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crossbows culture

Crossbows in Popular Culture

The crude and elegant crossbow was invented in the sixth century by the Chinese and found to be an extremely efficient tool. The crossbow was able to shoot arrows as efficiently, and within range in most cases more then the traditional bow and arrow. Deemed as the GarageBand of warfare, the crossbow made shooting an arrow in to a piece of meat extremely easy.

Archers traditional bow and arrows were among the highest used weapons prior to the crossbow. These original warriors were not only soldiers… they were artists. Archery proficiency took incredible amounts of skill and precise training. Crossbow archers came into the picture and were seen as graffiti artists tagging their original art.

Use primarily for hunting and sports, the crossbow are enjoyed by enthusiastic fan base all over the world. These have made there way into shows such as the Walking Dead and others. Here at Bow Advice, we decided to show how popular it has become.

Highlighted below are just a few films, television shows and video games from popular culture that have featured crossbows in some way.


The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Directed by Nathan H Juran. This classic film came out in 1958. In the climax of the screenplay, Sinbad kills a dragon with a giant crossbow.

Star Wars

Yes Star Wars! When it came out in 1977 Chewbacca sports a traditional weapon crafted in Kashyyyk called a Bowcaster,. They’re known for being more powerful and more accurate than traditional blasters.

Mad Max


Mad Max encountered “Wez” in The Road Warrior prior to embarking on a furious road. He sported a wrist-worn mini crossbow!



Before the legendary geek/director brought the Avengers to the big screen and did an awesome job of it, he created the much loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even though she sported many weapons, would often use a crossbow at times.

Zelda – You legend!

In 2007 the Nintendo Wii promoted incredibly fun crossbow training. They allowed you to train as the famous Link from the Zelda series. It was used to promote the zapper gun and was well recieved at the time.


The Walking Dead


In 2010 zombies went mainstream thanks to the television show the walking dead. Originally a comic book by Robert Kirkman, the show was brought to life by the director of Shawshank Redemption Frank Darabont. Kirkman is also heavily involved in the T.V show which may be why it has maintained some of the darker aspects of the comic book.

One of the most iconic characters of the show is Daryl who has somehow managed to survive a long time. This might be because his weapon of choice is a crossbow. Daryl has become a fan favourite and the reason most come back to watch the series on AMC’s Sunday night zombie drama.

Game of Thrones

In the most current Game Of Throne series, Ramsay Bolton has become the newly hated villain. Prior to this new villain, fans were forced to endure the widely hated “King Joffrey” of Baratheon. Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, First of his name, the realms Protector, Kind of the Andals, Crossbow Fetishist, and a spiteful annoying jackass.


All know too well Jofferey’s unforgivable deeds. After executing Ned Start, he set off to war, murdered prostitutes for fun, continuously disrespects his uncle Tyrion, abused Sansa Stark repeatedly, and was basically the most hated by all the kingdoms.

Game of War!

As all Fans know, the new Game Of War: Fire Age commercial hosts Mariah Carey.

While appearing in classy armour, she marches and moves to the trailer music, ironically her song “Hero”. Prior to charging the battlefield, she shoots a dragon from the sky with a crossbow before saying “Time to be heroes, guys”. Carey replaced the original model Kate Upton for the popular games ads.

crossbow myths

welcome to

Myths about Crossbows Answered


Since the invention of the crossbow, there have been lot’s of things said about the weapon, both positive and negative. A lot of archers are not big fans of it and the recent killing of a certain Lion called Cecil with this weapon have not helped its cause.

However, there are a lot of positive things about this weapon that we at Bow Advice wanted to share here. If you find it helpful share it via your favorite social media tool.

Myth #1: “If you want to cause more damage to a target, use a Crossbow!”

False: these tools don’t cause more damage than typical bows. The ballistics and target damage related to momentum has been measured and these facts have been found.

A carbon arrow delivered from an Olympic bow at a 40-pound re-curve is the same as a 95pound target crossbow bolt. The targets are often penetrated much further with vertical compound bows. Tight gripping and accurate shooting actually causes more damage.

Myth #2: “When it comes to hunting, crossbows suck!”

Un-educated bow hunters will most commonly state this. Properly constructed modern bows are excellent for hunting. Old crossbows were not ideal. When paired with well-designed bolts, appropriate weight, and construction, these are just as effective as any bow. Crossbows are by nature, much more accurate than traditional bows.

