Different Types Of Archery Bows

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Archery has always been an enticing sport, and it has seen significant growth in recent years.

All around the world, either due to the impact of popular movies and shows or due to interests, people are taking up archery.

The sheer feat of accuracy by pulling strings and shooting the arrows have become a commendable feat. If you’re looking to indulge in this hobby, then you should educate yourself in different types of bows.

There are different types of archery bows available in the market.

Often, people have innate talent to operate one of these, while they might lack the skill for the other type.

If you’re looking to find the best target bow, then here are the types you should be aware of:

Types of bows recurve bow easy to learn inexpensive good for beginners

Related: How to Make a Homemade Archery Target for Practice Shooting

Recurve Bow – A Beginner’s Masterpiece

If you’ve started learning archery, then a recurve bow would be the first type you will come across.

However, these are not the traditional bows that you have seen in museums and movies.

By evolution, you will have the most comfortable time learning to handle this type of bow.

While it is a beginner’s first choice, many skilled veterans are required to master a recurve bow for competitions such as Olympics[1].

The recurve name is due to the curvature in the structure. Its central body is curved towards the user while the ending points are angled outwards.

This ensures that the arrows are reinforced with apt force. It has standard strings from where you will draw the arrow and shoot.

A recurve bow typically requires less strength to pull the arrow or shoot it in the distance. The length of the string and the tension in it determine the power behind each shot. You can’t have a bow that is too tight.

A recurve bow also has an arrow rest for you to provide for stability in holding the arrow while aiming and pulling. It will also have a riser or handle that allows you to carry it comfortably.

Thus, shooting arrows is easiest.

These are intended to train accuracy, draw and accumulate other essential skills.

Modern recurve bows come with an option to disassemble them for easy storage.

Similarly, you can also equip attachments such as pressure buttons or a sight scope for precision, accuracy, and power (learn how to use a compound bow sight easily).

The most crucial factor to consider when buying a recurve bow is durability and length.

If it’s a longbow, it will be harder for you to draw the arrow.

Historic medieval longbow traditional archery best target bow

Related: Fun Archery Games to Improve Your Aim and Skill

The Longbow – Reliving The History

A longbow is also known as the traditional bow. It usually has a length that is almost equal to the height of the archer.

These are the ones you see in the museums and have existed since medieval times[2]. With a curvaceous build, these arrows are sleek and long in design. Overall, handling the arrows with these bows is not as easy as it seems.

These bows do not come with an option to add attachments such as a bow sight, resting piece, or handle grip.

With experience, you will learn how to hold the arrow and pull the string to shoot.

However, as these are long arrows, these are remarkable for long-range archery. Often, for more extended range, archers learn to aim the target by pointing the arrow towards the sky to a certain degree.

You won’t have any arrow holder on the bow, so you will learn to mount the arrow, draw it, and shoot it efficiently without any support.

Additionally, with these types of bows, you will develop the understanding and skills required to operate in different wind and weather conditions for the arrow to hit the target.

If you seek to polish your hunting skills and to improve archery for ‘combat,’ this is perhaps the best target bow.

Tenpoint Wicked Ridge hunting crossbow bolts

Crossbow – A Gun For Arrows

Crossbows originated from China in around 600 B.C[3]. These are essentially guns that shoot arrows.

Unlike the traditional or recurve bow, the position of the bow is horizontal instead of vertical. 

It has a crank-type module with an arrow line or holder where you draw the arrow and pull strings to fasten it behind the arrow. Once the process is complete, you can pull the trigger level after taking your aim to shoot the arrow.

The arrows of crossbows are also called bolts.

A crossbow is suitable for short-range practice with higher penetration power. As you don’t have to hold the string after drawing it, you can increase the tension of the string for higher speed and greater strength.

However, the more pressure means longer drawing time for the bolts

Crossbows such as the TenPoint Wicked Ridge are primarily used for hunting. There are competitions related to these.

However, if you’re looking to truly polish your skills as a seasoned archer, these are less likely to help you. For sports and adventure, these are great.

Related: Gun Hunting vs Bow Hunting: Which is Better?

BowTech Diamond Infinite Edge Pro Mossy Oak Compound Bow Package

Compound Bows – A Modern Touch To The Tradition

A compound bow, such as the Diamond Infinite Edge Pro, is the example of the brilliance of Science and innovation that led to a competitive selection.

These bows are versatile and suitable for any use, whether it is target practice, sports, or hunting.

While traditional bows or recurve bows primarily use wood, a compound bow utilizes other materials such as carbon alloy, fiberglass, or other artificial components.

Thus, these bows are a long-term investment that is not affected by natural elements such as weather conditions, temperature, humidity, and other similar factors.

Each compound bow has an intricate system of pulleys, eccentric cams, and cables.

Instead of traditional strings, there is carbon or other material used for the cables. You can adjust the tension on the string according to your requirement. Thus, it will require you to have strong proficiency in drawing the arrow.

The pulley system was introduced to help you retain the ‘draw’ for an extended timeframe. It will reduce the tension from the muscles to help you hold the arrow.

However, it is not a trigger or brake, and once you release it, the arrow will shoot out at optimum speed.

Due to the complexity of the compound bows, these are not ideal for the beginners.

It will help if you become well-versed in using recurve and longbow before considering a compound bow. However, it is not an adamant rule, and you can choose to start with this bow straight away.

Overall, out of all four types of bows, a compound bow might be the best target bow available in the market for you.


  1. https://www.olympic.org/archery
  2. https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/The-Longbow/
  3. https://www.ancient.eu/article/1098/crossbows-in-ancient-chinese-warfare/

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