Interested in learning how to shoot a longbow? Shooting the longbow is an art form, and takes dedication and practice. Any bow takes work to master, but bows without sighting devices, and which require drawing the full limb weight, take much more. That is the longbow, and if you wish to master it, prepare for a long road.
Items needed to shoot the longbow.
- Properly spined arrows
- Shooting glove
The process to learn how to shoot a longbow will go something like this:
- Buy archery tackle. This step is very important and must be undertaken carefully. You need to buy the correct bow, draw weight, length, size, etc, so that it will fit you properly. Then you must buy arrows which are correctly spined or they will not fly properly. A comfortable arm guard is important to keep clothing from interfering with the string. A tab or well fitting shooting glove helps protect the fingertips.
- Set up bow. This step is, important, but hard for the new archer some times. It involves shooting the bow, so if you are learning how to shoot, the setup and learning will go hand in hand and be somewhat trial and error. What you need to do here is set up brace height, distance between the string and bow riser, and nock point on the string. Brace height effects sound, vibration, and arrow flight. The nock is the place where you put the arrow on the string, and can be set higher or lower on the string. For the new archer it might be wise to get professional help for this,because improper technique can also effect arrow flight.
- Learn your stance. There are several stances the archer can use. In both, you are quartered away from the target, with feet placed comfortably. In the first stance the archer stands upright with arm held straight out, and bow held straight up and down. The second is where the archer is crouched over slightly, knees bent, and the bow held at a cant to the target. Both are widely used, and the new archer will find what works best for them. The important thing is to do everything the same every single time. Also important here is bow grip. Do not grip the bow hard, let it basically sit nestled in the thumb joint with a finger curled around the grip to hold it in place. If you grip it hard you will torque the bow inwards or out effecting arrow flight and possibly hitting your forearm with the string which hurts like the dickens.
- Learn proper draw. The archer reaches out, grasps the bow string, most use three fingers, with two fingers below the arrow and one above. Then you draw back until you reach your anchor point. This is important, you must anchor at the same place every single time. There are aids made called kisser buttons that some archers use to help accomplish this. No matter how you do it, pick a spot and use it every single time.
- Aim the bow. Some archers use the tip of the arrow to aim the bow. Much practice tells them that if they put the tip in a certain spot every time at that distance they will hit the target. Some archers shoot instinctively, which is how we shoot. This is similar to throwing a baseball, you do not aim, you shoot. Years and years of practice lets your brain and eye coordination take over and all you do is concentrate intensely at the spot you want to hit. Everything falls into place, if you practice a LOT that is.
- Release string. A smooth consistent release of all fingers instantaneously is important. It must be perfect each time to insure good arrow flight.
- Practice, practice practice. There is no shortcut. It takes shooting thousands of arrows to become an archer. And concentrating on form with every single one is important.
That is the basic process of learning to shoot the longbow. It is all about consistency, and practice, along with proper fitting gear. It it worth it though, believe us, enjoy.