Myth #3: “ Bows are much weaker than Crossbows”

The crossbow is not typically as efficient in storing power or energy as traditional vertical bows. The power stroke is much shorter than a long bow do to the compact size of the crossbow. In order to maintain the draw weight of a long bow, the crossbow needs to draw almost twice the weight, which makes it more difficult to draw. Crossbows in turn also fire much shorter arrows than a vertical bow.

Sport bows however, fire a 20-inch bolt and have a power stroke of about 14.5 inches. Common target crossbows only shoot a 13-inch bolt and have a smaller power stroke of 12 inches. Typical vertical bows shoot around a 30-inch arrow and have a much large power stroke of about 20 inches.


Myth 4: “If you can shoot a rifle, you can shoot a crossbow”

While this is slightly correct, crossbows take an incredible amount of practice. They are extremely unforgiving tools. A proficient archer can become safe and able to shoot accurately within about a 1.5 hours. This is much quicker than typical archery equipment, however, becoming a master takes longer.

Since the bolt trajectory is not flat, it cannot be compared to a rifle. The bolt speed is less than 400 feet per second. Its only 1/6th the speed of a high power rifle and about 2/3rds of the speed of a common air rifle pellets.

Crossbow Myths Explained Video

Back in 2011 the World Crossbow Shooting Association, created a documentary to answer some frequently asked questions about this bow and responds to some myths. The video is just over 9 minutes long and is worth watching.

Crossbow World Championships 2015

Crossbow World Championships 2015 Highlights


On July 2015, in Fort Lauderdale Florida, the 7th Crossbow World Championships were held. The USA also held this in conjunction with the famous international version, the Crossbow Festival. All sorts of events took place including, Bench/Prone stance, Matchplay, targets, forest field, 3D sectioned ICF events, and a money shoot held indoors.

The medal count for the first five countries are as follows:

  1. India     9 Gold 8 Silver 3 Bronze
  2. Sweden 9 Gold 3 Silver 2 Bronze
  3. Estonia 7 Gold 3 Silver 5 Bronze
  4. USA      4 Gold 9 Silver 5 Bronze
  5. UK        4 Gold 3 Silver 0 Bronze

The American women did really well by getting gold (Carol Pelosi), silver and bronze in the open female target and Eileen Pylypchuk got Gold for Senior female target. Michelle O’Donnell got a gold in the Ten point world target championships and we also got a bronze in this event as well. Pat Copley also got gold in the senior section of the ten point event as well. This was definitely the year for women.

Let’s hope these encouraging wins introduce more women the sport. It would be great to see crossbow competitors in the Olympics. To see the full list at world crossbow click here.

Silver medal for first timer Kazuki Imamura

The WCSA silver medal was won by a sophomore named Kazuki Imamura from Tokai University, Japan. She won this medal at this Crossbow World championship under the Forest Division games.

Imamura joined the Rifle Club in April of last year and discovered crossbow. Imamura stated that she wanted to participate in a post that was crystal clear whether she won or lost. She stated that she initially had a hard time drawing and maintaining form with the bow because it took so much strength.

In order to build proper strength and form, Imamura practiced at least three times per week. A former schoolteacher instructed her, whose focus was on marine science and technologies. The instructors name was Tomoo Umehara. Her instructor remembers her well and noticed that she was built for crossbow. Her instructor mentioned she was very strict in her training and form, and that is what made her the expert she is today!

The final debut was the crossbow championship. This Forest Division required her and other participants to complete two rounds consisting of 12 courses all taking place in the forest. The targets were images of animals. The point keeping varied on the distance of the target. Imamura states that it was difficult to be attentive to the game after walking 3 hours throughout the hot forest. Practice was made perfect, even in the toughest of environments; this is what she had trained so long for.

Imamura has proclaimed that she is more than thankful for a great instructor, and she would not have been able to do it without him! The next championship she will be attending is in Japan. It was in September, in Gunma, at the training centre held at the Tokai University.

Fake Crossbows at Comic Con

Security at Comic Con

“You hold the chicken and I’ll take the gun.”


In a small corner of the convention center here, elves, storm troopers and superheroes lined up while wielding their laser guns, crossbows and tridents. The fans, in full regalia, had arrived for Comic-Con International, the annual showcase for comic books, movies, TV shows and more. They were gunning for some pop-culture overstimulation. But not so fast.

One by one, they first had to step up to a booth manned by private security guards dressed in white polos and black pants. The gate keepers’ job: to make sure that the throngs of gentle geeks who toted faux weapons like giant, hollow cardboard scepters posed no actual threat.

