Help in Selecting Options

Help in selecting appropriate options for the drop-down menus.

It has come to my attention that some potential customers might find it a bit daunting to complete the Bow specifications required in the options drop-down menus. An individual archer might know all the answers, but I cannot assume that friends and family will have that information at their fingertips. Fabricating arrows to “best fit” a particular bow in the hands of a particular archer requires the archer, or friends and family, to give me all of the information asked for in the “options” drop-down menus. A tedious task I know. Sorry. Here I offer brief and, admittedly sketchy, descriptions of bow types and a few other definitions which may help.

Recurve Bow

A recurve bow is one with limbs that curve away from the archer when unstrung. This type stores more energy and delivers that energy more efficiently than the equivalent straight limbed bow, giving a greater amount of energy and speed to the arrow. There are two major types – the one piece and the knock-down. The knockdown, as the name implies, can be dismantled so that its three pieces can be packed and carried in a more compact form. Today what we know as recurve bows are generally made of several materials laminated together to form the bow’s structure and to give its limbs strength and shooting power. Recurve bows come in many versions from simple traditional bows to Olympic recurves. Today it is the bow of choice for thousands of recreational, target and field archers who enjoy fantastic and challenging archery disciplines.

Horse Bow

The Horse Bow was made famous by mounted warriors of ancient times. These short, fast, flexible bows are hugely enjoyable. Generally, they do not have cut-outs above the grip so the Strike Plate Position is a positive figure, and, because of that, the bow can be used by both left-handed and right-handed archers.


These are “simple” bows made of a single piece of wood. Extra materials such as horn nocks on the limb tips or built up handles would normally be accepted as part of a self-bow. Some modern authorities accept a bow with two pieces of wood spliced together to form a handle. The bows have no sights, no gadgets, just a sleek design. The bows are timeless, authentic and tons of fun to shoot. The English Longbow is typical of this group but there are many others.

Bows Design Draw Length in inches

This is the distance between the front of the bow (front of the riser) and the bowstring in the shooter’s fingers when at full draw. Manufacturers generally measure this at a 28inch draw length. This information is often written on the inside of the bow’s lower limb together with the bow’s draw weight in lbs.

Bows Design Draw Weight in pounds

This is the amount of force that is applied to the Bow string while drawing it back a particular distance and it is measured in pounds. Recurves and longbows have incrementally heavier draw weights the farther they are drawn. The standard for determining their draw weight is taken at 28 inches of draw length. The draw weight is often marked on the bow’s lower limb with the pound sign (#), such as 35# @ 28”. That translates to 35 pounds of draw weight at a 28-inch draw length. Here is an example to help understand how draw weight varies with draw length. If you have a 40-pound recurve bow, its draw weight is 40 pounds when the bow is pulled to 28 inches. But if you checked its draw weight at 26 inches, you would find it is a few pounds less. And if you checked the draw weight at 29 inches, you would find it is slightly more than 40 pounds. This is why, when designing arrows, I require that the customer enters the archer’s actual draw length in the drop-down menu.

Your Draw Length in inches

This is the distance between the front of the bow (front of the riser) and the bowstring in the shooter’s fingers when at full draw. The best way to learn your actual draw length with any certainty is to have someone measure your draw length when you have drawn your bow to the point where you would normally release the arrow.  This can be done safely by asking the helper to put a mark on an arrow close to the front of the bow (front of riser) when you reach your full and well-practicsed draw length. Remove the arrow and measure from that mark to the place in the nock where the string rests. Please note, this measurement most often determines the length of arrow shafts I supply. Arrows that are too short for your draw length can be dangerous.

Strike Plate Position

This is the position of the vertical surface of the bow across which the arrow passes when shot. This position is judged relative to the centre of the Bow Stave (the bow string will most often align with the centre of the bow stave). If the bow is centre-cut, the strike plate position would be judged to be ‘0’. If the cut-out is past the bows centre line, then the strike plate position would be judged as minus figure e.g. (-1/8). If the cut-out is short of the bow’s centre line, then the strike plate position would be judged as a plus figure e.g. (+1/8). See “strike plate position explained” diagram on product pages. The strike plate position has a marked influence on the flight of an arrow and, therefore, it is essential that I take this information into account when I am designing arrows for a particular bow.