Flat Bow

In archery, a flat bow is a type of bow that has a simple design and a rectangular or nearly rectangular cross-section throughout the length of the bow. Unlike other types of bows, such as recurve bows or longbows, flat bows do not have significant curvature in their limbs. Instead, they are usually made from a single piece of wood or other materials, and the limbs taper towards the tips.

Advantages of the Flat Bow

Simplicity and Affordability

One of the advantages of the flat bow is its simplicity. Compared to other types of bows, flat bows are relatively easy to make and can be made from a variety of materials. This simplicity also means that flat bows are generally less expensive than other types of bows.


Another advantage of the flat bow is its accuracy. Because the limbs of the flat bow are relatively stiff, they do not bend or twist as much as other types of bows. This means that the energy from the bowstring is transferred more directly to the arrow, resulting in a more accurate shot.

Disadvantages of the Flat Bow

Lower Power

However, the lack of curvature in the limbs of the flat bow also means that it is generally less powerful than other types of bows. This can make it less effective for hunting or long-range shooting.

Shorter Draw Length

Additionally, because the flat bow has a relatively short draw length, it may not be suitable for taller or larger archers.

History of the Flat Bow

The flat bow is an ancient type of bow, and it has been used by many cultures throughout history. In fact, the flat bow was probably the most common type of bow in the world before the introduction of composite bows, which were made from multiple materials such as wood, bone, and animal sinew.

Today, the flat bow is still used in a variety of contexts, including target shooting, traditional archery, and historical reenactments. Some archers also prefer the simplicity and feel of the flat bow over more modern or complex types of bows.

Making a Flat Bow


Flat bows can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.

Design and Construction

The design and construction of a flat bow depend on the materials used and the intended use of the bow. However, most flat bows have a simple design with a straight or slightly curved handle and limbs that taper toward the tips.

Stringing and Tuning

Once the flat bow is constructed, it must be strung and tuned to ensure that it shoots accurately. This involves selecting the right bowstring and adjusting the brace height (the distance between the handle and the bowstring) to achieve optimal performance.