Longbow - the easy choice ?

Corax67

Well-known member
So far this summer I?ve shot on a semi-regular basis at 2 local clubs as well as my own club and with the exception of one or two rare instances I?ve shot my longbow.

Having achieved my Bowman classification very early on in the season I will now shoot any round that takes my fancy and happily drop in on any target that has a bit of space.

What I find common amongst all of these clubs is the disparaging comment that chimes forth from disgruntled recurve & compound archers during most sessions of ?Huh - I?d be better off shooting longbow?

Now I love longbow - if I could only shoot one bow longbow would be it - and I know that compared to the other bow styles the comparable classification scores are much lower HOWEVER to achieve those scores with our bows demands just as much skill, if not more on occasion, as any other bow style.

Do others feel the same as me that we are sometimes looked down on as being lesser archers or that we are taking the easy option rather than shooting ?proper? bows?


Karl
 

chuffalump

Well-known member
It does seem an odd thing to say. I mean, it's like saying "Huh, if I had a slower car I'd have an excuse for being late".

I enjoy a bit of inter-style rivalry and there's always that feeling of inadequacy when the barebow shooter does a better end at 50m than me with my compound.....

I certainly don't take it seriously when the stick archer gives a little tut at my cams and release aid. 😊 We both know that his ideal archery is not the same as mine.
 

LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
As soon as I can win/inherit/steal enough dosh to afford a replacement lens in my right eye I'll be delighted to start learning longbow. As a proud Anglo, I almost feel it's my duty to.

I'll happily give c*mp***ders a gentle ribbing at the drop of a hat (like I just did ;) ) but I have nothing but respect & admiration for anyone & everyone who devotes time, energy & money to being a better bowman - unless they're being a dick about it of course!

In which case it's street fight rules ;)
 

Corax67

Well-known member
It’s weird, almost as if they look at longbow and feel it’s just a toy for pinging a few arrows around with.

Screwing Bowman and Master Bowman scores out of it at 100yds with arrows subject to capricious winds when your sight mark isn’t even on the target face is blinking tricky, doing it repeatedly is even more so.

I don’t generally mind a bit of a laugh or banter but it does make me feel a bit grumpy at times.



Karl
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
Now I love longbow - if I could only shoot one bow longbow would be it - and I know that compared to the other bow styles the comparable classification scores are much lower HOWEVER to achieve those scores with our bows demands just as much skill, if not more on occasion, as any other bow style.
Using classifications is not a great method for assessing comparative skills as it is driven by scores handed in to archery GB. The fewer good scores they receive the lower the classification requirements. Longbow may be harder than other disciplines to achieve classifications or easier, it's hard to say, although there will plenty of opinions :)
 

Whitehart

Well-known member
I have great respect for anyone who works hard at their sport regardless of their bow style. All bow styles have different challenges, both physical and mental, on the flip side those that just shoot for fun are still shooting and enjoying it and lets face it any archery is better than working or chores at home.

To be honest I don't get the banter, when it is about bow styles, it seems founded on myths and misunderstandings and lack of respect - perhaps clubs need to provide an opportunity to try different bow styles to get a better appreciation of what it takes to hit what you are aiming at.

When it comes to longbow the AGB Bouncer rule seems so unfair - at 100 yards yo spend all day working hard to hit the boss, you have a great shot and it bounces out - what do you get for this unfortunate event - the chance to shoot another arrow...

What does frustrate though is good form always wins out and skills are transferable across all disciplines and for many this gets forgotten so some misses, not just the entire target but say the gold are not down to bow style, just a lack of detail to form and equipment set up.

Finally I have noticed that when archers change bow styles their classification follows them so if they are 1st class with a recurve initially at least they will be 1st class with any other bow style.
 

Corax67

Well-known member
The skills are definitely transferable, to achieve good high longbow scores you need to concentrate on grip/hand position, length of draw, maintaining front arm position post release, etc just as you do with recurve or compound.

For fun in 2017 I took on all 4 bowstyles to see if I could classify in all of them - I ended the year as Bowman longbow & 1st class barebow, recurve and compound.

Once the mindset and basic form has been mastered then you can happily cross bowstyles effectively. I don’t shoot the others because I cannot, I don’t shoot them because I prefer to shoot longbow due to it simplicity and the much more relaxed shooting atmosphere within the discipline.



