The best bow for you is one made to order: if a bow is too long for your drawlength it will not give the best performance, similarly if it is too heavy a draw weight you can under-draw, develop a bad style or even injure yourself.
1. Type of bow and any preferred materials (subject to availability).
2. Drawlength: you will need to have settled on a drawlength for a consistent style of shooting -this is where, if you are just starting out, good guidance from experienced traditional archers is invaluable. If you are used to modern bows (eg laminated grp recurves ) you may need to adapt your shooting style to a more instinctive one for longbows and 'primitives'. Your bow will be made to your specified drawlength and should not be overdrawn as this may cause it to lose 'cast'.
3. Length of bow (between nocks): generally speaking the longer the bow the easier to draw, but there is a slight trade-off in performance. If you tend to hold at full draw for more than a couple of seconds, or 'snatch' your shot, a longer bow may be appropriate.
4. Drawweight: The cardinal rule is not to be overbowed (i.e. have a bow too strong for you to comfortably handle). Choose a comfortable draw weight for the use expected. Make sure the poundage is at the correct drawlength
5. Left or right hand: this affects the arrow pass (plate) and shelf if appropriate.
6. Type of grip (if applicable).
In addition it helps me to produce a bow to suit you if you can advise of the types of competition it will be used for (flight,field, target) etc., and what archery equipment you currently use
Society for the Promotion of Traditional Archery
TRADITIONAL ARCHERY SPECIALISTS
TRADITIONAL BOWS ARROWS & ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT FOR ARCHERS
MUSEUMS & QUALITY RE-ENACTMENT