Switch hands?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by ruck139, May 16, 2014.

  1. ruck139

    ruck139 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    621
    Likes Received:
    49
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Has anyone successfully switched shooting hands? I have for 30 years shot right handed, but various injuries are making that more and more painful, even at 50lbs. I just started trying to shoot lefty, and while I can draw almost pain free, it just feels so incredibly awkward! String slapping my forearm and everything. Will I ever get used to it?
    I'm not a fan of crossbows, so I don't want to go that route. Being left eye dominant should be a plus to switching too, but only if I can get comfortable shooting lefty, it is harder than I imagined.
    Someone please tell me it is possible to switch.
     
  2. wildernessninja

    wildernessninja Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2014
    Posts:
    267
    Likes Received:
    27
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    wisconsin
    I will say you can. it will take time.spent a lot of time in my teenage days with my right arm and hands in a cast. learned how to do a lot of things lefty.it feels weird but after a while and practice you should get use to it.im sure when you first started to shoot a bow you slapped your arm.look at it like your learning to shot for the first time.
     
  3. MichiHunter

    MichiHunter Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Posts:
    969
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I watched a video of a guy with NO arms shoot competition archery. (holding it with his feet) Does that answer your question?
     
  4. BennettallicA

    BennettallicA Newb

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Posts:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Crook County, ILLinois (unfortunately)
    I am going through this right now. Since the 3rd grade when my dad got me my first bow, I have shot right handed. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with an eye disease called Keratoconus in my right eye. It is a horrible disease that slowly gets worse over time involving the shape of the cornea. If you watched the winter Olympics you might have seen a couple pieces on Stephen Holcomb, the US bobsledding gold medal winner who also has this. It sucks. My right eye is a useless blurry field of double vision. Enough about that.

    All along I too have been left eye dominant which I am lucky. This will be your saving grace. Not to say it isn't possible to make the transition if you are right eye dominant.

    I took ownership of my new bow last Saturday. Prior to that I shot a bow lefty 25 times in testing out different bows. The first day sucked. My body mechanics were rigid and unatural. My neck and shoulders were tired after 12 arrows. My right forearm was sore from holding the bow straight out because it was used to bring the recoiled string pulling hand. My left hand having a released pulling on my wrist was foreign, not to mention learning the feel of my trigger was also a variable. My hands and eyes were not in a line therefore I was pushing the string at release. Every single thing about me shooting felt wrong except for 1 thing...the bow - a Hoyt Carbon Spyder. Amazing piece of engineering.

    The good news is this. 1 week later (shooting every day until it hurts) I am nailing bulleyes at 20 feet in my basement set up.

    Some tips that helped me...

    1. Do your homework. Research...research...research. Unfortunately for us lefties there isn't a lot for us to even try in the stores. I did research for 19 months before I put down the cash.

    2. Find an awesome pro shop. I did. Not sure where you live but if you are in IL, NE Iowa or southern WI go to The Buck Stop in West Dundee, IL. The owner Pete is a lefty and was excellent to talk to throughout the process. Another guy Nick who works there, is righty and is a wealth of help, knowledge and advise on equipment choices and archery in general. Since the first time I walked in there 2 years ago there was not a second of pressure, rushing or "sales" going on. I am in sales for a living and these guys did it right...they helped find the right equipment based on my needs & goals and it being the solution to my problems. Excellent people. Excellent pro shop.

    3. Buy the best equipment you can afford. I almost went into this thinking "I am gonna buy cheap and see if I can do this before I drop some coin on a killer rig." Bad idea. I decided that I want to make the actual shooting process the best I can and buy the best I can afford. Getting back to what I said earlier about everything feeling wrong except 1 thing...the bow. This Hoyt and Black Gold Pure 75 is a piece of engineering mastery. It feels amazing to shoot and is addicting. I think having good equipment helped me get through the first phase of LH rust.

    #4 Shoot with a friend who is good at archery your first few days of shooting lefty. Let them watch you and help you. I dont have any friends who shoot that are close so I made sure to shoot as much as I could at the buck stop the day I got my bow. Pete helped me right away with my first group of arrows. And Nick was key in helping me figure out I was not inline.

    And something Pete at The Buck Stop told me, "If you truly love archery like it is clear you do...you will do what you have to do in order to make the switch". He was right. He also told me about a guy who comes in there who went through this switch from RH to LH at 73 years old. Inspiring.

    I have been shooting every day since I took my bow home at every oppty I have. In 7 days I am already getting comfortable and I strongly suggest you go for it. It feels amazing to be shooting again after 2 years of nothing and losing clear single vision in my right eye.

    Go for it my friend! You will be fine.

    Here is my progress as of day 5...
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk
     
  5. ruck139

    ruck139 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    621
    Likes Received:
    49
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    It does answer my question, but man it's hard. It feels so unnatural, and definitely harder than learning to shoot for the first time. I was just wondering if anyone has switched successfully.
     
  6. ruck139

    ruck139 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Posts:
    621
    Likes Received:
    49
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Thanks Bennett for the words of encouragement. I am using one of my dads bows, he is a lefty. Once I get comfortable I plan to buy my own and then sell my right hand bows. Actually thought about selling them now so I am not tempted to quit and go back to righty. My forearm is sore too, from holding the bow, and constantly getting the string slap, which never happens to me shooting righty. Good luck to you too, looks like you pretty much got the hang of it!
     
  7. cocowheats

    cocowheats Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Posts:
    238
    Likes Received:
    38
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    I saw a guy with no arms play ping pong. Held the paddle in his mouth. Its not question of if its possible, its how much effort you put into it.
     
  8. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Posts:
    8,938
    Likes Received:
    10,438
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Location:
    People's Republic of IL
    I'm more proof it can be done. I shot RH (natural righty) for over 20 years. Switched to LH last year and I shoot as good as I ever did righty; and that's pretty good if I do say so myself. Being naturally left-eye dominant definitely helped make the switch easier.

    It only took me about 2 hours to get the actual shooting part down. The rest of it (foot placement, tree stand set up, etc) takes time but it will come with practice.

    One thing that I found really helped with my form was using a sight with a built-in bubble level. Focus on getting that bubble in the middle and settled before you even look at the pin on the target. I was amazed how quickly that settled me into proper form.

    Also, start with a low draw weight. In my prime I shot 80lbs righty. Prior to switching to LH, I was shooting 70lbs comfortably RH. When I went to LH, I started at 55lbs just to build up strength and to avoid fatigue (which then throws off form.) Now I'm back to pulling 65-70 LH and can shoot for 2-3 hours no problem.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  9. BennettallicA

    BennettallicA Newb

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2014
    Posts:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Crook County, ILLinois (unfortunately)
    I made a type-o in my novel of a repsonse...

    "The good news is this. 1 week later (shooting every day until it hurts) I am nailing bulleyes at 20 feet in my basement set up."

    It is actually 30 feet.
     

Share This Page