For centuries wood bows have been used to play stringed instruments. Though many species have been used, pernambuco from the Pau-Brasil tree is king. The unique combination of strength and elasticity allows the bow to be strong and nimble enabling nuanced expressions by the player.
Due to centuries of over harvesting, the Pau-Brasil tree is now endangered. In June 2007 the Pau-Brasil tree was included under Section II of CITES. This has restricted its use and required bow makers and players to find a viable alternative.
Carbon fiber is stronger than steel, light weight and flexible which makes it a great candidate for bows. The goal of a carbon fiber bow maker is to simulate the feel and sensitivity of a wooden bow. That means matching the weight, balance point and vibration rate of their wooden counterparts.
Some bow makers can simulate the sound, feel and look of wooden bows to such a degree that many life-long wood bow enthusiasts can not tell the difference. There are numerous models available now at all different price-points ranging from around $100 to several thousand dollars.
Each bow is designed to achieve a different result which enables them play differently from one another. The key is to find one that works well for you.
We represent JonPaul Bows because they have a wide variety of bows that offer exceptional play-ability at every price point. Their carbon fiber bows consistently compare well to more expensive wooden bows.
Jon and Paul are classically trained bow makers who treat carbon fiber bows like any other bow. They have the same expectations, standards and techniques but instead of wood they use carbon fiber. I believe that makes all the difference in their product.