"I have tortured, tested, and handled many different bows over the years. I have owned and shot a couple of Opa Bows for over a year now and put them through everything imaginable. Recently I tested every single bow he has in stock at his shop. My opinion as a professional bowyer, hunter, and archer is that Opa Bows has impressed me the most thus far. They are indestructible, the look, the unique simplicity and efficient use of materials is enough to make the decision to own one. The design is elegant yet rugged, smooth draw with zero hand shock. When you add in the super high performance aspect it's a no brainer. These are built to last, right here in the USA. You know how I like efficient, fast, and flat shooting bows!" Dave Mead, Mead Archery

I have to ask: Is that bow magic? Are you magic?

I have to ask: Is that bow magic? Are you magic? How does this work?
It was amazing! It’s so smooth and easy, even though it’s 28#! It hits the mark so often! I’m sorry, I’m bad with words and don’t know how to put my excitement into words, but shooting with this bow is just a thousand times more fun and satisfying than normal. And it’s absolutely beautiful! I really, really love it and am kind of floating on a cloud of euphoria, although my muscles are burning. I see a lot of pain in my future, and myself being very happy about that. I’ll likely build a lot of muscle in the next weeks and months…
So thank you. So much!
Ann-Kathrin

The bow has had a very positive impact on both my accuracy and confidence in the shot.

I have owned a 47# OPA bow for a few months now.  The bow has odd looking limbs compared to other bows, and it is not very pretty compared to my other five bows.  But I got this bow to hunt elk, and the bow performs in ways that are important to me.  Specifically, it is very smooth and  also very fast!!  But what I like best about the bow is that it shoots where I look a lot more often than what I’ve been used to.  The bow has had a very positive impact on both my accuracy and confidence in the shot.
Steve

Witchery of Archery!

I am writing to thank you for unleashing your endless quest for excellence into my bow arm. I now am the proud owner of three OPA bows and each successive one is another leap forward in the “Witchery of Archery”. Your desire to achieve the utmost in efficiency in a bow limb has helped tremendously as I endeavor to become a more proficient archer. My bows are a joy to shoot with smooth draw and no stack, and the newest seems to relax somehow at full draw. I don’t know how it is possible, but you have discovered something fabulous again! Everywhere I shoot in competition my compadres immediately comment on the speed of my bows. Each one has gotten faster with your design improvements; my best is 214 fps. With 8 grains /lb. arrow weight., phenomenal! I call this bow my “Speed Demon and love shooting it. Your bows have made it possible for me to achieve results that surprise me and give me a great sense of satisfaction in my pursuit of becoming a competent archer and hunter.  Keep the wheels turning and keep up the good work.  Thanks.

Gene Gordner

This Opa bow is the one that I hunt with now!

I want to say a few words about the bow that I purchased from you back in September. It is late October and I have shot the bow a few hundred times now. This bow @ 47 # consistently out performs other longbows that I own that have a much higher draw weight.It shoots even wood arrows at a high rate of speed. There is no question that the speed is there.  I have been shooting longbows consistently since 1990 and before that I shot recurve bows which I began in 1971. So, I think I know what I’m talking about.  I am shooting cedar shafts spined at 50-55# and with a 160 grain broadhead the arrow is a little over 500 grains.  This Opa bow is the one that I hunt with now.  The lower draw weight enables me to shoot more and as result my accuracy is better. The bow shoots fast and straight which is all I could ask for.  I think you’re on to something with your design.  I would certainly be interested in knowing about anything that you come up with in the future.

Curt Mayfield

Bow is fun to shoot!

“Wow, that bow is fun to shoot!” That’s what everyone seems to say when they stop by our workshop. We have an indoor target marked at ten, twenty and twenty five yards. Sometimes our UPS guy is having a hectic day but after delivering our packages and shooting some arrows with one of our Opa bows, he is smiling and back to work. My wife and I have a 30# and a 35# (with Siyahs) and they are so fun to shoot indoors and out. Grab some judo points for a few arrows, get out in the woods and shoot a round of stump golf for some exercise.  I’m very glad we have this simple activity available to us.

