Which Hand Do You Hold a Bow With

Which Hand Do You Hold a Bow With? Left vs Right-Handed Bow

Did it ever happen to you that you went to a usual store, asked for a left-handed bow, and ended up getting the response: “Sorry, what?”

Yeah, that is not very uncommon. Most sellers don’t even know if there are left or right-handed bows! However, you don’t want to make the mistake of buying the wrong one.

To choose the right kind of bow, the first thing you need to know which hand do you hold a bow with. Knowing that requires understanding your dominance, preference, and also the bow types.

This article presents some of the must-to know things before you consider buying one. So, spare yourself a few minutes and read on.

Which Hand Do You Hold a Bow With?

For some people, that’s a very confusing thing. If you are left-handed, you draw the string with the left hand and hold the bow with the right hand.

Conversely, if you are right-handed, you draw with your right hand and hold the bow in your left hand.

So, a left-handed person needs a left-handed bow, and it’s not the other way around.  Nevertheless, a few more things you need to consider before reaching a conclusion. Let’s get into them.

What Is Handedness?

Handedness simply means your one hand’s dominance over another. Meaning the hand with which you do most of the daily activities like brushing your teeth, writing, eating, holding a cup, etc.

What Is Handedness

Usually, most people are aware of their hand dominance, while others are equally efficient in working with both hands. However, that consists of only 1% of people.

So, before asking the question that with which hand you hold a bow, consider asking yourself which one is your dominant hand.

What Is Eyedness?

Knowing your dominant hand is not enough for choosing the right bow. While handedness is crucial for bow holding, eyedness is necessary to fix the aim and therefore shoot accurately. And most people don’t know about their eyedness.

Your dominant eye and hand can be on the same side or opposite. And about 70% of people have both dominance on the same side. The rest have cross dominance, and we will get to that in a bit.

If you are lucky, you may not have any eyedness. However, that’s a very rare case.

How to Know Which One Is Your Dominant Eye?

With both eyes open, you usually can’t say which one is your dominant eye. But you naturally seem to close the non-dominant eye when you try to aim at something.

You may have noticed eye dominance if you ever looked through a telescope. If not, there are some popular tests by which you can be sure of.

Porta Test

For the porta test, you need to extend an arm and make a thumbs-up focusing on an object minimum of ten feet away. You can cover the object with your thumb or align it with the item. Now, try looking at it by closing your left eye. If it remains centered with your thumb or covered, then you are surely right eye dominant.

How to Know Which One Is Your Dominant Eye

Conversely, if the object remains aligned and covered while looking through the left eye, closing the right one, then have left eyedness.

Cross Dominance

Cross dominance is something when you have eyedness and handedness on the opposite sides. That is, your left hand and right eye are dominant or vice versa.

As a beginner, having cross dominance can feel like a nightmare. In this situation, you should try aligning your bow with your dominant eye, as training your non-dominant hand is a lot easier than training your non-dominant eye.

Why Knowing Your Overall Dominance Is Important?

Shooting properly involves many steps, from maintaining the right stance and proper form to aiming accurately. And your form and aim greatly depend on your overall dominance.

Your body alignment and standing position depend on with which hand you draw the string. Also, you need to adjust your anchor point accordingly. And when it comes to aiming, you will have better-shot accuracy if you line up your sight with the dominant eye.

So, whether you are shooting in a range or in the woods, your overall dominance is of major importance. You also have to pick the bow matching your overall dominance.

However, for a cross dominant, overall dominance doesn’t coincide with handedness. And it can be inconvenient at the beginning, especially if you are shooting in the woods to hunt where the range is not clear, and your bow is too strong.

Prioritizing eyedness over handedness puts a lot of strain on your hand and fingers. To ease your fingers, consider getting the best bow hunting gloves.

No matter how challenging it feels to shoot with the wrong hand initially, you can shoot with accuracy and precision quicker than you assumed with consistent practice. You can even be an instinctive shooter with your non-dominant hand. 

Left vs Right-Handed Bow

Whether a bow is right-handed or left-handed is determined by the hand you draw the string and not on which hand you hold it. Seems confusing? Okay, let’s break it down.

If the bow’s string is drawn by the right hand, then it is a right-handed bow, and conversely, if the left hand is needed to pull back the string, it is a left-handed bow. Don’t get mixed up because left-handed bows are held by the right hand and vice versa.

Left vs Right-Handed Bow

Besides this primary difference, they also differ in the orientation of some parts like the stabilizer, bow sight, and arrow nest.

While most bows have an arrow nest and a sight pin, some may lack a stabilizer. If your bow doesn’t have one, you might consider attaching one yourself. Because getting the best bow stabilizer will enhance your performance by adding weight and improve accuracy by making it more stable.

You can identify bow-handedness by looking at the side on which the above elements are attached. If you have the arrow nest only, see on which side it is.

Which One to Choose: Right or Left Handed Bow?

If your hand and eye dominance coincide, then choosing the right bow is no big deal. However, cross-dominant people struggle to select the correct one.

The simplest way to choose one is to give preference to the dominant eye over the dominant hand. That is, no matter which handedness you have, go with the one that matches your eyedness. Meaning select a right-handed bow if you have right eyedness and vice versa.

This doesn’t mean you can’t shoot a left-handed bow having right eyedness. You can, but we don’t recommend it. While training your muscle memory is attainable, changing your eyedness is not something you can acquire even after years of practice.

However, if you are amongst the rarest people with no hand or eye dominance, you can get either one based on your preference.

Is It Possible to Shoot with Wrong Hand?

Yes, it is possible. Additionally, most cross-dominant archers do shoot with the wrong hand. And as a beginner, we recommend that you start practicing with the non-dominant hand if you have cross dominance.

However, you may encounter some common struggles like unable to hold still and missing shots. The reason can be vibration from string noise. And you can easily overcome that by attaching a bow stabilizer and a string silencer. This will significantly improve your shot and help you to keep still and make a perfect shot.

Wrapping Up!

Well, that was everything about right and left-handed bow and with which hand do you hold a bow with.

We tried to incorporate all the little details that you might haven’t known before. And we hope this helped determine your eyedness, handedness, and pick the right kind of bow. Read on; you will also find some tips to overcome the difficulties of shooting with the wrong hand. Adios!

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