Arne Metzlaff takes a look at a new implementation of the indoor trainer
In the second lockdown, German company TEC-HRO launched the beta version of their training device, designed to allow normal shooting without having to shoot an arrow into a target. This is made possible by a carbon tube, similar to a stabiliser, from which a kind of ‘arrow’ protrudes.
This arrow is screwed to the string and transfers the energy delivered to the arrow during firing into the “thicker” tube. Thus, it is possible to fire dry shots without affecting the bow limbs, as is the case when the bow is shot without an arrow. On the side of the outer tube is an attachment to be able to attach the Recurvetrainer to the threads for the button and arrow rest with the help of two screws.
This is not the first such device; older archers may remember the Skorten Excercet, and other manufacturers have developed the idea. The materials here appear to be of very high quality. The Recurvetrainer can be used up to a draw weight of 50 lbs and is only recommended for recurve bows. That might not be enough for all archers, and a version of the Recurvetrainer is also planned for compound bows in the future.
The trainer needs to be attached to the riser with two screws and the arrow also needs to be attached to the string with two screws. Then the length of the recurve trainer and the clicker must be adjusted. The photo shows how the recurve trainer is fixed with the lateral holder in the threads for button and arrow rest.
Depending on the thickness of the centre section, a different number of plates can be used here. These ensure that the recurve trainer is far enough away from the centre section and the arrow rest. For this purpose, at least, the button must be removed and, if there is an arrow rest used that is screwed down, this must also be removed.
With an adhesive rest, the use of the recurve trainer is accordingly easier to handle. But even here it can be relatively tight with one or the other middle part, as can be seen in the photo. However, the use of another plate helps to avoid this problem.
Next, the distance between the trainer and the string must be set correctly. According to the instructions, the arrow when sunk in as far as possible must have a minimum distance of 3.5cm from the string. This adjustment can be made by loosening the screws in the holder that fixes the Recurvetrainer and moving it accordingly to get the minimum distance.
Then the “arrow” is permanently fixed to the string between the nocking points by means of two small screws. On the one hand, this is necessary for the functionality, but on the other hand it is also a safety aspect, so that the arrow cannot accidentally leave the bow after all. (You should still maintain a strict policy of not aiming a bow at anyone or anything.)
The clicker itself is a magnet that is pulled along when the arrow is pulled out from a certain point and presses against a spring. When the arrow is pulled out further, the clicker is triggered at the point where the spring force is greater than the magnetic force. The adjustment of this ‘clicker’ is very easy to handle and can be done with your own arrows.
For this purpose, a small adapter is included in the delivery, with the help of which one of your arrows can be clamped in, then the device arrow is pulled out of it until the clicker position of the “correct” arrow is reached. Now the ‘clicker’ magnet, can be moved to the exact position where it will trigger exactly at your normal clicker position.
The magnet itself is fixed to the trainer in an aluminium housing with three grub screws. Once set to the correct lengths, these do not have to be adjusted again for the distance to the string and the clicker position, if you need to take it apart. When disassembling, it should be noted that the bow with the recurve trainer attached must never be unclamped without detaching the arrow from the string.
The feeling of shooting when using the recurve trainer is similar to normal shooting, but not identical. A big difference is the changed weight distribution of the bow, because the 430g trainer obviously weighs much more than a normal arrow.
However, this could be compensated by reducing the weight on the stabilisers. The release and the last part of the draw until the clicker releases also feels different, as the spring used creates a force opposite to the draw movement. This force, while not particularly strong, is already slightly noticeable depending on the draw weight and does not occur with a normal clicker.
Overall, this is a really simple system that is ready to use in a very short time. It should however be noted that the string used may be affected by the metal attachment. Therefore, the manufacturer also recommends that archers should be using an old string. If the string used has a very thick center winding, it could be squeezed when the arrow is attached.
So with this system, it is possible to both train and shoot without having a target boss available. This is very interesting (and especially in the current situation) where for many of us, there is unfortunately no possibility for archers to use a training facility, and most people simply cannot do archery in their own home. For those who shoot abroad, it could also be used when travelling.
The recurve trainer can be used by multiple archers, however, each time the length and clicker position must be adjusted individually. The RRP of the final version will be €229, according to the manufacturer’s website, although as of this writing, they are currently on sale.
Do you need one? You may already know the answer to that question. It certainly looks like a modern solution to an old problem.