Mariner (水手) - Traditional Chinese Bows

Mariner bows are inspired by bows from major periods of Chinese history, and we invite you to explore the different genres of bow in the links above.

Each of Mariner's bows is handmade and custom-built. The core is made from bamboo or bamboo/maple laminations, the back and belly laminations of fiberglass, the bow handle and tips are made from wood, and everything is glued together with Smooth-On EA-40. The quality of the materials that go into Mariner's laminated construction means a Mariner bow will be resilient yet feel lighter in hand than pure-fiberglass bows of the same draw weight. This construction translates into more arrow speed while reducing hand shock, making for a more pleasant shooting experience.


For bow options, you must specify (a) one-piece [default] or takedown, (b) glass configuration, and (c) extras. Certain options will cost extra above the bow's base price.

(a) One-piece or Takedown
  1. One-piece [add $0]: default one-piece construction
  2. Takedown [add $100]: Mariner's original two-piece takedown system



(b) Limb Face Configurations (choose one of the following)
  1. Clear [default]: clear glass on back and belly (to showcase the natural beauty of the bamboo core)
  2. Clear-Black [subtract $10]: clear glass back and black glass belly
  3. Rosewood [add $30]: Rosewood veneer under clear glass on the back, clear glass on the belly
  4. Zebrawood [add $30]: zebrawood veneer under clear glass on the back, clear glass on the belly
  5. Cherry [add $30]: cherry veneer under clear glass on the back, clear glass on the belly
  6. Teak [add $30]: teak veneer under clear glass on the back, clear glass on the belly






(c) Extras: specify back or belly side for optional decorations

About the maker of Mariner (水手) Traditional Chinese Bows

Gui Shunxing, better known as Mariner (水手), is a craftsman dedicated to reviving the art of traditional Chinese archery. From his workshop in Hubei, China, Mariner works tirelessly to make high quality, custom, handmade bows. His hard work has paid off, as he has gained an outstanding reputation in China for his bows, which are known for being both highly functional and very artistic. His daily routine consists of waking up early in morning to bike to archery practice, practicing, and then returning home to make bows. Mariner truly lives and breaths archery, and his passion for the art shows in the bows he makes.

Mariner's foray into bow making began in 2001. He wanted to practice traditional Chinese archery, but there was a lack of traditional archery equipment on the market (nor could he afford to buy high-end traditional equipment). These circumstances inspired him to make his first bamboo bow and arrows. Over the years, he became part of a grassroots movement to revive traditional Chinese archery, going from making bamboo bows, to mulberry bows, to fiberglass bows, and eventually to his current bamboo-fiberglass laminated bows. He is a self-made man, and he hopes his efforts and those of his contemporaries can help push traditional Chinese archery to the next level.

Mariner's Workshop in Hubei, China

Fun Videos Featuring Mariner Bows

Bicycle Archery: Not everybody has access to a horse for horseback archery. Mariner, shown here with a 42#@31" Ming Moon 4, makes due by more creative means... (We do not recommend trying this at home.)

Piercing Sheet Metal: Although not quite the same as piercing armor, Mariner demonstrates the ability of a 42#@31" Ming Moon 4, to pierce the side of a metal shed.

What has Mariner been up to?

Traditional Chinese Archery Competition in Nanjing, China (November 2011)

Xu Kaicai is a widely respected figure in Chinese archery, both modern and traditional. He is a former coach of the Chinese national team, as well as one of the most committed promoters of the modern revival of traditional archery in China. Here he is demonstrating with a custom-made Mariner Han Wind bow, which Mariner made using clear fiberglass laminations over a bamboo core.

Mariner understands quality archery equipment in part because he is an excellent archer himself. In addition to showing his bows to the public, he took 2nd place in the competition using one of his own Ming Moon 1 bows.