Fred Bear introduced FutureWood in the 1970's and was re-introduced in the Bear line in 2013 due to request from customers wanting natural hardwoods reminiscent of the early 1970 era bows. This manufacturing process gives completely new physical properties to the wood in the handle section. A pressurized vacuum fills all the natural pores in the wood, increasing its weight and greatly strengthening it. After baking, the handle is no longer natural wood, but Futurewood: It is virtually impossible to warp, check, or crack. Yet, all the grain and original beauty of the natural wood are intact.
You may notice some lighter areas on the Futurewood handle of your new Bear Bow. Just as a natural piece of wood does not have uniform shading throughout, neither does Futurewood. In fact, these light areas appear only where the natural wood underneath is strongest. The bowmakers at Bear call these "birthmarks" because they appear during the pressurized vacuum process. The birthmarks form where the pores of the natural wood are closest together, thereby filtering out some of the injected material. The baking process assures uniform strength and density throughout the handle section. The birthmarks give each Futurewood handle section an identity of its own; no two are alike.