How To String A Longbow

One of the essential parts of bow maintenance is stringing the bow, and while this can be done by a professional at a bow shop, it is a good idea to have the knowledge in case you ever need to do it yourself.

A longbow is very different from other types of bow, so it is vital to know the intricate details of stringing this type of bow. In this article, we are going to be looking at how to string a longbow as well as giving you some handy tips to get it just right.

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What Is A Longbow?

A longbow is a traditional type of bow that has been around for the best part of a thousand years, having been invented in 1100 in Wales. This type of equipment was typically used in wars and for hunting and today is one of the most favored types of bow for archers.

Unlike other bows, a longbow is much larger and can often be the same height as the archer, but this often makes it a lot easier to use.

Furthermore, longbows have far fewer components and are simply made from one piece of wood and the bowstring. Knowing how to attach and replace this string is one of the most crucial parts of owning a longbow.

Using A Bow Stringer

You will often be told that in order to string a longbow, you must have a bow stringer. Let’s clear this up; it is not necessary for you to use a bow stringer as there are other methods for stringing your longbow. But it will make the process a lot easier. So let’s take a look at how to use a bow stringer.

A bow stringer can be used with most longbows, but you will need to check this first as some are designed for use with only recurve bows. Once you have established that the bow stringer is suitable, you can attach it to the bow.

While this may sound like a complex piece of equipment, it is actually much simpler than you would first imagine. A bow stringer is a robust piece of cord that fits over the limb tips of the longbow. Once it is in place, you will stand on the loose cord, and this will allow the limbs to be flexed while you attach the new string.

It is commonly accepted that using a bow stringer is the safest way of stringing a longbow. But there are other ways you can do this.

Stringing A Longbow Without A Bow Stringer

If you do not have a bow stringer, don’t fret, you can still restring your longbow, but you might need to use a little patience and give yourself plenty of time to do this, especially on the first few tries.

The best thing to do is to purchase strings that have been pre-looped; this means that they will come with a top and bottom loop already in place and will save you the hassle of having to do this step yourself.

Before you start the stringing process, it is a good idea to take a look over your equipment to make sure that it is in good working order. The last thing you want is a broken or damaged bow, so be sure to look for cracks in the wood and frays in the string. This may be an additional step, but it is worth it to make sure that your bow will work to the best of its ability.

The next thing that you will need to do is loop the string around the bow; in other words, install it. Take a look at the following steps;

  • First of all, you will need to take the top loop of the string and slide it over the nock and down onto the limb. Of course, this will need to be repeated with the bottom loop as well.
  • Choose either your right or left leg, whichever feels most natural and comfortable, and step over the bow to secure it at the same time as holding the top of the bow with your right hand. Remember to hold the top of the bowstring with the left hand. It is also essential to choose which leg you will use carefully because you will need to feel comfortable. If you start trying to use the opposite leg, you will likely get caught in the string.
  • When you are ready to hook the bottom of the bow, you can do this by sliding it in using the outer part of the foot that is not wrapped around the bow foot.
  • Now you will need to bend the bow slightly, be gentle, and take your time. As you do this, you will notice that there comes a point where the top loop can be placed at the top of the nock.
  • Again, taking your time, slowly draw the bow back to its original state and gradually increase the pull length until the bow is entirely upright.
  • Finally, you will need to check the pressure of the string.

How Long Should my Bowstring Be?

The type of bow that you use will depend on how long the string will need to be, and since all bows differ, it is important to take some measurements. Where the longbow is concerned, you will need to measure the length of the bow and use a string that is three inches longer than this.


A longbow is one of the most traditional archery equipment types, which is a significant attraction for many modern archers. However, it is vital that you know how to take care of your equipment, and one of the first things you should learn is how to string your longbow.

It will take a little bit of practice and a good deal of patience, but you can either use a bow stringer for the easiest method or do it without.

About Brad Harris