Brendan and Becky Rohan

Fortunate to have 2 Opa bows!

I am fortunate to have two Opa longbows, one of each design. Both are fast and easy draw, which also means I can settle in to my draw, come to anchor point and concentrate on the spot I want to hit. My first bow is of the just reflex design. At twenty eight inches, it draws to forty one pounds and shoots a target arrow in the mid one nineties. My newer bow has the internal siyahs, the wider limbs and draws thirty six pounds at twenty eight inches. It’s just a few weeks old and we’re becoming acquainted. I’ve yet to run it through chronograph, but am not concerned as I can feel it is fast. With archery season just five days away I’m looking forward to wandering through the woods, doing some stump shooting, searching for the elusive elk and admiring the fine crafted bow I carry in my hand. When I close this note, my lady, my lab, the bow and I are in the truck, to gather huckleberries and look for some Montana “chickens”(grouse). Enjoy your fall!

Andy Kvasnak

First in the world of archery!

We now have three Opa bows! One for my 6 year old, one for my wife and one for myself. These beautiful, handcrafted bows are our first in the world of archery. They are such a joy to use in our family’s journey into the world of archery. The light pull weight means that we can target shoot for hours without the shoulder soreness that is usually the result from higher pull weight bows. Can’t thank you enough Peter!

Chris Boedeker

Bought 3 Opa Bows!

So far, I posses three OPA bows for myself and have purchased two others, as gifts for my hunting crew. Each has exhibited a clear and individual personality, all of which have been dynamic and a pleasure to shoot. The new science these guys are on to, is clearly the future of bowery and I for one, am at the edge of my seat…I’ll be looking forward to what’s next gentlemen!

Scott Coppens

What Is A Light Draw Speedbow?

Written by Peter Laffin

The Draw Weight of a bow is measured by how much muscle power it takes to pull the bow to full draw. The average person’s full draw length is the distance from the back of the bow (the surface facing the target) to where the string sits in the nock of the arrow when the archer has the bow pulled all the way back and is ready to shoot. The standard average draw length used by bow manufacturers is 28”. This varies from person to person as all of our bodies are not identical. Bow draw weight is expressed as how much muscle energy it takes to draw the bow to the average draw length of 28”.

In most archery circles bows with draw weights of 15# to 25# would be considered to be youth bows. Bows with draw weights of 25# to 40# would be considered to be light draw weights. Bows from 45# to 55# would be considered to be average draw weights and bows 60# and higher would be considered to be heavy draw weights.

For the purposes of this description we are going to define a Light Draw Bow as having a draw weight from 25# to 40#.

Most people believe that it is necessary to have a bow of average or above draw weight (45# – 70#) to hunt deer sized and larger game.

The use of draw weight to measure a bow’s function is a deeply entrenched belief that is inappropriate. Draw weight measures draw weight, it does not measure performance. Efficiency measures performance. Bow efficiency is measured by the speed of the arrow it launches.

Not all bows are created equal. Some bows, due to their design, are much more efficient than other bows and will launch arrows much faster than another bow of identical draw weight and less efficient design. The difference can be significant, enough so that one bow with a draw weight 20# less than another bow will out perform the heavier draw weight bow. In terms of comfort in the act of shooting, even a 5# difference in draw weight can make the difference between comfortable to shoot vs physically straining to shoot.

What is attractive about a Light Draw Speedbow is that it enables a person to target shoot (and hunt) with a bow that has a very flat trajectory, thus reducing the need to gauge distance as accurately. A Light Draw Speedbow also enables a person to hunt with a bow of lighter draw weight and still equal or exceed the performance of a much heavier draw weight bow.

Light Draw Weight Bows are more comfortable to shoot. They are easier on your body, allowing you to be more relaxed. An archer who is more relaxed shoots more. An archer who shoots more shoots better. An archer who shoots better enjoys it more.

There is no need to shoot a bow that requires you to strain. People who are straining to shoot well.

