An essential part of keeping a bow maintained – no matter what style you shoot: recurve, compound, traditional… – is waxing the string (and cables), yet many archers neglect it.
The bowstring is key to the overall performance of the bow. After all, it is the piece of equipment that sends the arrow towards the target. Waxing a string prevents it from fraying, adds a waterproof element – stopping water from getting between the strands – and retains twists.
(If water gets in the string, the string gets heavier – and the arrow leaves the bow travelling slower, impacting on sight marks and grouping.)
A properly-waxed bowstring has a smooth, slightly tacky feel. If the string feels dry or starts to exhibit discoloration or fuzz out, it’s time to wax it again. Most top archers wax their strings every two to three weeks, plus before the competition if the forecast is for rain.