OK, so back when I was young -- about six years ago now -- I started to get "back into" Traditional archery. I had been away a couple of decades. So, I started buying gear. In the next 18 months of so, I acquired a bunch of recurve and long bows. All of them are #50 or more. I figured: "Hey, I can't pull it now, but I used to, and I'll get there again in no time."
Well, I am older now (61) and as I restart my restart into archery, I have come to believe I will never get there again. Rather than risk shoulder injury, I'm thinking I should probably "bow-down" to 35-40 pounds. (My draw, will full back tension, is probably about 31" So #35 @28 is probably fine for me.)
Which means none of my current bows will work for me. I can sell them off, and hope to recoup a percentage of what I paid. And I am prepared to do that... but finding the one bow to carry me into my retirement years is not so easy.
I'm not aware of a single Traditional Archery Shop in the area (I'm 20 miles south of Pittsburgh) Where I can go and try out several bows. Making it more difficult, is I think I want to move to a one piece longbow. So where the heck can I find one of those to shoot? It seems I'll have to get one made for me, because it's looking like all longbows were bought with hunting in mind, and good luck finding one under #50 on the used market. Finding a #75 bow seems more likely. But I'm not elephant hunting any time soon, so I don't see the purpose.
So, do I have to plunk down a deposit, wait a few months to get my bow, and then hope its right? Or is there something obvious that I am missing.
All advice is welcome.
When your draw arm is aligned with the arrow, your muscles that need to be pulling the string are properly employed. Sure if I stand straight up and stretch it all way back until my elbow is going back and away from the arrow line, i can pull further. The goal should be at which draw length are you positioned to see where the arrow is going and still using the big muscles. I do not advocate artificially locking up muscles just to say that i did. That is kind of the old cart in front of the donkey. Perhaps you need to have a straight wrist and bow arm and perhaps you will need to put a bit of a static 'hold it' 'release' into this but if you have not seen this, check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMMrSC1mBOY
I knew a gentlemen that was roughly 6'-5 or 6'-6 with a 32" draw, big wingspan. Take a yardstick and set it on chest, between your arms, close your eyes and reach to a comfortable length with both hands, have some one record the length, repeat three times and average the three. Then try and arrow that length, Howard Hill was about 6'2 and drew 28". You could take a bow that would be about right if it was 5 lbs lighter and send it to the original bowyer and have it reduced in weight.
My opinion....look at a lot of pictures and see what sort of bow makes you think " now that's a bow". Not what is pretty, or cool, but what turns you on. Then start looking and asking. Once you are in, part of this game is the feeling.
I don’t see anything about full extension. I read full back tension
Larry X 2.
You used terms like 'full extension', so I am assuming that you shoot a static straight armed style. A longer takedown perhaps 30 pounds at 28. When my wife had her arm severely broken, i got her a 68" bow from Ebad made in China, $51 to my door, as a build up bow. Perhaps something like that would be financially proper to use before you put the big money down into a custom. You stated 31" draw, I cannot help but wonder what your arm span is. I have seen compound shooters that had 31" draws, that when they went to a recurve find that with static straight up shooting styles end up finding that 29" was better. Then later when they mimicked Fred Bear with a new Bear takedown, find that dropped to 28". Targeting a draw length can lead to issues with aiming and eye to arrow alignment when one changes bows and shooting styles.
The Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous (ETAR) is about 30 miles North of Williamsport Pa. Just google it for the details. They'll have more bows than you'll care to shoot. I would guess a lot of used ones too.
First, don’t order anything till your sure of what you want. You are very fortunate that there are a tremendous amount of trad shooters that live in Pa. The forums are full of them. Start by web searching traditional clubs in your state and go from there. Attend some shoots and introduce yourself. Most folks will be more than happy to let you look at or shoot their equipment. Then you can make an informed decision on what you like. Probably even find someone there with a good used bow you could purchase.
Research, tryout, then purchase, or you’ll end up with another bow to try to sell.