A Germantown, Wisconsin teen’s passion takes him around the globe. Blaze Ruffing is a freshman in high school and a World Champion Archer.
Ruffing practices archery every day and it is paying off for the 15-year old.
“I’ve won outdoor nationals grand national champion the past two years and outdoor target nationals this year. And I just won the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas,” Ruffing said.
The teenagers interest in competitive archery began like many hobbies do for kids — emulating a parent.
“I got my first bow when I was 10 years old. I’m really into hunting because of my dad and I just took it from there,” Ruffing said.
Three years later his archery skills had him looking at different targets”I got in an archery league here in Germantown. When I went to a local tournament in Janesville, Wisconsin and won that really got me into it a lot more. That year I actually shot state and I did very well. My dad promised me if I shot a 258 in X rings he would take me to Nationals. I did and we went to Nationals. I got fourth place and I was pretty stoked with that. After that I started doing the archery circuit,” Ruffing said.
Archery success came quickly for Ruffing and so did his ability to concentrate — surprising his father Matt. “I thought it would end up like the BMX bike or the dirt bike — something he used for a couple of months and lost interest,” Matt Ruffing said.
But Blaze’s interest in archery was more than just a passing fancy.
“When I taught him how to shoot I got him started on the right track and once he passed me up, I said ‘we need to get you some good professional coaching,'” Matt Ruffing said.
That’s where George Ryles and his summer Archery Camp came in.
Blaze Ruffing said, “I went down to Georgia where George Ryles is to attend his archery summer camp. I got along good with all the guys and learned a lot and started shooting a lot better,”
While the travel can be expensive, Ruffing has found a way to make the trips to his tournaments affordable.
“My coach, made up this torqueless D loop. It eliminates torque on the bow string. If you clip your release onto the bowstring, the string spins when shot, which makes a non-accurate shot at distances. I started selling those to one of the biggest distributor in the country and it’s pretty much funded all my archery in the past year-and-a-half,” Ruffing said.
As Ruffing focuses on the center of the target for each shot, he also focuses on his future, and how his success can push him towards his goals.
“Eventually I’d like to make a living in archery and be the best,” Ruffing said.
Ruffing said the biggest thing about archery is just being relaxed. He said it’s 99 percent mental and remembering to have fun helps in hitting the target.