Normally i'd never buy a bow of any kind without seeing it "In the flesh" as it were, but on eBay so far i've bought two, both of which have been good, one being "Excellent" and the other a fine starter bow which eventually failed me, but I have a feeling it was just fate and nothing else, My first purchase was from Kunst-Griff of Berlin who provided me with a fine little Ash Hybrid bow which was just on the cusp of what GNAS state is acceptable for a longbow makeup, it shot well and for only a 30lb pull at 29" it was good,it also had a lot of admirers at my club being finshed in black,which in the UK is quite rare for a wooden bow. Sadly last month it failed me and broke, but true to their word Kunst-Griff replaced it with a one off custom bow suited to my needs Their customer service relating to the breakage and replacement was second to none and the replacement is being sent free of charge.
WELL DONE Kunst-Griff! You can guarantee i'll have at least one of your bows in my collection for good!
The second bow I bought was a Bickerstaffe trilaminate bow from a seller in Hull and it has brought me nothing but a deep feeling that i've chosen the right bow yet again.....Bickerstaffe's bows are probably the best you can lay your hands on and i'd recommend them to anyone from starter to a seasoned bowman.....
The biggest things to remember are.....if you a new to this sport, it isn't a game, you need tuition, to be properly guaged for a bow to your needs, I.E. draw length, draw weight and composition.
Really you need to be thinking of joining a club because the things you can pick up from the experienced members are invaluable, it also gives you somewhere safe to shoot and most clubs have facilities to further your foray into the world of archery....just a word to the wise,the cheaper you do it, the more disapponted you are going to be...stay away from Fibreglass bows and arrows as they can be considered cheap and nasty rather than cheap and useable!
Basic kit and arrows can be bought at a reasonable price if you look closely,for quivers,handguards and gloves i'd recommend Goldflight archery as you get a lot for very little cash and very fast delivery....Arrows, they have to be matched to the draw weight/draw length of your bow because if not you will end up hitting exactly NOTHING and you could also end up with a LOT of splinters in the wrong place! Eventually you should be able to make your own arrows and the supplies here are good and cheap.
I personally use Farrarchers and The Longbow Shop as they both have great ranges of made up arrows and supplies for fletching too
Price is a big factor,and as a starter bow supplier Kunst-Griff are hard to beat, postage wise they are good value too, costing only £13 from Berlin to anywhere in the UK, it also arrives VERY quickly when bought...I ordered mine on a Friday and it was with me by Tuesday, so other sellers have No excuse for long postage times if this lot can manage it from Germany at such high speed.
In conclusion some people may poo-pooh you if you say you have bought a bow from eBay but i've found that if you look hard and do your homework you can get perfectly good bows at a good price,just don't compromise.
Some of the people who offer "Longbow" kits don't know what the hell they are talking about and are selling as "Family toys" for "Back garden fun" that are quite capable of injuring and possibly killing others at the most, and at the very least are quite capaple of disappointing you so much that you'll never want to pick up a bow again!
Finally, it's important that you "Do it right" and the best way to do it is get yourself a starter course at your local archery club (most courses start at around £30 for group tuition/£65 for personal tuition) , find out what it's all about and get some lessons, use their kit and make up your mind what you want to do, it's a great sport and to my mind the Longbow side is more of a challenge than using things like sights, stablisers, pulley wheels and going all "High Tech", after all it's part of our history and everytime you draw a Longbow you are saluting the archers of old who made this countries fighting spirit what it has been and is from the year 1415!
Good Luck and Good Shooting
Longbows, Archery Kit and how to buy it on eBay
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6 December 2007
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