The longbow or as people in the archery world describe it as a bent stick. The longbow was originally used in the different wars as it would penetrate armour fatally injuring your enemy. These bows weighed approximately 60 – 120 lb draw weight. It would reach anything up to 200 – 250 yards away because they would shoot in great masses this was very effective in the war.
After the war it was recognised as a sport for the gentry this was religiously participated in on a Sunday. In certain parts of the country today it is still law that you shoot a bow between the hours of 7am and 11am in the mornings.
Over the last 60 years or so the bows have developed into a very competitive piece of equipment for archery as they have started to make bows from different types of wood laminated together to make them light, fast and very reliable. Today bows weigh 30 – 65lb; they are shot using a different technique from the war days. Bows are normally made up of Hickory, Lemonwood, Yew, Purpleheart, Ipe and Bamboo to name but a few, with horn for nocks and arrow plate. If you go to the more expensive bows they will feature more expensive types of wood and finer finishing on handles, nocks and strings.
Strings are made from Dacron, but some strings are made of linen and other materials bound together with bees wax and thinners to hold them together, which has no or very little stretch in it to give a very fast string.
With a longbow you must use wooden arrows; these are mostly made from Port Orford Cedar shafts or Scotch Pine. These have to be hand picked to get them straight, there are various different piles which are fitted to the end that enters the target, and a nock on the other end which fits onto the string of the bow. The fletchings have to be turkey feathers and all feathers used are left wings so that when they are fitted to the arrows and shot from a bow they will automatically start to twist.
Most longbow archers these days use leather tabs, bracers and quivers.
If you would like more information please contact Mick Tappin on 01235 202500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org