Sticks and string


We went to Archery today and I had a go with a longbow for the first time.

I didn’t take any photos  (I wasn’t that good ) but it felt completely different to the bows we have been using .

Let me explain. We have been using recurve bows. They have a central riser with a cut out in one side so that the arrow flies straight. Then you have two limbs that attach top and bottom which curve back away from the riser. You have to use a stringer to pull the limbs back so you can attach the string. The bows are made of metal and carbon fiber, the arrows are metal or carbon fibre.

I have been using junior bows with either 14 or 16 pounds of pressure on them, that means it only takes a light pressure to pull the sting back sufficiently to shoot the arrows. I’ve hit a few golds but its hard to work out your aim and I have been using sites to try and aim.

So today one if the other archery members had brought along his longbow “a couple I sticks and a string” and that’s basically what it is. No sights, a rubber band round the shaft of the bow if you want to help you aim. The bow is one long peice of wood, usually English Yew which is naturally laminated and springy. No “window” or bend in the wood, so your arrows have to go round the bow,  you have to aim off to get them on target. You also have to make sure that the arrow is the right way round, with the cock feather towards you so the other two don’t catch on the bow. The arrows are wooden with metal tips, and feathers cut down to shape for flights. You have to wear a glove so the arrow which rests on the top of your hand does not leave splinters in you as the arrow is shot. The other change was that the bow was 35 pounds of pressure, more than twice what I have been pulling! It was hard work, my shots were all around the target and I didn’t hit a gold no matter how I tried. I couldn’t hit the middle of the boss  (target). But I really took to it and want to have another try.


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