String MAintenance

By Paul Van Tassel

Maintenance and upkeep on equipment is important for any piece of equipment.
You wouldn’t ignore maintenance on your car and your bow should not be any different. One common topic of discussion in the shop is waxing bow string/cables and the most common questions in that area are “how often should the string/cables be waxed?” and “how much wax do you need?”.

In my years on the archery field and in ranges, I have seen a variety of methods for waxing the string/cables, some seem logical while others seem quite excessive. The most important factor for me when I consider waxing my strings is protection from the environment and so for me personally, I am most concerned with protection from the rain because it is the environmental factor that I face most often in tournaments. While it is not anything special by any means, my own method for waxing my string/cables has evolved over time as I have shot in different conditions and listened to the experts on the topic.
My own decision regarding when I should wax the string/cables on my bow is based on how dry my strings look/feel, the season and how the forecast relates to my practice and competition schedule. If it is indoor season, I will not worry about rain or the environment much and will essentially keep just enough wax on the string/cables so that they are not totally bone dry. If it is 3D/outdoor season, I will be a lot more aware of both the condition of the string and the forecast in which I will be practicing/competing. I will keep the strings with as little wax as possible on them but I will be much more proactive ensuring that they keep a minimal coating of wax so they can repel water if necessary. With all of that being said though, I may only wax my strings two or three times a year.
Based on the criteria that I have described, it is important that I select the right wax so that I can accomplish my goals. There are many types of wax on the market and I always look for a wax that is designed for today’s modern strings I currently have a couple different types of wax kicking around my home shop, BCY ML6 wax and the Bohning Seal Tite wax. Both of those waxes are silicone based and are much softer than some of the older waxes designed for strings that are not used on today’s compound bows. I hope this helps you with the maintenance of your own equipment. Best of luck with your archery, wherever it may take you.