Carbon Fiber Bows: The Next Generation

It seems like everyone has an iPod. You see people listening to them at the gym, in the subway, at the grocery store, and in the school hallway. New generations of iPods are released to keep up with our growing needs – more megs, more speed, faster response. The same is true with the bow.

The carbon fiber bow is the next generation of bow. What are the benefits? Carbon fiber bows are manufactured from various grades of carbon fiber and are bonded with a resin. This results in clear advantages over wood:

  • More durable
  • Resist warping
  • Light and well-balanced
  • Less expensive


These bows have gained popularity in the past 20 years, in part due to the scarcity of pernambuco, a dense, heavy wood from Brazil normally used to make bows. More recently, advances in technology have improved bow performance, making this type of bow a good alternative, if not choice, for pros, teachers, and students alike.

MENC Member Daniel Abrahams says he has seen an increase in students using carbon fiber bows in his classroom. “They are better than the bows that come with their school owned instruments or the instruments that have been handed down from child to child within the household. Many times those bows are warped and need to be either re-haired or thrown away,” Abrahams says.

Daniel Abrahams teaches band and orchestra at Omaha William Jennings Bryan High School in Omaha, Nebraska.

Nicole Springer, June 10, 2008. © National Association for Music Education