Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Easton Legacy

Doug Easton's heritage...

The Easton Legacy Aluminium arrow shaft is a reflection of Doug Easton's heritage in the arrow manufacturing business.
Easton started his company in 1922 and the Legacy retains the original looks of the arrows that were made in the era.

Tough as nails

I came across the Easton Legacy arrows a year ago. At the time, I was looking for something to go with my Hoyt Buffalo Takedown Recurve bow. 
I procured a dozen of size 2018 Legacy arrows from Mr Tan Peng Loon, a friend of mine who was then working for LA Sports, an archery pro-shop in Bandar Menjalara, Kepong.

Maximum damage: The bullet points

A new lease of life, the re-furbished Legacies
I had the arrows fletched with white feathers and took them to compete at the 2016 Princess Cup Archery Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 2018 Legacy shafts were used with my Hoyt Buffalo and I had some decent results with it.
If I am not competing in tournaments, the Legacy will be used for hunting.
So, to overcome damaged shafts in the field, I had at least two and half dozen of Legacy arrows in my keeps.

A new lease of life...

Commenting on the 1916 Legacy shaft

Excellent 3D target arrows
Earlier this year, I had a batch of the 2018 Legacy arrows refurbished for use with my Hoyt Tiburon takedown recurve bow.
They are a tad too heavy for the #35lb bow, but worked just fine. I used them in a couple of local tournaments with great success.

In my humble opinion, the Legacy is a great hunting and 3D target shaft. It has a straightness of -+.002" and comes in six sizes.
Meant for heavy poundage bows, the smallest spined Legacy is size 1916 (#40-45lbs).
For training purposes, I ordered two dozens of 1916 Legacy shafts from a local product distributor.
These will be used for our 3D shoots as well as local tournaments. On the whole, I am pretty pleased with the quality of the aluminium arrows except for the ill-fitting inserts.
To get a plush fit, I had to ground down the 8/32 inserts. After working on it, there seems to be no issues at all building the arrows...

( A review of the Easton Legacy on my YouTube channel)

Availability update: Fletched Legacy arrows - six in a pack is now available from Excella Archery (019-624 9433)

Beman centreshot

Something new from Beman

Some would know that Beman archery manufactures carbon arrows. They are well-known for the ICS Hunter and Carbon Hunter shafts that are considered as robust and hardy.
I have been using the Beman hunting shafts with decent results.
Back in 2016, Beman announced the introduction of the Centreshot, a carbon shaft meant for traditional archers.
It features a cedar wood grain finish and is available in four sizes (340, 400, 500 and 600 grains).

The third-world dilemma...

Back here in Malaysia, most archery pro shops would either sell you aluminium or carbon shafts meant for target archery.
Although Bemans are available here, dealers who sell the Centreshot is virtually non-existent.
I asked around a couple of pro-shops and was turned away. There was no hope.
So, to overcome the issue of availability, I sought help from my wife Michelle, who took a trip to Texas sometime in January.
We ordered two dozens of the Beman centreshot (size 500) from 3Rivers Archery, a well-known retailer of traditional and hunting bows and arrows.

The Centreshot shafts, direct from Indiana, the USA
Picking up the arrows in KLIA's Postal facility
Michelle actually missed the delivery of the arrows. We waited at least another month before the arrows arrived in Malaysia via Express Mail Service from Texas, USA.
But, nothing will go down easy on us as we tracked the package to the KLIA Customs clearing centre for postal packages.

As soon as the USPS tracking service had indicated that the package was "Held at Customs", we made a beeline to KLIA to claim it.
I wasted no time to make the trip to the facility to proceed with the Customs clearance. Once the tracking number was submitted, I took it over to the Customs officer for declaration.
I was rather delighted to find out that there was no duty for carbon arrows. Only a 6% GST and handling payment were needed to clear the Beman Centreshot out of the holding facility.

Feather vanes for the centreshot

Fletching process
 Quality, fit and finish...

I must say that I am pretty impressed with the overall built of the Beman Centreshot. Out of the box, its straightness was rated at -+.003", which is very decent. Since I had the size 500 shafts, it was meant for my #35lb Hoyt Tiburon takedown recurve bow. I have also set aside a set for Michelle's Samick Sage takedown recurve bow. Her bow's draw weight was rated at #35lbs.
Since my draw length is 29", I built the Centreshot as uncut arrows. The shafts were complemented by feather vanes and to get things going, I built about nine arrows.

