How to Match Limbs and Risers for Your Takedown Recurve Bow

Takedown recurve bows are favorites among hunters, target archers and backyard archers alike. They break down and pack easily. You can often get different weight limbs for different applications. They’re the Swiss Army knives of recurve bows.

But not all takedown recurve bows are built the same. That is, you need to know what kind you have if you want to get multiple sets of limbs for the different games you play with your bow.

ILF

Arguably the takedown recurve bow with the most options for limbs is an ILF bow. The ILF stands for International Limb Fitting. It’s a uniform attachment system that allows limbs from many manufacturers to be matched with risers from many manufacturers.

ILF riser and limb

As long as you have an ILF-compatible riser, you can use any ILF-style limbs. Hoyt makes a series of ILF-compatible risers and limbs under their Grand Prix name.

On an ILF riser, you will see a limb bolt and a dovetail receiver. ILF limbs will have a U-shaped end that fits under the riser’s limb bolt, and a detent assembly that fits into the dovetail receiver.

FORMULA

Formula limbs and risers look similar to the ILF versions. They are not compatible with each other, however, since the distance is longer between the limb end and the detent on Formula limbs. 

At left is a Formula limb, while at right is an ILF limb.
Notice the difference in distance from the limb bolt to the dovetail between the Formula riser at top, compared to ILF riser below.

BRAND SPECIFIC

There are several manufacturers that make their own risers and limbs, which are only compatible with one another.

The Galaxy Sage, for example, is one of the best-selling takedown recurve bows on the market. It employs a screw-in bolt to connect the limbs to the riser. Only Galaxy Sage limbs will work with Galaxy Sage risers.

Galaxy Sage limb, riser and connection bolt

Cartel is another manufacturer that employs a unique limb-bolt connection system. Only certain Cartel limbs will work with certain Cartel risers.

Manufacturers of takedown bows with unique limb-connection systems will tell you which limbs work with which risers. Stick to their information to be sure you’re getting the right gear.

Hoyt 2020 Recurve Overview with Olympian MacKenzie Brown

U.S. Olympic archer MacKenzie Brown and Lancaster Archery Supply recurve archery specialist John Wert run through the new recurve offerings from Hoyt for 2020.

The latest lineup from Hoyt includes the Xceed Grand Prix riser, which is a great choice for Olympic archers, but includes special features aimed directly at competitive barebow archers.

The Xceed features a new limb alignment system and string tension technology, which Brown and Wert discuss in detail. And it also is designed in concert with a unique weight system that barebow archers will love.

The Formula Xi riser also features the new limb alignment system and string tension technology, but is built for Formula limbs.

The Formula Carbon Integra and Grand Prix Carbon Integra limbs are designed as a high-performing limb that’s sold at a more affordable price than other limbs of this caliber.

Amateur Corner: Tom Stanwood

Tom Stanwood is a busy man these days. But he still finds time to reach for his dream.

tom2

He’s a new dad, with his wife, Valerie, giving birth to twin boys – Graham and Niall – in 2018.

He’s an attorney, working as a civil litigator on long-term commercial leases.

And he’s training as hard as he ever has with his recurve bow in hopes of making the U.S. Olympic team that will compete at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“I think everyone in this game dreams of the Olympics, right?” said Stanwood, of Massachusetts. “I mean, that’s the biggest stage.”

At 40 years of age, Stanwood is many years older than most of the U.S. archers he competes with and against.

But he has proven that he can hang with the best of them.

Stanwood recently won the silver medal in Men’s Recurve at the 2019 Arizona Cup, losing the gold medal match to – who else – Brady Ellison.

tom1

2019 Arizona Cup Men’s Recurve podium from left to right, Tom Stanwood, silver; Brady Ellison, gold; Seth McWherter, bronze.

That silver medal was placed around his neck just two days after he qualified along with Ellison and teenager Jack Williams for the USA Archery Team that will compete at the Pan Am Games and World Archery Championships, both later this summer.

“It feels like my training is definitely on an upward trajectory,” Stanwood said.

In his youth, Stanwood competed with a compound bow, shooting with a clicker and his fingers. Then “life happened,” he said, and he “didn’t shoot an arrow for 15 years.”

