The use of quivers, sights, and a secure stance make up the foundation of modern archery. They’re nonsense, says Lars Andersen, the world’s fastest archer, and he’s back with a new video highlighting incredibly cool tricks to make people rethink how they perceive the bow and arrow. Don’t try them at home, Lars filmed them in a controlled setting with professionals.
Viewed almost four million times, Lars’ first video from over two years ago became a huge hit. Now a new video awaits. Since the spread of the first viral phenomenon, Lars has consulted across the world. He’s trained actors, coordinated screenplays, and consulted for television productions. “People have been very open to learning about archery from me,” said Lars via email from Denmark. “It has been a big challenge for me.”
Andersen claimed that most of us have a distorted sense of history when it comes to the bow and arrow. “People have a perception of historic war archery, but their perception is completely wrong,” he said. For example, a quiver on one’s back might satisfactorily hold arrows if the archer is standing still, but when moving around like movie heroes, it doesn’t work. “It is probably the worst possible solution, with arrows falling out as they jump around,” said Lars.
Today’s archery is mostly stationary shooting on two-dimensional (or at least stationary) targets. “This was unknown historically and it requires thinking, aiming, and shooting completely differently.” For example, in his new video, Lars catches an arrow shot at him, and while still in mid air, returns the arrow before touching the ground. Yes, all in one motion. “Catching an arrow wasn’t really that hard to learn, but doing the trick while jumping in the air was the hardest trick I have done. Insanely hard.”
Another hard feat to master was hitting an arrow coming toward him. “There is no time to think,” said Lars. “I just look and ‘feel’ the arrow, aim, and shoot in a quick bodily movement.” It takes complete confidence and that, Lars claimed, was the hard part. “I spent eight years learning!”
The training occurred in a controlled environment with buffered (harmless) arrows and Lars reminded all video viewers never to try these tricks at home. It took eight years to work up to the stunt in his controlled environment with a professional team working with him. “I have accomplished this trick 12 times and it is still scary and crazy,” admitted Lars. “I don’t want anyone to try this at home and get hurt.”
Watch the video to see various shooting tricks, including jumping with shots mid-air, hanging upside down on monkey bars, running backwards, shooting with his feet, and, of course, both left- and right-handed rapid-fire shots. It is crazy how many ways Lars can shoot a bow and always hit his target—and to see how fast he can do it. His time for three arrows is down to 0.6 seconds, as shown in the new video. “It is probably close to the limit of what is physically possible to achieve,” said Andersen, who also shoots 10 rapidly rotating targets in 5.9 seconds.
Bamboo arrow shafts are Andersen’s material of choice, because they fly well and their strength holds up. Even so, he mistreats and destroys many arrows. He experiments with a plethora of historical arrowheads and strongly recommends practicing with harmless tips for some of these stunts. Lars teaches actors for movies, but dreams of teaching archery full-time. For now, it is only his hobby. He remains (without even a close rival) the fastest archer in the world.
K.J. Houtman is the author of the award-winning Fish On Kids Books series, chapter books for eight- to 12-year-olds with adventures based around fishing, camping, and hunting. Her work is available at Amazon and local bookstores. Find out more at fishonkidsbooks.com.
Images courtesy Lars Andersen