Join Date: Dec 2004
Originally Posted by Timo Nieminen
It keeps the undrawn string tension low (even zero, if you want). This means you can keep the bow strung forever without worrying about the bow losing its spring (i.e., developing string follow). Gives you more freedom with what materials will be OK for the bow and the string.
You sacrifice power. This gives you a force-draw curve that starts with a gentle slope, which means you get a concave force-draw curve.
As pointed out in that article and in the <I>Traditional Bowyer's Bible I</i>, aside from ease of use and relative silence, a decurved shape can be forced by dependence on weak wood. Decurved bows are known from the US southwest (when they were stuck using willow wood for bows) and from Egypt (where they had to use acacia). In both cases, the shape allowed them to maximize the power they got from the weak and inelastic woods they had to use. These wouldn't be the equivalent of yew bows, but were the best they could do with local materials. Note that the Indian bows, at least, were often large (relative to their power) to compensate for the weak wood.