shooting either FITA or barebow archery.

The 25 inch Spig Explorer II riser weighs in at 2 pounds 10 oz (1.194 kg) with the grip mounted. Making it a comfortable mid weight riser.

What makes this riser so flexible are the many options for distributing weight. There are 3 stabilizer bushings on the back of the riser (the side that faces the target), and two additional bushings to add counterweight on the belly of the riser.

Bottom and middle stabilizer bushings

Bottom and middle stabilizer bushings

P1010406

Top bushing

Spig mid counterweight

Mid counterweight

Lower belly bushing

Bottom counterweight

Lastly there are two slots for internal handle weights. These teardrop slots take 7.4 oz (210 grams) Spigarelli weights which can be inserted into either the top, bottom or both slots. Should you choose to add both weights you’re adding nearly a pound of additional weight to the bottom half of the riser body.

P1010375

Weight in top teardrop slot of handle

P1010372

Fastener holds the weight firmly, no vibrations/noise

P1010368

Weight in bottom teardrop slot.

One of the things that attracts me to this riser is the design, it is well thought out, functional and attractive. Take the teardrop slots for example, they reduce the weight of the overall riser, play a part in the appearance of the riser and double as receptacles for the internal weights.

Other interesting design niceties are the recessed sight window, which gives you a clean view eliminating or minimizing screw heads that protrude into the sight picture. Smart clicker design, which has a formed drop/indentation at the tip, allowing for a visual cue by the inward movement of the clicker as you draw the last couple millimeters of the arrow. There are also clicker reference marks machined into the riser. Spigarelli has gone a long way to account for the details enhancing an archer’s experience.

Recessed sight window

Recessed sight window also see clicker fold  which gives visual cue, when arrow is a couple of mm’s from end and machined clicker reference lines.

Included with the riser comes a clicker, an adjustable clicker plate, a stick on magnetic rest, tools and a handsome riser pouch (The arrow rest that is shown is not the provided rest it is a Spigarelli ZT rest, which I like because of it’s adjustability).

Clicker plate

Clicker plate

Adjustable clicker plate

Clicker plate can be adjusted out or in with a machine screw.

Limbs can be aligned by removing the two locking set screws on the outside of the riser and then adjusting the limb by tightening/loosening the inner set screws on either side of the riser.

LImb aligment screws

Adjusting the weight and tiller of the bow is also possible by tightening/loosening the limb bolts. The limb bolts can then be locked down by a machine screw on the belly of the riser.

Limb bolt

Limb bolt

Locking machine screws for limb bolts

Locking machine screws for limb bolts

The wooden grip that is provided with this riser, didn’t do it for me, so I purchased an aftermarket Jager grip. When I decided I wanted to try a higher wrist grip, I modified the wooden grip that came included. If you plan to purchase a Spigarelli riser be aware that you may want to modify the grip or purchase an aftermarket grip.

Modified Spig grip

Modified Spigarelli grip

The polished anodized finish on the riser is good. I did however find a couple of places (not obvious) where if I looked closely I saw  machining marks. See pic below:

Machine mark on Spig

This is not a big deal to me, as the rest of the riser outweighs the couple marks on it but it may be for you, as I mentioned they are not obvious.

The Spigarelli Explorer II is a nicely designed mid-weight riser, it has many options for stabilizers and weight that will work well with a FITA setup or barebow, it also has many design details which may enhance your archery experience, it is nicely finished, and comes with some extras like a clicker, clicker plate and magnetic rest. The grip isn’t great but there are options for after market grips and or you can modify the existing grip. I did find some machining marks on my riser, I don’t know if this is true of all Explorer II’s, the marks I found were not obvious and do not detract from the overall look and feel of this gear.  As of this writing a Spigarelli Explorer II can be had for $375.00 to $400.00 dollars.

For those that are looking for a solid mid-level riser, the Explorer II is a good choice and worthy of consideration. If barebow is your thing but you want a riser that can also be used for a FITA setup, the flexibility of this riser fits the bill perfectly.

Spigarelli Explorer II clicker extension

Leslie left a comment on a previous post asking about the Spigarelli Explorer II clicker extension, specifically she wanted to see pictures of it mounted on the riser. See her comment below.

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!

Leslie, find pics below:

P1030050 P1030051 P1030052 P1030047

The extension is adjustable so you can extend it further out if need be. As you can see it is fastened on the non arrow side of the bow. Hope these pictures help to clarify.

C.

Ooh la la! Spigarelli Explorer II!

Can you say… amore?

Spigarelli Explorer II

Spigarelli Explorer II

Spigarelli Explorer II

Spigarelli Explorer II

Spigarelli Explorer II

Spigarelli Explorer II