Light Draw Speedbows are designed and built mostly by bowyers who are pushing the design envelope specifically in this direction. There are some commercial bows that are efficient and fast, however, it is not easy to discern which ones those are as there is no common rating inscribed on most bows. This is beginning to change. Some bowyers are now inscribing the ASR (Arrow Speed Rating) on their bows. This rating shows how fast that particular bow shoots an industry standard weight arrow for that bow. This rating also shows how fast that particular bow will shoot a 500 grain arrow (500 grain being an average hunting weight arrow). As the ASR being inscribed on bows becomes more common it will be easier for the consumer to compare bows’ performance.

In conclusion, Light Draw Speedbows are a new focus for some adventuresome bowyers who have a desire to make archery more enjoyable for a wider range of people. Archery can be a bit of a mysterious endeavor. It asks for physical skill, it asks for mental acuity, it asks for the ability to trust our intuition all rolled into one. It is something we can participate in from just a few years old well into our maturity. Light Draw Weight Speedbows are definitely an enhancement of the enjoyment available in this wonderful sport.

What is ASR?

Written by Peter Laffin

Arrow Speed Rating (aka ASR) is a measurement of a bow’s efficiency.

At some point it was realized that a standardized method for measuring a traditional bow’s performance was desired. A group of archery experts convened and developed a formula for measuring bow performance. It was decided that bows would be tested by shooting arrows through a chronograph ( a device that measures the velocity of arrows and/or bullets) and that the arrows tested would weigh 9 grains per pound of bow draw weight – abbreviated as 9GPP ( the formula for compound bows is 5GPP, which explains why their speed are so much faster…light arrows fly faster). That insured that comparisons between bows would be apples to apples in that each bow, no matter what its draw weight, was shooting an arrow with the same proportion of arrow weight to draw weight. Each pound of bow draw weight was propelling an arrow that weighed exactly the same (9GPP) per pound of bow draw weight. That way one could compare a 40# bow to a 60#.

The faster a bow propels an arrow, the more efficient the bow is.

When a person pulls a bow to full draw they are exerting a certain amount of muscle energy. When that energy is released it performs two basic functions. One is to propel the arrow, and the second is to return the bow’s limbs and string to “home”. The more efficient a bow is the more of that muscle energy ends up in arrow velocity and less of that energy is used to return the bow to its undrawn state.

Bow efficiency is affected by many factors; bow profile (how the bow appears from the side), limb shape (how the bow appears from the belly or the back), limb thickness, materials used in the construction of the bow, string material, string weight are a few of the factors affecting bow efficiency.

Humans have been experimenting with bow design for over 10,000 years. One would think that we would have it all figured out by not, however that is not the case. As is demonstrated by some adventurous bowyers, there is ongoing improvement happening as we speak.

Some innovative bowyers are beginning to include ASR testing results on their bows, along with draw weight and draw length to give the consumer more accurate information about this particular bow’s performance. These results are expressed as standard arrow (9GPP) speed and also how fast this bow shoots a 500grain arrow (500 grains considered to be an average hunting weight arrow). The 500 grain arrow speed is especially important to archery hunters.

Would you like to know your bow’s ASR? Contact us here.

Arrow Speed Rating

Arrow Speed Rating aka ASR

For Traditional style Longbows

Written by Peter Laffin

Acceptable standard arrow speed of 165 fps (112.5 mph) could be considered “normal”

 

Arrow speed of 170fps (115.9 mph) considered “good”

 

Arrow speed of 175fps (119.3 mph) starting to be considered “quick”

 

Arrow speed of 180fps (122.7 mph) considered to be “fast”

 

Arrow speed of 185fps (126.1 mph) considered to be “incredibly fast”

 

Arrow speed of 190fps (129.5 mph) considered to be “nearly unattainable”

 

Arrow speed of 195fps (132.9 mph) demands you “check your chronograph”

 

Arrow speed in the 200fps (136.3 mph) considered to be “impossible”

 

Opa Bow Design vs. Technology

Written by Peter Laffin

Opa Bows are focused on experimenting with the dynamics of pure design. It is Opa’s opinion that technology can enhance pure design, but it cannot replace it. At its core, what determines a bow’s function is design, not materials.

