Recurve Bow vs Longbow – Which is the Right One for You?

The main difference between recurve and longbows is one of the most commonly asked questions among archers. While there are many different types of bows, these two are often pitted against each other in head-to-head competitions. The difference between recurve and longbow isn’t difficult to understand once you know all the facts.Al though I personally like recurve bow but long bows are still my second choice

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Recurve Bow Vs Longbow which one is best for you ?

A bow’s performance largely depends on how it fits an individual archer rather than which type of bow they use. This means that choosing a bow comes down to personal preference over anything else. There are some situations where one may be preferred over the other. In this article, we will compare the difference between recurve vs longbow. Which bow is better and Why a recurve bow may be better than a longbow for certain people or situations.

Size and Shape Of recurve and Long bows:

Long Bows:

The first difference is length: Recurve bows tend to be shorter than longbows. Longbows are typically larger than recurves and can be up to six feet in length with the arrow knocked. Its favorite Among is beginner archers.

Longbows are a type of bows that have been used by archers since ancient times and these longbows were the main weapon of warfare and hunting.

These one-piece bows got their name from their most distinguishing feature which is their length. As obvious from the name they are very long and their length could be as long as the archers themselves. These bows make a D-shape when drawn.

Recurve bows:

The word recurve is derived from Latin and means “to bend back again” which explains the nature of these bows. So, a recurve bow is one that curves away from the archer when unstrung.

As depicted from their name these bows have curved limbs. Recurves are made out of wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber, or a composite. Recurve bows tend to be shorter than longbows and this adds to their strength.

Want to know which is the more powerful longbow or recurve bow? Keep on reading.

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Strength and Draw Weight:

The second most crucial factor to consider while judging recurve bow vs longbow is their power. Both longbows and recurve bows are available in similar ranges of draw weights. But
This difference between recurve bow and longbow also means that recurves require less energy to shoot than longbows do, which makes them more accurate and easier to learn how to shoot.

Recurves also come in different draw weights (the amount of force needed to pull back the bowstring) whereas all longbows have the same draw weight; this difference affects how powerful each shot will be and by extension how far it will go.

Material and Design:

The most common material used in bow manufacturing is wood. Wood longbows are usually made of Yew trees which gives them their characteristic long life. However, some people prefer to go with fiberglass or carbon fiber because they are easier to restring than wooden bows.

Recurve bows are also available in various materials but Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass are the most common ones. Recurve bows are also made of wood and metals.

In terms of design, longbows have limbs that curve back toward the archer whereas recurve bows have limbs that curve away from the archer when unstrung. The limbs of each bow also differ in their dimensions and shape.

Which one is Noiselessness Bow:

Noise plays an important factor in archery especially when you are going for animals hunting in the woods. In this case, even a little vibration produced by the bow can alarm the animals. Other than hunting some archers also prefer silent bows for shooting as well.

In this factor, longbows seem to be better than recurve bows. The noise made by a bow is usually when the bowstring is drawn and then released with a force this results in a slapping noise of string with the bow body.

In the case of a longbow, the bowstring is almost totally detached from the body of the bow thus very little to no noise is produced when because of the string slap. However, in the case of recurve bowstring is attached with the upper and lower limbs thus creating noise when the string slaps the body of the bow.

They both produce the same sound but recurves’ limb tips vibrate more while drawing the string and produce noise when released.

Moreover, It must be obvious now that if you prefer a quieter bow even without the usage of string silencers then a longbow is ideal for you. Moreover, the recurve bow could also be made less noisy by using string silencers.

Speed Of Recurve bow vs Longbow:

The main difference between a recurve bow is that it has limbs with curves in them whereas longbows have straight limbs so when you draw the string of a recurve bow back it forms an arc. This arc gives the string extra speed when it speeds forward.


It is an obvious fact that archery is a royal sport but still manufacturers produce extremely well-made and top-notch bows at an affordable price. Since the construction of longbows and recurve bows is quite similar and the same type of materials are used in their manufacturing, their price ranges are also the same. Neither one of them could be considered costlier than the other one.

