What is a traditional bow?
In England it has generally come to mean bows made from natural materials, such as those made by Sylvan Archery. There is no doubt that the English Longbow is traditional!
Other bows such as the "American longbow" (or AFB/flatbow), which can include fibreglass or carbon laminations are also included, and some organisations worldwide consider recurves without stabilisers and sights as traditional, classed as 'barebow'.
In other countries, traditional can mean everything other than compound bows, and with the growth of interest in Korean, Chinese and Turkish bows using fibreglass or carbon, these bows have become more available. Bows made from horn and sinew are also available, but costly, and need care when storing and shooting.
I make bows from natural materias. bamboo is an excellent and natural alternative to grp -it is a natural material, sometimes with beautiful natural figuring; it is sweeter shooting and lighter in weight than fibreglass and every bit as fast depending on bow design -something which archers often overlook!
In the UK, wooden arrows with natural feather fletchings are deemed 'traditional', and aluminium or carbon shafts are specifically excluded, whereas in South Korea for example, carbon arrows are included. Bamboo arrows have now started to become popular. While this is not a traditional material for longbow arrows, it is deemed'traditional' by most archery societies.
For the sake of a bow's longevity, dacron strings are usually accepted. The use of kevlar (eg Dyneema) is at the discretion and advice of the bowyer. (I do not recommend the use of fastflight on my bows!)
If you wish to shoot 'traditional' in the UK it is best to be sure -buy a bow made from natural materials, no fibreglass, no carbon, such as those made by Sylvan Archery.
Society for the Promotion of Traditional Archery
TRADITIONAL ARCHERY SPECIALISTS
TRADITIONAL BOWS ARROWS & ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT FOR ARCHERS
MUSEUMS & QUALITY RE-ENACTMENT