In case you are using full or partial hemp string, the kusune is needed. If
not, you don't have to use it. Personally, I don't know anyone here in
Finland using a full hemp string. Some advanced shooters have tried them but
they break easily and are very expensive. We have several people who use
Kevlar/hemp mixture strings with kusune. The reason for using hemp is that
it throws the arrow faster than Kevlar.
At least for Heki Ryu Insai Ha, beginners start with Kevlar strings. Kevlar
strings come in a coil. After clipping the tapes off, you will have to be
very careful when opening up the string coil. If you just pull the string
straight, you will get many kinks to your string. These are always weak
To avoid this, just hang the string from one end and let if come to straight
shape by it's own weight. This may take a day or two.
The quick and dirty way is to uncoil the string by hand, puling it slowly
open while simultaneously rotating the string so that it opens up in a easy
way. Do not force it open. While rotating, try to keep the strands closed at
all times. Don't let kinks appear.
It is almost impossible to get a coiled string open without a kink, no
matter what you do.
When the string is uncoiled, attach the top end of the string to the top end
of the bow, pull it carefully straight while rotating the string from the
foot end if necessary. You need to rotate it so that all strands are closed
but not so much that the string will develop kinks.
Every time you string the bow, remember to repeat the twisting of the foot
end so that the strands will stay snugly closed. The string will stretch
somewhat when shooting, so it is necessary to twist it back just before next
stringing. The twisting will also help you to keep the string lenght the
same from practice to practice. Of course, you will measure the distance
between the bow handle and string after every stringing.
The normal way to store the string in use is to keep it attached to the bow.
Unstring the bow from the foot end, but keep the top end of the string
attached. Roll the string loosely a couple of times around the bow and
secure the foot end of the string to the foot end of the bow with for
example a rubber band.
Tsur_u_maki is used for holding a spare string, which has been prepared and
is ready for use. The spare string is rolled only once into the tsurumaki
and only once out. Repeated rolling in-out of the tsurumaki may cause the
string to develop kinks.
It is quite normal for a kyudo string to break. I have broken about five
Kevlar strings last year. The breakage points are typically at the nock,
near the top, or near the foot. If you have a lousy technique and a strong
bow (in kyudo a 30 pound bow is considered strong for a beginner), you'll
break a lot of strings. There are of course strings that last longer than
others, you can see it directly from the prize. For the cheap ones you get
typically 400 - 1000 shots before breakage.
So, try to avoid the kinks as much as possible to extend your string life.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2003 20:17
Subject: [SCA-Archery] also looking for info...
> Greetings to all on the list...
> I have had a (reaasonably friendly)run-in or two with line marshals
> who did not like my string...I shoot yumi with traditional kusune
> (pine pitch) rubbed up and down the length of the string. When I pull
> my tsura (string) out of the tsuramaki (string reel) there are
> sometimes kinks visible. Once I string the bow, and warm up the
> kusune, it is not possible to tell where these "kinks" are.
> Yet, the Marshals are sometimes concerned...
> Am I doing anything wrong? (I don't think so...) or is there a way to
> show to the Marshals I am not doing wrong?
> I have never had a string break, so I am not personally
> worried...but...you know...
> Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou Yukiie
> Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave...
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