How to String a Longbow: The Easiest Way to Do It

How to String a Longbow: The Easiest Way to Do It

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Want to know how to string a longbow? If you are not that familiar with archery equipment, your idea of a bow can be that of a longbow. However alien this term can be, the longbow is what most of us imagine when we think of the common bow and arrow. They are the ones that we see in historical films and even cartoons.

When you think about it, stringing a longbow can be a different process from other bows. Why? It’s because this type of bow hailed from the old times. If you think about it, the people back then would have acquired a specific skill in order to string a bow because they did not have the proper or at least modern equipment that we have today.

So, is stringing a longbow really different? You will know the answer in this article. Here, we are going to talk about what a longbow is. At the same time, we are also going to discuss how to string a longbow and talk about some stringing techniques that you can do to make the task easier.

Do you have a longbow that you cannot string? Keep on reading to get some tips and tricks.

What Is a Longbow?

A longbow is one of the oldest types of bows. The bow itself can be the same height as that of the user. With that feature alone, the archer will be able to have a long draw. At the same time, its general shape is that of the letter D in cross section or circular.

They are usually used for warfare or hunting and can be made in different woods. Some designs have yew in them or wych elm. But usually, they are only made with a single wood. Here are the parts of a longbow:

  • String
  • A piece of wood (nock and limb)

Very simple, right? Just like what we said before, though, the bow itself is only made of a piece of wood shaped into a bow. Therefore, this shaping technique should be done by a skillful person so as to ply the wood into the right shape without it breaking.

Additionally, it should also be flexible, but strong enough to hold the pressure of the string and arrow. Traditional bows do not have an arrow rest. So, if you are going to position an arrow, you pretty much have to do it manually.

Good thing, most modern longbows have an arrow rest so you can know where exactly to put the arrow. Lastly, some longbows are wrapped in leather not only to make it aesthetically pleasing but also to protect the hands of the archer against blisters.

How to String a Longbow

Let us now get down to the business of stringing your longbow. First, let us go over the materials you need. For you to string your longbow, you need two things. The first one is, of course, your string. The second thing is patience. You will know later on why you need patience.

Now, let us discuss the string. Your string should already have a top loop and a bottom loop. You can buy some strings that are pre-looped, but if yours do not come with loops, then you first have to loop them. We cannot discuss looping here as that can be a long subject.

Keep in mind that before you can string your longbow, you first have to know how to loop a string. Moving on, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Take the top loop and slide it over the nock and down to the limb.
  2. Take the bottom loop and hook it into the nock.
  3. Secure the bow by stepping over it with your right or left leg while holding the top of it with your right hand. The top of the string should be held by your left hand.
  4. To hook the bottom of the bow, slide it in using the outside of your right or left foot.
  5. Slightly bend the bow that is around your right or left leg until the loop at the top can be placed at the top of the nock.
  6. Slowly draw it back to its normal state.
  7. Gradually increase the length of pull until the bow is fully upright.
  8. Check the pressure against the string.

Remember the patience part that we just mentioned? We bet you now know why you need a lot of it. If you are going to review the steps, you will see that it requires a lot of movement from both your hands and legs. This is expected as a longbow is of great height.

The rule of thumb is not to get caught within the string. To do this, you have to decide which leg to hold around the bow, and which leg to push in the loop. The same goes for your hands in that you need to determine which hand to hold the bow and which hand will loop the string.

A good tip is to use your dominant hand to loop the string.

The Foot Bracing Technique

Moving forward with our discussion of stringing longbows, you also have to master how you position your feet. The most common technique is the foot bracing technique. This method is the most effective technique when stringing lighter bows or bows that have great height.

The method that we mentioned above is a variation of this technique, but traditionally, this is done by putting the loop of the upper string over the upper limb. Then, nock the loop of the lower string on the lower limb.

The inside of one foot is then used to brace the tip of the lower limb. Afterward, the hand that is on the side of the foot that was used to brace the tip of the lower limb will hold the bow at its center and pull it. On the other hand, your other hand will press away from the upper limb, and in the process, bend the bow.

While this is happening, the hand that is used to press the upper limb will slide the bowstring on the limb nock. Once secured, the tension can then be released slowly, and the bow can be returned to its relaxed state.


Stringing a longbow can be a painful process, but nothing beats practice. With the help of this article, hopefully, you are well on your way to using your longbow like a pro.

About the Author Pink Crossbow

Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!

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