Actually, when we choose our first bow (弓, Yumi), these are some of the things one needs to consider. I hope the following points will be a helpful information for readers.
０. You need senior advice!!!
１. Measure your Yazuka (矢束) before you go to Kyudo shop. Bow height (size) is determined by your Yazuka or draw. (Yazuka is the distance between your left mid finger and throat with your arm fully extended.)
- Nami (221cm) Yazuka is between 85 and 90cm.
- Nisun (227cm) Yazuka is between 90 and 95cm.
- Yonsun (233cm) Yazuka is between 95 and 100cm.
- Sansuntsume (212cm) Yazuka is under 85cm.
２. How strong should you use?
Obviously, asking the “right” coach (it could be a doctor) is the most reliable. Some people bought a 7kg bow, some people bought a 20kg for a first time bow. Anyway take it easy!!!
Just one piece of advice! Take two bows, one behind the other in the hand, and have your maximum to draw. To get the sense of the bow strength you need, half your maximum pull strength. To measure this, pull two bows together that tax your strength to the maximum.
３. How much should I expect to spend?
It depends on your financial power and your training level…..but please be ready over 300 dollars for one fiberglass bow.
４. Carbon bow or Fiberglass bow?
Because we need a lot time to take care our own Takeyumi (竹弓, bamboo bow), I recommend Carbon bow or Fiberglass bow when you buy your own bow at the first time.
Actually, we also can choose a Takeyumi as a beginner, but we must learn care and respect for the Takeyumi.
５. So many bows are in existence. How can we choose the right fitting one?
I made this graph as a help for students to choose a synthetic bow.
６. If possible with experienced help, try to check all of the class bows (if any) looking for comfort (width and thickness of the grip).
７. Last but not least! Choose a bow which looks good or sounds good (Like “Fall in love at first sight”)! Because we have little experience in choosing a bow for the first time, I think that we just follow the advice of the available help, senior students, Sensei and bow maker/seller.