Thailand Princess Cup Archery Competition – Barebow Setup with Olympic Recurve Metal Riser

PC Cup 2016 BannerThe Thailand Princess Cup Archery Competition is an annual event and the organisers (TOAC) will soon be hosting it’s 10th Anniversary! The is a very popular meet and has grown to 400+ participants in the 2015 competition, hailing from 14 different territories/nations. Our Lynx is one of the die-hard supporters and has participated 8 times! In this article, we will call it PC Cup for convenience. This is an indoor event and everyone shoots ONLY  18m.  The 2016 event will be held on 18th & 19th  June. Time to get ready! Connect with the organisers here.


The latest rules for the Traditional Barebow Category were just released. It appears that the organisers are moving towards World Archery (FITA) Barebow rules. Please follow this link to see the 2016 competition rules for the Barebow/Traditional Category. Hence, the setup below will not meet the limits of what is allowed.


The objective of this page is to explain how a metal riser may be used in the Traditional/Barebow Category for the PC Cup. The competition is not a FITA/World Archery sanctioned event but it is run very, very competently and  professionally. As an unsanctioned event, the organiser has given a wider berth to the definition of Traditional or Barebow setup. This is probably to encourage better participation. 1 piece, 2 piece and 3 piece bows are allowed and Olympic Recurve metal risers can be easily modified. A large number of competitors (perhaps 30% – 40%) use modified Olympic recurve risers in this Traditional/Barebow category. In fact the 2015 individual champion sported a 70″ Olympic riser ILF setup (25″ riser with long limbs) and faced off against a Wooden ILF Riser setup of about 62″ (17″ riser with long limbs).

18m archery events are specialised competitions i.e. if your objective for taking part is competitive, then you should have a setup that is specialised for the event. A few pointers to note:

  1. Go Low – Use a low poundage bow. You don’t need more than a 30lbs to reach 18m. Many archers shoot very accurately at this range, using only 20lb – 28lb setups. Going low poundage also means that your muscles are less likely to fatigue during the rigours of competition. Our champion Eagle shoots in the 250 – 260s (18m 40cm target, 3 arrows x 10 ends) with only a 20lbs club bow setup!
  2. Go Long – Get a bow that is as long as you can manage and use efficiently. Generally, the longer bows are more forgiving of small lapses in form and release. Meaning, you have a higher chance of keeping your arrows within the red/gold target zone (7-10 points)
  3. Go Fat – Fat arrows will improve your line cutting chances. That 1 point can make a lot of difference in a competition. The largest diameter allowed in indoor competitions is 9.3mm. Find one that suits you so that you can maximise your winning chances. However, some archers can’t stomach the look of such barely legal fat arrows………………. 🙂
  4. Go Tune – Invest in time to tune your setup. A well tuned set means that you can isolate most errors down to your own form, plus get more consistent performance all round.
  5. Go Shoot – Practice,  practice and practice. There is no substitute for grooving in good form and muscle memory. Smart practice is equally important. It’s useful to have a fellow archer or coach observe your shooting now and then, this can help to identify, stop and reverse the creep of bad habits or form. Shooting frequently in short sessions (e.g. 20- 30 minutes 5 times a week is more beneficial than shooting long sessions once or twice a week (e.g. 4 hours twice a week). Our very own EXM is testimony to this simple but very effective regimen.
  6. Go Compete – No matter how much you have practiced, nothing can simulate the heightened nerves and adrenaline rush under actual competition conditions. Taking part in “friendly” or in-house competitions can help to simulate these conditions somewhat so that your mind and body can learn how to settle down quickly in a real competition.


The bow being discussed has the following components :

Riser – Cartel Midas 25″ (old model)

Cartel Midas Olympic Recurve Riser (Early Model)

This is the first generation Cartel Midas. It has an anodized finish and I think it looks nicer than the new generation painted model, which has more rounded lines but basically the same design. This is a robust riser with a heft to it. It appears to be well rated by barebow archers. Limb bolt poundage adjustment is quite limited but very secure. It could do with a better sculpted grip, though.

Arrow Shelf & Side Plate

Built-up Riser Shelf and Side Plate with Scrap Leather
Built-up Riser Shelf and Side Plate with Scrap Leather

The Traditional/Barebow class does not allow Olympic Recurve type arrow rests. Archers need to shoot off the shelf or fingers. However, you can build up the shelf in modifying the metal riser. The author recycled bits of used leather for this purpose. Some archers carve pieces of wood or bits of foam. This is DIY stuff and really up to the archer’s imagination and resources.

Limbs – Uukha EX1 68″ 30lbs

20160303_191147Very stable, fast limbs, fairly quiet and look really good. Not much perceivable stack at the end of the draw. These limbs are quite forgiving, smooth to draw and not hard on string walkers. They have a woven carbon exterior and made by compression molding. A bit on the pricey side, though.

String – Angel Majesty Pro (18 strands)

20160303_190638This is a fast and stable string, requiring no waxing. Angel Majesty recommends 18-20 strands for the bowstring. However, as this is a light bow, the archer opted for 18 strands for better speed. The string was kindly made by our Uncle Rhino Chew but he used his own favoured serving material. Check him out here .

Arrows – PSE Radial X Weave 100

20160303_194004These are affordable all carbon, standard 0.006″ straightness specification. They are kept uncut at 31″ as the spine of 0.520″ requires an arrow length well beyond 28″ for this medium-light draw weight. Bareshaft testing at 6m showed that the 31″ shaft length should be maintained. At 18m, the bareshafts grouped with the fletched arrows.

Points – 125 grain target field points

125 grain field pointsMild steel field points that you can buy from just about any archery supplier. They appear to be manufactured to acceptable tolerances. Only 1 point out of a dozen gave a slight wobble when spun on the arrow spinner. They do need a bit of teflon tape get a secure fit with the shaft inserts.

Fletching – 5″ Gateway

Feather fletchesFeather fletches collapse nicely on contact with the riser and spring back to shape very quickly after that. You can see some YouTube videos on that. Really cool. However, there seems to be some inconsistency in fletching height between different colour fletches but they don’t appear to affect arrow flight very much. Thank goodness.



Shelf and side plateThis is really the most time consuming part. The owner of this riser chose scrap leather to build up the riser shelf and side-plate. Several layers of leather were laminated to the desired height using contact glue and the sanded down to to slope about 10° – 15° towards the side plate and to a height that would place the shaft of the arrow centred to the riser’s plunger mounting position. The purpose of the sloped position is to keep the arrow in place during the draw. There is some interference with the rebound of the arrow shaft after it hits the side plate, so setting the angle requires some trial and error. The raised shelf is also arched so that the crest peaks and lines up with the plunger position. The thickness of the side- plate was adjusted until centre shot setting was obtained.

As stated earlier, you can use any material you wish for the arrow shelf and side plate. We have seen very nicely carved wooden specimens at the Princess Cup Competition to simple pieces of foam that are functional, albeit temporary looking.

Crested Arrow ShelfCentre Shot

Setting up the riser is just the beginning of a long but satisfying process of tuning the bow. It’s a lot less complicated than tuning an Olympic Recurve bow as there are less variables and to tinker with. Please read the other sections on : Understanding Barebow Nuts and Bolts; Tuning the Barebow and Tuning for Tens


Thailand Princess Cup Compliant Barebow - Ready to shoot and tune
Thailand Princess Cup Compliant Barebow – Ready to shoot and tune

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