personal longbow technique
- Here's my two cents on the longbow/recurve issue. First, many thanks to Godwin fitzGilbert de
Striguil for posting the links to the pictures of longbows and recurves. It did occur to me that
very new archers might appreciate being able to *see* the difference, but I never got round to
I use both a longbow and a recurve. My recurve has stiffer limbs, pulls at a higher weight, and
has a stiffer string (it's very old and needs replacing), so it tends to wear me out faster, and
my string fingers get swollen and sore, even with a set of leather shooting fingers. I've used
better recurves, with much smoother action, and if I had one, I'd probably use it a lot.
Most of the time, though, I use a rough-finish "warbow" longbow I bought at www.woodbows.com
(actually, I got it on e-bay using the "buy-it-now" option for less than the retail price on the
website). It has a very smooth action, and a flemish string (thick and braided) that is kind to my
fingers. I covered the polyester handle wrapping with leather lacing (square cut in cross-section)
and Titebond Wood Glue. No arrow shelf, though - it's ambidextrous.
To keep the arrows from slipping off the bow while I aim (I have accident-related arthritis in
both hands), I tilt the bow about ten degrees to the right if I'm shooting right-handed, and to
the left if I shoot left-handed. Then I can rest the arrow in the narrow V between the bow and my
bow hand. I wear an old driving glove on my bow hand to keep the arrows from scarring my hand as
they leave the bow. This summer, I cut off the glove's extra fingers - didn't want to steam my
hand in the heat!
I don't use fancy matched arrows; I use practice arrows I made myself (and I'm proud to say I
still have all 22 of my first batch). My reasoning is that probably nobody had perfect arrows in
the Middle Ages; arrows are just ammo; and I don't mind losing the practice ones. I've gotten good
enough at making practice arrows that I can barter them for things I can't make myself - I'm
currently trading 2 dozen arrows for a Viking chair. *Those* arrows are matched to the shooter,
and much better quality than my practice arrows (they're for a friend, and use deer sinew wrap and
turkey feather fletching from animals provided by two of our friends, and the cresting is Saranac
Black & Tan beer bottle labels provided by the shooter, while the shafts are painted to resemble a
foaming glass of Guinness - tres kewl!).
If you do make your own arrows, I discovered early on that white arrows are MUCH easier to find in
the grass when you miss, and those horrid flourescent nocks shine like a beacon.
Sorry for the length of the post - don't get me started on my favorite obsession!
Cesira Blackwork della Ougley
(aka Cesira Isabetta Meloria da Chavallerio della Vale)
Shire of Coldwood, East Kingdom
Your pirate name is:
Bloody Bess Read
Every pirate lives for something different. For some, it's the open sea. For others (the masochists), it's the food. For you, it's definitely the fighting. Even though many pirates have a reputation for not being the brightest souls on earth, you defy the sterotypes. You've got taste and education. Arr!
Find your pirate name here: http://www.fidius.org/quiz/pirate.php
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