While attending law school in 2009, he picked up an Olympic recurve at a friend’s urging, and he quickly found out that form of archery suited him.

“I was able to put in the time, and I had pretty good success fairly quickly,” Stanwood said.

tom5

He qualified for his first U.S. team a year later to compete in the 2010 Pan American Championships.

“That motivated me to keep going,” he said.

Stanwood fell short of qualifying for the national team that traveled to London for the 2012 Olympics, and then he didn’t shoot much in 2013 and 2014.

“Big mistake,” he said. “When I came back, there were a lot of new faces, and everyone was much better prepared than I was.”

Stanwood made it to the final eight qualifiers for the team that competed in the Rio Olympics in 2016, but, again, he was cut.

And since then, he’s been working hard on his archery game. He qualified for the 2017 World Championship team and he competed in every outdoor USAT tournament last year.

tom6

“Truthfully, I was in a kind of a slump the past two years,” Stanwood said. “It’s something I don’t fully understand why it happened or how, but it was something I’d never experienced before.”

At The Vegas Shoot this year, Stanwood said he “felt something awaken in my shooting that reminded me of what it was like when I was shooting really well.”

He spent a productive week in March training with U.S. Coach Kisik Lee, which Stanwood said solidified his form and propelled him to his stellar shooting at the World team trials and the Arizona Cup.

Stanwood’s accomplishments in archery so far are evidence that commitment and hard work can pay off.

He has no coach, although he said he lives near and often calls on legendary Olympic archer Butch Johnson for advice; regularly seeks training assistance from Coach Lee; and picks Ellison’s brain when it comes to equipment issues.

tom4

He works full time, although he said he’s very fortunate that his “boss thinks archery is super cool and is incredibly supportive of my archery adventures.”

And he’s a father of twins, although he credits his wife for carrying the lion’s share of the parenting role so he can pursue his Olympic dream.

“I’m really, really lucky in a lot of ways, and I’m very thankful for everyone who is helping me” train and compete, he said. “I learned my lesson from the Rio trials, and I plan to work hard at it going into (the Tokyo Olympic team trials) this summer.”

What’s the difference between a target bow and a hunting bow?

What’s the difference between a hunting bow and a target bow?

Maybe you’ve wondered this on a recent trip to your local archery pro shop when you eyed up the selection of hunting recurve and compound bows in one area and those labeled for target archery in another.

targethunting12

Except for the muted colors or camo that dominates the hunting selection, versus the bright colors of the target bows, they sure look the same, right?

They are, to a certain extent. But there also are some very calculated differences. Let’s start with compound bows.

Target compounds are going to be longer than hunting compounds. Target bows commonly measure 38-40 inches from axle to axle, while hunting bows usually fall in the 28-34-inch range.

targethunt8

This target compound bow measures 38 inches long.

The longer bows offer an archer a better chance at precision shooting, because the string angle at full draw is not as severe as it is on a shorter bow, brace heights are often bigger 7-8 inches – and the bows tend to be very “forgiving.” A forgiving bow is one that allows an archer to make tiny mistakes in form, but keeps the arrow going where the archer wants it.

Hunting bows are built shorter so bowhunters can navigate through thick brush or hunt in the tight quarters of a ground blind or tree stand. Maneuverability and portability are the main features of hunting bows. Also, short brace heights of 5-6 inches – which are not very forgiving – help generate lots of arrow speed. Fast-shooting bows can minimize poor hits caused by animals moving before an arrow gets to them.

targethunt6

Hunting compound bows need to be maneuverable.

Though not always, most target compounds offer the archer the option to reduce the amount of let-off – to 60-75 percent – which increases holding weight at full draw. Many target archers like that increased holding weight because it gives them more control of their bows and it makes it easier for them to activate their release aids.

Bowhunters, on the other hand, often prefer a lot of let-off – 80-90 percent – to minimize the holding weight. A bowhunter might have to hold a bow at full draw for an extended period waiting for a game animal to offer the perfect shot opportunity. The less weight they’re holding for that period, the longer they can hold it and stay still.

targethunt10

Target compound bows are built for precision accuracy.

