Recurve Bows

Recurve Bows

Recurve bows have become so widely accepted as the standard for archery that the Olympics require all athletes to compete using a recurve. While other designs, such as compound bows, have been developed in recent years, a large segment of the archery community still prefers the more traditional design found in the recurve bow.

How do you choose a recurve bow?

What you are going to be using the bow for is going to play a major role in what bow you end up going with. For instance, if you only want it for archery target practice, you can get a smaller bow with a smaller draw weight. However, if you want to be able to hunt small to medium sized game, you need a bigger recurve bow with a heavier draw weight to successfully take down an animal of significant size.

  • Draw Weight: For beginners, a lower draw weight is great for target practice. For more advanced archers or those who want to take their skills out hunting, get a bow that has a draw weight of at least 40 pounds or more.
  • Bow Weight: How heavy the actual body of the recurve bow is will have a significant effect on how well you can shoot. If you get one that is too heavy before you're ready for it, you will likely have trouble maintaining accurate aim.
  • Length: In general, you want the recurve bow to be at least twice as long as your draw length. For example, a draw length of 25 inches means your recurve bow should be at least 50 inches long for it to be appropriate for you.

What is a recurve bow?

A recurve is a type of bow that utilizes a different design than the traditional bow. Where a longbow has a single arc from one end to the other, a recurve bends back at the tips where the bowstring is attached. This design difference gives the recurve bow various advantages over other designs, making it a common choice among archers who want to use a design that has more traditional roots.

What are the benefits of a recurve bow?

There are several benefits to using a recurve bow design. Two of the biggest advantages is the increase in both power and efficiency that you get by using this type of bow. Because of these advantages, recurves are very common among intermediate and advanced archers.

  • Power: The curved tips of a recurve bow give it an advantage when it comes to generating power for a shot. As the archer draws the bowstring back, the tips of the bow start to straighten out. This makes the bow longer than it is at rest, making it possible for a smaller recurve to outperform a larger traditional longbow in arrow speed.
  • Efficiency: Because the bow can generate more power with smaller limbs, the body of the bow can be smaller than it otherwise would be. This makes the transfer of energy from the bow to the arrow more efficient, which also helps to improve arrow speed.