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Rests & Buttons

Rests & Buttons


compound-rests recurve-rests traditional-rests pressure-buttons

Compound Rests

Most compound rests are designed with release aid shooters in mind and are very different from recurve rests.

When an arrow is shot with a release aid, the sideways arrow flex associated with the string rolling off an archers fingers is not present. Because of this, you will rarely see compound bows set up with pressure buttons which help control this movement.

Instead, 'launchers' are the preferred style. A type of rest that supports the arrow only from below with some method of vertical cushioning. Often a spring loaded arm or flexible blade. This helps control the vertical flex of the arrow, since arrows shot with a release do still flex, but to a much lesser degree than an arrow shot with fingers. The only down side to these rests is that the arrow is free to fall off if you have a bit of a shaky draw!

Total arrow capture rests, such as the 'Whisker Biscuit' are perfect for situations that require the arrow to be held securely. For example, hunting.

'Drop away' rests do exactly what the name suggests. A little fiddly to set up, but when done properly these rests will drop away as the arrow travels forwards allowing complete fletching clearance.

Recurve Rests

The best rest for Olympic style bows is one used in conjunction with a pressure button. The arm that supports the arrow should be rigid in the vertical direction, but with a sideways 'flip' action. Rigid not only to support the weight of the arrow, but also because there is a tendency for the archers top finger to press down on the shaft at full draw, so the rest needs to support this. The horizontal flip action of the arm is beneficial as it will be more forgiving should the fletchings contact it as they pass by.

These types of rests, although made of metal, are still rather delicate. They need to be small, and the arm lightweight. In normal circumstances, they should last for 1000's of shots. The best ones tens of 1000's even! But only if the back of the arrow doesn't hit it on the way past! If the bow is badly tuned, or the wrong spine arrows used, then a few whacks with an arrow is going to snap the arm off.

Traditional Rests

Most of the wooden traditional field bows, and all of the traditional flat bows are designed to shoot wooden arrows directly from the bow shelf. But without a protective pad somethings going to wear out, as well as feeling a bit harsh when placing your arrow! A nice hair rest or shelf plate softens everything up nicely.

Pressure Buttons

These funny looking buttons are essential for fine tuning your Olympic style recurve bow. They must be used in conjunction with a suitable recurve rest (see above) and are screwed through the threaded hole on the side of your bow. The spring loaded tip rests against the side of the arrow shaft.

And their function? That's related to the 'archers paradox'. When you let go of the bow string it does not travel in a straight line. It first rolls off your fingers to the side, moving the back of the arrow and creating a bend. But the front of the arrow is still resting against something. The spring loaded tip can change the arrow flex. Changing the tension of the button will subtly change the amount of flex.

But you are not trying to remove the flex. You are trying to get the correct amount of flex. The Archers Paradox describes the pattern of flex an arrow makes as it passes through the bow. The correct pattern will give perfect clearance and the truest flight.