Archery is a wonderful sport to be involved in, not only is it great fun to shoot a bow but there is also a myriad of off shoots which you can get yourself involved in, most people make their own arrows, some make their own strings and some even got to the lengths of making their own bows.
Personally I'm not really the practical type, which is odd because I come from a long line of craftsman, my father being the pinnicle who can pretty much turn his hand to anything practical with stunning results. I have neither the patience or time to make my own equipment, I'm possibly being unfair to myself because I'm sure given the time I could come up with something acceptable. However I always want to do as well as I can when I shoot in competition and putting myself at a disadvantage by using something I have made isn't really my style. So I have tended, when needed, to buy strings rather than make my own.
Plenty of people offer string making services, however when you take your shooting seriously what you really want is a custom string made to your exact specification. I needed some new strings as I had recently purchased a new set of limbs for one of my bows and I only had one rather tatty old one between two bows. A good friend had recommended SBD strings and they had a page on the Sponsors section of Tradgang, the work looked good, they were using the sort of materials I was interested in using (D-97). The strings were also 8 strand, rather skinny which should in theory increase arrow speed. I had however had various issues with skinny strings in the past, mainly due to a lack of loop padding, however SBD explicitly mentioned that they pad their loops to avoid the sort of issues I was getting, string noise and vibration.
I contacted Pierre at SBD with some questions, where I should measure the limb width, because my limbs taper, and if they could ship internationally, I got an almost instant response, confirming where I needed to measure and also that they would be more than happy to ship internationally and if I gave them my address where how much extra it would cost me. That evening I too the various measurements they need and sent them to Pierre and in the mean time he had responded with the postage costs. SBD offer number of colour options, I went for a mix of orange and black, but they offer a pretty large range of options. I paid by Paypal and again within minutes Pierre had confirmed the order.
To my surprise I got an email from Pierre the next day confirming the strings had been made and that he had already shipped them, exceptionally quick service for what would have been custom strings, I had ordered three and there is no way they would have had 3 in my exact requirements and colour combinations hanging around. The strings arrived in less than a week, excellent as we normally have to wait a few weeks for delivery from the states. The strings are exceptionally well made and came with a brass nocking point already installed, it was exactly the right length and I only had to add a few small additional twists to get the right bracing height for the bow.
I had a chance the following weekend to try the strings, they worked really well and vibration and noise were minimal, much less than other skinny strings I had experimented with. The arrow also seemed to be much faster than the standard string I had been using, luckily we had two bows which were the same poundage and we shot both side by side, the one with the SBD string was noticeably fast as we were having to adjust our aim otherwise the arrow flew over the top.
Features & Design
Not really much to say on features or design as it's just a bit of string, but it's exceptionally well made.
Initial indications are that it perfoms much better than a standard string, but without the vibration and noise often associated with skinny strings.
Value for Money
Good value, no more or less than you would expect to pay for a string.
We don't have a section in the summary for customer service as much of the stuff we buy is second hand, but that's where SBD set themselves apart from the rest. It's a really well made product but backed up by exceptional service.