“You should talk to Mike. He has one of those, whatcha call it….. trainers. It is a basic back tension release but it has a safety so that you don’t punch yourself in the face the first couple times you use it.”
A couple of days later I bumped into Mike at Stowe Archers and got to talking to him about trying a hinge release. Before I could even ask, he offered to loan me two trainers for as long as I needed them.
He didn’t have them with him that day so we made arrangements to meet up. Not only would he bring along a couple for me to try, he’d teach me to use them. This, of course, is one of the many benefits of having a USA Archery Level 3 Coach as an active member of the club.
The following week we met up and he handed me a Tru Ball Sweet Spot Pro. He gave me a basic rundown of how to operate the release, then he had me try putting a few arrows into a target five yards downrange.
My first shot must have been a sight. I drew back, settled into my anchor, then nervously began pressing on the safety. Because I thought it might go off when I switched off the safety, I jerked something fierce. In fact, the flinch was so bad that I didn’t complete switching off the safety before I grabbed at the bow.
I glanced over at Mike, feeling pretty embarrassed, and settled back into my anchor. This time I didn’t flinch nearly as bad and the safety actually disengaged. I began to pull through, as Mike explained, and the release went off.
I put a few more arrows into the target and tried to get used to the odd sensation of a surprise release. I’ve been practicing, as time allows, and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. Each time I shoot I try something a little different. Less pressure with my index finger, pulling with my ring finger, flexing my back, trying to reach to my spine with my tricep. Each movement causes the release to behave differently.
One thing that I’m struggling with is the time it takes for the release to trigger. At times it takes so long that I begin to fatigue and my sight pin waves wildly. I’m sure it is a matter of time with the release and eventually I get it all worked out.