Traditional bow – what you need to know

A traditional bow may be a longbow or a recurve bow, without sights, stabilisers, or other accessories. They do not normally come apart the way ‘takedown’ recurve bows do. A longbow has straight limb tips at either end of the bow and the recurve bow has curved tips. Archers shoot traditional bows in all the major types of archery, so you’ll see traditional shooters in target archery, field archery, 3D archery.

What is special about traditional bows?

Traditional archery means different things to different people. For some, it means technological simplicity. For others, it means coming as close as possible to an historical ideal.

Traditional bows may be made from laminated layers of different woods or natural materials. They may also combine wood and fiberglass laminated limbs. Another type of traditional bow is a ‘selfbow’, which is a longbow made from a single piece of wood.

What to look for in a traditional bow

For both longbows and traditional recurves, a good rule of thumb is to make sure the bow is slightly shorter than the archer. It should also have a relatively low draw weight, regardless of the archer’s natural strength.

Most archers begin with a simple, affordable bow so they can learn the basics of the sport. They then move to a more advanced bow when they are comfortable with shooting and are ready to start competing.

A traditional bow should:

• Match your eye dominance

• Be matched to your draw length

• Have a light draw weight that you can easily draw and control

• Be affordable, but good enough quality to be able to grow with the archer during the first 6-12 months of shooting

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