The weapons-check station at Comic-Con is an odd intersection of fantasy and reality, where fanboys and fangirls, many dressed in elaborate costumes, must submit to the real-world security needs of a gathering that draws 130,000 people in 500,000 square feet of convention-floor space. Security personnel must affix an orange tag on each weapon to confirm that it is indeed harmless.

“Cosplay,” the practice of dressing up as one’s favorite fantastical character, is almost as common here as T-shirts and shorts. But many of those costumes involve carefully crafted simulations of deadly weapons like crossbows.

You can’t bring that in here

cosplay-costumeBut not everyone received an orange tag after such a quick inspection. Patrick Healy had to take the string off the bow he was carrying to complete his cosplay as Hawkeye, the ace archer from Marvel’s “Avengers” series.

“Yesterday I saw someone with a string so I thought it’d be OK,” the San Diego restaurant manager lamented. But as one guard said, “You could use that to project anything.” Still, after a run-in with security last year, Mr. Healy saved himself a headache by leaving the tips for his plastic arrows at home this time.

At Comic-Con, which ran Thursday through Sunday, attendees are generally known for their extraordinary friendliness and politeness. This, despite crowds that can feel like being caught in a tidal wave and lines for Hollywood studio presentations that last more than a day.

One of the most violent incidents came in 2010 when a man was stabbed in his eye with a pen during a scuffle over a seat at a panel.

Guards at the weapons check with shirts that read “Around The Clock Protection Services” said they were forbidden from speaking about their policies and experience. “We don’t comment on security,” said a Comic-Con spokesman.

But as they inspected everything from a skull-laden wheel inspired by “Mad Max: Fury Road,” to outsize cardboard bazookas, the guards appeared to be having a great time.

Plenty of unscripted humor happens at the checkpoint. Giving one cosplayer the once over, a guard said, “You hold the chicken and I’ll take the gun.”

Bear Grylls over- enthusiastic fan!

Bear Grylls fan goes ‘native’ in Scottish Park


Bear Grylls is a massive positive influence on a lot of people across the world. This Brit has inspired a lot of people to get outdoors and rejuvenated interest in survival skills. Occasionally though, one or two individuals get carried away with what it means to be a “survival expert”.

A fan of Bear Grylls was arrested and locked up after roaming around in a public park dressed in a wig, mask, latex gloves, and carrying a crossbow. He was found guilty for weapons and drugs. After being discovered by chance by a local sheriff, Jamie Wisbey was remanded for psychiatrics “reports” and sinister bag contents. The park is located in South Inch in Perth, Scotland.

On June 1, Oddball Wisbey was discovered hiding in the bushes of a local park trying to feed ducks as a result of not being able to sleep well.  Another Bear Grylls fan was found in Buckie using his fisherman survival skills in the local park at night.

While trying to hide the items in the bag, including the crossbow, Wisbey admitted his acting sneaky and sly throughout the process.  A great question was directed towards Wisbey from Fiscal Depute Gavin Letford. He asked if Bear Grylls recommended he wear a wig, a mask, and carries a crossbow around the park at night. Was there a hidden purpose all of these items were taken for your fishing boat endeavor?

As told to the jury, Wisbey was seen sneaking around hiding in the bushes in Perth by 39 year-old Josh McNeil, and 25 year-old Kirsty Edmonston.  Mr McNeil mentioned that the area Wisbey was hiding was described as a difficult place for potential “”victim” to escape him. Miss Edmonston said:

We went out to get air. We regularly have trouble sleeping. We saw a man. He was quite some distance away behind some bushes.

He was going in and out of the bushes. It was quite a strange thing to see at that time in the morning. He jumped out in front of us. He had something he was concealing in his pocket.

He said he was a fisherman and needed to go up north for a job. I just said it’s not right that you’re in the park at this time. He wasn’t making sense. He was very strange.

They followed Wisbey to a train station where he tried to hide a bag.  31-year-old PC David Cross mentioned that after police were called, they found a bizarre array of items after searching his bags.
The police officer stated that this bag contained a black wig, laptop, latex gloves, Dictaphone, two USB sticks, and a balaclava with mouth and eyepieces cut out and re-stitched to reduce pull.
June 1st of this year, Wisbey was found guilty for having a crossbow and arrows in the Perth Park and railway station.

Wisby was also found guilty for the possession of methadone and a locking saw blade.  Because of the contents in the bag, and the behaviour, Sheriff Foulis recommended a Wisby get a thorough psychiatric report. Wisby was remanded after sentencing was deferred.

In fear of a skin condition called scabies, the court moved away from Wisbey quickly in fear of being infected. The police have ordered a psychiatric file on Wisby due to his actions.