by Eric Hall
We have all heard the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! This applies to archery tackle as well. Taking care of your bowstring on a compound, recurve, or crossbow will allow the equipment to function properly and provide additional years of service to your equipment.
Let’s face it, no one wants to miss out on the buck of a lifetime due to string failure. True, even well-maintained strings can fail. Failure is less likely when you take care of your string and keep it in the best condition possible. This means taking a few minutes to inspect the string and serving as well as applying wax.
Inspect the string to determine its overall condition on a regular basis. A best practice is to inspect every time you take it out to shoot or hunt. Look for fuzzy strings, broken strands or separation in the serving.
If the string has broken strands, replace the string immediately and do NOT shoot the bow. String breaking can cause damage to the bow and possibly an injury to you. No animal in the world is worth taking that risk. If you see damage to the strands, get that string replaced.
A slight serving separation at the connection points should be repaired, but you can probably still hunt or shoot the bow. The situation will continue to get worse, but you are not out of the game. If the separation is extreme and the serving is unwinding, get it repaired immediately.
A serving separation at the nocking point should be repaired. This situation can cause accuracy issues. No excuses for missing a deer or wounding a deer over a poor serving. Repair it yourself or take it to a pro shop to get repaired.
A fuzzy string simply needs wax applied and then you are good to go. Waxing is a simple task and will help prolong the life of your string. Wax comes in a stick form and you simply rub it on the string. Then grip the string with your thumb and index finger and slide up and down. The friction will melt the wax into the string. When you are finished there should be no clumps of wax on the string. The string will also not have the fuzzy appearance any longer. Avoid waxing the serving as the wax can get under the serving and cause a premature serving separation.
You can tell if your string needs wax by touching the string. A properly waxed bowstring will feel slightly tacky to the touch. A dry hard bowstring signals time to get out the wax stick.
Taking care of your equipment is just as important as practicing with it. Properly maintained bowstrings work as they should and allow the archer to be accurate and confident when taking the field. Check your string before you head out each day. You will be glad that you did.