- Gear List
In high school, Reo Wilde’s target panic was so bad that he stopped shooting for a couple of years. “I wouldn’t be able to count to one before I would collapse. I couldn’t get the arrow off,” says Reo.
One of the greatest archers in the sport almost walked away.
It was his father and his own desire to go to Vegas that brought Reo back to archery at the age of 19. “I wanted to go to Vegas and shoot. I came up with a way to fix the panic with help from my dad. I have shot ever since.”
Reo credits that Vegas trip for launching his career in archery. But it is his love for the sport and his competitive nature that have kept him going.
“I love the head to head indoor formats. It really shows who shoots the best. Outdoors is the same. The head to head is simply one of my strengths.”
Reo is known among professional archers for leaning back when he shoots, an unusual posture that few coaches would recommend. “My dad tried to fix it when I was younger but then saw it just worked so left it alone.”
Reo turned pro at the age of 20 as a result of a deal that he made with his father. “My Dad and I made a deal that he would pay all my dues and entry fees to shoot in the PAA indoor nationals,” said Reo. “If I won, he would get to keep the winnings. I thought it was a pretty good deal. I did win and gave him the check.”
Reo’s success has continued year after year since then. In 2010 he was able to quit his day job and make archery a full-time career.
Reo credits archery for giving him some of the greatest experiences of his life.
In 2006, Reo Wilde won the World Cup Finals in Mexico with a perfect score. His wife was watching from the coach’s box.
Family support has always been an important part of Reo’s career. “It is fun to watch archery on YouTube and have my little girl clap when dad shoots.”
The encouragement that began with Reo’s dad continues with his wife and two daughters who appreciate that Reo is the same husband and father whether he wins or loses a competition.
“You get out of archery what you put into it,” says Reo. “The hard work is always worth it.”
Keeping it simple
“My shot process is pretty simple,” says Reo. “I think the simple part is big. I work on my shooting enough to give myself confidence to trust my shot so all I have to do is think about aiming and letting the bow do its job.”
When it comes to “letting the bow do its job,” Reo believes that understanding your equipment and setting it up properly is an important factor in competitive performance. “Setting it up to help you shoot better is a big key in consistency. Practice just helps you to understand that more.”
Reo spends an hour or more per day adjusting his equipment while he shoots. He pays close attention to the adjustments that make him shoot better.
Draw length is an important one. “Draw length is a big part of how a bow aims and how forgiving it is when you make a bad shot,” says Reo.
Reo uses a 4x scope lens with a dot that is about the size of the ten ring. Stabilizers have helped Reo with shot execution by slowing down the dot during aim.
“I spend a lot of time group tuning and making my equipment as forgiving as it can be. I don’t paper tune unless there is some really bad flight I can’t get rid of.”
Reo uses a thumb button release when shooting outdoors. “I can pull and be more aggressive in the wind, if need be. I never punch it because it will make more problems for me.”
Indoors, Reo uses a hook or back tension release. “This release helps me to be more relaxed and execute the shot.”
When training for an event, Reo practices every day, shooting about four times as many arrows as he will during a day of competition. He also goes to the gym regularly for strength training.
Keeping it fun
While archery is hard work, Reo realizes that having fun is also an important part of being successful. On and off the range, Reo strives to enjoy life to its fullest.
He plays background music while he shoots, anything from classic rock to rap or country.
Give him a Friday night to do as he pleases and he’ll likely go out for Italian and follow it up with a silly movie.
Reo also hunts frequently in his home state of Idaho and enjoys relaxing with a fishing reel or golf club in his hand.
Goals for the coming year
Reo has set his sights high for the coming year. “I have won two of the three each year over the last two years. I want to win all three of the NFAA three star events this year.”
With hard work, Reo also believes that he can repeat as the world outdoor champion.
- Reo Wilde Photos