Back To Basics: Barebow String walking

Barebow has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years. It was announced at the end of 2019 that in 2020, 44 world records will be introduced for barebow archers by world archery making it even more popular.


Understanding String walking

String walking (also known as crawling) is when you move your fingers lower down the string and drawback to anchor and release. This results in the arrow shooting lower than normal as more force is applied to the lower limb and the arrow is forced down by the nocking point. 


There are multiple ways to achieve a consistent crawl, you can use a tab with marks or lines on it or you can mark it yourself providing they are uniform in size, shape and colour or you can count the stitching. Place the tab under the nocking point then count the sticking or marks and place your thumb on the desired point. You can then move the tab down to the location you have marked. This way you know you will always be shooting from the same reference point.



The advantage to string walking is that you will be able to achieve an easily repeatable point of aim at the middle of the target face or somewhere close by.



However, there are a few disadvantages to using this method. String walking can be a safety concern as when you string walk to a certain point the nock can end up right next to your eye.  


The string oscillation applies pressure to the nock ears which are made from plastic and they go through a tremendous amount of punishment from the energy delivered into them from the bow to the constant clicking on and off the string. Nocks break fairly often and if that nock breaks and it’s right in line with your eye it can cause serious damage.

As well as this, due to the arrow being forced lower down it crashes against the support arm of the arrow rest but this does depend on how far you are down the string. Firstly, this takes essential energy out of the arrow which can lead to shots being very critical and any small differences are exaggerated. Secondly, it can lead to arrow rests arms snapping off due to the arrow being forced completely under the arrow rest.


There are ways to mitigate some of these problems caused by string walking such as selecting a suitable arrow rest, the best solution is a drop away recurve rest such as the Zniper that moves out of the way reducing the amount of energy transferred to the rest and thus reducing how much energy is lost. The other option though not as good is to use a plastic rest that will give with the arrow as opposed to resisting the impact.


When shooting indoors the use of longer and heavier arrows along with bigger vanes or feathers can slow down the arrow reducing the amount of string walking needed.

For more information on how to reduce your crawl check out our latest blog on our website: Barebow Archery How To Reduce Your Crawl