Are Recurve Bows Better Than Longbows?

27th Jul 2016

Are Recurve Bows Better Than Longbows?

Advantages Of Recurve Bows Over Longbows. 

The longbow was used in medieval combat, because it shoots hard and straight. Often, too, the longbow is no taller than the archer using it. The archer can draw the string, take aim and shoot over long distances. The only downfall might be the cumbersome height and the long draw makes loading an arrow take longer. In hunting, this may be critical to the kill. As better technologies developed, a recurve bow was invented. 

Strings were incorporated to add force to the spear, which later became what we know as an arrow. But the question remains, are recurve bows better than longbows? 

This long bow has several limiting factors including: 

  1. The length of the string determines the strength behind the arrow. 
  2. The string also determines the length of the bow. This is because the bow needs to be long enough for the string to be properly stretched during the resting position.

This means that if you wanted to shoot a bow further, you would need a very, very big bow. It could even be taller than you!

This type of bow, called a longbow, has fundamental restrictions that simply don't allow it to fulfill the needs of many archers today.

Enter, the recurve bow...

Some very clever and inventive archer wanted to get rid of his monstrous longbow, while still being able to shoot long distances with great force.

He figured out that by curving the edges of the bow back, away from the archer, he would have a much better bow. The recurve of the edges allows the use of the longer strings needed for long distance shooting, without the need for a longer bow.

The result is a smaller bow, which is easier to carry and manage, yes which also packs the same firing power, as it's larger counterparts.

The recurve bow is shaped differently than a longbow. Often, the tips of the bow will curve away from the archer. With these curves set against the natural curve in the bow, it provides more power with a lighter bow weight. Quicker turning and maneuverability makes the recurve bow especially good in woods and forest. When the recurve bow is strung (unlike the longbow), the string will actually touch the upper portions of the bow itself.

In many archery competitions, the recurve bow is the only type of bow that a participant is allowed to wield. This is even true in the Olympics, where no other bows are allowed.

Archery competitions are great, but the original purpose of the bow and arrow was to hunt. The transition to recurve bows affords hunters many benefits. Not only can you target game, which is much farther away, but also the extra room you have by using a smaller bow allows you to prepare for the shot much more easily. This will give you more accurate shots and a greater likelihood of hitting the target.

When buying a bow, it is best to buy a bow that is suited for what you intend to use it for. With bows for so many different styles, you don't want to be trying to hunt using a bow that would be used in archery competition. It would really hamper your efforts of getting a good kill. And likewise, a competitive archer would not want to use a hunting bow.