Long Bow VS Recurve Bow: 6 points of difference you should know!

Long Bow VS Recurve Bow: 6 points of difference you should know!

Deploy the arrow to shoot from the archery long bow

The Key Differences Between Long Bow and Recurve Bow!

If you are starting in the sport of archery and are undecided about the kind of bow you ought to choose for your first shot, you are at the right place. When they are first starting, a lot of people get confused about which type of bow they should begin with, whether it be a recurve-bow or a traditional long bow, and what are the benefits and disadvantages of every type of bow. Some people start with recurve bows, while others start with traditional long bows. If you are among people, you have come to the right place. Below, in this guide, we would go through the details that you may need to know about both recurve-bows and long bows to give you all of the clearance on the facts so that you can pick the most appropriate bow for you and the archery style that you prefer to use. You need to be aware that there are many kinds of archery. It is extremely important to figure out which one you will pick for yourself so that you may use your new bow for shooting purposes.

You may participate in many different sorts of archery, such as:

  • Target archery
  • Hunting
  • Field archery
  • 3d archery
  • Traditional archery

You will require a lot of practice if you want to become proficient in this unique kind of archery. Only after you have decided what kinds of archery styles you want to strive for in terms of shooting will you be able to decide the kind of bow you will need to participate in those styles. All of this completely depends on which archery styles you strive for. For instance, recurve-bows are only allowed in Olympic target archery competitions.

There are many distinct styles of archery, some of which allow particular types of bows to be used while other types of archery do not. Not all forms of archery adhere to the same stringent standards employed in the Olympics, but some do. For instance, you will discover that many 3D archery shoots and competitions may offer a specialized long bow or conventional archery class. This class may enable archers to fire long bows in their competitive division. Therefore, in the following, we will explain all that you need to know to pick which type of archery bow you must choose for yourself among recurve-bows and long bows and which is the best fit for you.

Long bow Archeries

Long ones are, in general, the best choice for traditional archery and the occasional shooting you might do in your garden. Archers in the field, on the target range, and in three dimensions may all use long-bows. Even though recurve-bows are more common than long-bows are nowadays. There is no question that they may be utilized for bowhunting; nevertheless, one must pay particular attention to the bow weight they employ. Long-bows are the most suitable choice for novice archers since it is much simpler to aim and fire precisely with a long bow. They also provide an excellent entry point into the sport of archery.



  • Long bows are typically more forgiving than other types of bows.
  • They are recommended as the equipment of choice for novice archers.
  • They are far less taxing on the archer’s fingers and joints than shorter bows.
  • The sound of a long-bow being fired is far less audible than recurve-bows.


  • Because of their greater weight, long-bows cause more hand shock to the bow hand.
  • Long-bows are not recommended for use when bow hunting due to their length.
  • Since long-bows are longer and more cumbersome, storing and transporting them is more challenging.

Recurve Bows

Archers consider the recurve-bow the most versatile form since it can be used for all types of archery, including target archery, field archery, 3D archery, and bowhunting. The recurve-bow has the advantage of power, speed, and accuracy. Even though recurve-bows have a little learning curve, if you put in a lot of practice with them, you will have a much better chance of hitting your target when you shoot it.



  • Recurves are capable of producing far more power than longbows.
  • The draw speed of recurve-bows is significantly higher than that of longbows.
  • They offer a higher degree of accuracy than their longbow counterparts.
  • With a recurve bow, you may shoot at a lower draw weight and then raise the draw weight by just purchasing new limbs rather than investing in a whole new bow. It would save you lots of money in the long-run.
  • The precise draw weight built into recurve-bows makes them potentially superior for use when bow hunting.
  • Compared to long-bows, recurve-bows are simpler to travel and store due to their compact design.
  • The recurve-bow could be used for the most variety of situations.
  • Recurve bows are extremely versatile and may be utilized in various archery styles.


  • Compared to long bows, recurve-bows are more challenging to shoot accurately.
  • Accuracy while shooting with a recurve bow requires more practice than shooting with a long bow.
  • Recurve bows place a greater demand on the muscles and joints than other bows.
  • Compared to long bows, the sound produced by recurve bows is significantly louder.

Recurve Bow vs. Long bow

The list of differences between recurve bows and long bows is far longer than you may believe. You may notice that there are a lot of distinctions between these two kinds of bows. These distinctions also include the origin, design, material, usage, advantages, draw length, and any restrictions that may apply to each. The needs for the care and maintenance of a long bow and a recurve bow are somewhat linked. However, each has its unique characteristics. Let us look at these two bows and see what else we can learn.

Factor 1: Design

The design of everything that must be utilized in practice must be flawless, and no concessions can be made in this regard. The bow’s design is one of the most important distinguishing characteristics between long bows and recurves bows. Not only does it affect how the bow looks, but it also directly impacts how well it performs. The below sections would walk you through the primary structural distinctions between recurve bows and long bows.