Karl
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Longbow- the easy choice?
I think that some archers do choose longbow because it is the easy choice. They learn on a recurve at the beginners' course and use one for a while as new club members. Then, they reach a point where they tell me they can't get on with all the " fuss about sights and stabs and doing it like this etc." They just want to shoot.
And when they shoot their longbow they do shoot lots of arrows in a short space of time compared to everyone else. Their shooting is like kids throwing stones into the sea, just for the fun of it. It's not the same as skimming flat stones across a pond, where you have to choose the stones with care and launch them with care, too. There is a freedom with throwing stones out into the sea;and it seems , for the guys I meet, their archery had a freedom, too. Most of them are happy and don't seem to want to improve their scores; their objective is to enjoy shooting arrows; hitting the boss simply saves them from bending down to pull arrows from the grass. They do enjoy getting golds, but missing it doesn't bring on the sulks.
Shooting like that is easier than shooting for high scores. Shooting for high scores can be done with compounds , recurves, and longbows. It's not the weapon that dictates how easy the archery is. It's the outlook of the archer. You can see recurve archers who just pop arrows off, with no worries about scores. You can find compounders who do the same; but they are quite rare. I think that's because the compound is usually chosen by archers who want to shoot groups. And they like how they feel when shooting the more complex machine. Groups are easier to get with compounds.
Notice I am not talking about winning competitions; winning a competition is always about being better than all the others.
The banter that goes around is nothing to do with disrespecting the longbow( or compound) archers. It is more personal than that. Some give out banter for the fun of it; some are more serious/ hurtful.For some, the banter is saved for their special archer; the one they don't like so much. Banter, like archery, has a few different styles.
It seems to me that much banter comes from some recurve archers who don't like compounds, because they say they are cheating; and accuse longbow archers of taking the easy option because they aren't good enough with a recurve. It is very easy for that to grow into a club ethos, when others join in just for the fun of it, and don't really care one way or the other.
 

little-else

Supporter
Supporter
I have hardly used my longbow this year doing mostly barebow and compound instead.
Since I spent 3115 on a compound bow several other club members have bought one and a couple of them have got quite proficient at it. I have loaned my LB to a fellow club member who needed the extar length my bow has to avoid maiing it 3 broken bows instead of 2 and he has now settled in well with his new bow gaining his bowman classification.
So do i shoot my LB for fun? yes and no, I am dreadfully competitive but also know my limitations so expectations for any given day are realisitc and so my attitude to shooting and my fellow archers is relaxed. I have stood between 2 archers who were exchanging banter on the line during a comp. If part of that was to put me off it will have failed, I have been insulted by experts.
Do I set out to win? yes but only by doing better than i have before rather than relying on everyone lsle doing badly. Do I expect to win? no so a good day for me is doing better than average and enjoying the company. You can do the latter even if you cant do the former.
Now my observation is that there is a comeraderie amongst LB archers because of the common recognition as to how hard it is to get everything right on the day and that even the best archers will miss as often as they hit at the longer ranges so there is no shame in it and whatever goes wrong everyone else has been there done that. Silence as part of focus when off the line seems to be the preserve of recurve archers who have reached a certain level and just cant quite break through to the next one.
Like Corax, I has classifications in all 4 styles but I am bowman in LB, 1st class barebow, 2nd class comp and only 3rd class recurve.
I have commented on this disparity and the oddities of thr handicap system before so I will be interested to see what happens next year (if anything) regarding the long awaited changes to handicaps and classifications
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I have commented on this disparity and the oddities of thr handicap system before so I will be interested to see what happens next year (if anything) regarding the long awaited changes to handicaps and classifications
Little-else, I am a bit confused, possibly. If your classifications are different for different disciplines, isn't that to be expected? Or have I misunderstood your post?
 

AndyW

Active member
What I find common amongst all of these clubs is the disparaging comment that chimes forth from disgruntled recurve & compound archers during most sessions of ?Huh - I?d be better off shooting longbow?

Now I love longbow - if I could only shoot one bow longbow would be it - and I know that compared to the other bow styles the comparable classification scores are much lower HOWEVER to achieve those scores with our bows demands just as much skill, if not more on occasion, as any other bow style.

Do others feel the same as me that we are sometimes looked down on as being lesser archers or that we are taking the easy option rather than shooting ?proper? bows?


Karl
If they comment they'd be better off shooting longbow they're donkeys - I couldn't hit my house from 100 yrds with a longbow. I shoot compound but have the greatest respect for anyone any good with a longbow / recurve / whatever they all take great skill to master. Yes, it's good for a bit of ribbing among mates but that's all it is, on the upside - the reverse is also quite annoying - training wheels, your only holding 5 pounds blah blah blah, which a lot of trad shooters are guilty of.
WRT proper bows - how do you get more proper than a longbow? Certainly not wheelie things with the holding weight of knicker elastic.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I sometimes feel like I am looked down on for shooting compound. They say I am cheating.
I think their comments are personal. Personal in the sense that it is one person commenting about one other person. I may get several people saying much the same thing, but each comment is one to one personal. Each may have a slightly different reason for saying what they did. Some simply don't realise that what they are saying is unfounded. Some are more deliberate in trying to make me feel uncomfortable. The bow is simply an excuse to say something unkind, and a way of pretending it was just a joke if I took offence.
 

