Recurve Bow vs Longbow – Which is Best?

Traditionally archery is very nostalgic, simple, and challenging with more fun than the other sports discipline types. Throughout the year, we can see different kinds of bows with their additional extinct features. Some of the characteristics faded over time beings. Some factors are still prominent today.

Moreover, traditional archery comes in two main varieties; and they are recurved and longbows. What characteristics can separates the recurve bow and the longbow? Here I will show you the comparisons between the two most popular bows, which remain popular despite passes from many years. Both the longbow and the recurve bow have a golden history of thousands of years. Still, their basic design is unchanged. Worldwide the traditional archers can make a great weapon with both of these bows.


Recurve Bow VS Longbow

If you cannot find out the real differences between the longbow and the recurve bow, I will try to outline everything for you in this article. From where you can get good knowledge about each type of bow is used and know about the type of shooter and its reason.

  • Major Features:

Actually, the longbow is the classic single piece of wood, and the limbs of this bow never curve back away from you. Among all the bows, longbows are the longest. Here you can’t found any cleverness like cams or recurve to increase the power of the limbs. Because you have to make them robust, that’s why you need them to be long enough. Longbows can be 6 feet tall, which is nearly as big as an archer. You can make this standard bow from a stick. The limbs and the string looks like the traditional D shape without a curve.

On the other hand, the recurve bow’s limb curves away toward the archers at the end. Here the curve is known as recurve. With this curve’s help, you can provide and store enough power to an arrow compared with the longbow.

  • Nostalgia:

Each of the bows has a deep-rooted rich history. The exact longbow inventor is disrupted. Generally, it is said that the longbow originates in Scandinavia or Germany, with the later renditions that are appearing in Wales around 100 A.D. On the other hand, the recurve bow originates in Asia. Some of the primitive versions appeared about 1000 B.C. Both of the bows can make you feel as if you have travel back into the days of old. Still, in recent years lots of people can hold an unparallel level of nostalgia.

  • Power:

The power range is almost similar for the longbow and the recurve bow. If anyone wants to handle these bow, the maximum draw is 70lbs. On the other hand, a recurve bow’s limb tips can store more power and energy than the d curve longbow. The same shoot out of the two bows has the same actual measured draw weight, which is drawn to the optimum length that shoots precisely the same arrow at the same condition. You can found the recurve bow delivers a faster arrow. So, recurve bow is more powerful than the longbow. The speed or the power of the recurve bow comes from its curved tips. It can store more energy than the straight limbs of the longbow. However, there is some longbow that can reveal fast recurve. The swept limbs are not extreme as the recurve bow but can generate almost similar arrow speed.

  • Smoothness:

When both of them are pulled back, the draw weight will increase. The smooth drawing bow is easy to pull from the start, but the draw weight will increase at the full draw. So the smooth drawing bow can even increase the weight, and you can feel comfortable pulling. However, the recurve bow can draw more effectively and effortlessly. But the design of the bow plays a vital role in the draw. If the bow matches the length of the archer’s draw length, the nicely designed longbow can be very smooth. If the taller archer uses the longbow, the draw must be softer than the shorter.

  • Sound:

In the case of the sound, the longbow is quitter based on two options. During releasing the arrow of the recurve bow, you can hear a noticeable amount of sounds. When the recurve archer releases their arrow, a certain level of the audible string-to-limb slap is required. For this, the rebounding bowstring can make contact with the curve portion of the recurve bow’s limb. So the sound of the bow depends on the installation of the string dampener. So, the longbow is quietest than the recurve bow.

  • Shooting and Aiming:

The longbow is very simple and easy to use than a recurve bow. The limbs and the cross-section of the riser are always thicker and more profound than the recurve bow. The chance of sideways and torquing in the string upon release is very few because it is bigger and heavier. The sideways movement of the string can move your arrow off among the intended line. So, shooting with the longbow is the easiest way.

  • Range:

Due to the recurve bow’s great energy storage within the bow’s limbs and stemming from the heavy curvature, this bow surpasses its longbow cousin’s performance. On the other hand, the longbow has a long sweeping limb that can store energy like the recurve bow. This energy can increase the range of the relationship between the trajectory and the speed. When the arrow shoot is faster, the flatter of its trajectory of the flight becomes. So the trajectory of the recurve bow is superior to that of the longbow. It can reduce the dropping of the arrow and can increase the range.

  • Size:

The longbow is longer than the recurve bow. The limbs recurve of the recurve bow is very efficient to store the power. That limbs don’t need to be too long. For example, the 60 lbs longbow has 64 inches in length, whereas the 60lbs recurve bow can only be 58 inches long.

  • Handling:

Every portion of the shoot is very critical. Smooth shooting depends on the archer’s muscle memory. If the archer’s muscles are strong enough, the accuracy should be improved in the long run. After getting the accuracy, an archer can get top satisfaction. On the other hand, initially, the recurve bow has a smoother draw cycle because of the moderate draw cycle. The limbs of the longbow are lengthier in size so that they can give you less consistency.

  • Portability:

Nowadays, most of the recurve bows are takedown. That means you can easily remove the limbs, break down into three pieces like- the top and bottom limb and riser, and easily carry them. You won’t find too many takedown longbows on the market. The longbow is one piece of the bow, so there is no way to make it into pieces. So the recurve bow is more portable than the longbow.

  • Adjustability:

When you can’t adjust either type of bow, you need to purchase different limbs for a recurve bow to decrease and increase the power. For the longbow, you need to do the same thing. But the longbow is a single piece of the bow, so there is no chance to increase or decrease the power. Recurve bow is more versatile than the longbow.

  • Cost:

Both of the bow’s cost is almost similar because the manufacturer and the construction are practically the same.

  • Repairability and Maintenance:

By yourself and your hand, you can quickly restring both of the recurve and longbow. If you need to replace the longbow break due to one limb, you can easily replace the recurve bow’s limbs.

  • Availability:

If you visit any top manufacturing website, you can see a massive collection of the recurve bow instead of the longbow. Because, in modern tournaments like Olympic or club archery, recurve bow is needed. Traditional and longbows are less prevalent than the recurve bow sector. So, in the market, recurve bow is more available.

  • For Hunting Purpose:

If you ask me which bow is perfect for hunting? I will suggest the recurve bow. The size of the recurve bow can make it a very portable weapon. You can get better performance and winning combinations by using this recurve bow.

  • For the Beginners:

The reduced size, increasing availability, and better performance can make the recurve bow a better choice for beginners.

  • For the Target Shooting:

Both of the recurve and longbow shooters can practice in the target bow competition.  But at the high level, you can get less discipline to the longbow shooters than the recurve bow. But with the recurve bow, you can go from the local competition to the worldwide competition like Olympic level. So the target shooter always prefers the recurve bow.

  • For the Youth:

The youth bow is not as powerful as the adult size bow. Recurve bow is mostly used in modern competition compared with the longbow. If you want to start your kids between the two types of bow, I suggest you go for the recurve bow. This smaller bow is very easy to handle for the youth.

Which One is Right for You?

Both the bows have some advantages and disadvantages. From all the above discussion, I am sure that you cannot go wrong with either, and it is elementary for you to decide which one is perfect for you. But in my opinion, recurve bow is the ideal companion for the archers. But don’t underestimate the nostalgic longbow because it has lots of merits itself.

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