Recurve bow

When we discuss the design of a recurves bow, you will first notice that the tips of the limbs are curled in a direction away from the archer. You might wonder how this significant departure from the standard design will impact the bow’s performance. As a result, recurve bows are far more powerful than long bows because of this curvature. In addition to this distinction, the length of these bows is significantly less when compared to the length of long bows. Aside from that, they are broader when compared to long bows in comparison. When compared to the depth of the bow, they are less substantial.

Long bow

In conjunction with the draw line, the limbs of a long bow make the shape of the letter “D.” This is the most fundamental and important aspect of the long bow’s design. This also creates a half-moon, which gives the form the appearance of a crescent. There are no arcs or curves to be seen there. Additionally, their length is a defining individual quality that contributes to their one-of-a-kind status. These bows are the ones that are said to be the longest of all of them. You will not typically come across bows the same height as the archer using them. If, for example, you are handed a long bow that weighs sixty pounds, you should not be surprised if it measures sixty-four and a half inches. In addition, the breadth of a long bow is often narrower than its depth, which is one of the distinctive design features of this type of bow.

Recurve bow
Recurve bow

Design-wise, there is a significant contrast to be drawn between long bows and recurve bows

Since novices are plainly unfamiliar with the many sorts of bows, it is possible that some of them will be confused when comprehending the different types of bows. Checking for a connection between the string and the limbs of the bow is quickest and easiest way to determine whether or not the bow in question is a long bow or a recurve bow. If you do not discover a connection, you have a long bow. If you discover a link, the bow in question is a recurve bow.

In addition, if you can compute how much energy each one delivers to the arrows, you will likely better understand the fundamental distinctions between them.

Factor 2: Material

The material used in their construction is second on our list of criteria for comparing recurve bows and long bows. However, when we discuss this aspect, you will not discover that many people have different opinions. In the past, both of these bows were manufactured using the same components: wood and leather because those were the only materials that could be used to make them at the time.

But in this day and age, we have access to various resources to choose from. Let us look at the many types of bows and the materials used to make them.

Recurve bow

In today’s market, recurve bows are typically constructed using four different materials. These items are:

  • Carbon fiber
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Fiberglass

There is a great variety in the manufacturers of recurve bows and the types of recurve bows themselves. Specifically, the most traditional archers select laminated wood as the material for their bows. At the same time, others choose a combination of carbon laminations, metal, and laminated sheets of carbon fiber and fiberglass. The use of fresh and cutting-edge materials has not only contributed to the more contemporary appearance of these bows but has also contributed to an improvement in their precision and execution as a whole.

Long bow

In contrast, to recurve bows, most long bows are constructed out of laminated wood or layered fiberglass. In addition, bows constructed of wood may occasionally have a carbon core inserted into the middle. As a direct consequence of this, current long bows are more powerful than they have ever been. As is generally known, long bows have a low draw weight, and precisely this quality lends them a greater degree of suitability for usage in modern settings.

Factor 3: Benefits and Applications

The uses and benefits of each type of bow have been saved for last since they best illustrate the contrasts between recurve and long bows. Pay close attention since a grasp of this part will assist you in selecting the model that is most suited to meet your specific requirements.

Recurve bow

Compared to long bows, it is common knowledge that recurve-bows boast an advantage in terms of force. All of the credit for this belongs to their shape’s exact and curved design. Because of this characteristic, you can also produce really powerful shots. The recurve bow is undoubtedly the victor in this particular speed match between the long bow and the recurve bow. When compared to long bows, the arrows shot by recurve-bows travel at a much quicker speed. In addition, if you are looking for a bow that takes up very little space, you may consider utilizing a recurve bow. Since it is far shorter than a long bow, it is simpler to manipulate and more convenient to bring along with you. The ease with which recurve-bows may be repaired is another one of the many significant advantages they provide. In the subsequent section on care and maintenance, we will discuss this particular component further.

If you are interested in experimenting and trying new things with their shooting, recurve bows are somehow the better alternatives for you to go with. You may buy many types of limbs for recurve bows, each of which affects the bow’s accuracy, shooting ease, and power, among other characteristics. This allows you to customize the bow to your exact specifications. Last but certainly not least, the recurve-bow is your greatest option for target shooting during matches. The recurve-bow is the one that is used in international target archery events as well as in the Olympics; therefore, if you are looking to develop your skills or if you are already an aspiring talented archer, the recurve bow is the one that we would advise you to use.


Long bow

Suppose you have done a significant amount of study on long bows and the comparison of long bows to recurve bows. There is a great chance for you to get familiarized with the term “a forgiving bow.” You ought to have pondered at some point what this entails, do not you think? Using a long bow is rather simpler because it ensures that the arrow travels in a straight line when released. Because of this, even very unskilled musicians can have some success while using this bow to play their instrument, and the results can be rather satisfying.

The great bow has a very quiet voice while it is being used, which is the second most significant benefit of owning such an amazing bow. To my knowledge, bows that make a lot of noise are not something anyone would enjoy. When it comes to hunting, the long bow is not only superior due to this attribute but also because it makes far less noise than other types of bows. There is less contact between the string and the limb. If you have this kind of bow, you will not have to worry about using string silencers again.

