Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Beauty vs. The Beast

Messages posted to thread:
JusPassin 06-Jan-22
fdp 06-Jan-22
Wudstix 06-Jan-22
Jim 06-Jan-22
George D. Stout 06-Jan-22
Live2Hunt 06-Jan-22
Orion 06-Jan-22
reb 06-Jan-22
Draven 06-Jan-22
Gray Goose Shaft 06-Jan-22
SB 06-Jan-22
Wayne Hess 06-Jan-22
Lowcountry 06-Jan-22
tinecounter 06-Jan-22
JHPope 06-Jan-22
Stephengiles 06-Jan-22
beemann 06-Jan-22
CoyoteJoe 06-Jan-22
crookedstix 06-Jan-22
TGbow 06-Jan-22
LongbowOM 06-Jan-22
Bowtie 06-Jan-22
TGbow 06-Jan-22
Rick Barbee 06-Jan-22
JusPassin 06-Jan-22
Bob Rowlands 06-Jan-22
redquebec 06-Jan-22
Corax_latrans 06-Jan-22
[email protected] 06-Jan-22
Juancho 07-Jan-22
Jeff Durnell 07-Jan-22
static 07-Jan-22
Bob Rowlands 07-Jan-22
CoyoteJoe 07-Jan-22
Steve P 07-Jan-22
Yellah Nocks 07-Jan-22
Buckeye 07-Jan-22
M60gunner 07-Jan-22
JusPassin 07-Jan-22
Jack Whitmrie jr 07-Jan-22
Papadeerhtr 07-Jan-22
Pdiddly2 07-Jan-22
Pdiddly2 07-Jan-22
Phrogdrvr 07-Jan-22
From: JusPassin
Date: 06-Jan-22

Another thread prompts this question;

Do you consider purchasing a new bow based on it's appearance, or it's performance, or a ratio of the two?

Not that I can't appreciate a good looking bow, but I'll buy %100 on performance over looks every time. My bows are tools.

From: fdp
Date: 06-Jan-22

To be honest from my experience there isn't enough difference in performance between any of them (factory or custom) to sway me to pay more for one than the other. Abd, I'm not personally into bows that are frilly.

So, that being the case I like bows that I like and sometimes the reason that I prefer one over the other isn't quantifiable to anyone else. It may be a design attribute, the way it feels to NE etc..

Clear as mud huh?

From: Wudstix Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 06-Jan-22

I have some beautiful tools as well. All my sticks perform well and are pleasing to my eye.

From: Jim Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 06-Jan-22

I consider purchasing a new bow because of the bow addition problem that I suffer from. It's terrible!!!!

From: George D. Stout
Date: 06-Jan-22

Neither, and you can see plenty on the classified section that were beautiful and good performers. Performance, as fdp alluded to, is negligible between any make of like design, and no one is gong to build a bow that is not nice to look at. Add to that, I don't buy bows as art, it's a bad investment.

Anyway, I buy bows that I know I can shoot well, mainly because I have shot them before and could be plenty accurate. Accuracy kills game, and creates golds. Pretty can sate your inner beast I suppose, but it doesn't guarantee you can hit anything with it. :) All that stated is the reason I buy mostly vintage models that I already know fairly well.

From: Live2Hunt
Date: 06-Jan-22

First I go by the looks, then how it shoots. If both are good, I will buy. Remember, you have to look good out in the woods!!!!

From: Orion Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 06-Jan-22

As George noted, it's not an eithert/or choice. Most bows perform about the same/well, and most look pretty nice IMO. Be pretty hard pressed to find a poor performing or ugly bow nowadays.

Date: 06-Jan-22

I also though they all performed about the same until I bought super curve limbs. No comparison to any other recurve I've owned or shot. The best part? They are very good looking to boot!

From: reb
Date: 06-Jan-22

A ratio of the two.

From: Draven
Date: 06-Jan-22

I don't mind when the performance comes with good looks. I settle for a ratio of two, performance oriented. Buying what you consider an ugly bow by your own standards falls in the masochistic behaviour.

From: Gray Goose Shaft
Date: 06-Jan-22

Gray Goose Shaft's embedded Photo

I buy for entertainment.

Life is short and pretty bows are exciting.

Pictures for Batman.

From: SB
Date: 06-Jan-22 had to post another pic of that Big river didn't you!...;)......I'll take looks over performance anyday..they all shoot good enough for me!