Best bow for Transportability:

It is a well-known fact that longbows are more traditional and classical one-piece bows that are in use for ages. As compared to them recurve bows are considered a little modern. Most modern bows are manufactured as takedown bows for ease of shipping, transporting, and storing them.

So we can say that in this regard recurve bows are much easier to carry along while traveling. Although now manufacturers also develop takedown longbows.

Accessories of Recurve and Long bow:

Both longbows and recurve bows have a riser that supports all kinds of accessories and modern aids that you want to enhance your overall archery experience. You can use stabilizers, silencers, sights, and all other kinds of accessories as well.

A choice for beginners and youth:

If you want to know which bow is going to be an ideal choice for you as a beginner then don’t think twice and select a recurve bow. A recurve bow is a great option for novices because of its size, performance, portability, and versatility. Since you need less energy to shoot with a recurve bow, it’s usually easier for beginners to start learning archery with them.

A recurve bow of your required draw weight gives you more control over the shot. And for this reason, it is even popular among youngsters.

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A choice for shooting

A recurve bow is typically shorter and easier to maneuver than a longbow, making it better for target practice or shooting in cramped spaces such as indoors. A longbow is typically longer and more challenging to keep steady while aiming, but a skilled archer can hit a target from a greater distance with it.

A choice for competitions:

When it comes to shooting an arrow from these bows during competitions, longbow archers have won more medals at various world championships since the 1970s. However, the difference between recurve and longbow isn’t necessarily in who is better at shooting.

Longbows are generally preferred by those who shoot from horseback often because they can be used with ease while on a moving target. However, a recurve bow offers you a much more powerful, fast, and accurate shot.

A choice for Olympics:

Recurve bow has been a part of the Olympics since its beginning. In fact, it is the only type of bow allowed in the Olympic games so far. Longbows have not been a part of the Olympic games.

However, there has always been a debate about this issue from its inception as to whether it should be considered as an Olympic sport or not. Some people argued that it was not an Olympic sport because only the English used longbows for warfare.

A choice for hunting:

Now we are going to analyze recurve bow vs longbow for hunting! Recurve bows are often used for hunting because they are smaller and less visible to prey, especially in dense forests or on flat terrain. Longbows and recurves both work best for hunting, but there are a few differences. For example, longbows have much more kinetic energy than recurve bows, which makes them better for killing deer and other larger animals.

Since the string of a longbow is attached to its limbs when drawn back, it makes less noise than a recurve bow. Longbows are more accurate than recurves as well, even though both types can be extremely accurate at close ranges for those with the proper training and experience.

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Recurve bows offer a big advantage when it comes to hunting in wooded areas because their size and shape allow them to be drawn into position quickly when an animal is spotted.


A- Yes, a recurve bow is considered to be more versatile than a longbow because of its ease of use as a shorter bow and its ability to be easily handled.

A- In case of noise issues, longbows are better because recurve’s bowstring is attached to its limbs. Longbows generate more kinetic energy while recurves provide better accuracy because they are shorter and the bowstring doesn’t slap against the body. This feature makes them suitable for noiseless hunting and shooting.

Regardless of the difference between recurve and longbow, when choosing a bow that fits an individual archer’s needs and preferences best they should choose the one that makes them feel most comfortable.

Recurves are more popular in the United States and Europe, but longbows have a loyal following in Asia, Latin America, and Australia.


At the end of this article, I hope we have covered everything about recurve bow vs longbow which can help you a lot, Moreover, it is important to consider that a recurve bow has greater accuracy and speed than a longbow.

This means you will be able to get more arrows in your target for less energy expended. It doesn’t matter how strong someone can pull back their string if they cannot shoot accurately enough with any type of consistency!

That’s why we recommend going with a recurve bow over a longbow when possible – while there are some advantages to using both types of bows, one clearly outperforms another on these terms alone.

Best of luck!

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