Posing with my longbow. I suppose you can
call such a modern person ‘Robin Hoodie‘!

Iconic characters like Robin Hood and the English longbowmen were famous for using this weapon, even though it is essentially a bent stick with string that twangs another pointy stick into a thing! Suffice it to say, the longbow is my favourite bow type.

There are various designs of bows ranging from tall wooden staves of ash and yew to multi layered horn and sinew arches that curve back on themselves. There are too many types of bow to list, but I have at least compared flatbows with longbows many years ago. Essentially they all act in the same way, in that they are flexible yet extremely elastic, yearning to return to their resting position and thus requiring great strength to bend back, then releasing tremendous power through the string into the arrow when upon release.

It is important to remember that although different bow designs perform differently to others, the true power delivered in the shot is almost entirely determined by the draw weight, a measurement of how much pulling strength is required to draw the sting back to your ‘anchor point’ (a part of your face you always draw to). Because of this, ironically strength is arguably even more important to an archer than it is to a swordsman, since melée weapons are often fairly lightweight and rely on combinations of speed as well as stamina to be most effective. Don’t believe everything you see on television!

In terms of shooting speed and accuracy, a competently trained archer can loose at least six shots a minute (and often more), which I was able to demonstrate is not too difficult to achieve. Consistency at range is much harder to achieve, and it is important for an archer to train shooting not just at distance but also uphill, downhill, or in a crosswind.