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How to choose a longbow?

When choosing your bow, there are several criteria to take into account. These include the type of archery you want to do, the size, the power, etc.

As for the longbow, since it is a fairly basic bow without any tricks, its use requires a great deal of knowledge of the weapon used, as well as in archery. This is why the longbow is favoured by experienced archers who practice instinctive and intuitive shooting.

There are many models of longbow available on the market, but you still need to know which one to choose.

How much does a longbow cost

The cost of a longbow depends mainly on the brand, the materials chosen for its manufacture (wood, plastic, carbon, fibreglass, Micarta, etc.), the model (design, size and power). Keeping the latter in mind, it should be noted that the longbow can come in several models. There are in particular :

  • Dismountable longbow: like recurve bows, this type of bow can be dismantled into one or three pieces. They are often made of several layers of wood and fibreglass.
  • Hybrid longbow: These are longbows with wider limbs that do not always curve towards their tip. In fact, their limbs curve from the riser and flatten out to the tip.
  • The modern longbow: This type of longbow uses a reflex/deflex design to optimise its performance in recurve bows.
  • The handmade longbow: this is a bow made by manufacturers, but also a handmade production made by real specialists in bow making. These bow makers have to take into account many parameters to create a unique object. There is for example the choice of the variety of wood, the work of the form, the size and the power to the archer, etc.

Depending on these criteria, longbows can be found on the market in a price range from just under 100 euros to 1000 euros.

How to shoot/aim with a longbow

As mentioned above, the longbow is more focused on instinctive or intuitive shooting. To know how to shoot/aim with your longbow, all you have to do is apply a gesture.

    • Get into a good, steady, grounded posture;
    • Hold the handle of the bow, according to your laterality;
    • Place your bow down and position the arrow notch on the string, the tube on the arrow rest. If you don't have one, simply use your hand in the handle to act as an arrow rest;
    • Bring the bow back in front of you;
    • Place your arm (slightly bent) to help push in while cocking the bow;
    • Stretch the rope until it touches the face;
    • While remaining in this position, focus on the target;
    • Work on the back;
    • And go to bed.

When you look at it that way, it's very similar to classical archery. But what is really important in this exercise is to be rigorous in the technique. In fact, it is the visual intent and repetition of the technique that will allow you to be consistent in your shots.

Also, it is important to know that this gesture is a technique like any other. Therefore, it has both advantages and disadvantages. What is really important is to know that archery remains an adaptation to each archer.

Best longbow

The best longbow is obviously one made from yew wood. This tree has a heartwood that resists compression (so it is positioned at the belly of the bow) and a sapwood that resists extension (so part of it is left at the back of the bow). In this way, the bow becomes softer (breaks less and allows for greater reach), more powerful and has a greater range. Apart from yew wood, you can find other alternative woods for making longbows. There are for example elm, ash, hazel, oak, etc.

Some manufacturers opt for exotic wood bow handles with internal reinforcements for better rigidity and stability. Others opt for Gordon fibre limbs, with a central core of Ash and outer blades of grained Olive, reinforced with Micarta headstocks.

Tip: Like all thick wooden bows, the longbow needs to be broken in gradually in order to be able to withstand a long draw. To do this, it must be waxed regularly to protect it from the sun, rain and wood-eating insects.