A recurve bow works just like every other archery tool you could buy - most times, you get what you pay for. Recurve bows have become especially popular among many archers - especially beginners who might love how they look and feel.
However, if you do get a recurve archery bow, it is important to understand how to use it and what to look out for when making a purchase. Like many other pieces of archery equipment, it’s easy to get a bit confused when you’re trying to buy a recurve bow. There are several factors to be considered and facets to look out for. And, if you don’t have a professional opinion, you could buy something you don’t necessarily like.
In this article, we’ll examine the recurve bow - what it is, how it works, and what you need to look out for as you purchase one for your archery exploits.
Recurve Bow - What Is It?
In its simplest sense, a recurve bow is a type of longbow with limbs that curve away from you at the tips. The recurve bow has a slight curve at both ends, tipping away from you and towards the target.
The additional curve on a recurve bow allows it to provide additional strength. By extension, the curve helps you to boost your power and range as you fire your arrow. This is one of its biggest benefits over other types of longbows.
With a recurve bow, you hold all of the draw weight. This means that if a traditional recurve bow comes with a draw weight of 70 pounds, you would have to hold all 70 pounds of weight until you release the arrow from your grasp.
Recurve archery bows are ideal for professional archers who would like to be as self-reliant as possible. By mastering a traditional recurve bow, you can take a significant leap forward in your archery and really hone your craft. You can also learn better archery techniques than with mechanized, compound bows. While you will need more power while firing an arrow from a traditional recurve bow, the best of them definitely help to improve your accuracy and results.
Recurve Bows: One-Piece vs. Takedown Bows
Of course, it is almost impossible to talk about this category of archery bows without mentioning the different types. Primarily, you can choose either a one-piece recurve bow, or a takedown recurve bow.
The one-piece recurve bow is built with a solid material. The bows come with limbs and risers made from a single material. Most one-piece recurve bows are made from fiberglass lamination with wooden cores.
On the flip side, we have the takedown recurve bow. The “takedown” part of a takedown bow means that you can essentially disassemble the entire thing. In a takedown bow, you have limbs that can be detached from the riser. Most beginners prefer these bows because they can be easily stored. Some of the best traditional recurve bows come with the takedown structure, and they are quite impressive to use.
The Benefits of Recurve Bows
They’re usually shorter
Perhaps the most significant benefit of a recurve archery bow is the fact that it can be much shorter than other options - while still maintaining the right draw strength.
Most of the best recurve bows for hunting come in much shorter lengths than traditional longbows or flat bows, and this could give you much more control over several critical aspects of your archery - including strength, speed, and control. Plus, storing them in a recurve bow case is usually much easier.
In ancient times, some of the best archers were so skilled that they could fire arrows from an horseback. Many of these archers used the best traditional recurve bows, taking advantage of their shorter lengths and ability to offer optimal control when firing.
They can be faster
When an arrow is fired, the archer doesn’t necessarily transfer all of their energy to the arrow. Just like many of the electrical components we use at home, bows aren’t necessarily 100% effective when it comes to energy transfer. Different bow designs tend to have different energy efficiency levels.
After an arrow is fired, the part of the limb that travels the most will be the bow’s tips. The best recurve bows for hunting will make it much easier for the tips to be accelerated. And since the tips are attached to the string, more energy is transferred from the archer to the string and the arrow. Energy loss is minimized, and arrow speed can be optimized.
If you get recurve bows for target archery and compare them with longbows that have similar weights and the same arrows, you should find a better speed result with the recurve bow. In terms of energy transfer, the recurve design is more effective.
They’re usually easier to carry
Thanks to their increased energy efficiency, recurve archery bows can be designed with thinner, lighter materials. Less of the draw weight is stored, meaning that the overall bow’s weight is reduced.
For beginners looking for optimal results, finding the best recurve bows for target archery can go a long way.
Tips To Choose A Recurve Bow
Now that we’re properly acquainted with recurve bows, let’s examine what you need to know before purchasing one.
Your intended use
The first thing you need to consider will be the bow’s use. Generally, most archers only hone their skills for two reasons - competition (practice) or hunting.
If you’re using the bow for practice or competition, then you need not stress much. Pretty much any bow will be fine, as long as it feels good and you’re sure it can get the job done.
As for hunting, this is where you usually need to be a bit more careful. Several factors will affect your accuracy, and they include:
The bow’s weight
Most professional archers will tell you to consider the bow’s weight before anything else. A lighter recurve bow will be easier to carry around - and, by extension, you will be able to use it for longer without getting tired.
You should also consider how long you’d like to have the bow with you. If your hunting trip will be hours long, then you want to keep the bow’s weight below 3 lbs.
Your draw weight
This is another critical weight-related consideration when choosing the best recurve bows for hunting.
Basically, the draw weight is the amount of force that you’d need to exert on the string for the bow to be at optimal capacity. You’ll need enough strength to aim and hit your target while hunting, so choose a bow with a minimum draw weight of 40 lbs. You want to have enough force to ensure that your prey goes down on the first strike, so this is very important.
The bow’s length
Generally, the rule of thumb for length is this - you can get better distance and accuracy with longer bows than with shorter ones. But remember that the bow shouldn’t be too long that its bottom limb touches the ground when you hold it. At that point, you might be rushing things a little too far.
One of the best benefits of having a takedown recurve bow, of course, is the fact that you get to control the length much better.
The recurve bow should have a riser with a very comfortable grip. This way, you have better handling and control while you aim.
The riser should also be durable enough that it doesn’t let off so many vibrations when you release the string.
We also recommend getting a riser with brass bushings. This allows you to install any additional tools and accessories you might need if you decide to rely more on technology in your archery.
When it comes to limbs, keep in mind that they should ideally contain fiberglass The fiberglass material makes the limbs more resistant to breaking and bending. And fortunately, it is a feature in most of the best traditional recurve bows we see around.
The bow’s manufacturer
Like everything else, you should be careful about the manufacturer of your recurve bow. Many companies claim to make the best recurve bows for hunting, so be sure to vet your options carefully. Consider the manufacturer’s history, the unique selling point of the bow, and more. When you're purchasing from a reputable manufacturer, you’re more comfortable taking the bow out.
Recurve bows are among the most popular in the market, and it’s easy to see why. The best recurve bows for target archery can be incredibly versatile and improve your accuracy significantly, ensuring that you hit your target with less stress.
However, much work and consideration goes into finding the best recurve bow for hunting. Not all recurve bows are made equal, and you need to ensure that you have the right stuff as you step out. Whether you’re only practicing or would be competing with other archers, the factors above will go a long way in helping you to choose the right recurve bow.
To ensure the maximal protection of your recurve bows, you should check the collection of highly functional recurve bow cases we have in store.