The thumb technique allows you to carry out a smoother nocking motion compared to the Mediterranean technique. P1070924As the arrow is placed on the right side of the arrow, it doesn’t have to be threaded between the string and bow arm. Of course the nocking procedure demonstrated here requires some practice. Its big advantage is that it allows you to keep the target in sight throughout. In addition it looks smoother and in my opinion also more elegant.

Before I start nocking, I need to pick up the arrow and again this is easier. I don’t have to grip the arrow at its notch, but can just hold it anywhere along the shaft; again this is much easier to do without looking.

  • Next I simply place the arrow along the right side of the bow (the bow arm is already held level with the target) and hold it in place using the middle and forefinger of the bow hand.


  • Then I move my hand along the shaft over the fletching towards the notch; (Please be careful when using carbon shafts – stubborn and painful splinters result from damaged shafts!)


  • I then hold the notch between the thumb and forefinger of the drawing hand (A thumb ring won’t get in the way, as long as its lip isn’t too large) and push the arrow towards the front, using the string to guide me until the notch is touching the string.


  • Now I let the string to slip between the ball of my thumb and the notch, until I hear the string click into the notch opening.


  • From now on use your thumb ring to hold arrow, tighten the grip with your drawing hand (next chapter) and – most importantly – release the arrow from your middle/forefinger at the front. Make sure that the bow hand has returned to its initial position. You can see that throughout this procedure I was able to focus on the target.


  • Nock point or not? A question probably many people ask themselves. Of course you can use a nock point with this technique. I only have a small mark on the string for occasional control, but not an “elevated” point. If I notch the arrow without looking at the string and my gaze is fixed only on the target, I often notch the arrow right over the nock point. This is a good thing of course, but if I have an “elevated” nock point, it gets in the way of notching the arrow. This is why I “only” use a mark. Alternatively you could notch the arrow clearly above or below the nock point and then move the arrow towards the point. You can also attach a metal nock point to the string, or tie some fine sewing thread around the string and fix it with glue. This works just as well and is less damaging to the string than metal.



proceed with:    The Drawing Hand