In the beginning Opa briefly turned to exotic materials looking to enhance bow performance, thinking, as many do, that the answer lay in the complex world of new technology.

As experiments progressed it became apparent that more impressive results were being generated by design changes than by material changes. Rapidly the focus shifted to design exclusively.

At this point Opa Bows use only two different materials; fiberglass strips with common “E” glass and laminated, untreated bamboo. This seems to be as simple a material recipe for bow componnents as there is. With this simple recipe for materials, all experimenting is in the realm of design. Extensive experiments are being done with bow profile, bow limb shape, limb thickness, taper vs parallel limbs, internal siyahs, riser dimensions and on and on.

Once design results begin to solidify, and it feels like an essential design has been achieved, then, maybe the use of carbon fibers, special “S” glass, Stabil core laminates, foam cores, etc. will be explored.

Bottom line right now is, we’re not there yet. There are still plenty of results being gleaned through experimenting with the dynamics of pure design. It is interesting to note that the results being produced by Opa longbows challenge the results being produced by bows, including recurve bows, incorporating much more technology.

Pure, essential design first, technology second.

 

Why Longbows vs Recurves?

Written by Peter Laffin

When the first Opa bow was built less than two years ago Opa knew nothing about building bows or bow design. Longbows looked easier to build than recurves, so longbows it was.

As the adventure into bow design began to take shape, a few things were learned as some of the qualities of longbows and recurves emerged. The consensus opinion was/is that longbows are more stable and more forgiving. As a beginning traditional archer, that was attractive to Opa. Recurves are held to be faster than longbows at the expense of some accuracy. Being a competitive rifle shooter, Opa is addicted to accuracy.

Longbows appeared more ripe for design experiments due to the ease of changing their profile. Longbows are built in a wide range of bow lengths, recurves not so much. From an experimenter’s point of view, longbows looked more versatile than recurves, so the decision was made to experiment with longbows.

There are many factors that affect bow design. Once factor is how the bow will be used. Hunting with a bow is a prime example. Tree stand and ground blind hunters want a short, maneuverable bow. Still hunters are not so attached to a short bow. Some hunters are more focused on accuracy, consistency and trajectory, others on speed of use and maneuverability. One can see that not one bow fits all.

Opa decided early on to focus on bow efficiency and pleasantness of use. Fast arrows first, soft draw second. Through many experimental bows, a super-fast longbow has evolved that is soft and syrup like to draw. Many Opa bows increase only .5# to 1.5# per additional inch of draw length and efficiently accommodate draw lengths from 26” to 34” in the same bow. When bows begin to increase more than 3# per additional inch of draw length they are said to “hit the wall” or “stack”. In many commerically available bows this happens an inch or two past the stated draw length on the bow. One Opa test bow was built having a 70# draw weight @ 28” draw length and was pulled to 101# @ 45” of draw length. That’s an average increase in draw weight of 1.8# per additional inch of draw length… it never did “hit the wall” or “stack”.

In conclusion, Opa has found the longbow configuration to be perfectly suited to extensive experimentation. Longbows can be made in a wide range of performance characteristics, from short and fast to long, fast and sweet to draw. So far, Opa doesn’t feel as though he’s given up anything by choosing to experiment with longbows instead of recurves. And he’s open for that, and anything else to change.

 

Opa’s Passion

For Light Draw Speedbows

Written by Peter Laffin

The need for speed is Opa’s passion. Cars, airplanes, boats, skiis, motorcycles and sleds. How fast can they go? Bullets and arrows…same passion, same curiosity. Speed and accurately guided motion, a wonderful experience. Why not explore speed in archery?

In the beginning it was obvious that raw power ( heavy draw weight) would produce more speed, but that kind of left less physically strong people at a disadvantage.

How could physically average people experience the pleasure of speed in traditional archery? Now there’s an attractive problem. Raw power is one element that produces speed. It started to become evident that superior, efficient design also produces speed, sometimes in greater quantities than raw power. Now that’s interesting.

What, exactly, is it that has a bow be fast? Why are some bows faster than others? How much faster are some bows than others? Can bows be designed and built today that are faster than any other existing bows? Don’t know. Let’s find out.

