Guide to the basics

Just finished reading Guide to the Longbow by Brian Sorrells and thought I’d gather my thoughts about it. On the whole, there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s a potted history of the longbow, he talks about the American longbow, the shelf, types of string. There’s some basic information about choosing the right bow. There’s some information about arrows that’s quite interesting. It’s all very basic though, the ideas are there but its hardly a How To manual. Next, he looks at accessories, like quivers, then setting up a bow. Really fundamental stuff. Silencers. A vague outline of instinctive shooting but certainly no amazing insights. The usual accuracy exercises. Some decent stuff about tuning a bow. Then a bit of a chat about hunting and bow maintenance. 

If I was a compound shooter who’d somehow never seen a longbow nor spoken to an instinctive archer, or knew nothing about archery, I think this would be fascinating. But, having read his other book Beginners Guide to Traditional Archery and also the book Archery Fundamentals there’s not much new here at all. And for someone of such expertise, you’d expect more than what any guy down the club could teach you.

I don’t want to be totally down about it. It’s adequate. Hell, if I was a famous archer I’d probably write a couple of books about it and make some cash to fund my hobby. But I’d hope to pass on some amazing insights that I’d gleaned from years of experience, not just regurgitate the basics. 

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2 thoughts on “Guide to the basics

  1. If you would like an historical perspective, try Hugh Soar’s “How to Shoot the Longbow: a Guide from Historical and Applied Sources.” Hugh Soar is the leading archery historian in the UK (possibly the world), an engaging author, and an amazing source of archery history. In this book he walks us through the entire history of target archery, including all of the various instructions that were given along the way. When you see how relatively new modern form and execution are, compared to what was practiced in the past, it might show you that, for one, every damn thing under the sun has been tried! What is left when we weeded out all of the nonsense works quite well.

    If you want a more modern primer, check out Byron Ferguson’s DVD, “Barebow 101.” If you can’t learn from a master … (He also has a DVD on tuning longbows that is pretty much the best info on the topic.)

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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