AndyW

Active member
Well geoffretired,
That's a pity, but hopefully after reading your posts on here for a few years you apply the same logic and ask them to explain in depth and with examples as to why they hold that opinion. Then proceed to pull at the threads piece by tiny piece until they have to concede that they may have been mistaken.:dizzy:
I also hope you take absolutely no joy in it.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
Hi Andy,
You are sort of right and sort of not right,heehee.
As I said earlier, I think banter of this sort is sometimes more personal. For example, I know people who will have a banter session quite often, but sometimes it is only with one or two other people. It's friendly and they know each other well enough to realise it is taken in the spirit it was meant. I guess we all know people who can take a joke and those who can't.
So, when the " cheating" comment comes from a new archer who is probably repeating something said to them by a more experienced archer, I will simply state that I would be cheating if I competed against a recurve or longbow archer; but I only compete against other compounders.
The other comments, the more deliberate ones; I ignore or say something along the lines of, " Who would shoot a bow that gets harder to pull the further you draw it back, when there are bows that get easier the further you draw them?
I think the bottom line is that banter takes different forms and isn't all serious; or all good natured.
I can understand why many negative comments were made about compounds when they first arrived on the scene. Imagine you are an experienced recurve archer and a beginner with a compound turns up and outscores you. You get the hump or you see the potential. You can accept them but stick to recurve. You can accept them and get one yourself.
Or you can fight against them."They are not real bows".... say anything to put them down because they don't fit in with your own thinking.
It is human nature to accept some changes and reject others. Different people see things differently.
Often, longbow archers try to explain that it takes a lot more skill to shoot a longbow well. I would say; it takes a lot more skill to shoot a longbow well than to shoot one just for the fun of it. The same applies to recurves.... and for compounds. The skills required are different for each bow type. It's a bit like saying high jump is harder than triple jump.
 

LionOfNarnia

Supporter
Supporter
I don't think this is an issue unique to archery. I'd say it was an issue with humanity, with how our psyches are shaped by culture & 'society'.

After all, the only thing we actually have in common is that we enjoy throwing sticks at things!

The reasons why we enjoy it & the method(s) we adopt for doing so are as unique as anything else in our lives.

The reasons why some choose to 'attack' anything perceived as 'different' are also unique. In my experience, there are even some who prefer the negative social interchange of conflict to having no interaction at all!

Perhaps the only practical solution is to learn to accept that the whole concept of a 'brotherhood of the arrow' is extremely flawed, that no matter who we are there will always be someone not too far away who is prepared to belittle us for something. Anything, sometimes.

Gotta be careful though - it's over two thousand years since one bloke got nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to each other for a change. ;)
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
I agree. I suppose archery is what this forum is about.
If we look for differences; we will find them. if we look for similarities we will find them, too.
In archery, I find more similarities. When differences show up it is easier to put them in context, rather than using them as ammunition.
 

AndyW

Active member
geoffretired,
There's always going to be someone who will say something for the sake of ruining someone else's day. It takes years to feign ignoring them but tbh something always cuts a little bit if we're honest and it does take the edge off the day. They are out there, they will remain as they are and it makes them no happier.
 

geoffretired

Supporter
Supporter
AndyW you are right, there are some who are spoilers. And yes, it does cut a little deeper than I let on. There are some who would get worse if we showed a bit of anger,yes?
If we look at the length of this thread it looks like a serious problem; but it isn't really, at least most of the time it is just banter. There are far more friendly archers around than the other sort.
 

Raven's_Eye

Active member
Ironman
From someone who shoots just longbow, I think it's seen as the "easier choice" because of the number of excuses there are to miss the target; less efficient bow, natural material reducing consistency & changing with use and temperature, limited aiming methods etc. etc.


So when other bow types that have all the gadgets and gizmos aren't getting the scores they are wanting it's easy to say they might as well be shooting a LB as then they can have an excuse rather than admitting to themselves that it's their skill that is failing. So you can see longbow as an easy choice if you are trying to cover poor technique, or you can see it like other traditional bow styles as the ultimate challenge, as not only do you have to overcome your own skill, you have to overcome the difficulties of the bow itself.


Scoring wise once you have everything set up (which is a challenge in itself) compound = easy mode, recurve = medium, Barebow = medium/hard (depending on the style e.g stripped recurve vs. American flatbow), traditional bows = hard.
Please note this is just for comparing bow styles, of course there are different proficiency levels within each discipline, but for the sake of the example it's assuming all bows are set up and the archer is equally proficient in each bow type, note also the example is focusing on scores, not classifications.
 
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