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Browse our site which is a free guide to archery bow strings. Learn about compound, recurve, and custom archery bowstrings for Zebra, Hoyt, PSE, Vapor Trail, Octane & Bear Archery.


A bow string can be loosely defined as any stringed material, used to launch the arrow, that is suspended between two ends of the bow stave. The string allows a user to pull a projectile object perpendicular to the axis of tension to store mechanical energy. The energy is released by simply letting go of the projectile and allowing it to spring forward with motion.

The typical choice of projectile is an arrow. The arrow is the natural evolution in precision archery, because it is long and slender, making it easy to aim, and has guiding fins mounted on the shaft to stabilize it during flight. The bow string plays a crucial role in how fast and straight the arrow flies, as well as the power behind the arrow's flight.

Strings are generally wound for more tension capacity. Simple bow strings are comprised of a fibrous material wound in a clockwise or counterclockwise shape to form a thin rope of sorts. These are easiest to make. A string that is stronger for its weight is the “reverse-twisted bow string”. Its fibers are wound into thin strands in one direction, then all wound together again in the opposite direction.

For ease of use and assembly, the looped string was invented. A looped string is a series of loops, instead of regular open ended fibers to make the string. These can be wound in a variety of ways, but generally make mounting easier. By “serving” the bow, a string is wound around and throughout the ends of the string to reinforce the bow string against wear.

Strings can be made of a variety of wound materials, from synthetic fibers or organic materials. Some winders use linen, hemp, or vegetable fibers for cheap and consistent bow string products. There are also sinew, rawhide, and silk bow strings produced that are more costly, but yield various merits in general performance. These are among organic materials.

Synthetic materials are under constant research and development. Purchasing synthetic materials will prove to be more expensive, and yet a massive investment in the quality, life, strength, and force the bow mechanism can produce. One such synthetic material is called Dacron B50 which is a polyester variant. There are also bow strings that are made out of Kevlar, and other very strong polyethylene materials, like Spectra, and Dyneema.

Serving a bowstring can be done with virtually any lasting material. It is mainly looped at the ends of the string that fit over the nocking points where the most abrasion occurs. This provides a barrier between the delicate, operative string and the non-moving pivotal point. The serving string instead absorbs these corrosive forces. Serving also encompasses the process of wrapping the string around a looped string set to keep the sides together. The bow string marks a simple mechanism of stretching a cord and releasing it to propel the arrow in the desired directions. It remains the same despite innovations and add-ons. 

Compound Bow Strings