Testing the Beman Centreshot

Getting some good results from the new shafts

I am pretty pleased with the overall quality of the Beman arrows. It's quite affordable compared to the Gold Tip Traditional and Eastin Axis Traditional shafts. These are arrows that I can use for my practise rounds at the range. Just as I am done with testing the new arrows, I found that a dealer in Malacca is selling the Centreshot. So, there's no more depending on overseas online shop and pay extra for frieght and GST to the Customs. You can call Mike or Raymond at Excella Archery (019-624 9433) or visit their Facebook page for inquiries on the Beman shafts. The pro-shop in Alor Gajah is full-stocked with Beman products...

(Here's a full review of the Beman Centreshot on Samo's Range Day channel on YouTube)

Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Malaysia Cup 3

Round 3, the final outing...

We shot in round 1 and 2 and were ranked 9th and 17th after the points were tallied. This is expected to drop after the third round in Banting. Jeff, my shooting buddy and I had trained over the past couple of months to get used to our shot placements and grouping.
Coach Lau (recently certified) had come out of recluse to join us in Banting for the shoot.

And as usual...

Kampung tournaments will be kampung tournaments. This event is a non-sanctioned tournament in search of three top barebow archers to represent the country in the Thailand Princess Cup archery event in Bangkok. Come June, three men will compete against the best barebow archers from Thailand and Singapore.

Team Subang Barebow Archers in Banting

Jeff taking aim during the practise session
The Malaysia Cup is a joint effort by several archery clubs in Selangor and Perak. The main person is Sharani Ibrahim, a religious teacher who is also one the leading traditional archers in the country.
Sharani took it upon himself to organise a league system tournament where the finals will determine who represents the country in Thailand.
Since the first tournament in Simpang Pulai last year, the response has been promising. There are a rising number of barebow archers who are following the league.

A fun shoot...

Jeff and I treated the event as a fun shoot. Mostly to get used to tournament pressure. Shooting in a high-pressure situation helped us to maintain our composure and focus on scoring on the target face.
The target faces used in this tournament are printed on vinyl banners. I guess it's the organiser's way to save cost. 
Unlike the Bangi and Kota Baru barebow events, the target faces are stacked very close to each other. 
Event the target buds are smaller than those stipulated in sanctioned events.

The kampung target faces, an archer's nightmare...

Expect the unexpected...

I was assigned target face "C" and one of my main concern is the last ring on the target face. It's just too low and if you miss, the arrow will dive into the ground. So, my strategy was to place my shots high. Doesn't matter if I miss the ring, as long as the arrows are on the target bud.

Jeff taking his shot during the official round

Jeff, Wan Rohafizan and Coach Lau

After 30 arrows in round one, my scores were appalling. I managed to score 132 points. It was the worst shot since round 2 in Simpang Pulai.
In round 2, it was time to turn thing around. During the first few ends, I managed to gain a bit of points. My best ends were the last four before wrapping up round 2. I scored 180 points but the final tally is questionable. We submitted the scores to the kampung judges and I was 10 points short. In the final rankings after two rounds, I came in at 24th place. Jeff was ranked 39th while Coach Lau came in at 35th.
On the whole, I was pretty happy with my performance because the "C" target face is one my weakest shot placements.
In the months to come, I will work on my form, especially my release and follow-through.

Good memories and training...

All good things said and done, I don't think we managed to collect enough league points to make it into the top 20 ranking.
Sixteen archers from the barebow event from rounds 1, 2 and 3 will slug it out in University Teknologi Petronas on April 1. May the best man wins...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kelantan indoor archery cup 2017 - Part 2

The fellowship of archers
A day of reckoning...

The alarm rang. It was 05:30am in the morning. I loaded my gear onto the car and since it was a tad too early, I took a walk around the neighbourhood.
There was ample time to have breakfast and shoot straight to PUTIK and set up our shooting gear for the competition.
We had breakfast in Kota Baru's Chinatown before heading off to Pengkalan Chepa where the tournament was held.

At the shooting line during practice session
The bird-flu scare...

