CARE OF YOUR BOW: this is a matter of common sense, really! If you wish your baow to last a keep shooting well, there are some basic 'rules'...
Always use the double-looped cord stringer in order to avoid twisting the bow (Not a pad, or ‘saddle’, and pocket type). An additional ‘stringing’ notch is provided in the top nock for this purpose.
Always check that the string is correctly centred in each nock after stringing, and check the bracing height.
When unstrung, I recommend that you use the string-keep provided in order to avoid the string becoming untwisted (thus affecting bracing height), damaged or lost.
NEVER dry-loose a bow. Never use carbon, aluminium or plastic arrows: they are too light.
Do not ‘hold’ the bow over-long at full draw, a pause at anchor of 2 seconds . should be adequate for aiming when shooting in the longbow. Also, the longer you hold, the more you can reduce the ‘cast’ of a self bow, or start 'creeping' (shortening your draw).
Do not overdraw the bow beyond it's designated drawlength. The bow will be tillered to the draw length marked on the bow.
Do not stringwalk. Maintain a consistent loose (preferably Mediterranean: i.e. one finger over, two fingers under).
Do rest the bow: unstring it if you are not shooting for a while. Rest it horizontally if possible.
Never draw up the bow without an arrow on it: not only is there the risk of dry-loosing, but also you may overdraw the bow.
Warm the bow limbs (particularly Yew) with friction on very cold days, and flex the bow a few times before coming to full draw.
Bracing height: check this regularly, and most often if you are shooting in a new string. Bracing height may be marked on the bow, however it is generally between 6 & 6.5 inches. It is helpful to mark your arrows with the location of the string when nocked to ease regular checking while shooting. Some archers use cresting for this.
Check the bow frequently for bruises, scratches, or any damage which you feel may weaken the bow, and have a word with me if you’re worried about such damage. The bow is provided with a tough polyurethane finish, so simple scratches can be repaired by yourself, (I do offer a refurbishment service),
Check the string
frequently and wax
it regularly, particularly the loops -the bottom loop in particular tends to get damaged if not protected. A string can break under the serving, where you won’t notice it. If in doubt, change it*.
A bow can get a new 'lease of life' (ie shoot better) with a new string.
Nocks which are too tight are a major cause of string breakage as they can cut the string beneath the serving where you won't notice it; a broken string can mean a broken or weakened bow. The string (and any spares supplied) have a temporary nocking point to show which way up they go. Make sure arrow nocks fit correctly: too loose (ie they fall off) and you could easily dry-loose the bow. (They should just fall off when the string is tapped using two fingers)
Transport the bow in a cloth bag, not a waterproof one; don’t put a wet bow in its bag.
Do not use your bow as a prop, paddle, walking stick, arrow rake etc., etc. This may sound obvious, but I have seen some awful things being done to (and with!) a longbow.........
Avoid storing the bow by resting it on its bottom limb, which will cause it to take a set.
Either hang it by a loop from the top nock, or (the best method) horizontally on a wall rack, supported mid-limb.
Heat will damage/weaken/warp the bow, so don’t store it in an overheated room, over a radiator or fireplace, or keep it in a hot car on a sunny day.
PLEASE- DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE BUT YOURSELF TO DRAW UP THE BOW.
*I recommend you replace your string
regularly-it can make quite a difference, an old string can reduce bow performance which you may not notice over time.
Keep the bow protected when travelling, with a bow bag