At Bohning, we pride ourselves on manufacturing products that solve problems for the archer. We saw how much time and energy Olympic recurve archers were spending re-fletching spin type vanes. Spin or “mylar” vanes aren’t advantageous when it comes to durability and convenience – if you’ve used them, this is not news to you. Properly and accurately fletching a mylar vane requires a significant amount of time, and given their fragility, you have to replace them a lot. Additionally, mylar vanes have significant drawbacks in crosswinds due to their surface area.
We knew that to solve the problems found in spin vanes, we needed to create a durable, lightweight, easy-to-install vane that would perform as well as or better than spin type vanes. We set these three measurable goals:
1. The new vane had to perform as well as or better than a mylar vane
2. It had to be way more durable
3. It had to be easier to fletch
It took us a few years to get it right. Pairing up our engineers with an aerospace engineering firm, we began with several unique vane concepts, then conducted thousands of computer simulations before moving to lab prototypes to identify the best ones.
We tested things such as drag, side and lift forces, yaw and pitch, and the effect of variable and steady crosswinds coming at multiple speeds and directions. We used these test results to determine which vane design best minimized outside influences, such as lateral drift & over-correction. After selecting the best vane concepts, we proceeded to fine-tune the design. The next step was producing prototypes – not being a typical vane shape, this took some work.
Knowing materials impact flight, we also tested the best design concepts with dozens of different materials. After narrowing it down to a four workable materials, we began field testing.
For the field testing, we collaborated with archers all over the world – getting volunteers wasn’t difficult as archers love to tinker. Each archer was asked to shoot a minimum of 200 arrows in different weather conditions. They measured group sizes and provided input on each material. We eliminated two materials right away. In true Goldilocks fashion, the first prototype vane was too soft, it wouldn’t hold its shape, and the second was too hard. Though the harder vane’s performance was killer, it would crack upon impact with the target. Many iterations later, we identified a “sweet spot” material that is stiff enough to hold its shape and provide the best performance without cracking.
After making some tuning adjustments, archers saw their group sizes shrink when compared with mylar vanes, especially in windy scenarios. There are two main reasons for this. First, the “cut-out” surface prevents downrange wind drift, while the integrated right helical twist provides the required spin and steerage. Second, that same cut-out design keeps the grain weight to a minimum, making the back of the arrow weak and forgiving.
After checking off the “Durable” and “High-performing” boxes, it was on to the “Convenience” factor. We manufactured a clamp insert to make it easy for archers to fletch the Griffin Vane with a Pro Class style fletching jig (see images below). Because the helical is already built into the design of the Griffin vane, you can install the vane straight. The ability to use a fletching jig eliminates the need to line your arrows, and lets you quickly install vanes much more uniformly and accurately when you’re fletching at home or in the archery shop. We’re also working on a new Pro Class clamp specifically for the Griffin Vane that permits the vane to fit directly and securely into the clamp without having to use the insert – expect to see this available in late 2021. Like all Bohning vanes, the Griffin Vane is no-prep. We pre-prime the bases of our vanes, so we highly recommend that you NOT clean them as it will remove that primer.
We also know that, though it won’t happen very often if you’re shooting the Griffin Vanes, sometimes you have to re-fletch in the field. That’s why we designed the clamp insert so that you can use it without a jig when necessary. The clamp insert is stored right inside the Griffin packaging, which is very slim and fits nicely in your quiver. Each pack of Griffin Vanes comes with two clamp inserts. The final touch was designing the packaging to securely store the Griffin vanes.
We at the Bohning Company would like to extend a special thanks to our test staff who field-tested the Griffin Vane during all of these testing stages, it would not have been possible without your help.
“Hell YES! The Griffin Vanes are AWESOME in the wind! Even during the crazy east coast storms we’ve had, they performed perfectly. And they’re super durable – now when I’m on the road, I don’t have to spend my time re-fletching. Plus, the packaging is sweet – literally, it looks like a fancy chocolate bar, I love it.” – Lee Ford, Team USA
Williamsburg, KY – Palmyra Sportsmen’s Association, located in central Pennsylvania, hosted the 2021 PA S3DA Indoor Target State Championship with over 50 archers from across the state meeting to compete. Archers and their families were required to follow COVID facility guidelines, but everyone was very excited to be able to participate in the state tournament. Trent Rutt, a member of Reading Archery Club, shot his personal best in the Youth Bowhunter Compound Class to take first place but there’s more to Trent’s story than just a podium finish. You see, while archers and their families have been dealing with COVID, Trent Rutt and his family have been experiencing so much more than just a pandemic.
