Dick Young, owner of Dick Young Archery, was an instructor for the Professional Archery Association and author of the archery book, Let's raise our score.Here are his thoughts on the nocking point from Archery magazine, October 1969.
When one nocks under the nock set, the relationship of the bottom side of the arrow to the bow shelf goes down the thickness of the arrow, if the string nock was set with say an 18/64 carbon or aluminum arrow. If the initial tuning was done with the arrow above the string nock the fatter arrow's relationship to the bow's arrow shelf will remain the same. The difference in arrow size, top side, will simply be open to the air and not leveraging down into the bow. There is a minor difference as well when tuning with a parallel shaft versus a tapered shaft, being that a fat cedar has a wider nock than the tapered shaft. In that case that slight difference would be an issue with either above or below the nocking point. That is the original reason that I started using two nocking points. It was the difference between a parallel 23/64 cedar versus a tapered 11/32 cedar. The bottom nock was to be theoretically used for the parallel and the top for the skinnier tapered cedar. In theory it sounded great and in careful target work perhaps, but in the heat of bunny killing, all bets are off. It is best to shoot all one kind of arrow in either case, at least for me.
I could add one minor point to this. If you shoot fat cedars and narrow aluminum arrows from the same bow and you nock the arrow under, your nock set will be too low when shooting the fat arrow, if your bow was tuned to the skinny arrow and too high if you tuned with a 23/64 cedar and then shot the skinny arrow. I always tune with the nockset under the arrow. My second tiny nock above is just to prevent the arrow from sliding up the string while sneaking around with an arrow on the string. Oh the horror of it all, someone who walks around with an arrow on the string. And yes, I have tossed an arrow loaded bow to the side as my feet lost traction.
Whether for hunting or targets, using two nocking points I believe is the best compromise and provides the most secure/consistent resting place for the arrow nock.
The logic behind nocking above the nock (less unwanted stress/torque on the shaft) is IMO largely unsupported. Virtually every archer draws the bow in an upwards motion from low to high (waist to face anchor), which if done with practiced control actually benefits the arrow by providing a secure stopping point under the string nock and more effortless (again, low to high) placement of the draw fingers. Also, the idea that nocking above offers a better hunting option (I'm thinking on big game) is questionable for two reasons. First, the likelihood that a shot opportunity will suddenly disappear in the spilt second it takes to look the arrow onto the string...on a still or slow-moving large animal... is in my experience infrequent and unlikely. Doing so might be of some advantage for quicker shots on small moving game, but I'd hope that risky bow shots on running big game would generally be avoided these days. Second, the chance of mis-nocking the arrow when merely 'feeling' it onto the string, especially under high-adrenaline situations, creates opportunity for unfortunate or even dangerous results not the least of which could be dropping the arrow, mis-aligning the arrow to the string, hurrying the shot due to mis-alignment, dry firing the bow, or even spinning the broadhead off the rest and into the shooter (foot, thigh, etc.) if the string 'feel' isn't quite right. I think I'd rather take the extra second to make sure the arrow nock goes where it should, without guessing or risking an arrow slip or placement error. But to each their own.
There is more than ONE way to skin a cat!
I agree with you too, ChuckC.
To all of nock above guys do you ever put an arrow on the string and immediately not shoot it? How does it stay on the string without your fingers wrapped around it-no finger contact at all?
Only my opinion but I see no difference in speed or motion going above or below the nock. Its what you practice. I spent quite a bit of time trying, not to be fast, but to figure out the motion. I see no real difference, including going from the the placement to positioning the fingers.
I only shoot longbows , use a back quiver, and only hunt from the ground. Taking an arrow out of my back quiver by the nock and placing it on the string above my nocking point is natural to me. Doing it that way since I was a teenager. Plenty of shooters are getting an arrow from a bow quiver, so they naturally grab the arrow by the shaft to nock it. I guess which ever way you choose to carry your arrows pretty much dictates whether you grab the shaft, or the arrow nock. Whether you nock above or below is a personal choice.
