General >> General Slinging Discussion >> Accuracy Plus Power

Message started by Whipartist on Sep 4th, 2003 at 9:20pm

Title: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Whipartist on Sep 4th, 2003 at 9:20pm
I've been slinging off and on for about 10 years, but just found this message board the other day.  It's really awesome to have a place to discuss the sling now.  So thank-you Chris!  

I've observed a sad compromise with slinging.  Long slings have power, short slings have accuracy.  I guess I want my cake and eat it too.  I like having both in one package.

I've used leather slings and also braided my own out of string or yarn, being a whipmaker.  The whole time I've been slinging, I've been trying to understand how to gain the accuracy I believe is possible, while not sacrificing power.  Power has never been a problem with me.  I started out with 50"-55" slings with a side arm throw and I could achieve very good range.  I believe just under 200 yards is my best guess.  But no accuracy, just rough direction.  It used to be fun to cut branches right out of the walnut trees 50 yards into a field of weeds behind my house.  I would go down to the local concrete dealer and purchase big buckets of rocks to quickly loose out into the distance.  

More recently (last couple years)  I've been making shorter split pouch slings, about 33" for improved accuracy.  While power has been sacrificed some, I don't believe it has that much.  I typically have used a 3 swing wind up over head and then a diagnal baseball throw for the final in the past.  I've gotten great power this way and good directional accuracy but difficulty hitting small targets.

A few years back I saw an Hebrew man on tv, who could hit a small watermelon from about 20 yards.  He used a sling about 25" long I'd say, and a single rotation with no wind up.  Just sling resting at side, up around over his head horizontally, and final release in a vertical or diagnal throw.  I appreciated his accuracy, but I was too power hungry to go to that short a sling after experimenting and finding it's seeming limits.  

So lately I've been experimenting more with techniques and so on.  I've been using this Hebrew man's technique with my 33" slings and found it to be pretty good.  I'm not hitting watermelon's yet but I can hit a 8' by 6' tarp from 20 yards.  Still not what I'm after as far as accuracy but better than earlier in my career.  Power seems to be about 80% with his technique.  With wind up I can get better power but, accuracy suffers.  

I've observed that longer slings are less accurate though typically more powerful.

I'm wondering if anyone on this board has done any work with shorter slings under 28"?

I've also wondered if there is some secret to this whole thing.  If so I hope that we can discover it on this board.  

Possible ideas....

Is there is a perfect length sling for every individual, that parallels a baseball throw and a sling throw to the same timing in release for that individual?

Or is the secret that to obtain accuracy, one must use a short sling and give up his craving for power?

Or if the secret is just consistent repetition over and over again for hours on end?

Technique is another factor considered.  The techniques are all different.  

What length slings have our members tried?  And what have they noticed about them as far as power and accuracy are concerned?

And anyone who has good power with accuracy to consistently hit a watermelon at say 25 yards.  Tell us how you do it.    



Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by LeonX22 on Sep 4th, 2003 at 9:29pm
I'm not up to 25 yards yet Ben, but just give me a couple months.  The watermelon will be mine!!!

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

hehe...probably not, but I'll give it a try.


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Chris on Sep 4th, 2003 at 11:52pm
Welcome Ben!

The overhead technique you and Leon (and many others) use is good for short-range accuracy.  I recommend reading Bill Blohm's ďSlinging advice for beginnersĒ in the articles section.  Lots of people email me saying that there was little tidbits of advice they found helpful.  

Itís pretty obvious that longer slings are trickier because the extra length causes the pouch to rotate faster (and provide additional power).  This in turn makes it harder to hit the right spot + or - a few degrees, because the ideal window of time is compressed.  There's really no way to avoid this unless your rotate slower, which would defeat the purpose.

In order to take real advantage of extra cord length, you really need to become a slinging master, which is no easy task.  And really, to be a true master, you need to have been slinging from birth.  Slings are still a part of growing up in several cultures in Africa, many pacific islands, and others.  If you've been exposed to slings from birth, it becomes second nature; a true extension of your own arm.  It's like throwing a ball, something most of us do from very young.  If you first started throwing a ball when you were 25, you wouldn't be nearly as proficient, even with years of practice.  But to most of us, it's a piece of cake.  Now, thatís not to say you canít become very skilled.  You still can with practice and patience.  

