Archery is a sport that combines skill, athleticism, tradition and whimsy. There is something romantic about the ability to pick up a bow, aim it, and have the arrow fly gracefully through the air, landing precisely where you intended it to land. If you are thinking about taking up this sport, you are going to first need to understand some of the basics– namely, the sort of equipment that is used as a part of the sport. The type of bow you chose can have a side effect on how you play the sport, and choosing long bows can give you a particular edge.

Long Bow Types

There are three types of long bows and each is distinct, making it necessary to have keen knowledge of each to consider yourself a true archer. The three main types are the stick, composite/laminate, and modern/breakdown. The differences in these three are based on design and how each is made. For example, a stick long bow is made of one solid piece of pliable wood, and is considered by most to be the more traditional method of long bow design. The composite/laminate is a type of bow made from a mixture of woods, with a laminate top for protection. And the breakdown bow is a piece of equipment that can be taken apart for easy storage and transportation.

Archery @ Blenheim Palace


The longbow is often made using just one single piece of wood, meaning it can be put together incredibly quickly. For those who are skilled at the art, a longbow can be crafted in just a matter of hours. Longbows have slim limbs and a narrow cross-section, and are made of woods with higher than average elasticity and flexibility. Yew is a very popular type of wood used in longbow craftsmanship. Wooden laminated longbows are also gaining in popularity, and are often made by combining two separate types of wood into one.

What to Look For

The long bow is a great choice of bow due to its precision, lightweight feel, value for your dollar and traditional design. When shopping for this type of bow, pay attention to a few features. You want smooth pulling, about 2 ½ to 3 pounds per each inch of draw, and a nice sturdy bow length as well. You will also want to pay attention to wood types used, to get the best value for your money.

Where to Buy

Longbows can be found at many types of vendors, and where you buy will most likely have an impact on the type and quality of bow you end up with. A specialty store is a good first bet to start with, as shops that specialize in archery equipment will typically carry top of the line pieces that perform beautifully. However, these shops are generally going to be your most expensive option. For some cheaper alternatives, consider chain athletic stores, secondhand shops, or even online retailers, where you can often get great deals so long as you know what you are looking for ahead of time.


Once you have your prized longbow in your hands, it is important to now take proper care of it. With the right upkeep, this bow can stay in pristine condition for years to come, and you will be assured to get your money’s worth out of your investment. Start by purchasing a sturdy case where you can store the bow when it is not in use and keep it protected from the elements. Some basic bow cleaning supplies can also be purchased from the vendor you buy the bow from, as can a good wood polish to help the bow keep its shine.

Archery is a sport not always at the front of everyone’s mind, but it is a sport any serious athlete should consider. And choosing a longbow as your archery equipment of choice gives you a serious edge, as it has a sleek design, powerful release, and illustrious past. You can find high quality longbows at a number of retailers, and this equipment does not have to break the bank. Consider this option if you are thinking of starting to get into archery, and you will not be sorry. The longbow is attractive, quick, and a bow you will be proud to carry.