With recurve bows, you’re also likely to see target bows generally being longer than hunting models. Full target recurve bows used by adult men tend to run 66-72 inches long; women will shoot target bows 64-70 inches. Hunting recurves usually are anywhere from 50-64 inches.

targethunt11

A recurve bow built for target archery is long and forgiving.

Again, the difference is precision accuracy versus mobility and arrow speed. The target archer wants a long, forgiving bow with an open string angle. For recurve archers, the open string angle is more conducive to a clean release of the string drawn with fingers. The sharper string angle of a hunting recurve makes it more difficult to get a clean release, because the drawing fingers can get squeezed by the string.

But the hunter only needs to hit an area the size of a pie plate from 20 yards away or less to score a quick killing shot. The target archer might be trying to hit a 10-ring the size of a coffee can lid at 70 meters.

targethunt5

A recurve bow built for hunting is short, maneuverable and is very powerful.

Adult men shooting target recurves generally have bows with draw weights in the 35-50-pound range, although top competition archers will pull a little bit more. Competitive women general draw 30-45 pounds. Their sole purpose is precision accuracy in shooting at paper or 3-D targets.

Bowhunters typically use bows with 45-55 pound draw weights. Depending on the game, some states require bowhunters to use bows that draw no less than 45 pounds. The hunter’s goal is to shoot a heavy arrow with enough force to pierce hides and break bones.

String alignment for consistent archery shots

Aligning the bowstring in your sight picture is critical to consistent shooting. How archers do that varies – especially among the different archery disciplines.

Let’s get compound archers out of the way first, because their alignment process is the simplest. Almost all compound archers use a peep sight.

peep

A compound archer takes aim through a peep sight.

This is a small circle or tube that is set into the middle of the bowstring, between the strands. The height of the peep is set based on the archer’s anchor. Most archers will draw to anchor, touch their nose to the string, and then have someone slide the peep up or down so that it matches their eye height.

Look through the peep and line up the sight so it’s in the center. Ideally, the edges of the peep will perfectly match the edges of your scope housing. If it doesn’t, just make sure the sight is in the middle of the peep, and you’ll know you’re aiming the same way for every shot.

Some bowhunters opt not to use peep sights for various reasons – one of them being hunters fear not being able to see through the peep in low light conditions. These archers might use a bow sight with optical alignment built in, or they use the string in some fashion to line up their sight pins in order to achieve a consistent aim. Perhaps they make sure the string aligns against the riser side of their scope housing, or the bow riser itself.

(Using a peep sight is much simpler, and it’s going to be way more accurate. The time you might sacrifice in failing light is more than offset by the huge gains in accuracy.)

Olympic recurve archers – those who put sights on their recurve bows – usually have a three-point system for string alignment to ensure they’re looking through their sight the same way for each shot.

These archers hook the string with one finger above the arrow nock and two below. With this grip, they will then anchor the top of their index finger under the jaw at full draw. Doing this sets their eye height at a consistent spot in relation to the bowstring.

Next, they will touch the tip of their nose to the string and then move their head until their view of the string and sight is set. That string will be in a consistent spot time and again – often along the vertical edge of the riser’s sight window or on the right edge of the sight housing for right-handed archers and the left edge for lefties.

conner

This Olympic recurve archer establishes the same relationship between his bowstring and his sight for each shot.

Regardless of where an archer aligns the string, if the string drifts from that spot, the archer will notice the alignment has moved, and correct it by simply turning his or her head slightly.

Barebow archers, who shoot without sights, often refer to “string blur.” It’s the blurry image of the bowstring right in front of their eye, which they see while aiming or focusing down range. Some pay attention to string blur during shot alignment, often lining it up in relation to the arrow or riser.

Others, like world champion John Demmer III, count on the string blur to be set properly based on their anchor. Demmer said if he notices his string blur, then he knows he’s out of alignment, because it should be “attached” to the riser from his perspective.

Demmer

Champion barebow archer John Demmer III wants his bowstring to be aligned with his riser for each shot, which means he shouldn’t see his “string blur.”

Also, barebow archers who are string-walking as they shoot different distances, like on a 3-D shoot or field course, will move the string blur left and right to move their point of impact left or right, depending on the distance.

