Have you ever heard someone state, “I don’t need a stabilizer on my bow”, or “The reason I bought this particular bow is because it was lightweight, so why should I add more weight to it.” These are common statements made by people who get way too caught up in the “lightweight” mindset. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about getting my equipment as lightweight as possible, but if adding a few ounces to my bow can increase my accuracy, I am in!
First off, I want to make one thing clear, although you can probably shoot just about any modern bow reasonably well without the aid of a stabilizer, in my opinion, I feel most people would more than likely benefit by adding a stabilizer to their hunting rig. Not only will you be shooting tighter groups, but you will be able to hold your bow steadier during windy conditions.
In the business world, a stabilizer would be considered a great multitasker – meaning it is capable of doing multiple things at the same time. So exactly what benefits does the simple addition of a stabilizer bring? Stabilizers primarily have three functions: noise dampening, vibration dampening and they also provide additional weight to help hold the bow steady at full draw. Although stabilizers vary greatly in looks, when you take a closer look at them, they are all pretty much constructed in the same manner. They are built out of lightweight material, have a noise and vibration dampening section and finally have a weight on the extreme outer section.
The decision whether to use a stabilizer or not is usually an easy one for most bowhunters. The tougher question is once you decide on adding a stabilizer, exactly how do you determine how long and how heavy of a stabilizer to use? The quick answer: different bows require different weight and length of stabilizers. When I am choosing a stabilizer, I will first shoot my bow without one. If my bow is steady and balances very well at full draw and also falls forward naturally after the release, I will find the shortest one available to simply help with the noise and vibration. If the bow doesn’t hold steady or the top limb doesn’t fall forward to my liking, I will keep experimenting with longer, heavier stabilizers until I get the bow to fall forward after the shot, which gives me the ideal follow-through I am seeking.