General Questions / Chat Zone

Need some help buying a longbow

Hi. New to this forum, and to be honest too lazy to read through everything so thought i'd just go ahead and make my own thread.

Basically i'm looking to buy a longbow. I don't really want to spend in excess of £200 as i'm looking for a set of equipment to learn with. I have some experience with archery: using low poundage recurve bows in a few clubs, and a limited use of longbows in reenactment years ago; but i'm more or less a knowledgeable beginner. And yes i know how arrogant that sounds!

I've found a few sites and a few bows i like the look of, my only issue is bow size and draw length. I'm going to go for around 30lbs draw weight, mostly because it gives me a decent weight to work towards fully mastering and my brother has a 15lb cheap recurve which i can fully draw with ease. My issue is i'm 6 foot 5, with a total arm span of 79". After a bit of googling i divided this by 2.5 to find out my ideal draw length is 31.6". So in theory with a bit of rounding i need a bow of around 30lbs weight at 31.5" draw length.

My issue is all the bows i've found (except expensive war bows) generally top out at 30" max draw length and maximum poundage at around 28". I know it's close to my ideal draw length but wasn't sure if that inch and a half would make a difference (like my girlfriend insists!). Obviously i'd not want to spend over £100 on a bow for it to be too short. Speaking of lengths, should i be concerned with the bow's overall length? I'd assume it'd increase in ratio with the draw length, but i'd rather not guess when spending this much money.

Once i'm sure about the draw length, how much longer should my arrows be than my draw length? I'd assume no more than a couple of inches, but i'd also assume there's a formula or guideline to work this out. On the topic of arrows what would be best for target archery with my desired longbow? I'd assume wooden ones, but really have no clue.

Aaaaaand finally, any recommendations for bows, bow websites, or specific shops (preferably in the west midlands area)?

Any and all help is massively appreciated! Thanks again.

29th Dec 2017 22:12
Also, although i'd start with close to medium range target archery i'd like to move onto 3d targets and field archery. So please keep this in mind.
29th Dec 2017 22:17
Hi Zerosten, thanks for posting a question for us.. but we have to admit we're a little flummoxed by this one. We do have a couple of longbow archers on our staff and in the club but it'd definitely be a better idea to contact a store who specialise in this. Have a ring round some online archery stores and ask if they can give you some guidance for longbows. Best of luck!
2nd Jan 2018 2:30
hi Zerosten,

Sorry it took me a long time to notice this. I'm also really big with a massive draw length 31.5". I had a longbow that fit me but it was custom made and was the biggest longbow i've ever come across in the last 18 years and believe me i've been looking. You can get very expensive longbows made to order but most will not make them that long in such a low(for the style of bow) draw weight due to the likely hood that they will break because of the length. though i'm sure you could find someone to make it but it probably wouldn't last that long.
it's a problem with Traditional bows in general. i'd recommend something with modern materials. AND email the maker to make sure that they make it to the weight you want at your draw length. or just get it at 25# and it would probably be ok:
A custom flatbow in 70" should be pretty nice if a little pricey (really long lead time on this):
the MONGOL bow from grozer is exceptionally nice for very long draw lengths and doesn't cost too much. just get the base bow as the modern materials have more comfort at the longer draws.

that's pretty much all the advice i have for super long traditional shooters, if you want to shoot an ILF modern recurve get limbs with a foam core. also compound bows always work as advertised at their listed draw length.

I hope that helped,
28th Apr 2018 7:09
oh i'd also recommend NON-wooden arrows as they don't stay straight at the sizes and spine you'd need. there are some nice wood print carbon and aluminium arrows around. but get that sorted by going to a shop with whatever bow you get.
28th Apr 2018 7:11
it's the wooden arrows that dont stay straight. carbons always stay straight.
28th Apr 2018 7:11