Whether you shoot Olympic recurve or barebow, it takes a lot of practice to get consistent string alignment because there is no definitive object – like a peep sight – to give you a precise reference point.

Tom Hall: Easton X10 vs. Carbon Express Nano Pro X-Treme

Tom Hall is an Olympic recurve archer and blogger from Great Britian. A longtime believer in the Easton X10 as the preferred arrow for competitive recurve archery, Hall recently pitted his X10s against the Carbon Express Nano Pro X-Tremes.

tom hall2

Hall started his experiment by comparing the physical properties of each arrow, and then he shot them over several months in varying conditions. What he discovered surprised him. It also led him to make the switch to the Carbon Express arrows for competitions.

You can read all about Hall’s testing in an article he posted on his blog, “The Archery Project.”

Yes, you can adjust the draw weight on certain recurve bows

Compound bows are well known for their ability to have the draw weight adjusted. Most have a 10-pound adjustment range, but there are some that can be adjusted from 5-70 pounds.

Did you know it’s possible to adjust the weight of some recurve bows?

In an episode of “Behind the Riser,” filmed by Shrewd Archery, which follows U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison during the 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic, Ellison talks about “taking three turns out of” his Hoyt recurve bow after the first day of competition. That action changed the draw weight from 52 pounds to 47 pounds. (Ellison went on the win his second consecutive title at the Classic in the Men’s Recurve Division.)

Brady Ellison

So yes, you can change the draw weight of certain recurve bows. The only bows this will work on, however, are those Olympic recurve and Traditional recurve bows that have ILF limbs and fittings.

ILF stands for “International Limb Fitting,” which is a universal limb attachment system that allows ILF limbs and risers from various manufacturers to be mixed and matched. Several Hoyt recurve bows employ a modified ILF connection system that uses the same hardware as ILF bows, but the hardware spacing is distinctly different than ILF. This unique limb connection system is the Hoyt Formula system. Formula bows adjust in exactly the same manner as ILF bows.

limb bolt32

ILF limb being inserted into ILF riser.

An ILF or Hoyt Formula riser will have dovetail pockets to capture the dovetail bushings on the limbs. And they’ll also have limb bolts. The limb bolts on these risers are adjustable. Turning the limb bolts clockwise lowers the bolts closer to the riser and increases draw weight. Adjusting counterclockwise raises the bolts and decreases draw weight. Also, nearly all risers with adjustable limb bolts use some type of locking screw to keep a limb bolt in place after adjustments have been made. It is very important to unlock these screws before adjusting limb bolts, and then lock them again when adjustments are complete.

According to John Wert, who heads the TradTech division of Lancaster Archery Supply, which produces ILF and non-ILF recurve risers and limbs, the bolts on ILF recurve bows have a recommended best working range. Starting at a maximum height of 20mm (13/16 of an inch) for lowest draw weight and adjusting in to a minimum height of 15mm (5/8 of an inch), for the highest draw weight.  Those distances are measured from the underside of the limb bolt to the surface of the limb pocket beneath it.

limb bolt22

limb bolt12

“This is the best range for the entire sphere of ILF bows,” Wert said. “You can take some in or out farther, but then you are in a gray area that can lead to problems. If you know what to look for, you can adjust to as low as 12 mm and as high as 25 mm on some limb and riser combinations.”

The chief problem with turning in a limb bolt shorter than 15mm is the leading  edge of the limb bolt cap can start to dig into the limb surface. Back the limb bolt out more than 20mm, and the dovetail limb bushing can bind in the riser hardware– or even worse, the limb could fly out from under the bolt altogether.

limbss1

Left photo shows a limb sitting under a bolt set at 15mm, while the other is set at 20mm.

The number of turns an archer can put in or take out of a limb within that 15-20mm frame varies, according to Wert. Some screw patterns on the limb bolts are more aggressive than others, which would affect the total turns.

