Decurve Bow

A decurve bow is a type of bow used in archery that has limbs that curve away from the archer at the tips. This design feature helps to create a smoother draw and release, as well as reduce hand shock when the bowstring is released. The curvature of the limbs also helps to improve accuracy by minimizing the amount of torque that is generated when the bow is fired.

Features of a Decurve Bow


The riser, or the central part of the bow where the archer holds the bow, is typically longer in decurve bows compared to recurve bows. This allows for a better grip and more stability, which can help to further improve accuracy. The riser is usually made of wood, metal, or composite materials.


The limbs of a decurve bow are shorter and curve away from the archer at the tips. This design feature helps to reduce hand shock and improve accuracy.


The bowstring used in a decurve bow is typically made of synthetic fibers such as Dacron. The bowstring must be the correct length and tension to ensure proper performance of the bow.

Advantages of a Decurve Bow

One of the main advantages of a decurve bow is its compact size, which makes it easier to carry and maneuver in tight spaces. It also tends to be quieter than a recurve bow, which can be advantageous in hunting situations where noise can scare off game. Another advantage of a decurve bow is its simplicity. It has fewer moving parts compared to a compound bow, which makes it easier to maintain and repair. Additionally, decurve bows can be less expensive than other types of bows.

Disadvantages of a Decurve Bow

However, one disadvantage of a decurve bow is its lower draw weight compared to longer recurve bows. The shorter limbs mean that the bow has a lower maximum draw weight, which can limit its range and power compared to a longer recurve bow. Another disadvantage of a decurve bow is that it may not be as efficient as a recurve bow in terms of energy transfer and accuracy over longer distances. The shorter limbs and lower draw weight can make it more difficult to achieve consistent accuracy at longer distances.

Uses of a Decurve Bow

Decurve bows are commonly used in traditional archery and hunting. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including target shooting, small game hunting, and bowfishing. The compact size and quietness of decurve bows can make them particularly well-suited for hunting in dense forest environments.

Competitive Archery

While not as common in competitive archery as recurve and compound bows, decurve bows are sometimes used in competitions such as field archery or 3D archery. These types of competitions often involve shooting at targets from different distances and angles, which can require a more versatile type of bow.

Cultural and Traditional Uses

In some cultures, decurve bows hold significant cultural or historical value and are used for ceremonial or traditional purposes. For example, the Korean traditional bow known as the "gakgung" is a decurve bow that has been used in Korean martial arts and archery for centuries.