From: Wayne Hess
Date: 06-Jan-22

Gray Goose Shaft, those all could be entertaining to me with the arrow shelf on the Right Side, Nice

From: Lowcountry
Date: 06-Jan-22

I guess it would be a ratio of the two for me. It all depends. I don’t personally like the looks of bows with the limbs behind the riser and no amount of performance will get me to buy one. However, on the other hand, I’ve got a metal risered warf bow that nobody would ever claim is beautiful, but it shoots well enough for me to keep it. I also have some beautiful (to me) bows that by most accounts are “average” performers.

In closing, I’ll say that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Either that, or those spider bows are the best performing bows ever made. Lol

From: tinecounter
Date: 06-Jan-22

Beauty gets your attention. Then, it's whether or not you hit it off. Much like spotting an attractive . . .ahh, ahem, sorry my mind wanders.

From: JHPope
Date: 06-Jan-22

No reason they can't have both attributes.

From: Stephengiles
Date: 06-Jan-22

I’ll admit I’m not to fond of reverse handle longbows. I understand the why of it but it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

From: beemann Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 06-Jan-22

Im a sucker for a good looking chunk of wood...

From: CoyoteJoe
Date: 06-Jan-22

I get pretty nervous when buying a bow. I have bought many over the years, all online, and I have never shot one before buying. Makes it pretty tough…..

So I make all of my decisions overlooks and what y’all have to say about performance of them. It’s worked for the most part….

From: crookedstix
Date: 06-Jan-22

Looks or performance? This is why there are Howatts and Wings and Brownings, so we can have both.

From: TGbow
Date: 06-Jan-22

I started out on production bows in the mid 70s and then in the late 80s I got into the custom bow buying, sellin, trading thing. Guess Ive come full circle because now all my bows cost less than $200, except for my 1978 Bear Grizzly I bought when I was in High was less than 200 back

For me, it makes no difference if the bow is custom or production. Im not into cosmetic appeal any more but I do have to like the feel and overall shape of the rise. I just dont have the money these days to spend on custom bows, nothing wrong with custom bows if thats what you desire to have. For me, its like buying a can spend the extra on the cosmetics if you like or you can buy the plain jane that will function just the same.

From: LongbowOM
Date: 06-Jan-22


From: Bowtie
Date: 06-Jan-22

For me, My initial thoughts are a ratio between performance and appearance. But, in the end, performance is the decision maker.

From: TGbow
Date: 06-Jan-22

Performance is a factor but I'm more concerned about the pull of the bow and how clean and quiet it shoots.

From: Rick Barbee
Date: 06-Jan-22

The "Beast" is much more appealing to me. If it's a great performer, I really don't care what it looks like.

I should add: Performance for me is not limited to how fast it will cast a heavy arrow. Quietness, stability, etc are all factors in my choices.

I'm gonna say: 95% Beast / 5% Beauty.


From: JusPassin
Date: 06-Jan-22

I should have clarified that Rick. And I agree with you.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 06-Jan-22

I don't like bows with tits.

From: redquebec
Date: 06-Jan-22

Feel. I have tried to shoot beautiful bows known for their quality and great performance. Some just did't feel right. I felt I was fighting the bow in order to "tame" it, if that makes sense.

It's the same thing with guitars. The last guitar I bought wasn't the best, most expensive one, but as soon as I picked it up and played it I knew it was coming home with me.

I won't buy a bow that I can't shoot first. It has to have that "feel."

From: Corax_latrans
Date: 06-Jan-22

I guess I would say that I prefer a good looking beast with good manners.

Super recurves don’t really appeal to my eye - dem big ol’ hooooks just look a bit garish - but when the day comes that I feel that I need one in order to throw an arrow as hard as I need it to be thrown, I will be glad that they exist.

In the meantime, my highest performance bows (just guessing based on “cast”) are a couple of “plywood” Howatts and one custom which was someone’s idea of a beauty, but (again) to me is a bit showy. And I see the beauty in all of them.

As for reverse handles… the closest I have come to shooting one of those is the Bucktrail Antelope and so far, that design seems VERY easy to shoot well, essentially given how light it is. It’s not fancy or shiny, but it certainly serves the purpose.

From: [email protected]
Date: 06-Jan-22

Has to be a joy to shoot. Speed is a small factor. Looks are a great bonus.

From: Juancho
Date: 07-Jan-22

Lookformance all the way

From: Jeff Durnell
Date: 07-Jan-22

A good balance of aestetics and performance is what I seek. They can't all have it, but my favorites do.