It’s up to each archer to figure out how many turns the limb bolt can withstand to stay within that 15-20mm gap. Likewise, the amount of weight that can be added or subtracted varies from bow to bow. It’s up to the archer to figure that out, so he or she knows how many turns are possible, and how much weight each turn gives up or puts back on. But generally, a set of limbs has an adjustment range of 8-10% of the limb’s draw weight.

limb bolt72

Turning a limb bolt with a hex wrench.

During the Lancaster Archery Classic, Ellison was able to reduce his draw weight by about 5 pounds by taking three turns out of his Hoyt limb bolts.

It’s important to note that equal turns must be put into/ taken out of the top and bottom limbs in order to maintain the tiller. Unequal turns will affect a bow’s tiller measurements, which can affect the bow’s tune and the way the bow sits in your hand.

Bow manufacturers vary on how they determine limb weights. Some, like TradTech archery, stamp their limbs with the low end of their weight range. So a TradTech limb rated at 50 pounds would draw at a minimum of 50 pounds at 28 inches with the limb bolts backed out to 20 mm. The weight would increase from there as the bolts are turned in and the limbs would reach a maximum weight of approximately 54 pounds.

limb bolt10

Other companies, like Hoyt, use the middle of the range for their limb ratings, and some rate their limbs at the top end of the adjustment range.

So all of this begs the question, “Why would I change the draw weight on my recurve?”

In the Shrewd video, Brady said he was having trouble holding his bow still at the higher draw weight. So he lowered it to gain more control. Other archers might find more control by increasing the draw weight.

Another reason to adjust draw weight might be to get an arrow to tune better. If the tune is close at a set draw weight, changing the weight just a little could be all that’s needed to get perfect flight.

PODCAST: Brady Ellison, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist

When it comes to Olympic recurve archery in the United States, Brady Ellison is the man everyone else has been chasing for the past decade.

Across the globe, he’s been one of the most consistent archers over that same period, competing in the last three Olympics and winning an unprecedented four World Cup Final titles.

What makes Ellison unique among the world’s best recurve archers is that he excels at all the disciplines – indoors, outdoors, field archery. And if he sticks to his current plans, you can count on adding 3-D archery with a compound bow to that list in a year or two, as well.

We sat down with Ellison at the U.S. Target Nationals tournament to talk about his impressive career, his new wife, his new clothing brand and the future of Olympic archery in the U.S., among other subjects.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • How winning an individual Olympic medal differs from winning a team medal.
  • What cool things he’s gotten to do since winning the bronze in Rio.
  • Why the U.S. will have a hard time competing with the rest of the world if Olympic archers here don’t start earning decent money.
  • How he and his wife, Toja Ellison, push each other as professional archers.
  • What it was like spending a few days with the guys from Mythbusters building an “arrow machine gun.”
  • How 3-D archery might become part of his competition schedule in the future.

“Olympic archery in the U.S., I think we’re in trouble, to be honest,” Ellison said. “Until we can get target archery paid like 3Ds, I think we’re going to continue to lose shooters.”

The 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic Registration is open

Registration is now open for the 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic, scheduled for Jan. 26-28 at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Manheim, Pa.

And while it might not seem possible for the East Coast’s largest indoor archery tournament to get even bigger, the 2018 event promises just that. The 2017 Classic was the first at the massive Spooky Nook complex, which features 17 acres under roof, and it drew a record 1,100 archers from 13 countries. But there’s plenty of room for many more archers.

2017-LAS-OnSite-Group2-33

The 1,500-plus archers expected to enter the 2018 Classic will compete in 15 divisions for over $300,000 in prize and contingency money, including the top payout of $15,000 for the Men’s Open Pro champion. Payouts have doubled or drastically increased over previous levels in three recurve divisions, which is sure to attract more archers.

And there’s a brand new competition within the Classic aimed at young archers. The Youth Trophy Tournament offers the chance for archers under 21 to experience the Classic for a fraction of the normal cost and time commitment. Learn more about this new event here.

2017LAS-Saturday1-HiRes-1042

The LAS Classic continues to grow at a steady pace. Not just in competing archers, but in the number of people who watch from home. We started live streaming basic video of competition back in 2011. After the tournament, the competition recording was split up into multiple videos, which all were uploaded to the LAS YouTube channel. That process held through the 2015 Classic.

