As you practice more regularly, your bowstring will likely wear and tear, with servings unraveling or strands fraying. Bowstring wear can hurt performance and, in some cases, harm your equipment and possibly you. This article reviews considerations you must make when ordering a new bowstring.
To start, you must get the proper string length for your bow. Each manufacturer has recommended lengths for specific riser and limb combinations, and you should follow their advice. If you have a combination of brands (a Hoyt riser with Win & Win limbs, for example) you might have to experiment with subtle differences in string length to achieve your desired brace height.
The next thing, which is the most important consideration for some, is the new string’s color. This can make your bowstring match your chosen color theme or stand out in contrast with it, such as neon yellow. Your color choice could also help you see your string blur, easing string alignment at full draw. You can also order a one-color string or multi-colored string. Some archers even order a bowstring with two colors with pinstriping in between. In general, the more colors in a string, the more you’ll pay.
Another consideration is the string’s material, which can affect your bow’s limbs. The industry standards for recurve strings are 8125 by BCY or Fast Flight by Brownell. Both bowstrings are made for recurve bows, and stretch a little to be “nicer” to recurve limbs. You can also order bowstrings made from materials with less stretch. These materials are usually used for compound bows, and these bowstrings can harm recurve limbs, especially on longer, high-poundage bows shot with long draw lengths.
Next you’ll consider how many strands you need to ensure a good nock fit. You want your nocks to fit snugly and not wiggle on the bowstring, but they shouldn’t be extremely tight. Nocks must smoothly release off the bowstring when it’s released. A too-tight nock hinders a smooth release, and most weak shots hit the target low.
Another important factor, which often isn’t mentioned when buying a bowstring, is which way you should twist it (clockwise or counterclockwise) to increase your brace height. Look closely to see how the center serving is wound around the bowstring material, and match that orientation. If you don’t twist your bowstring in the same direction as your serving it will unravel as you add twists to your string.
When ordering a new bowstring, especially if it’s your first such purchase, consult your archery shop’s pro to determine the best string for you. Ordering a string will be much easier, and you might also get some customizations that make that bowstring truly yours.