Same thing with guitars. My favorite guitars are as pleasing to look at as they are functional and buttery to play. When I'm not using them, they hang on the wall attracting me to them and my bows are right beside them doing the same thing.

I just don't feel the same way about a bow or guitar that is either less attractive or not up to par performance-wise. Those ones are either gone, or relegated to the dark dusty closet under the stairs.

From: static
Date: 07-Jan-22

static's embedded Photo

sure couldn't pass this one up and it shoots

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 07-Jan-22

Have any of you guys seen Willie Nelson's 1969 N-20 Martin guitar, 'Trigger'? Willie's played the dickens out of trigger for over fifty years. Trigger's uglier than hell and literally beat to sf%$, but he sure has made some great music with it over the last half century. That's what REALLY matters.

Willie could buy a fleet of high end Martin acoustics but none of them could possibly replace trigger. That's how I look at bows. And guns. Flyrods. Trucks. My wife. lol

From: CoyoteJoe
Date: 07-Jan-22

Good post Bob

From: Steve P
Date: 07-Jan-22

Bob Rowland's, the guitar that won the fight?


From: Yellah Nocks
Date: 07-Jan-22

Somewhere on this planet are four flyrods. One is a seven and a half foot Orvis three weight that I used to cast the first disco midge ever tied(I invented that fly). The second is a four weight Horrocks-Ibbotson Tonka Prince that I recued from a trash can and straightened, then Fred Villiard refinished for me as a custom. That rod flew and sailed some of the first CF midges I ever tied....also a first. A nine foot five inch Orvis Western Spring Creek that I used to pioneer Bonefish and Tarpon flies for huge nighttime brown trout, also a first. Lastly a little two weight that drifted the first ever tied freshwater shrimp using sandwich bag plastic for a shell. Sold all to pay for my kid's healthcare. Worth every penny, too.

Now that he is grown, I have no flyrods or tying equipment left. But I have a couple cheaper bows that perform very very well. They feel good in my hand. The grips fit "right" just like my flyrods did. Pretty? They are nice enough. I like yhe curves of the risers, and the limbs. Pretty. Like a good looking woman. But the fact that they throw arrows smoothly and quietly, well....that's what counts.

Oh, that Horrocks-Ibbotson has both Fred's and my name on it. If you find it, love to hear about it. And it shoots a three weight line better with a little CFO reel on it.

From: Buckeye
Date: 07-Jan-22

Yes! on both counts. though I've built most of my bows, life is too short for anything ugly.

From: M60gunner
Date: 07-Jan-22

My last purchase was a combination of both IMO. I knew I liked the preformance of my Wes Wallace Royal that I have had for years. So I bought another but got all the upgrades except checkering of grip. Now I have everything…….

From: JusPassin
Date: 07-Jan-22

right on Bob

From: Jack Whitmrie jr
Date: 07-Jan-22

Hunting with a Ugly bow is like taking your sister to the prom. LOL

From: Papadeerhtr
Date: 07-Jan-22

Well to me bows are like women, they all can perform, I just prefer pretty ones!!

From: Pdiddly2
Date: 07-Jan-22

Pdiddly2's embedded Photo

Nothing fancy about this plain Jane Westbow Special Hunter...but it will eat a wheelbarrow full of far more expensive and fancy bow's lunch!

Form follows function...performance comes first.

From: Pdiddly2
Date: 07-Jan-22

Pdiddly2's embedded Photo

I call this 1962 Swift Wing "Swiss Cheese" because it has at least nine filled holes in it!!

I can get over the looks because it's a rocket launcher...and puts those Sweetland Battleshafts right where I'm looking.

Looks take a back seat to design and performance...and a well-designed recurve has functional lines that lets the bow speak for itself.

From: Phrogdrvr
Date: 07-Jan-22

Last two custom bows I had made for me, I asked specifically for only wood that was harvested in PA, my home state born and raised. I could have asked for any combination of exotic (and more beautiful wood) but, I took more pleasure in having a bow that grew up in PA- like me. This doesn't exactly answer your question, but in spirit it does- to me it was just one more characteristic of the bow that was more appealing than aesthetic beauty. That said, both bows in question are handsome and perform extremely well (I hope my wife says that about me :) ).

If you have already registered, please

sign in now

For new registrations

Click Here

Visit A Traditional Archery Community Become a Sponsor © 2003. By using this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy