Looking for the best fletching for your olympic recurve arrows? Look no further than Bohning’s new Griffin Vane.
You’ve probably heard about Bohning’s new Griffin Vane for Olympic recurve archery. Perhaps you wonder what benefits this strange-looking vane could provide. Quite simply, the Griffin Vane offers optimum performance, durability, and convenience for archers shooting Olympic style bows.
At 1.2 grains per vane, it is extremely lightweight, and the reduced profile height provides plenty of clearance for your clicker, arrow rest, and riser. The minimal surface area prevents crosswinds from negatively affecting arrow flight, and the twisted ribbon design aids in arrow rotation. The best part?
It’s made of durable, non-deforming vane material, so one pack will last you a really, really long time. Sure, you’ll spend a little more up front, but it’ll save you time and money in the end.
Bohning Archery makes the number one-selling vane in the world (the Blazer® Vane), so we field a lot of questions about vanes. In the world of olympic style shooting, we’re asked questions like: Can I shoot plastic fletchings with a recurve bow? What’s the best vane size for Olympic recurve? Spinwings vs plastic vanes, which is better? We are going to do our best to answer these questions clearly and concisely.
In this article, we’re going to focus on outdoor archery and small diameter arrows.
In general, you get more stability out of a plastic vane. Larger vanes spin and stabilize arrows quicker; for this reason some olympic recurve archers choose a plastic vane. For small diameter arrows you don’t need a four-inch length vane to steer it, two inches is plenty.
Another benefit of plastic fletchings is that they’re really durable and easy to fletch. Bohning’s 2” Air Vanes, 1.5” X Vanes, and 1.75” X Vanes are very popular plastic fletching choices for recurve target shooting. They’re tough enough to survive a pass-through without tearing, and the low profile gives you plenty of clearance for the clicker, arrow rest and riser.
So what are the drawbacks of plastic (sometimes called “rubber”) glue-on vanes for olympic recurve archers? Since plastic vanes stabilize an arrow quicker, they also slow it down quicker. When you’re shooting long Field or 3D distances, and especially the 70-90 meter Fita ranges, you want your arrow to maintain as flat of trajectory as possible.
Additionally, vanes with a larger surface area are more susceptible to weather-related variables like crosswinds. But spin wing type vanes (also called “mylar” vanes) can have these same drawbacks, especially lateral arrow movement from crosswinds since spin vanes often have just as much surface area as a standard plastic vane.
In addition, Spin wing type vanes aren’t advantageous when it comes to durability and convenience. Properly and accurately fletching a mylar vane requires extra steps and a significant amount of time; marking your arrows with a tri-liner, painstakingly applying the double-sided tape to each vane then installing it onto the arrow by hand, and finally adding the striping tape to the tip and tail of each vane to secure them.
Given their fragility and tendency to tear and deform, you have to replace them a lot. That being said, there are a lot of brands out there – Spider vanes, KSL Jet6, the original Range-O-Matic Spin Wings – some are more durable than others. If you’re an archer who already uses spin vanes, none of this is news to you.
So with all the drawbacks, why do some olympic recurve archers use spin vanes? The answer, quite simply, is weight. According to Jake Kaminski, the fact that mylar vanes are lightweight is the number one reason recurve archers use them.
When you remove weight from the back of the arrow, it weakens it, allowing your fingers to make slight mistakes without greatly affecting the trajectory of the arrow.
This is the same reason that Easton X10 arrows are the number one choice for high-level olympic archers (besides the fact that they’re very high quality, of course). X10 shafts are barreled, which makes the back of the arrow weaker, which makes it more forgiving.
At Bohning, we pride ourselves on manufacturing products that solve problems for the archer. We knew that to solve the problems found in spin vanes and keep the performance, we needed to create a durable, lightweight, easy-to-install vane.
It took us a few years to get it right. We began with several unique vane concepts, then conducted thousands of computer simulations before moving to lab prototypes to identify the best concepts.
We tested things such as drag, side and lift forces, yaw and pitch, and the effect of variable and steady crosswinds coming at multiple speeds and directions. We used these test results to determine which vane design best minimized outside influences, such as lateral drift & over-correction. After selecting the best vane concepts, we proceeded to fine-tune the design.
Knowing materials impact flight, we tested multiple designs in dozens of materials. For the field testing, we collaborated with archers all over the world – getting volunteers wasn’t difficult as archers love to tinker. We eliminated a couple of materials right away.
In true Goldilocks fashion, the first prototype vane was too soft, it wouldn’t hold its shape, and the second was too hard. Though the harder vane’s performance was killer, it would crack upon impact with the target. Many iterations later, we identified a “sweet spot” material that is stiff enough to hold its shape and provide the best performance without cracking.
After making some tuning adjustments, archers saw their group sizes shrink when compared with mylar vanes, especially in windy scenarios. There are two main reasons for this. First, the “cut-out” surface prevents downrange wind drift, while the integrated right helical twist provides the required spin and steerage. Second, that same cut-out design keeps the grain weight to a minimum, making the back of the arrow weak and forgiving.
These images illustrate the weight of mylar vanes compared to Griffin vanes. Our scales measure out to one-tenth of a grain. You’ll notice the glass walls – these are necessary because a slight breeze, or even a person’s breath, can throw off the weight measurement.
