The Story - Forrester Wood Shafts
My name is Kevin Forrester.
I make hardwood arrow shafts for hunters, competition shooters and recreational archers. My interest in traditional archery began in the late 1980’s when a friend, who was also a gifted teacher and craftsman, introduced me to the sport where I honed my skills in keeping with the Howard Hill style of shooting. Over the years my involvement with archery was put on hold due to a career change, moving, and of course home maintenance. Several years ago an injury required me to take an extended leave from work. During this time I was able to pursue my interest again in traditional archery and specifically arrow shaft design.
The subject of arrow shaft design for me is a missing link in the field of traditional archery. With so many beautifully hand crafted bows being created today, including some that are incredibly fast, why hasn’t wood arrow design kept pace with these works of art?
Don’t get me wrong. There are many skilled traditional arrow makers today producing some fine works of art. The problem as I see it is wooden arrow shaft materials haven't advanced. Port Orford Cedar (POC), spruce, fir, and ash are widely used. While there is nothing wrong with these materials (they have been used for centuries), the problem is the quality of these species has deteriorated along with the decline of old growth forests. What was once a 5/16 POC arrow spined at 50 lbs is now an 11/32 arrow spined at 50 lbs, but it's softer. This lack of supply and deterioration of quality causes folks to choose synthetic and man made materials which are noisy, expensive, and not biodegradable when lost in the woods.
I offer a better solution. To craft arrow shafts that are very strong and durable, I hand-pick prime hardwood stock, selecting certain species that grow with a tight, spiraling, and overlapping grain. The desired species have incredibly strong and interlocked grain patterns that are ideally suited for arrow shafts. These shafts are not only stiffer and stronger. the spine is uniform when tested from various angles, so you can get a higher spine with a smaller diameter.
For example, I shoot 9/32 arrows spined 50 lbs and can make 5/16 shafts spined up to 75 lbs. My Forrester Match Pro™ shafts for competition archers can weigh less than 300 grains, within a precise +/- 3 grains per set. These shafts are not prone to splitting from "Robin Hood" shots - or when shooting cinder blocks for that matter.
I am excited to offer these fine hardwood shafts. Traditional archers are now able to find wood arrow shafts that are perfectly matched to their bows.