And so it began.

The saga is still unfolding even as we speak. Opa is on an adventure. Each bow that comes out of his shop is a step in the direction of this quest to design bows that are the most efficient designs available anywhere. He now knows that any person who can pull even a very light draw weight bow can have the experience of shooting arrows that are as fast or faster than any other bow out there, each of them shooting arrows matched to their draw weights.

This opens many new doors for physically average or below average archers. Now they can enjoy fast arrows, which equal flat trajectories (advantageous for target shooting of all types), and the ability to hunt with bows of a draw weight that they can shoot comfortably.

An archer who has a bow that she or he can shoot comfortably will shoot more, and through shooting more will become a better archer. As an archer gets better, they enjoy archery more. On the other hand, hard to shoot a bow that’s hard to draw. This equals don’t shoot as much equals not as good an archer, equals not as much fun.

Speaking of fun…Opa is having fun. This is not a business. It’s not about money. It is about fun. Opa enjoys the adventure of discovery and invention. Each day is an opportunity to try out something new. Sometimes he has to make a number of bows just to verify one idea. As new bows come into existence they may spark more new avenues for exploration. Opa has no idea where he may go next. He is just open to where he is pulled by his curiosity and intuition. It’s all an open ended adventure.

 

Opa Bows Sales Terms

Opa Bows does not offer custom bows. We are strictly an archery research facility. Our sole goal is the development of very efficient, high speed, low draw weight longbows. Every bow we build is an experiment. We build each bow with the goal of it being our all time favorite bow, or a friend’s all time favorite bow. It is one of a kind. When we have a new idea and we have learned what there is to learn from that bow, we offer it for sale. So, all bows for sale are our “formerly favorite” bows.

It is not our goal or intention to produce perfectly executed bows. We make them well enough to function properly and that is all. There is no decoration or anything added for appearance. They look the way they do to accomplish what they are meant to accomplish. If you purchase one of these bows expect cosmetic imperfections.

We do not build bows to order. We do not offer customer service. We are not a business. We are a research facility. If you buy a bow from us it is as is and has no guarantee. One thing that you can be sure of…it is the only bow in existence that is exactly like it is. We don’t build two of anything. If you see something that you like be aware that is the only one of those, there will never be another.

Lastly, we apologize if this seems a little hard core. We just want to be very clear what we do and what we are offering here. Please know that our goal is to develop and design bows that will enhance your archery experience. We are committed to helping people find a pleasurable way to enjoy traditional archery. We think that low draw weight, highly efficient bows greatly enhance the potential experience for women, young people and people who have to deal with physical limitations…as well as the general archery public.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

All Opa Laminated Longbows sell for $665 (free shipping).

Calculating The Speed Of Hunting Arrows Shot From Opa Bows

Without The Use Of A Chronograph

Written By Peter Laffin

Most bows’ speed will change approximately 1fps with each arrow weight change of 3 grains – 4 grains. For example, if one increased the arrow weight by 30 – 40 gains it would slow the arrow velocity down 10fps. Inversely if one decreased the arrow weight 30 -40 grains it would speed up the arrow velocity by 10fps.

Opa Bows’ speed will change approximately 1 fps with each arrow weight change of 5 – 5.5 grains (this is due to the higher efficiency of Opa Bows). For example, if one increased the arrow weight by 50 – 55 grains it would slow the arrow velocity down 10fps. Inversely if one decreased the arrow weight 50 – 55 gains it would speed up the arrow velocity by 10fps.

Using the ASR on an Opa Bow one can calculate the approximate velocity for any arrow weight. For example, Opa’s personal hunting bow has a draw weight of 35# @ 28”. It’s ASR is 195fps for a 9gpp arrow (35# draw weight x 9 grains per pound = a 315 grain arrow) and it shoots a 500 grain arrow at 165fps. Opa’s hunting arrow weighs 415 grains. That is 100 grains more than the 315 grain arrow that travels 195fps. Divide 100 grains by 5 grains and you get a change of 20fps (100/5=20). Opa’s hunting arrow is traveling 20fps slower than the 315 grain arrow. 195 – 20 = 175fps (this actually checks out with the chronograph).

Opa’s hunting arrow specs:

Arrow Shaft Gold Tip Entrada 500 spine

Arrow Weight 415 grains

Arrow Speed 175fps

Arrow weight/pound draw weight 11.8gpp

Arrow FOC 19.2%

Arrow Kinetic Energy 28.19 ft lbs

Arrow Momentum .322

Creating Your Perfect Personal Hunting Arrow

Written By Peter Laffin

If you’re willing to engage and endeavor a bit, you can design and build the perfect hunting arrow for the unique person that you are.

The process begins with assessing your wants and needs. What are you hunting? How long a shot are you willing to take? What are the qualities necessary in your arrow to have a clean harvest?

Arrow performance is measured in three areas. The first is velocity, that is how fasts the arrow is moving through space. The second is kinetic energy. That is energy that is built up due to the arrow’s velocity and weight. In everyday terms it can be looked at as the force with which an arrow impacts something. The third area is momentum. Momentum is the tendency of an arrow in motion to stay in motion.

The formula for calculating kinetic energy is: the weight of the arrow x the velocity of the arrow squared divided by 450800. The answer will be given in foot pounds of energy.

The formula for calculating momentum is: the weight of the arrow x the velocity of the arrow (not squared) divided by 225400.

We could say that the velocity and weight of the arrow determine both the kinetic energy of the arrow (how hard it hits) and the momentum of the arrow (how far it penetrates).

Velocity is determined by two factors, the draw weight of the bow and the efficiency of the bow. Together these determine how much of your muscle energy actually ends up in arrow velocity (an efficient bow will transform more of your muscle energy into arrow velocity).

Arrow velocity not only determines both kinetic energy and momentum, it also determines trajectory. Faster arrows provide gravity less time to pull them down, hence they have flatter trajectories than slower arrows, which are in the air longer and therefore give gravity more of an opportunity to pull them down. In general heavier arrows are slower, therefore they give gravity more time to work on them.

So now it’s time to look at one of the questions we asked initially…how long a shot are you willing to take? A part of the answer to this question has to do with how much of an arc in your arrow’s trajectory are you comfortable with? An even easier way to say this is, how slow an arrow are you comfortable with? Go out and shoot a variety of different weight arrows and you will quickly find out what is too slow for you.

Once you know what velocity you require you can now begin to design your arrow. Basically you want as heavy an arrow as possible within your velocity parameters. For example a person may be confident shooting at an animal at 40 yards with an arrow traveling at 170fps (fps = feet per second). A slower arrow affects their ability to judge elevation too much and hinders their accuracy. So their criteria is 170fps.

There are a number of shafts of various weights that will perform well out of their bow. Which ones should they choose? A suggestion is to choose the lightest shaft and choose it in a heavier spine than you would normally choose. Why the heavier spine? Because we want to put as much weight forward as possible to get a high FOC (forward of center). As we increase the weight forward it will tend to soften the spine. A good practice is to get half a dozen of a possible shaft (ultra light target shafts are excellent for this as they are both of a smaller OD (outside diameter, which enhance penetration) and they weigh less allowing for more weight to be put forward through the use of weighted inserts and heavier broadheads. A good FOC is something in excess of 15% (FOC is expressed as the percentage of shaft distance between the physical center of the shaft and the gravitational center in proportion to the entire length of the shaft). Some people may have misgivings about using an ultra light target shaft for a hunting arrow, but if they will go out and stump shoot with that shaft they will give up their misgiving.

So now we go out and bare shaft test our ultra light target shafts with various insert and broadhead combinations to see which are the proper spine and to test velocities of those properly spined shafts. We may have to go up a spine or down a spine. The point is to have the heaviest properly spined arrow you can at the velocity you have determined that you want to shoot. This is the arrow that will deliver the maximum kinetic energy and momentum at your required velocity.

In the process of creating your Perfect Personal Hunting Arrow you will come to know and appreciate all of the factors that make that arrow perfect for you and it will give you a kind of deep confidence in your arrow that will enhance your shooting and satisfaction. It’s a good feeling to hunt with the best possible arrow for your unique situation.

