Nice response to high speed archery video

I was pointed to a rebuttal of the Lars Andersen claims about high-speed archery.

I’ll repost it here:

A Response to Lars Andersen: a New Level of Archery

As someone that wrote a fairly substantial article on the physics of building and bending bows, I’ve followed the entire re-emergence of the original video interesting, and this time the responses to it have been more measured and some of them downright scholarly.

Anyway, the rebuttal is quite interesting, and worth a watch.

3 thoughts on “Nice response to high speed archery video

  1. A few issues with the video.
    – Once again it hits Lars with the rediscovered. If he didn't rediscover it, then he developed it, which is even more to his credit. If it's been done all along we just need a school of 10 such archers to post a video.
    – The arrow grabbing is debunked by Mythbusters who don't have experience. The video itself says it requires a lot of practice, which Lars has and the Mythbusters' team lacks; it then goes on to debunk Lars based on someone inexperience. If finishes off with it being ineffective in combat because they'd be coming from different directions. Well duh! After all humans have two hands and if one is holding the bow then only one is left to catch the arrow. Anything more than one IS way to much, but it sure beats what I can do and I bet it beats the video creator too.
    – Moving targets. More on beating a dead horse. I think its clear what Lars meant when he talked about moving targets, and it addressed the lack of moving targets in competitions, not that stationary targets were used in the past. The video shows an ancient painting that actually shows a moving target: 4:47, archer on horse with man holding target, and 4:49 rider and archer walking; sure the target is stationary, but the archer is moving, which adds up to the complexity. Moving targets requires them to be moved, an "expensive" endeavor if the archer rolls a 1, even in a slave based society. The video also says "if we are lucky we also sometimes get to practice on moving ones", which is exactly Lars point. The majority of targets are stationary nowadays! The video supports his claim while trying to debunk it. Which one is it?
    – Archery is about what works. Sure, and Lars skill seems to work. In the left vs right the video says (as archers are firing from the right as they ride) "there is no indication that the opposite side method slows people down terribly", terribly or at all? Compared to what? It doesn't show a left handed video for comparison. So it slows it down a bit, but not terribly, or not at all, and where's the video showing that. It then goes on to explain the archers paradox, but doesn't the archers paradox exist anyway, left or right?

  2. There was an article on Charles Stross's website, as well:

    http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growfcomic.php?date=20070617

    Ultimately, it's worth looking very closely at claims that everyone has it wrong, things have been discovered or re-discovered, etc. Although a lot of the arguments against the video are a bit pedantic and sometimes as equally hyperbolic as the original video, it's not wrong to suggest that Lars Anderson needs to show a lot more evidence of his claims about the effectiveness of all of this stuff. History is tough – you need to dot your i's, cross your t's, and show your evidence. Showmanship only requires you can do it. That original video of his is more showmanship than historical proof of anything. Not to say it isn't fun stuff, and inspirational for game characters, who damn well should be able to do all of that in near-total darkness and punch holes in plate armor at the same time they loose arrows 2 or 3 at a time. That's what gaming is all about!

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