A Guide to Lars Andersen and Medieval Speed Archery

Medieval archery

Lars Andersen, so what’s the big deal? This self-titled medieval speed archer has taken the internet by storm more than once. He made THE most viewed archery video EVER. We’re going to tell you who he is, what he’s done. Show you ALL his videos and fill you in on the controversy surrounding them.

This next level archery is astounding!

If you’ve never seen the “New Level of Archery” video by Lars Andersen then where have you been? This is the most watched archery video of all time on YouTube. Lars Andersen is a Danish painter (now famous archer) born in 1964. He’s spent years intensely practicing in order to become a master archer using the lost skills of yesteryear. He’s the holder of a couple of speed shooting records. In this video performs several incredible feats that really show his next level archery skills.

Hollywood Invented the Back Quiver Myth?

There’s an explanation of why the back quiver commonly seen in Hollywood films today is a pretty impractical choice for an archer who has to move at any sort of speed. Jump, roll, bend over and all your arrows just fall out. Modern archers and hunters don’t have to shoot on the move, so they’re okay. The life of a combat archer would be different.

Speed Shooting Technique

How does he achieve the incredible shooting speeds shown, shooting 3 arrows in 0.6 seconds whilst in the air? After researching the subject his view was that the quickest way to fire an arrow is from the same side of the bow as your draw hand and to hold the arrows IN your draw hand. Lars demonstrates how he can hold 10 arrows in this hand and shoot them all in quick succession.

This technique also makes Lars ambidextrous with his bow, he can shoot using either hand from either side of the bow without difficulty. He also demonstrates how this technique allows him to be able to shoot in pretty much any situation. Hanging upside down, in motion on skates, riding pillion on a motorbike, yep he’s pretty much got all bases covered.

Next Level Tricks

Arrow splitting is taken to the next level when Lars shoots an arrow at a static knife blade and splits it. He shoots a ping pong ball out of the air. Shooting one handed with your feet? Yes, he does that too. Throw a ball into the air, pick up your bow and shoot that ball out of the air, no problem, that’s demonstrated. One of the most impressive feats is when Lars jumps into the air, grabs an incoming arrow (whilst in flight) and shoots it back. Forget Robin Hood splitting an arrow in a target, Lars shows how he can split an incoming arrow with one of his own.

How is it Possible?

One thing Lars does divulge is that his bow and arrows are custom-made or home made and modified from anything you’ll find on the market today. He’s obviously spent a lot of time practicing how to perform these feats, but the result is pretty impressive. There’s no video trickery in this, everything he does he actually does. Many people have tried to debunk some of his theories and that’s why Lars hits back in his next video.

Byron Ferguson : Better than Robin Hood?

Byron Ferguson may well be better than Robin Hood. His accuracy with a bow is pretty astounding. Byron is a well-known exhibition shooter who you can book to show you his skills at your own event if you want to. But in this video, he demonstrates just how accurate he can be using a traditional bow without a sight.

How Small?

Starting by smashing a 2.6″ diameter wooden disc thrown up into the air Byron moves on to perform the same feat with a Golf ball of 1.68″ diameter. Then a sweet with a hole (Polo in the UK, Lifesaver in the USA :)) which has a diameter of .956″. Finally, he demonstrates how he can shoot a moving Asprin tablet out of the air. He does take 2 goes to hit that one and isn’t happy about it, but I think that’s excusable, don’t you?

Don’t Try This At Home

Safety first, Byron is obviously well practiced and well trained. What you see in the video where, I believe it’s his son, is throwing up targets for Byron to shoot is NOT something you should try yourself. You should never have anybody in your arc of fire or they risk serious injury. If you want to try to replicate these feats, use stationary targets or tie them to string and let them swing the wind. Byron is a showman and he’s been shooting for a very long time.

Archery tag in golf carts? Awesome…. :)

Dude Perfect take archery tag (sometimes called Battle Archery) to new levels in this YouTube video. I mean archery tag is fun enough anyway, shooting people in protective gear with a bow and arrow IS fun. How can you improve on that?

Looks like what you do is make yourself a crazy indoor course with a banana slide, giant beach ball, and some other craziness. Throw 4 golf carts into the mix, each with a driver and a bowman. How do you know if you’ve won? Well each cart has 4 balloons attached, one to each corner and when your opponents burst all your balloons you are out of the game.

I’m not sure if this will catch on, in fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t. But these guys have a lot of fun.

Dude those archery trick shots are amazing….!

Once again the guys from Dude Perfect, who seem to have a lot of fun, give us a great compilation of archery trick shots. Using a combination of recurve and compound bows there are about 10-15 tricks in this YouTube video. Some aren’t the greatest feats of archery you’ll ever see, nothing like the Byron or Lars archery videos but they’re pretty good and must have taken more than a few takes to get right.

What’s in the Video?

Basketball rope trick – A longshot splitting a rope holding a basketball over a hoop.

Pendulum – Hitting a swinging pendulum target.

The William Tell – If you didn’t know, this is shooting an apple off someone’s head!

Clout Dunk – A basketball arrow dunked at distance. Pretty similar to an accurate clout archery shot, but with a heavy arrow.

Lit Cande – A shot that puts out a lit candle.

Archery  Skeet Shoot Off – The Dude Perfect skeet archery shoot off has several rounds, this looks like a fun one to try.

Bank Shot – Shooting an arrow through a tube, round a corner and hitting a target.

Underwater Pin Smasher – How accurate can you be shooting into the pool?

Thrown Ring – Shooting a target at the same time as a ring is passing over it is all about timing!

Balloon Buster – One for a kids party, shooting a line of 5 balloons and bursting them all.

Drive By – Drive by archery.

Longshot – A 300 yard target shot. I wonder how many takes this one took!

Wait, there’s more!!!

Lars Andersen Answers his Critics

Since the posting of his incredible New Level of Archery video Lars Andersen has had many millions of viewers, some of whom aren’t happy with some of the things he covers. Lars has posted a second short video that hits back at some of his critics and explains his methods.

Can He Really Do Those Things?

Well, in short, the answer is yes, but some of them are luck. He can grab an arrow out of the air pretty regularly, but not from a high draw weight bow. He can grab an arrow out of the air when his back it turned, but Lars admits that this is a lucky attempt.

How many tries did it take to split an arrow by shooting it into a blade? He does this again and you can clearly see it’s 2-3 or three attempts. Not something he can do every time. He’s also only shooting from short range, but he can still split an arrow from 10 feet and demonstrates this. It’s harder to do from close range because in order to split an arrow it has to be flying straight. Archers paradox kicks in more at shorter ranges which actually makes it slightly easier to split arrows from a distance.

Lars also admits that he’s yet to master the art of shooting an arrow through a ring after tossing the ring into the air. That’s one shot that eludes him.

Hollywood Isn’t Wrong

Yeah, some archers will have used the back quiver. Hollywood didn’t invent it after all. The issue Lars is trying to portray is that due to impracticality it wouldn’t have been as popular as they seem to think.

Sources and Inspirations

Arab Archery and Saracen Archery are 2 of the sources Lars used when researching his original video.

He also reveals that he is himself inspired by other archers called Murat Ozveri, Cozmei Mihai and Lajos Kassai.

Lars doesn’t claim to have invented his method, he can’t be the first to have ever done these things. But what he does claim is to be one of the first to have learned how to do these things in recent history.

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