This is an extra lesson primarily intended for the training of physical education majors who may have to teach archery, but it is desirable for every archer to know these points. Where time is an important factor, I include all of this material with the previous lessons, covering most of it in Lesson V. It is advisable, however, to give a sixth lesson covering this in more detail.
a.) Selecting Equipment
"Good lemonwood bows are better for class use than bows made of any other material. Many champion archers will not have any other kind. Yew bows are, of course, superior to all, but their extra expense is not justified except in the case of the most expert archers, and even many of these still prefer lemonwood.
"Lemonwood, or degame as it is called in Cuba where it grows, belongs to the madder family, like the gardenia. It gets its name from its yellow colour. It is to-day recognised by all the leading archery authorities that lemonwood is the best wood for everyday use. It is much less expensive than yew and, properly made, is one of the most durable of bow materials. Bows of other woods, such as lancewood, hickory and osage are sometimes offered for sale. In my estimation none of these is as satisfactory for beginners' use as the self lemonwood bow. Lancewood is usually employed by British bowyers because they can get staves for very low prices from the carriage makers, who use the main part of the log and discard thin staves. Practically all of these staves are so thin that it is almost impossible to make a properly constructed bow from them.
"Because the American Indian used hickory for bows when he could not get anything else, it is a most common belief in this country among the inexperienced that hickory is the best wood there is for bows. Actually, it makes a very inferior weapon. Since the cost of a hickory stave is only fifty or sixty cents less than a stave of good lemonwood, I have never understood why it should be used where there is so little difference in price and when lemonwood is so much more efficient.