Our job at LifeCycle Bows is a lot like that of someone who arranged marriages in the 18th century—that is we find beautiful, sustainably harvested native woods and connect them with master bowyers around North America. Like a marriage, there’s a lot that goes into finding the right fit and we work very hard to ensure that you receive a GREAT bow!
Not every wood is a bow wood—There are an estimated 950 tree species in North America, which is just 1.6% of the world’s estimated 60,065 species. Perhaps 20% of North American trees have value as bow wood, but less than 2% are commonly used in bows. For primary riser woods, we look for dense, strong woods that will give the bow good “center mass” to make it stable, quiet, and highly “shootable.” Working wood in the limb’s core needs to be lightweight, elastic, and resistant to fracturing. Nearly any colorful or figured wood can be used for non-working areas, such as accents and limb veneers. It’s easy to find bow woods that simply work, it’s much more difficult to find the best performing woods that are also eye-catching.
The Local Factor—Along with being sustainably harvested, we strive to find woods that are local to each bowyer. This reduces the environmental footprint of our bows and means that each bow represents the natural history of a place. The 3-5 tree species in any given bow might have come from the same stand of trees or at least from the same forest type. A LifeCycle bow is literally an American forest in your hands. Buying local also supports rural, American small businesses. Note: Some areas of North America, such parts of the Rocky Mountains that are dominated by spruce-fir forests, are lacking suitable hardwood species for bows, but nonetheless have highly talented bowyers. In this case, we do the best we can to find local wood, but we also rely on sources that are local to LifeCycle Gear so that we have maximum control over sustainability and quality.
Our Bowyers—We work only with North America’s most talented bowyers. At LifeCycle, we carry difficult-to-find, artisan bows from bowyers who produce limited numbers to bigger companies who have agreed to use our woods in producing their time-tested and sought after products. LifeCycle Gear’s Limited Lifetime Warranty backs all of our bows, regardless of maker.