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Building The Footed Arrow

Reviewed By Steve , 20 September 2010

Building the footed arrow with Gary and Connie Renfro.

Footed arrows offer a number of advantages over a standard single wood shaft. Firstly the area behind the point is subject to the greatest stresses when hitting a target (and when missing a target).  A solution is to strengthen this area of the shaft – who hasn’t had an arrow break just behind the point ? Adding a hardwood section at this point not only improves the functionality of the arrow with regard to strength, it also moves the centre of gravity forward aiding the flight and improving paradox, the increase in weight will also help with penetration . Last but by no means least, is that footed arrows look great - in short it’s all good..

You could pay someone to craft you a set of footed arrows but an alternative is to make your own. Like anything, if you don’t know how to do it you assume it is very difficult and complicated, this wonderful DVD will take the mystery out of Footing arrows.

I have to say these guys have a workshop that is awesome, there is space, it’s clean and they have every tool known to man. To make footed arrows you will need a number of jigs to make life easier, the bonus with this DVD is that Gary shows you how to use each of these jigs effectively and will even supply the jigs if you don’t want to make your own. He is happy to share his plans for the jigs if you want to make them yourself. The jigs are the key to successful arrow building and I would say that before launching into trying to make arrows that the best course is to fix yourself up with the right tools, once you have them you will have them forever and they will save you heaps of time in the long run.


If your workshop isn’t fully kitted with specialist tools there is a tools section on the menu which shows many of the tools used in the DVD and also offers suggestions as the where they may be obtained and the cost. Having the right tools for the job means you are able to tackle jobs with confidence, attempting any woodworking task with just a hammer and a screwdriver will always end in disaster.

The DVD is a walk through of various techniques, at 3 and a half hours it offers tremendous value, Gary and Connie hold your hand whilst taking you through the methods for a 2 foot arrow a 4 footed arrow and even nock tapers. Once you have discovered the joy of making your own arrows the next step is to make your own shafting. This chapter is one of my favourites as each step is made to look so easy. Throughout the DVD you will find that both Gary and Connie have a really easy manner that is unhurried and relaxed, they explain each stage in detail with little hints and tips they have picked up along the way, you really do feel they are talking just to you.

Something which will reassure those doubting Thomas’s who may not have heard of Gary & Connie and may not trust information from folks they don’t know is the actual shooting section with Connie along with Mike from Black Canyon Bows – a selection of the arrows you watched being made meets a selection of bows – you will be impressed.

I mentioned the jig section earlier and this dedicated section will take you through the building of many of the jigs required. As a round up there is a comprehensive look at some of the woods used to foot arrows, even about the grain weights of each.

Features & Design
In depth - I mean in depth, a superbly presented DVD which will take you through the complete process stage by stage, a very practical guide structured to be useable with all the chapters clearly defined.
"We got it on take 40" - the sheer number of takes illustrates the commitment to creating a DVD that is going to be insightful and informative... see the blooper section and you will see what I mean.
Value for Money
Even your Dad won't spend this much time showing you how to do it ! Superb value and worth every penny.
Quite frankly no one is going to able to work all this out on their own - this small investment will repay you a hundred fold in mistakes you WON'T make by following the guidance contained in this DVD - if you want to shoot superb arrows or even if you just want to understand a little more about footed shafts this is a must.



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Building The Footed Arrow
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Magazine We were very pleased to give our support to the James Whale Kidney Foundation shoot which we cover in this months magazine. We were also contacted by Lars Pilø with news on the archery related finds on Jovfonna, and while we couldn't get out there ourselves Lars kindly filled in some background information for us.

Views of the course at Dunkery A mixed bag this month, me in the South West, Geoff putting the record straight, a chat with Keith Stay and the wisdom comes from South Cox of Stalker bows. 

We take a tour the length and breadth of the British mainland to visit Scotland with Border Bows, Yorkshire with Aidy Hayes, the Wirral with Jason from, down South with the Company of Canterbury Longbowman, and Geoff is in Spain.

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