Picture of Re-curve Bow from Skis
During my most recent skiing outing and I flexed my skis in such an extreme manner that Glenn Plake himself would have gone white as snow,my brain retained this idea that skis must be unbreakable.

So without much ado,I dug out the old vokle skis from the shed and got stuck in with a grinder and.............. that's pretty much the only tool you need.

I've made various types of bows over the years and this has been the simplest and most powerful by far and can also be dismantled for ease of storage or transport.

length and width of finished bow is personal preference and I imagine different eras or skis and models could be stronger or more flex.You could probably use a snowboard as would have benefit of having both ends re- curved or a freestyle ski ( but could be too long)

Like most sports you can set yourself up fro the whole sport at a garage sale for about 20 bucks, but whats the fun in that? 

Step 1: Selecting ski

Picture of selecting ski
Use any skis you can get your hands on,Dump shops,op shops, garage sales ( yard sales) ski shops, you see all the old 80s and 90s skis all over the place.

tools required

Angle grinder plus cutting disc and burnishing  disk                                                 G cramps x 2
rule                                                                                                                               nylon cord ( venetion blind string is ideal for bow string)
marker pen or some sort                                                                                               Arrows
eye protection
ventilated area
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Phil B3 years ago
Thank you for this idea. Until recently we lived near to a popular ski run and I saw old skis used there as fence staves just to make some use of them. I have been thinking about a crossbow and this would be a good source for the bow. What is your estimate of the pull in pounds from your bow?
mr magic (author)  Phil B3 years ago
About 45 lb ish.Quite nice to shoot.

cross bow you could prob keep original width, and cut it down to jst foot and half each blade.
would get a massive poundage.

Phil B mr magic3 years ago
Thank you.
jakeson3 years ago
You clearly never had a limb from a recurve break and tag you in the nuts.... I love the idea but the potential for problems with this is huge... I have been shooting for a few years, and let me tell you, there is a TON of pressure on those limbs. I winced as soon as I saw the picture. Remember when this fails (when not if) there is a lot of power behind all those little bits and pieces to be hit with....

IF However it works for you thats fantastic and I really actually hope all goes well!
mr magic (author)  jakeson3 years ago
If You read the last step I noted I had been hit in the face from a breaking bow.

Sure there are potential problems,all risks are well mitigated.I am also a reasonably competent archer and I know how much flex a ski can take being an expert skier.

I have a bit more fear from I.E.D.s or from my chainsaw.!

I appreciate your concern.
jongscx3 years ago

What kind of Draw are you getting on these things? (There-abouts)
mr magic (author)  jongscx3 years ago
I measured by putting the bow on a metre rule on a bathroom scale.Pull down to my draw distance.Is about 45lb ish.

I am intending to redo the handle so the two staves lean forward when unstrung much like a mongol horse bow which should increase draw weight.

Ingenious! What material was your ski made from?
mr magic (author)  Lt. Duct Tape3 years ago
What ever skis are made of,I don't think it matters though a wooden ski might not flex as easily. These ones were made of an Aluminium sandwiching a core of some graphite type stuff.Hence the need for ventilated area,it sure makes a mess when cutting.
berteh3 years ago
wonderful suggestion, thanks!
l8nite3 years ago
oddly enough we do get snow skies in 2nd hand/thrift shops here in Florida, next time I see a pair I'll have to grab them !
rocklocker3 years ago
I knew I kept those old skies for something. Great Idea.
PUTE IT IN INCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PUTE IT IN INCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
fantasyman2 years ago
thank you for this great instructable, i only have one question:whatk ind of material are(pardon, were) your skis made of? they are incredibly thin, compared to skis i've always seen
Imcrazydude2 years ago
Draw weight?
darrenhall2 years ago
This is an elegant and beautiful build - big respect.