Note: There are many sources on the internet to learn about how to determine proper spine through bare shaft testing. There are also many sources to aid in calculating FOC, as well as kinetic energy and momentum. There are no standard values for energy or momentum recommended for hunting arrows. A person can do the calculations for these values on a number of different arrows and speeds and begin to get an idea of how weight change and velocity change affect the values. The bottom line is once you have determined your velocity desired, the heaviest arrow at that speed will have the most energy and momentum. It is also a general opinion that for lighter weight bows (under 45#) a hunting arrow weight ratio of 10 grains to 12 grains of arrow weight per pound of bow draw weight is ideal. Heavier than that tends to bog down the bow and not have it perform at its peak.

The Opa Bow Edge

Written By Peter Laffin

What Are The Qualities That Make Opa Bows Unique?

Opa Bows are the result of free thinking and endless experimentation. They are the result of an adventure into evolving an ever more desirable bow.

The whole endeavor began with one man’s desire to be able to hunt big game with a lighter draw weight bow. At the age of 74 he was able to draw 30# – 35# comfortably and could work up to 40# if necessary. Could he invent a huntable bow in draw weight range?

It soon became obvious that not all discoveries in the realm of efficient longbow design had been made. He knew this because he made some new ones. These new discoveries fueled his enthusiasm to continue experimenting, as he was having very good results.

In less than two years he had gone from knowing nothing about bow building and bow design to building some incredibly fast/efficient longbows. In retrospect it seems that knowing nothing was actually an asset in that he had no preconceived notions so he went and did some “crazy” things. Some of those crazy things led to valuable discoveries.

The result at present is that there are Opa Bows that shoot 9gpp arrows in excess of 200fps. Some Opa Bows with draw weights as low as 28# shoot 500 grain arrows in excess of 150fps (considered by some authorities to be sufficient hunting criteria for big game in North America).

An unanticipated result is also that some of these experimental bows have unusually soft draws. They actually get easier to draw at the end of their draw length, giving the archer the experience of a syrup like draw…very soft and smooth…unusually smooth. As part of the soft draw phenomenon some of these bows accommodate draw lengths from 25” to 35” all in the same bow. Some of these experimental bows have draw weights that only increase 1/2lb to 1 1/2lb per additional inch of draw length. Most normal bows increase approximately 3lbs per inch of increased draw length.

The speed of these bows attests to their efficiency. One way this is expressed is in the speed change per weight change in arrows. Most normal bows speed will vary 1fps for every 3 – 4 grain change in arrow weight. Opa Bow’s speed varies 1 fps for every 5 – 5.5 grain change in arrow weight. That translates to being 20% – 40% more efficient than many commercially available bows.

Opa Bows are super simple in the use of materials. Their performance Is due purely to their experimental design, as they are built from the most standard materials. The limbs consist of two layers of “E” fiberglass (“E” glass is standard, “S” glass is high performance), and two layers of laminated bamboo. That’s all. No carbon, no Stabil Core, no “S” glass, no foam cores, nothing high tech.

The riser is made from a material used for; building siding, outdoor skateboard ramps, countertops, furniture and many other applications. It is waterproof, strong and can be worked with woodworking tools. So all outside surfaces of the bow are weatherproof with the exception of the exposed bamboo layers at the limb’s edge. This is protected by a penetrating oil and then covered with multiple layers of a high grade waterproof wax, which can easily be applied periodically as maintenance.

The essence of Opa Bows is innovative design. Nothing fancy, just pure, previously untried design elements. The nature of Opa Bows is simplicity. Simple materials, simple execution. Nothing fancy, just functionally built.

Opa Bows are simply a good idea in a three dimensional form. There are very few Opa Bows out there in the hands of traditional archers. The archers that do have one (or two or more) consider themselves fortunate. At this point they are all personal friends of Opa, and their purchase of Opa’s bows has helped finance Opa’s further experimentation. Now that opportunity is being opened up here to the wider Traditional Longbow Community.

A hearty welcome to those of you who want to join this Speedbow adventure.

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