In 2016, we improved the live broadcast of qualification and elimination rounds, and launched a professional-grade production of the finals shoot-ups, to include live commentary and multiple camera angles. The world at large has responded positively to the increased quality of our broadcast production. From 2011 through 2016, YouTube views of all Classic videos totaled about 750,000 combined. The 2017 Classic videos alone drew more than 540,000 views.

2017-LAS-OnSite-Group2-41

And while all of the 2017 videos have been viewed heavily, there was a clear favorite among the viewing public. It might not be the video you’d think. The Men’s Open Pro finals results in the largest payout of the tournament, with $15,000 going to the winner. And that division, plus Women’s Open Pro, feature the biggest names in professional archery. Reo Wilde, Jesse Broadwater, Braden Gellenthien, Mike Schloesser, Erika Jones, Sarah Lance and Sarah Sönnichsen are just a few of the famous pros who are regulars in our finals shoot ups.

But if you combine the total 2017 Classic YouTube views of both of the finals videos from those divisions – 129,663 – that number falls short of the single-most watched video posted from the tournament. The Barebow Recurve Finals video has drawn 129,999 views since it was posted, and that number keeps climbing every week. The viewing public loves Barebow above all other divisions.

“Fantastic shooting,” Jake Bullit wrote in the comment section beneath the video. “That’s where the skill is at in archery.”

“This is pure archery – love it,” wrote Thomas Jefferson.

2017LAS-SaturdayShootUps-HiRes-1440

Bobby Worthington, right, takes aim in the 2017 Barebow Recurve gold medal match, as eventual winner John Demmer waits for his turn to shoot.

For the 2018 Classic, big changes are coming to the Barebow division. Many YouTube commenters expressed displeasure in seeing barebow archers using stabilizers and draw checks, which help archers release arrows from a consistent point in their draw cycle.

At the 2018 Classic, the rules for Barebow are changing to match World Archery mandates. Allowed will be recurve or longbows fitted with a rest and plunger. String walking is permitted. No bow mounted clickers or draw checks will be allowed, and no stabilizers will be allowed. Riser mounted weights will be permitted, as long as the bow -with all accessories attached – fits through a 12.2 cm ring.

In hopes of drawing more recurve archers to the 2018 Classic, we’re increasing payouts to the winners. In the Men’s Recurve division, LAS plans to pay $5,000 to the winner, $2,000 to the runner up, $1,000 for third place, $500 for fourth place, $300 each to the fifth through eighth place finishers, and $200 for ninth through 16th place. At the 2017 tournament, those payouts were $2,000 for the winner, $1,050 for second, $750 for third, $400 for fourth, $250 for fifth through eighth and $100 for ninth through 16th.

2017-LAS-OnSite-SundayShootUps-90

Brady Ellison won his first Men’s Recurve division title at the 2017 LAS Classic.

The Women’s Recurve payouts for 2018 will be $2,500 for first place, $1,250 for second, $700 for third, $400 for fourth and $200 for fifth through eighth. Those numbers are up from the 2017 payouts of $1,000 for first, $550 for second, $350 for third and $250 for fourth.

In the Barebow division, the 2018 payouts will be $2,000 for the winner, $1,000 for second place, $600 for third, $400 for fourth and $250 for fifth through eighth. In 2017, the payouts were $1,200 for first place, $600 for second, $400 for third, $250 for fourth and $200 for fifth.

Aside from these changes, improvements and additions, archers can count on the usual, world-renowned, top-shelf Classic experience at the 2018 event. You’ll be treated like royalty from the moment you walk through the front doors of Spooky Nook. The entire LAS crew on site is there to serve you.

We’ve got an on-site practice facility, which will be available for an additional fee of $10. Or, you can practice for free at the LAS Pro Shop, which is 15 minutes away from Spooky Nook. A shuttle will ferry people from Spooky Nook to the Pro Shop regularly during the tournament.

When you’re shooting your qualification round, you’ll be shoulder to shoulder with the best archers in the world. Archers and archery fans can meet a selection of the top pros and Olympians for photos and autographs during a “meet and greet” event scheduled for Saturday. Our sponsoring equipment manufacturers will have over 40 booths set up to show you the latest and greatest target archery gear.

