Types of Bows

Archery is a sport that requires skill, patience, and a decent bow. The bow you choose can make or break your whole experience, so it’s important to be educated on the various types of bow available on the market.

Bows have been around since humans first picked up tools, but they’ve certainly evolved since then. In 2020, there are 4 main types of bows, and all come with their unique features, pros, and cons.

If you’re eager to learn more about the different types of bow, including the recurve bow, the compound bow, the longbow, and the different types of crossbow, then keep reading.

The Recurve Bow

The recurve bow is a traditionally-designed bow that’s still hugely popular with target-shooters and hunters alike.
When you think of archery, the recurve bow is probably the first thing that comes to mind. It’s recognized by its two long limbs that extend away from the user.

Unlike some of the other bows we are going to talk about today, not much power is required to get a decent shot with a recurve bow.
Recurve bows are generally easy to operate – and are often the bow of choice for beginners due to their ease of use.

The configuration of the bow ensures that it’s still powerful enough to shoot accurately at a distance, while not being too bulky and hard to use.
The design of the recurve also makes for faster shots – faster than compound bows.

As recurve bows are generally quite large, with long and stable limbs, your shots are likely to be more solid and accurate.
Generally, beginners tend to start with a standard recurve bow, and as their skill improves, they  add bow accessories such as stabilizers and sights to enhance their archery experience.

A ‘bare’ recurve bow may look pretty simple – with only a string, arrow rest, limbs, and a riser – which is pretty much all you need to get started.
The recurve bow is hugely popular and it is the only bow permitted for use in the Olympics and many archery tournaments and competitions.

The Takedown Recurve Bow 

If you’re an archer on-the-go, then you may prefer a takedown recurve bow. These are more portable and can be disassembled quickly for convenient storage or travel.

Takedown bows are generally more upgradable – with different materials, and higher draw weights. You can separate the bow into separate parts, easily, which is ideal for hunters or bow fishers.

Asian woman firing a takedown recurve bow

Many takedown bows come equipped with specialist bags, which hold the bow along with its accessories for a convenient trip to the range or to the woods.