In contrast, if you have a strong interest in historical, traditional, or traditional bow types, you should go with this sort of bow. Consider that it is an elegant and appealing bow that may satisfy your choice of antique archery and meet all your needs. It is also simpler to master the fundamentals of archery properly with a long bow, which is another reason why this bow is considered much more suitable for novices.

Long bow vs. recurve bows concerning hunting

Even those who know about bow hunting sometimes find themselves perplexed when comparing recurve ones to long bows. Specifically, there are benefits and drawbacks associated with this issue for both of these categories. Because of its compact dimensions, the recurve bow is more convenient to transport, particularly when used in the woods. On the other hand, compared to the recurve bow, the long bow possesses a greater degree of accuracy and is noticeably less noisy.

Factor 4: Draw length

If we did not discuss the draw length when comparing long bows with recurve bows, we would leave out an important part of the distinction. It is of the utmost importance to precisely check the length of your pull. You will improve your precision with this aid, and you will become an expert at using the bow. In addition, a draw length is often comparable since it is in some way equivalent to the needed arrow length.

We will compare the draw lengths of recurve bows and long bows below:

Recurve bow

We strongly advise that you follow the procedure mentioned above to determine the draw length of your recurve bow exactly.

  • Take your arm span measurement.
  • Find the final number and divide it by 2.5.

Using this procedure, you will obtain a result in inches, and the draw length corresponding to your arms will be decided based on this result.

Long bow

It is the length you will receive when you measure the distance between the neck grip & the nock point & add 1 inch and 34 of an inch to that figure. It is the length you will get when you measure the distance between the throat grip and the nock point.

Factor 5: Restriction

Both long bows and recurve bows have distinct advantages, applications, and benefits, all of which have been covered in this article. In this section, we will discuss the constraints and drawbacks of both. Even though authorities on bows frequently have divergent viewpoints on many aspects, the details of the most widespread and generally agreed-upon assertions on the recurve bow and the long bow are supplied in the following paragraphs.

Recurve bow

The lack of accuracy achieved with a recurve bow is the most obvious one. You will witness that even the greatest recurve bows have a degree of imprecision that is inferior to that of the typical long bow. Aside from this, the accuracy of these bows depends much on the ability and experience possessed by the archer. This restriction may result from having smaller limbs or the fact that you have to draw the string back a considerable distance to generate greater power.

In addition to this drawback, another potential issue with recurve bows is the amount of noise they may generate. When hunting, your performance may be hindered if you do not carry string silencers. This is something to keep in mind. The fact that the limbs frequently touch the string has an unintended consequence.

Long bow

Long bows have a lot of inherent disadvantages as well. Long-bows’ primary and most obvious weakness is their strength, which is also one of their Achilles’ heels. Long bows are undeniably highly effective weapons, but in this scenario, recurve models prove superior to their long-bow counterparts. Because of this, the arrow shot from a long bow travels at a far slower speed than the arrow shot from a recurve bow. Portability is a rare additional restriction for a bow of this sort. Because long-bows are big in comparison to short bows, also known as long, it is not very practical to carry one about all day in the woods because of their length. In addition to that, takedown models are very seldom seen.

Factor 6: Care and maintenance

It would help if you constantly took care of your bows, using a recurve bow, a long-bow, a compound bow, or a crossbow. It makes no difference at all. Regarding restringing, neither the recurve bow nor the long-bow provide a particularly difficult challenge. You can perform it pretty effortlessly on your own. Aside from that, you will never require any specialized machinery, equipment, or instruments to finish that work. Both types of bows may have their strings re-tied using only your hands.

The matter becomes more difficult when we consider the possibility of repairs. The rationale behind this may be seen below.

Recurve bow

The recurve bow is the preferable option when it comes to maintenance. Do you even know why you are doing it? Put another way; if your recurve-bow breaks, you should not be too concerned about it. You may use your bow once again by purchasing new limbs for it. It is particularly important to remember if you have a takedown model. As a result, the recurve bow is the one that can be fixed with the least amount of difficulty.

Long bow

Once a long-bow has been damaged beyond repair, there is, unfortunately, nothing that can be done to fix it. It isn’t easy to fix them because they are made of a single material. Even if you manage to get everything done, it will negatively impact the quality and performance.


Although it is possible to comprehend the difference between a long-bow and a recurve bow without ever using or experiencing either one, it is not simple to do so. Each of them has a unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Before deciding on the sort of bow to purchase, you need to carefully evaluate several important things, including the purpose for which you will be using it, your tastes in style and tradition, and your goals for participation in international competitions. Suppose you are someone who strives for perfection and places a high value on accuracy, style, and a quiet operation. In that case, we suggest you get a long bow in this scenario. It is also advised for those who are just starting. Aside from this essential consideration, the recurve kind of bow is the one you should choose if you wish to participate in competitions, value speed and power in your equipment, and value accuracy the most.

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