Itís all about consistency with slinging.  Forget about hitting a tin can for now.  The key is to miss in the same place every time :).  Once youíve gotten the consistency, then itís just a matter of tweaking your release so that you shift your misses onto the target.   If you are firing all over the place, donít invest the time in getting it on the target every time, it just wonít happen and youíll get frustrated.  Itís your release thatís letting you down.   Focus on getting a consistent release and then getting pinpoint accuracy is attainable.

Keep up posted on how you do.  And as always, weíd love to see some pictures of those slings!


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by nemesis_3003 on Sep 5th, 2003 at 12:17am
ive always tried to make a split pouch tht worked but couldnt could someone tell me thx

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by nemesis_3003 on Sep 5th, 2003 at 12:19am
how to make one tht is

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Whipartist on Sep 5th, 2003 at 3:58am
Thanks for the great replies guys.  That article was great, I don't know how I missed it before.  Bill Blohm is obviously very knowledgeable.  I'll keep you posted on my practice and results and stuff.  I need some more baseballs for now.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get some more.  I made a special sling for practice with the baseballs.  It has a big split in the pouch to accomodate them.  

I think James Burdine is the man, as far as sling making is concerned Jack.  He's the most studied and skilled that I've heard of online.  I personally have tried doing the traditional method of making a split pouch by using wraps on verticals (atleast I think that's the terminology).  It was difficult to hide the verticals under the wraps, though the idea is straight forward enough.  I tried it with yarn recently.  Burdine uses Nylon and dyes it himself.  It seems you need enough strands in your vertical elements inorder to be able to wrap them cleanly.  But when you achieve this you end up with so many strands in your sling that braiding the thongs is a challenge.  Atleast the way I tried it.  I believe James has a post somewhere on this board on how he does it.  I guess experimentation is the key to success.  

I just found a few books on Andean braids I'm going to study here when they come.  I'll see if I can come up with a way to do it more easily for myself.  In the meantime I've been using a knotting technique used for friendship bands.  I got the book at the craft store and figured out the rest myself.  It involves knotting parallel strands onto each other in diagnal rows.  

Chris, I'll send you some pictures tonight or maybe tomorrow.  You should consider putting up a Sling Gallery on your website.  If you do that you can post them there if you want but I'm not sure how to post pictures right to the board.  Which by the way, your website is awesome just for existing!  


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Chris on Sep 5th, 2003 at 1:46pm
Once the site has generated enough pictures, I'll set a up a dedicated gallery page.  So far I think four people have put pictures up of their slings.  I think once we get to ten, we'll do it.  


P.S.  Pictures received.

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by David_T on Sep 8th, 2003 at 12:53am
Hey Ben and others,

I am brand new to slings and SLINGING IS ADDICTIVE!

Our pastor does a commentary on Proverbs each day, and one verse mentioned the sling. He sent us a link to a web site giving some info on slings. I was hooked and looked up every site I could find.

That was two months ago. I found a site that gave "20 steps to a sling" so I was up one night till dawn trying to find out how to make the various knots and braids  that were mentioned. I have now made six slings from 24" (for my 10 year old) to 33".

We live just a half mile from a concrete plant so my son and I road our bikes over to it. We hit the jackpot! Behind the main plant is an area the size of about two football fields. They recycle old conrete. They have piles of old broken up roads  which they dump into a machine that grinds the large chunks of concrete into sizes from half a brick to golf ball size. There 20' high piles of "ammo" all over and two large water ponds.

We found an old crushed 50 gallon barrel just on the other side of a small pond about 80 yards from the "ammo". That barrel now has an old work shirt, a 5 gallon plastic bucket for a head, rebar to hold the arms out, and wire mess for a breastplate. My son even gave him a name, "George the Roman" We go there mabe 2-3 times a week for an hour and shoot at George. A month ago we never came close but the spashing water and flying dirt still made it a blast! Now in an hours time we will hit him 5-6 times. Boy does a tennis ball size chunk of concrete dent a plastic bucket!