In August 2019, Trent was diagnosed with a rare liver cancer called Hepatoblastoma (cancer found in children usually under 5) and Hepatocellular cancer (found in teens and adults). He was admitted to Hershey Children’s Hospital and endured several 48-hour admissions where he underwent three rounds of chemo leading up to a liver resection on December 11th, 2019. Following his surgery, Trent had to undergo three more rounds of chemo but they were outpatient, so at least he did not have to stay overnight.
When talking with Trent’s mother, Ashley, she said that their plan was to send Trent back to school following Easter break, but then COVID hit and all the schools were shut down. People like Trent with underlying medical conditions were more susceptible to severe COVID symptoms, so Trent spent his entire 6th grade year at home and Ashley took on a new role, Trent’s teacher. Trent went to his last chemo treatment on March 6th, 2020. His friend, Landon, encouraged him to join the local archery club and Trent did. He began shooting for Reading Archery in August 2020.
The Pennsylvania S3DA State Championship happened to fall on the one-year anniversary of Trent’s last chemo treatment. While Ashley was incredibly happy, she was also emotional, and stated, “Having Trent get back to an after-school activity has really helped him build his confidence and has gotten him back to feeling like a normal kid. It has helped him ease back into being a part of a group. Trent has always enjoyed sports and enjoyed being a part of a team. The cancer really made him cautious. When he was cleared to return to physical activity, he was leery about rejoining any team, for fear he would get hurt. Archery has been that confidence booster that he needed to help him find his strength again. Archery has also given Trent and his Dad another outdoor activity to bond over. In fact, one huge bright spot for the year happened on December 11th, 2020, when Trent was able to harvest a 4-point buck with his gun.”
Every year a new generation of archers line up at the shooting line, and while we have no idea what they may be going through or what is on their mind, we can all relate to the enthusiasm and spirit that each child brings to the competition. For Trent, there is no more chemo and many fewer follow up appointments. Fast forward to today when Trent is now able to go to school and be a normal 13-year-old boy. As many are aware, having archery to concentrate on can help get you through a very tough time, Trent is proof of that.
Bohning Archery is a proud sponsor of Scholastic 3-D Archery.
About the S3DA Organization
Scholastic 3-D Archery (S3DA) is a unique, family-oriented youth archery program which has grown exponentially across the United States as a next-step initiative to follow introductory archery programs. The mission of the Scholastic
3-D Archery program is to foster, educate and guide youth in the areas of 3-D, indoor target, and outdoor target archery as well as safe, ethical bowhunting practices. The goal of the S3DA program is to provide archery and bowhunting opportunities to youth in after-school settings, as well as with archery-affiliated clubs and businesses in the community. S3DA students participate in 3-D and target archery using compound and traditional archery equipment. Students can participate at local, regional, state, and national archery events and earn college scholarships from colleges and universities across the United States. S3DA addresses the need for a program to bridge beginning target archery experience and more advanced activities such as 3-D shooting and bowhunting. The program currently operates across the United States with hundreds of certified coaches serving thousands of young archers, grades 3–12.
Bohning, Lake City, MI is proud to announce that during its 75th year of operation we continue to advance our mission of providing opportunity and advancement.
DJ Hunt has been promoted to the position of Director of Archery Sales USA. DJ is an avid archer who is active competitively and in the field. His knowledge of the industry, archery skill and desire to learn make him a perfect fit for the position. DJ will continue as the Pro Staff manager as well. In today’s world of marketing, firms with the ability to rapidly adapt and communicate their message have a significant advantage.
With the promotion of Kevin Mist to Director of Marketing Bohning has the right man for that job. Kevin has brought another level of professionalism to the graphic artist’s position at Bohning. His experience spans across all the digital platforms, includes print media expertise and his leadership as the Director is a vital part of Bohning’s future.
Scott Hamlin was promoted to the position of V.P. of Sales & Marketing USA. Scott will continue his role of supporting the distribution network and growing relationships.
Holly Henrickson serves as the Director of International Sales, and manages sales in Canada and Europe.
Chiao St Charles has joined Bohning as the Director of Sales and Marketing Asia.
Larry Griffith, owner, stated, “We are excited about our future and the professionalism these individuals bring to our team”.
Bohning Archery, since 1946
7361 North 7 Mile
Lake City, MI 49651