Kelantan was under the scrutiny of Health Authorities after an outbreak of the H5N1 virus was reported.
This prompted many archers to pull out, fearing the contagious disease.
That said, there were only nine barebow archers taking part. Some came at the very last-minute and to my surprise, they were really good!
Prior to commencing the shoot, event director coach Wan Abu Bakar gave a briefing and told us how the format works.
Each person is given one minute to enter the waiting area and another two minutes to shoot.
Since the Kelantan Indoor Archery Cup 2017 is a World Archery sanctioned event, it is officially recorded on video. Results and ranking are also posted on-line.

Champion barebow archer Suhairi Ariffin in action

Wan Rohazian, runner-up at the barebow tournament
Penang's Jeffery Pang won the bronze medal
Kelantan's full of surprises!

There were nine archers in the barebow category. Eight out of the lot will go to the elimination rounds.
Apart from Wan Rohafizan, who is a familiar face in the barebow circuit, most of the other guys were complete strangers.
At the shooting line, I met Jeffery Pang, an archer from Penang. The guy shot very well and was a real livewire.
Ouf the nine, there were three non-Malays. 
During qualifying, I was assigned to lane 1 and shot with Suhairi Ariffin an archer who originates from Kelantan.
A man of few words, Suhari shot 28 points at the first end of round one.
Almost immediately, I was shooting with one of the best barebow archers in the country.
I caught up with him and was told that he had only started barebow archery three months ago. Prior to that, Suhairi was a traditional archer.
That said, it was no surprise he shot 260/1 and 255/2 to earn 515 points and ranked first in the tournament.
During the finals, it was Wan Rohafizan vs Suhairi Ariffin. After five ends, Suhairi took the match and won.
He became the first sponsored archer to take part at the International Barebow Championships in Bangkok later this year. 
Rohafizan took the silver medal while bronze went to Jeffery Pang.

Coach Wan Abu Bakar announcing the winners of the Barebow shootout
Champion archers: Suhairi and Rohafizan
A journey of self-discovery...

I beat my personal best by scoring 206 points in round one. That's keeping calm under heavy pressure and putting as many arrows as possible in the smaller rings.
In round two, I managed to score only 181 points and came in seventh. After two rounds, my total score was 387. I came in ranked 6th at the event. Didn't really matter to me at all, but the defining moment for me was the ability to score more than 200 points at a tournament. This is the reward for constant training and personal improvement. In the months to come as the Thailand Princess Cup archery tournament is building up, I hope to maintain my training scores at 200 points. The only factor that is bothering me is astigmatism. I can hardly see under the poor lighting conditions and my aim was badly affected. I hope to fix this in the months to come. That said, the Kelantan event was an eye-opener and a really well-organised event. Kudos to coach Wan Abu Bakar for putting up a good show. We hope to participate at the event again next year...

Kelantan indoor archery cup 2017 - Part 1

Our first archery tournament at the East Coast...

I have very low expectations when I signed up for the 2017 Kelantan Indoor Archery Cup in Kota Baru.
A fellow archer Wan Rohafizan had alerted me about the tournament taking place in mid-March and it didn't take long for me to get the details to sign-up.
This is the second year such an event is being organised in Kelantan and what got me really interested was the location of the tournament.
Jeff, my shooting buddy and I represented the Subang Barebow Archers. Michelle is nursing her post-surgical wounds and will be out of action until May this year. The other archer, Mr Lau is changing his shooting style after a poor performance in Bangi.


Like any other tournament, we spent time training at the range. Our aim is to get a nice grouping on a 40cm, 10-ring target face. This is the standard shooting format at all indoor tournaments for Barebow archery.
The last time we shot, was in Bangi. Following that, we trained at our range. Getting shot placements, grouping and consistency in check and balance.
Since Kota Baru is about 1,200km round trip, we had to book our accommodation in advance. My preferred lodging is Tune Hotel which is located near the city centre. Since I had to drive, the car was serviced for the long-haul.
After paying the tournament fees (RM100/US$22.60) we secured a place at the shooting line.
My choice bow was the Hoyt Tiburon. I grew very fond of this modern traditional takedown bow. For arrows, it's the Easton Axis Traditional size 500 carbon shafts.

The fantastic journey...

At the old Gua Musang train station in Kelantan

Samo made his mark in Kelantan...