Though I'm not interested in speed nocking and use two nocking points, I can see where nocking above might be just a tad faster. If you think about the nocking hand movement, nocking below, it's first down to the string, then push the nock up to the nock point, then reverse the hand and position the fingers around the nock. If you nock above, the first movement is also downward to place the nock on the string, but that movement can be continued while rotating the shooting hand around the string to reposition the fingers on either side of the nock. I break it down into three movements -- down, up, around, vs down, down around, the latter requiring just a little less movement.
Of course, this is for folks who nock their arrows by gripping the nock and placing it on the string. Those who grab the arrow several inches below the fletching and then try to aim the nock onto the string, usually with a few misses before connecting, aren't going to win any speed contests. I've watched quite a few Utube videos of folks who nock this way, who get all flommoxed when under pressure and have a helluva time nocking the arrow. But, to each his own. 😎
I'm a nock under guy forever. Sure I've tried the nock over and the results are and arrow falling off the bow from the weight of the point. Am just a hunter and also of the mindset that I refuse to use snap on nocks because it takes more pressure to release them from a string.
In that guys picture of the 3 nock points he states that Fig 1 is "probably wrong" without anything to back that up. I've never seen nor heard of this arrow going high because of nocking under unless ones nocking point is way too high, which in my observations over the past 50 some years of buying used bows nearly all of them are way too high. But it takes a really high nock point to get a high flying arrow and there will be a hop of the arrow right out of the bow.
I'll never be the type of hunter that needs to get off many shots at game in the shortest period of time. Can't remember when I've needed a second shot in a hurry where nocking under would be a detriment.
And I'm a brass nock point hunter too.
For myself, when the arrow is under the nock with my target bows and sometimes with longbows, occasionally, I would see the results of what acted like the arrow sliding down the string. I went to two nocking points. If the serving is the correct sized for my arrow nocks I have no problem with nocking the arrow over the nocking point. However, I have some bows with two nocking points, bigger one on the bottom and very small one above. I can still hit the spot by feeling the bigger bottom one with my thumb, it does not slow me up. I do not see any difference from two nocks versus one under the arrow with my bows, as far porpoising arrow flight goes, which happens when an arrow is fighting for its position with the string.
Great article. I love hearing everyone‘s opinion.
I read that article several years ago and it made more sense than what John Schulz told me, that it was faster than nocking below the nock set. If you think about it, how is nocking above faster than nocking below?? I've nocked above the nock set ever since I read Dick's article.
When I was first introduced to archery in 1959, I was shown to set up nocking the arrow above nock point. When I bought my first longbow, the dealer set it up to place the arrow under the nock. I've been shooting that way since.
I shoot split finger. I put my arrow on the string below the nock, mostly because of what Chuck said about hanging your bow in a tree and having the nock keep your arrow from sliding up the string.
I‘ve set up my bow and tried both ways and can’t see any difference in flight. One thing I do when putting the arrow on the string below the nock is to start with my index finger about a half inch above the arrow at the beginning of my draw. I let the angle of the string as I draw slide my finger down to the arrow as I come to anchor. I find I don’t put as much downward pressure on the arrow than if I start my draw with my index finger against the arrow.
Thanks for posting the article. This guy owned an archery shop, probably knew and talked to more archers daily than most of us do in a month. He saw it as a problem. And once again Howard Hill had the answer all along. Ive found its a lot easier to just follow the experts advice. It’s worked well for me.
Of course, howard Hill nocked above the nocking point. In addition to trhe potential benefits already mentioned, speed of nocking is an additional plus. I think what the author says makes sense for split finger shooters, which most folks were back then.. Doesn't work as well for three under shooters.
Regardless, I've been using double nocks for a long time. Can feel the arrow nock onto the string just as easily as using one nock point, though admitedly, not as fast.
I was busy, didn't read it all. Will later. I believe you cannot " press" down with your index finger enough to affect anything. But you can torque your string hand causing the affect he describes. A lower string arm elbow might help and definitely a conscious change in anchor hold will change it. My thoughts. Yours may iffer.
I have always nocked above also. I am one of those that put so much downward pressure on the arrow that the arrow is bowed at full draw. My nephew talked me into nocking below and sure enough the bow in the arrow was gone but I noticed that most times my arrow was sliding down the string before release making my shots inconsistent so I went back to nocking above.
I've always nocked above. I like the arrow nock to be a tad snug on the string.
arrow is above the nock on my bows -just the way I learned