In the first website on slings that I saw, there was what looked to be an ancient drawing of a slinger. I have copied his     od ever since but have not heard of anyone else using it. Using baseball terminology, If the pitcher were the target, you would have the stance of the batter(assuming you are right-handed) the feet are shoulder length apart, the left foot is closest to the pither. Your left hand is holding the pouch with stone and pointed staight out at the pitcher(target) elbow locked. The right hand is directly above the head or just touching the head, elbow bent and the sling lines are taut. You then release the pouch swinging the right hand either in a three quarter to side-armed pitching motion or an underhand softball pithing motion. No swinging around or wind-up.

The larger the stone, (fist size for me) the easier it is to use the underhand motion- less strain on the arm and more distance. For 50 yards or closer I always use the 3/4 to side-arm motion.

The only problem with crushed concrete is that it is very sharp and cuts the cords that are woven thru the top and bottom edge of the pouch. I now run a bead of hot glue over the edges of the pouch to protect the cord. It works great. I also was amazed to find that I could use hot glue to make my release node. After a month the first one came off so I just made another one.

As I said, I am brand new but severely hooked on slinging! I have also found that having played baseball for years I also use the leg motion of a picher- I bring the left knee up and back to my right leg, push off with my right leg and bringing my left leg back toward the target. I end up with all my weight on the left foot. I get more distance with less strain.

Send me your feed back!! Thanks for your website!

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Whipartist on Sep 8th, 2003 at 1:44am

Sounds like you and your son are having quite a bit of fun together!  Sounds great.  My pastor preached on David and Goliath today!!  Yet hardly talked about slings at all.  I felt jipped!  I love that passage so I had high expectations I suppose!  Check out Judges 20:16 (I think that's the right passage).  That's good accuracy!  The whole art must have been highly cultivated in cultures like the Hebrew one.  

I'm new to the forum too.  One in a million people has ever seen a sling used, let alone used one.  And so it's great to share and learn information with the others who love the sport too.  We are rediscovering a lost art.  Slinging is addictive because it's such a skill and challenge.  There is always room for improvement and it's such a unique and awesome sport.  Never know when you'll run into a giant with a big head that needs to be split open either.

Your technique sounds interesting.  On the History Channel a few years back they had a program called "Arms in Action."  They had one episode called "Slings and Spears"  And while not spectacular, I was happy the sling was covered at all.  The English dudes who did the show used a technique similar to what I think you're describing.  They didn't drop the pouch from their left hands, if that's what you mean, but they did do a back and forward underhand swing without a single full rotation, only a swing.  It seemed to work well for them, they were getting good range.  The sling they were using looked like the old woven one that Chris put posted on the board recently.  It was possibly larger though.

Another opposite technique I've experimented with is pouch in left hand extended in front, cords behind head, held taught- then drop the pouch behind the back directly to an overhand pitch resulting in 3/4 rotation before release overhead.  It was accurate but seemed to lack power.  The key seems to be to stick with what you like best.  I suppose in the highest cultivation of the art, we may find one day, if we keep experimenting, that there is one superior technique for this or that application.  For now we all need to do our best with the technique we are using and find out what results we have after we become proficient.    

Look at me, I'm becoming a philosopher of slings.  And I'm afraid I'm not very good at it, forgive me!  


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Chris on Sep 9th, 2003 at 1:12am
Welcome to the site David!  

It sounds like you've got a real great place to sling!  Im sure many of our city-locked members would be jealous.

I'd love to offer some advice, but you seem to have got it all figured out.  Could you find the link to that site again; the one with 20 steps?  It sounds like a helpful page and i'd love to add it to the links list.


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by LeonX22 on Sep 9th, 2003 at 9:15am
Jealous........hmmmm.....yes we are.   ;)

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by David_T on Sep 11th, 2003 at 2:49pm
Hey Chis,

I love your site!  I'm hooked. You already have the "20 Steps to A Sling".  It is the first item on your "Link" list ---"Slings" You go down in the article to a "sling Braiding" link they have. There is an easy and fast     od, and then the instructions for the braided one I made.

When I get so time I will send you the web site I found on how to do the various braids. I looked and looked, and most explainations and pictures on how to braid must have been write by the mentally impaired. I finally found one that gave great pics and explainations.

