The first bow I made (May 2013) followed the mollegabet design and, whatever else may be said about the stick, it worked. And like crack cocaine, it hooked me and hooked me hard.
The second bow also cleaved to the mollegabet form, and offered a key improvement over the first: it drew more than 30 ounces.
Wood for the first is poplar. For the second, red oak. Both began life with me as boards purchased from Lowes and/or Home Depot.
With two successful bows under my belt, I cast my eyes on the pyramid form. I attempted five of them. Of those five, PinkCamo is the sole survivor.
PinkCamo and the four pyramid bows I broke were red oak. So it’s not the wood … necessarily. Curiously, all the bows I’ve broke till very recently, have been red oak. And I am not likely to use that wood again any time soon. But not because I broke four sticks of it. Those red oak boards were good teachers. And while not ideal, red oak is a viable bow wood. The reason I’m not contemplating another red oak board is, I’ve found other woods I’m eager to experiment with.
Here’s the thing: PinkCamo is a good stick. It now belongs to 10-year-old Olivia, the daughter of a friend of mine. I would not give a 10-year-old friend’s daughter a bow I thought in imminent danger of breaking at any moment.
I think PinkCamo argues for red oak from Lowes and/or Home Depot as a good wood for the beginner because it is not the best bow wood in the forest. If you can coax a working bow out of it, you’re doing well or lucky and either of those count.
Mike from Boarrior Bows imparted this advice for the struggling bowmaker: “If you ain’t breakin’ ‘em, you ain’t makin’ ‘em.”
I took that to heart on Father’s Day 2013, when, over the course of a few hours, I broke two bows. Two broke sticks. In less than one day. I nearly quit. I put a lot of effort and hope into those sticks. One broke in my hand as I drew back its maiden arrow. Why go on?
PinkCamo revived my pursuit of the unbroke stick.
Sometimes, all it takes is one good shot to bring a duffer back to the golf course. PinkCamo was one such shot.