Discuss What side of a longbow does the arrow go on? at the Traditional Bows (Archive) within Archery Interchange Forums; A stupid question you may think but I have seen photos of people shooting from ...
In the White
What side of a longbow does the arrow go on?
A stupid question you may think but I have seen photos of people shooting from both sides. Is there a best way, or just personal preference? I hold the bow in my left hand.
Dem bows, dem bows, dem dry bows.....
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generally if your left hand is your bow hand then the arrow passes to the left of the bow
unless you choose to shoot with a thumb ring (usually for asiatic type bows but i know some longbow archers use them too) in which case the arrow passes to the right hand side of the bow
if the sun and moon should ever doubt theyd immediately go out (william blake)
I have always seen target shooters resting the arrow on the back of their hand when drawing. So as a rightie, you and I would have the arrow pass to the left of the bow.
There is evidence, much of it in the form of drawings, that traditionally the archer would rest the arrow on top of his thumb rather than the back of the hand.
This makes sense in one way, in that the draw, loose, 'reload' cycle would be quicker as the arrow would not need to cross the bow. In fact, it would be possible to draw and nock the next arrow without lowering the bow. A positive bonus if being charged....
However, the back of the hand would be a much larger rest than the tip of the thumb. So it would be a less secure and safe method to use on a day to day basis.
We've got lumps of it round the back.
I don't go with this theory, sorry Tarkwin but I can reload an arrow just as quick to the left of a bow as to the right and if you've practised that your whole life it would be quick enough if time demanded it.
Originally Posted by Tarkwin
I've only seen a couple of people shoot their arrows off the "wrong" side of the bow (i.e. on the thumb) but as said previous this is normally done with an archers thumb ring or shot with a Kyudo bow (They use a leather glove which has a similar effect to the archers ring)
I know of one guy that shoots a normal release off this thumb but his arrows are spined very strangely and his release is a little odd too!
in my opinion, if it aint broke don't fix it. Stick with putting it on the back of your hand (left side of the bow if the bow is in your left hand) that way if your release is constant and clean then getting a spined set of arrows will be a lot easier.
Definitions of Science: If it's green or wiggles, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it doesn't work, it's physics
There is a good technical reason for which side of the bow the arrow goes:
When your fingers release the string, since your fingers can't suddnely just not be there, the string has to pass round your fingers resulting in the back end of the arrow moving to your left for a rh archer or to the right for a lh archer. This causes the arrow to bend (look up archers paradox) and the front end of the arrow to press against the riser. As the arrow travells past the bow, the arrow flexes the other way and clears the bow.
If you were to put the arrow on the wrong side of the bow, as the back end of the arrow stepped out to the left to clear the fingers, the front end of the arrow would move to the right and fall off the rest.
As already suggested, asiatics using thumb rings put the arrow on the opposite side because the string escapes from the thumb ring in the opposite direction to when released from the fingers, thus bending the arrow in the opposite direction
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I suspect that the reason for putting the arrow to the left for a right handed archer with a mediterranean loose is that the action of the fingers on the string has a tendency to push the arrow against the bow, making it a more stable position. The arrow changes sides with a thumb grip because the torque on the string is then in the opposite direction.
The optimist believes that this is the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears that this is probably true!