I am also going to experiment on making ammo. Playdo comes in little "eggs" I am doing some concrete work today and I am going to fill one with concrete?  I am also going to cut a tennis ball in two and fill it. A $2 bag of Quick Crete would make a lot of ammo if I can come up with a fast "production" system.

Take Care.


PS I'm in SC near Greenville. Anyone around there?

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Chris on Sep 11th, 2003 at 8:03pm
I know those egg things you are talking about.  You can actually purchase those empty.  They sell them in bags for events like easter (to put candies or little toys in).  You could probably get a big bag for a few bucks.  You could then mix up the concrete, like you suggest, and just scoop up the concrete into the shells and seal them for a few hours.  The process would be pretty quick I think.  You could also paint / spray paint them for easier location (silver would make them look like the real thing!).  

I really encourage you to try this.  Please report back and take pictures of the process!  It's would also make a great article.


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by David_T on Sep 11th, 2003 at 10:33pm

Great idea--the paint that is. I was wondering how I would ever find them since I and my son are not quite to the accuracy of those Benjaminites in the Bible who could sling "at a hairs breadth and not miss!"

I was too much in a hurry and the egg one came apart when I opened it. The tennis ball was in one piece and should be hardened by morning.

I will try the extra hard setting concrete to see how much better they last.


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Chris on Sep 11th, 2003 at 11:32pm
As far as I know, concrete dries as the moisture evaporates and the mixture sets.  In a sealed plastic container, it's hard for that moisture to escape.  However, putting tiny pin holes all over it should improve the drying time considerably.  Because the concrete mixture is so thick, it wouldn't leak out or affect the shape (you can always sand it down a bit too).  

For maximal color effect, find some neon paint!  Day glow orange my man!!  If you want to be really freaky, get some glow in the dark paint and head out one night.  


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by David_T on Sep 12th, 2003 at 7:49am
Chris ,

Boys and their toys! We must have too much time on our hands. Glow in the dark hey? Now we are talking "slingstone tracers! Cool!!

Good idea for holes on the molds


Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by Todd on Sep 14th, 2003 at 10:07am
                I tried the concrete in the egg method a time or two myself. These "Easter eggs" come cheap at Wal-Mart the day after. Easter, that is. Second hand stores, GoodWill, Dollar Tree, ect. I used fast setting mortar 'cause it is smoother (no gravel) and sets in about 8 minutes. This is available at any hardware store. Problem. It sets fast, which is good, but I could only mix a two egg batch at a time or it would just set up in the bowl. Also had trouble getting the "egg" off afterwards. I gave it up and just left the plastic on. A couple of impacts did the job for me. I dropped the whole idea after awhile due to the amount of production time per egg. I did figure out, during this phase, that if I filled only half the egg with quick setting hobby plaster (less than 5 minutes) put it back together and rolled it round and round in my hand, the plaster coated the inside surface and produced a hollow plaster egg!
                   What I want is a pick-up full of ammo fast and cheap enough to "let lay". Think about this. If you were to take a length of corrugated steel drain pipe, mounted in such away that it will rotate on an incline (with rotation and incline adjustable), you should be able to drop a pre-measured scoop of "stiff" morter in one end. As it rolls inside of and down the spiral groove, it will (should, might) set up in a spherical shape as fast as you can scoop it in. That is my theory anyway. An incline may not be needed.
                  Anyway, there you go.

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by BRENT on Sep 17th, 2003 at 1:16pm
i also have an idea, you can get sculpey at wal mart or micheals in blaze orange,put a 50. caliber black powder sabot or ball in a american footbalshaped piece of sculpey.heavy,accurate,and very easy to find after slinging it....... perfect.
i live in charlotte,NC but my bro just started at furman univ you probly know.brent,my email,

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by David_T on Sep 17th, 2003 at 10:22pm

Cool Idea!! You should give it a try. I may if I ever find time.  Dave

Title: Re: Accuracy Plus Power
Post by David_T on Jun 12th, 2004 at 9:23pm
I thought I would re-introduce this topic. When I first found this forum I learned alot from it.

I thought the new members would find it informative. Us old guys may learn some more if people ask questions and we all contribute what we can. Forum » Powered by YaBB 2.5.2!
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