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  • “Lars Andersen: a new level of archery”

    Posted by Jonathan on January 26th, 2015 (All posts by )

    Maybe he should get together with this guy.

    (Via Tom Smith.)

    UPDATE: See also this post by brother Lynn.

    UPDATE 2: Jim MacQuarrie says Andersen is a charlatan. There’s also a good back-and-forth in the comments on his post.


    13 Responses to ““Lars Andersen: a new level of archery””

    1. Mike K Says:

      Very interesting and I have heard about him but had never seen the video. I like the fact that he looked at old images to understand how it was done. The long bow at Crecy was considered a terror weapon. The Wiki article on longbows mentions rapid fire and says bowmen stuck arrows into the ground to keep them ready. This was obviously the English practice in which archers established a barrier in front of themselves of sharpened sticks to deflect horses.

      The role of the longbow in England has been credited with advancing the rights of yeoman archers, much as Athens depended on sailors who favored democracy. The nobility was vulnerable to the longbow and thus it weakened feudalism.

      Earlier armies seemed to use shorter bows and using them on horses would require different tactics, like those shown in the video.

      The bow seems not to have been the major weapon of Alexander.

    2. Robert Schwartz Says:

      In his History of the English Speaking Peoples, Churchill claimed that the longbow was a superior weapon to any that the British Army used, until the late 19th Century. However, it was far harder to train longbowmen than to train soldiers to use muskets.

    3. Spammy Solecisms Says:

      I’ve attempted to employ, but it really isn’t going to functions in any way.

    4. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Fascinating video too, BTW. Supposedly Comanche warriors on horseback could snap off fourteen or fifteen arrows in pretty brisk time. It was only when five and six shot revolvers were developed that white men had anything like an even chance going head to head with them.

      IIRC, it took years to train an English longbowman, and they had to start in childhood, almost. It didn’t take nearly as long to train someone in using a crossbow, as well.

      (Jonathon, you’re having fun with the spammers by messing up their links, aren’t you?)

    5. TMLutas Says:

      It will only be a matter of time:

      Parkour archery

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      Wow. Never saw a demo like that. Lars has to have Viking blood. Myth vs reality.

      Sgt Mom – I think the Comanche were called the Lords of the Plains.

    7. Bill Brandt Says:

      I was so impressed with this I posted it to a facebook group (H/T to Jonathan) and one spoil sport, as a counter point, posted this

      There is so much BS on the Net – and everyone’s an expert – don’t know what to believe and didn’t feel like arguing with the guy

    8. Mike K Says:

      The points the guy makes are pretty good ones and I did wonder about splitting with a arrowhead. His tone is unusually dismissive for a guy who claims he was once “homeless.” That set off my BS detector at “Stun.”

    9. Grurray Says:

      The reason for moving the arrow to the left side of the bow (for a right-handed archer) is something known as “the Archer’s Paradox,” a complicated collection of physics phenomena that results in the arrow hitting to the right even though when it’s on the bow it’s pointing slightly to the left. You can see it in the slow-motion footage during the tournament scene in Brave; as the arrow begins its flight, it’s oscillating back and forth, swimming through the air like a fish and moving to the left, until the aerodynamic effect of the air passing over feathers causes it to begin spinning, at which point the arrow turns and begins traveling to the right. (You can also see how simple and fast it is to place an arrow on the bow, despite Andersen’s absurd play-acting.)

      I’m no archer. Take what I say with a grain of salt, but it’s easy to see in the clip from the cartoon.
      The arrow hits to the right because it’s being bent to the right by the bow by virtue of being shot from the right hand and placed on left side of the bow. If a right hander shoots from the right side of the bow, there would be no distortion and therefore no paradox. This is a chicken and egg argument. The compensation is used because of the arrow position, not the other way around.

      As for simple and fast placement. Yes, an experienced bowman would be fast regardless, but the placement on the left clearly requires more positioning. Unless I’m missing something, this will take slightly longer to align then this which requires only a simple pivot to square the arrow for shooting.

      Really, there’s only one way to settle this – Tournament.

    10. Dan from Madison Says:

      Glad to see someone posted a takedown of him. I don’t know a lot about archery, but I do know enough about life in general to figure out that some of these stunts were camera tricks/altered equipment. Especially the catching of arrows and shooting of the arrows in mid air.

    11. Stan Witherspoon Says:

      If you read the text attached to the Lars video, (you have to go to YouTube and click below the video) Lars talks about what he did and how he did it. It took him 16 tries to hit the arrow with the arrow.

    12. Grurray Says:

      Good point Stan. In the geekdad refutation:

      Just as splitting an arrow can only be accomplished with the use of carefully-prepared equipment (using bamboo for the arrow to be split, for example), all of Andersen’s tricks require equipment modifications, careful camerawork and editing.

      In the explanatory youtube text:

      It was a light bamboo arrow with a metal tip, and the arrow I shot back was a heavier aluminum arrow. That the arrow split was just pure luck, and I’m not certain I could repeat it without first training for a long time. I believe it split because it hit just behind the head and made the shafts fluctuate against each other, causing the bamboo shaft to split lengthwise.

      Refutation again:

      As for the supposed shooting at an oncoming arrow, he may have eventually hit an arrow fired over his head (not at him), but again, it wouldn’t have split, and in fact it probably didn’t. It looks like the arrow was deflected, then he picked up broken pieces already on the floor. I’d love to see Mythbusters demolish this fraud, and I’m only disappointed that so many people are so gullible as to believe it.

      I don’t know. Here’s what I see when I go through it frame by frame.

      Split second before impact

      Split second after impact

      Maybe I’m seeing things. I still say we need to get them both in a room, Lars and the cartoon girl and settle this once and for all, man vs funny pages.

    13. Kirk Parker Says:


      Was there supposed to be a link with “Parkour Archery”? Or are you just predicting? ;-)