Enjoying a late lunch before heading off to the event venue
We left KL a day before the tournament and took a long drive via the Bentong - Kota Baru trunk road.
The journey was a breeze as there weren't many vehicles on the road. I wanted to show Jeff, my shooting partner Gua Musang in Southern Kelantan. We had a short break there before proceeding towards Kota Baru.
By late noon, we arrived in the city and went straight to get our lunch. The choice makan place was Lim Siong Kee Beef Noodles located opposite Tune Hotel.
Jeff loved the beef noodles and compared it with the branch in Puchong, Selangor. He said the one in Kelantan tastes even better. Maybe he was really hungry!
After a good fill, we made our way to Pusat Tarbiah Islamiah Kelantan (PUTIK) located near the airport.
There was some confusion on Google Maps as the apps navigator led us to the airport's departure terminal instead.
After a phone call was made, we were redirected to the actual place. It was supposed to be registration, equipment inspection and practise. But that didn't happen.

We met a fellow barebow archer Wan Rohafizan at the PUTIK hall. He was there earlier to compete in the Men's Recurve open event and was ranked 12/16. 
Wan is an aspiring barebow archer who has also competed at the International Barebow Championship in Bangkok last year.
His experience is invaluable as barebow archers are growing in numbers. 
We indulged in a conversation and also met Simon, a Singaporean who organised the IBC event in Bangkok.

 After hours...

We scouted the location and felt that it was time to head back to town, check-in at the hotel and prepare for the tournament day.
Jeff was really suprised with Kota Baru as a city. The impression he had was a backwards town that is repressed.
What came as a surprise was beers in Chinatown and roasted pork in skewers. We had a meal in town and chilled out with a couple of beers before hitting the sack...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Staying in the game...

Patience and practise...

I picked up my bow nearly two years ago and there hasn't been a moment of regret. From the Martin Panther takedown recurve, I've added a few more bows to my keeps.
Since the first time I shot my bow, I have been constantly practising at our range in Subang Jaya.
That said, we kept in the loop by entering local tournaments to hone our minds and overcome performance anxiety.

The road to Bangkok 2017

One of the highlights of the year will be the Princess Cup Archery tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.
We look forward to this and learned a lot from our first-time experience competing with some of the best barebow archers in the Southeast Asian region.
The Thais are no stranger to shooting a bow without sight and they are very good at it. Nearly 60% of their archers made it through qualifying rounds.

The team in Bangkok last year
The Princess Cup tournament was a real interesting learning experience. We are now honing our shot placement and consistency.
That said, the local tournaments held around the country actually helped us to gauge our ability to perform under pressure.

"Malaysia Cup"

Just a few months after the Thailand event, we took part in a small tournament in Perak. This was an eye-opener to most of the barebow archers in the country.
Many are still grappling with the concept of shooting a modern bow without the aid of an aiming sight.
Most barebow archers are still shooting with the "split-finger" release technique while a handful of archers shot with the "three-under" release technique with is apparent with good barebow archery.

Shooting at round 1 of the Malaysia Cup in Perak

At an indoor tournament in Malacca
We did pretty okay at round 1 of the local tournament in Perak. I came in at 10th place while Michelle, my wife took 11th.
In the months that came, we went back to Perak for round 2.
That's when the organiser had changed the height of the target stand resulting in some surprises.
The top-seeded archer from round 1 went crashing. 
Now that more archers are becoming aware of the barebow event, some new talents sprang up in Perak.
As for me, I did badly shooting two rounds at the tournament. I scored 274 points and my shot placements were really poor.
We left Perak with our heads down. A new champion had emerged and the biggest upset was the second-seeded archer from round 1 had gone down to the 28th placing.

With my buddy Jeff in Perak during round 2

The qualifying round 

Combined ranking...

I was rather surprised with the overall combined ranking after two rounds of the Malaysia Cup. (There are four stages and the winners of the league championships will be sponsored for Thailand Princess Cup in June).
My team members were in the top 20 place after two rounds.
I came in at 9th, while Jeff's score placed him at 17th on the final tally.
Most who didn't shot in round 2 were ranked lower due to the lack of points collected.
The results motivated us to train harder. The real test in my humble opinion will be the 2017 Thailand Princess Cup in Bangkok.
Registration will open in April and this time round, we will be mentally prepared to take on some of the best barebow archers in the region...