2017LAS-OlympicTeam-HiRes-1273

U.S. Olympic archers, from left, Zach Garrett, Mackenzie Brown, Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski meet fans at the 2017 Classic.

And of course, there’s the unique, Classic competition format. Imperfection does not necessarily mean you’re out of the Classic. All you have to do is shoot well enough in the qualifying round to make the cut to advance to eliminations. In that part of the competition, you’ll shoot a 12-arrow, head-to-head matches against another qualifier. Win, and you advance.

If you can win enough matches to make it past the finals cut-off for your division, you can shoot your way to victory. Let’s say you finish the qualification round and elimination matches ranked eighth in your division. And let’s say that division takes the top eight archers for the finals shoot ups.

As the No. 8 archer, you would start the finals by shooting a head-to-head match against the No. 7 archer. The winner of that match takes on the No. 6 archer. This process continues until someone shoots a match against the No. 1 archer for the division championship title, lots of cash and a well-deserved place in LAS Classic history.

2017LAS-SatAwards-HiRes-1698

So in a division that advances 64 archers to elimination matches, it is entirely possible for the archer that shot the 64th best qualification score to win his or her division. As American author H. Jackson Brown Jr. once famously said, “Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.”

Don’t miss the 2018 LAS Classic!

Family Tradition Continues at Lancaster Archery Supply

A new generation of archers has grown up at Lancaster Archery Supply, where two teenage siblings are carrying on a family tradition of world-class archery.

Conner and Casey Kaufhold, who live next door to the Lancaster Archery Supply Pro Shop, have been raised in the literal shadow of their family’s business.

Casey and Conner Kaufhold

Siblings Casey and Conner Kaufhold

Fifteen-year-old Conner is now a regular face in the 10,000-square-foot, archery-only showroom, where he works as a Pro Shop TechXPert – greeting customers, setting up bows, and fletching arrows. The Pro Shop is a destination archery store that is also home to the Lancaster Archery Academy, a complex of indoor and outdoor shooting ranges managed by professional archery coaches.

On most days, Conner’s 13-year-old sister can be found on the same campus, training for her goal of competing in the Olympics. Casey, who will enter the 8th grade this fall, is one of three young, female archers who qualified to represent the United States at the World Archery Youth Championships in Argentina this October. She will be competing in the Recurve Cadet Women’s division for female archers age 17 and under.

Both Kaufhold kids share a contagious smile – a family trait that has been recognized in the archery community for generations.

Conner and Casey are the children of Rob and Carole Kaufhold, president and CEO of Lancaster Archery Supply. A former U.S. national champion, Rob Kaufhold was a two-time World Field Team member, a six-time U.S. Archery Team member, and an Olympic team prospect with a U.S. ranking as high as fourth in the 1980’s. He founded Lancaster Archery Supply in 1983, and has since built it into one of the world’s leading archery equipment suppliers. Rob’s father, Bob Kaufhold, was one of the top-ranked archers in the east during the 1950s and 1960s.

While Casey’s position on the U.S. world team is drawing a lot of attention to the current generation of Kaufholds, Conner is also one of the nation’s rising stars in recurve archery. Conner this summer won the Male Recurve Cadet division title at the U.S. Eastern Championships, where he set a new record in the 125-meter Clout round. And he won the Youth Male Recurve division at the Lancaster Archery Classic in January.

Conner Kaufhold

Conner Kaufhold at work in the Pro Shop.

At 13, Casey is the youngest member of the U.S. world team. She trained hard for her chance to compete at the U.S. team trials in Michigan July 7-9, taking every chance she could get to practice at home and in other tournament settings. In 2017 she was first in her age division at NFAA Indoor Nationals, The Vegas Shoot and USA Archery Indoor Nationals, where she broke the national record and posted the third-highest score among female archers of all ages. Also this year, Casey finished second in Women’s Recurve at the Lancaster Archery Classic behind only 2016 U.S. Olympian Mackenzie Brown.

In the video below, Casey talks about her archery goals, her practice routine and the pressure of competition.


For the Kaufhold family, it’s safe to say that the passion for archery remains strong across generations.