For best adhesion and to reduce weight, we recommend using an instant glue with the Griffin vanes. We identified the average weight of double-sided fletching tape plus striping tape at 1.5 – 2 grains per arrow, while the average weight of glue is 1 grain per arrow.
If you use the “dot and spread” method of applying instant glue, you can control the amount and thus the weight applied to each vane. We know some archers just prefer tape, so don’t worry because it’s not a problem to tape the Griffin Vanes.
You will need to use both double-sided fletching tape – we recommend Bohning Premium Fletching Tape – as well as cap tape. A little hint to save you money: if you do use tape you can re-use the Griffin Vanes, moving them from one set of arrows to another without damage.
We also made sure the material we chose was extremely durable, as this addresses the main drawback of mylar vanes. Valentina Grieco, a pro staff archer from Italy, recently won the Regional Championship and qualified for Italian Championship using the Griffin Vanes.
She has reported that, despite shooting groups tight enough to break a lot of nocks, the Griffin Vanes came out unscathed. Your time is precious; most of us have day jobs and have to find time to squeeze in archery practice, so if you can spend a few more hours a week practicing instead of repairing arrows with torn spin vanes, what might happen to your scores?
After checking off the “Durable” and “High-performing” boxes, it was on to the “Convenience” factor. We manufactured a clamp insert to make it easy for archers to fletch the Griffin Vane with a Pro Class style fletching jig (see video). Because the helical is already built into the design of the Griffin vane, you can install the vane straight.
The ability to use a fletching jig eliminates the need to line your arrows, and lets you quickly install vanes much more uniformly and accurately when you’re fletching at home or in the archery shop.
We’re also working on a new Pro Class clamp specifically for the Griffin Vane that permits the vane to fit directly and securely into the clamp without having to use the insert – look for this in late 2021. Like all Bohning vanes, the Griffin Vane is no-prep. We pre-prime the bases of our vanes, so we highly recommend that you NOT clean them as it will remove that primer.
We also know that, though it won’t happen very often if you’re shooting the Griffin Vanes, sometimes you have to re-fletch in the field. That’s why we designed the clamp insert so that you can use it without a jig if needed.
The clamp insert is stored right inside the Griffin packaging, which is very slim and fits nicely in your quiver. Each pack of Griffin Vanes comes with two clamp inserts. The final touch was designing the packaging to securely store the Griffin vanes.
Enter here for your chance to win $100 in Griffin Vanes!
Are you a serious Olympic Recurve Shooter? If you said yes, we are looking for your honest feedback to the newest innovation available for Olympic Recurve vanes on the market today.
We can tell you how great the Griffin vane is until we’re blue in the face, but we know you’d rather test it for yourself. And we get it – every archer shoots a little different, and one size vane does not fit all.
That’s why we’re giving away two 40-packs of Griffin Vanes (that’s a $100 value!) to 15 lucky Olympic recurve archers. All we ask in return is feedback from you on what you think of this new vane. Images
and Video testimonials are a bonus!
Entries must be submitted before 14 May 2021, we will contact you no later than 4 June to let you know if you’ve won. Feel free to share this with your friends.
Check out our new archery products for 2021
The new Bohning Pocket Quiver will be available in May and provides a safe, convenient, and secure way to carry field-tipped arrows. The versatile Pocket Quiver holds six arrows of any diameter and can be slipped into a back pocket or hip pocket, or attached to a belt or pack strap. With the integrated anchoring clip, it stays securely attached and gives you quick and easy access to your arrows.
Building on the popularity of our Smooth Release Pin Nocks, our new Smooth Release Insert Nock is designed specifically for target archery and fits uni-bushings or arrows with a .246” ID.
It is engineered using a single click design to give you the ultimate accuracy and weighs 7.0 grains. It’s available in 17 different colors! If you have an archery shop and would like a sample of the Smooth Release Insert Nock, please contact us.
Perfect for archery shops, our fish bowl countertop displays for Tex-Tite Wax, Seal-Tite Wax, Xccelerator Wax, and Lightning Lube Crossbow Rail Lube are really convenient for your customers. They give you an easy and attractive way to store and sell your Bohning waxes and lubes, and you can order refills in bulk.
Our sleek new Black Sky Line includes a release pouch, bow case, and target quiver made from durable and attractive material. You can have any color you want – as long as it’s black!
The new Kryptek Pontus, Mandrake and Highlander camo wrap designs speak for themselves. Would you just look at ‘em?!
Here’s a sneak peak of a product we have in the works – the new Cauldron Fletching Jig. The Cauldron is a completely redesigned jig that fletches all three vanes at once. This jig allows you to leave the nock on the arrow and is capable of multiple helicals and offsets. It also features the ability to index your vanes precisely to get perfect clearance between your vanes and bow cables or arrow rest.
75 years in the making
Aerial view of the main Bohning plant, 2020
The Bohning Company story stems from one man’s desire to solve a problem in archery. This lead to 75 years of innovation and commitment to excellence. In 1946, at his family’s camp, an archer and chemist named Rollin Bohning developed an adhesive to bond points to arrows.
That location, seven miles East and seven miles north of Lake City, Michigan, is the very same spot in which that Bohning operates today.
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