triumphman2 years ago
It would be nice if you stated your size measurements and weights in inches (USA) and pounds (USA) for us blokes across the pond, thanks mate !
builder9282 years ago
nice bow and thats a really good idea
Back when America was built with inches, the rule of thumb with Recurves and I'm sure Long Bows was 4" shorter String "Loop end - Loop end" than the Bow, a 54" Recurve needs a 50" String Braided "Artificial Sinuew <=== S/P? - comes off the spool endless and waxed heavily" - like from CrazyCrowTraidingPost.com, or maybe a Bow String from a Sporting Goods or Archery Shop for less than $ 10.00 last I knew (Not enough to ruin the Beer Fund), etc, etc.
Needs a period after 50" String, to make better sence.
and you need to learn to spell
mr magic (author)  Questor2 years ago
You can't start a sentence with a lower case 'and'
mr magic (author)  snoopindaweb2 years ago
yeah , maybe it means science.
mr magic (author)  snoopindaweb3 years ago
Period after 50? Usually menopause strikes by then
=////=======> HAR..! 54" Recurve needs a 50" String, loop end 2 loop end.
For safety reasons, I'd like to clarify. First of all, recurves and lonbows are very different, and you don't want to assume that they're the same. Recurves are a stiff in the handle bow, and a longbow is a bend in the handle bow. Recurves have a rectangular cross section, and longbows have a rounded cross section. A 54" inch recurve bow is going to have a very different string length and brace height than a 6 foot longbow. You can't apply this "rule of thumb" to determine string length. String length is different for each shooter, and each bow. To measure string length, you need to know the correct brace height for a given person on a given bow. This is found using a "fistmele" measurement. You place the back of your fist on the belly side of the handle, with your thumb fully extended. The string length should be such that the bow string just touches the tip of your thumb. Depending on the bow and the brace height for a given person, this can be anywhere from 2.25 to 4.5 inches.
Back when America was built with inches, the rule of thumb with Recurves and I'm sure Long Bows was 4" shorter String "Loop end - Loop end" than the Bow, a 54" Recurve needs a 50" String Braided "Artificial Sinuew <=== S/P? - comes off the spool endless and waxed heavily" - like from CrazyCrowTraidingPost.com, or maybe a Bow String from a Sporting Goods or Archery Shop for less than $ 10.00 last I knew (Not enough to ruin the Beer Fund), etc, etc.
I make my crossbow strings from waxed dental floss. find the proper length for your string. put two nails, at that distance, on a board. wrap about 15 or 20 wraps around, nail to nail. whip the ends to make loops the proper size. Find the center and start whipping, a layer or two, an inch or so from one side to the same distance on the other
of that center mark. I then drip melted wax over all the whippings.
Great idea..! & Yet another good reason to carry a couple packs of Dental Floss in an "Emergency Kit"... P.S. You woulden't beleve it, I looked a bit closer at My rule and realized what that stuff was on the bottom, Metrics, YUP.! Thanks Again. G-G
mr magic (author)  snoopindaweb3 years ago
Yeah that is prob right. I was guesstimating.
four inches off 50 seems about right.
I just try and string it up from what I have lying around. Though I always thought when England built America they had invented the Musket.

scottyman793 years ago
Why not drill 4 holes on each stave and bolt the whole assembly together with hex bolts? This would prove effecient and still allow the disassembly of the unit.
mr magic (author)  scottyman793 years ago
wouldn't want to compromise strength with holes.
I dont understand how that would compromise the strength of skis, though if you were dealing with fiberglass then yes it would really cause problems with the integrity of the unit but skis generally have a core made of high durability metal. I agree that a small snowboard would be better because it is already one whole unit and though I know almost nothing about skis I do know a thing or two about snowboards because I own a couple myself. I may be wrong about the skis core materials but snowboards do in fact have a metal core. = )
mr magic (author)  scottyman793 years ago
You wont know till you try it out
Regardless I think your idea is brilliant. I am a survivalist living in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, U.S.A. and this tutorial is excellent reading. Thank you.
With electrcity and internet access? HEATHEN!

well, you could always make 3cm x 18 cm panels, sandwich the staves between them and use 2 hose cramps on each side of the break. that might bind it together enough.
etb3 years ago
You said 650 ml for your draw length. But what is yiu drawlength? 28"? Or more
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