Basically, the recurve bow is one of the most recognized bows in the modern competitive archery. It can be identified by its curved tips at the ends, which are helpful for smooth releasing and increasing the speed of the bow. The recurve bow is the only style of bow allowed in the Olympics, and it can be used in field archery, 3D archery, and bowhunting. I mainly use mine for hunting.
Even though it is known that the recurve bow is one solid piece, its style has evolved and today there are available “takedown” recurve bows. The “takedown” is designed to break down into three parts, suitable for easy transport and adaptability.
Major Parts and Function
- Riser – is the “heart” of the recurve bow. Essentially, this part is the central component of every modern bow. The riser is placed between the limbs and it’s the backbone of the bow where other components are attached to. Usually, it is constructed out of aluminum, but it is also likely to be used carbon fiber. In the past, the riser was made from wood, but it was replaced with aluminum and carbon fiber since the wood has humidity issues.
- Riser Grip – or handle is the part designed for holding the bow while shooting. Archers should feel comfortable on the grip to increase the shooting performance and score better results. The riser grips are replaceable with after-market grips, and you shouldn’t buy one without testing it first.
- Limbs – these are the most critical parts of the bow made of wood, fiberglass or carbon fiber. The limbs are attached to the both ends of the riser and their movement is crucial for the precision of the bow. Their job is to store and release the kinetic energy to launch the arrow towards the target. Any twisting can significantly change its direction and you will score poorly on the 10-ring. Mainly, the pounds of pressure that are generated by the limbs’ stiffness is usually at the draw length of 24 inches. When it comes to attaching them, there are different manufactured ways to do it. But the most common way is the International Limb Fittings (ILF). By using ILF, you can attach limbs on risers from different manufacturers, which is uncommon for other attaching way.
- Sight – a device that you should attach on the riser to help you make more consistent shots. The adjustable pin will make a huge difference when you launch a dozen arrows in a row.
- Stabilizer System – designed to provide balanced, smooth feeling of the bow during and after the shot. This system is helpful for absorbing the vibrations on the bow, and reducing the unneeded noise created by the release of the arrow. It consists long rod, short rods, an extension rod, weights and a v-bar. Also, you can add a dampener to the end of each rod to decrease the level of vibration on the bow. Beware, don’t put too many stabilizers because it will affect your control over the bow when you make a shot. Even though they can improve accuracy, they won’t replace having an excellent technique.
- V-bar – is an attachable part of the stabilizer system that connects the side short rods with the main long rod.
- Clicker – a device that assists the archer in creating a dependable draw length, but also to ensure that the arrow and limbs will generate the same force repeatedly. The clicker is a strip or spring steel that is attached to the riser and it’s making an audible “click” noise, which notifies the archer to release the arrow after reaching the desired draw length.
- Plunger – a pressure button that is designed to adjust the horizontal oscillation upon release of the arrow and improve its precision towards the center location.
- Arrows Rest – resting place for the arrows while the archer draws the string back. This device is made of metal or plastic and it is attached to the riser.
- Bowstring – a cord attached to the limb tips and its function is to transform the stored energy the limbs into kinetic energy in the arrow
- Bowstring Serving – a cord wrapped around the strands to produce an area to attach the arrow by using the arrow nock.
- Nock – is a two-pronged end of an arrow made of plastic to enable the arrow to be attached to the bowstring. It can be attached to the arrow with a nock pin, or inserted into its end.
Each part is crucially important when assembling the recurve bow. Choosing the right parts such as stabilizer system, riser and limbs will determine the power and accuracy of your bow. Mainly, this type of bow doesn’t have to be featured with expensive parts because they aren’t complex mechanisms. It is suitable for beginners that are interested in archery and sports hunting. The recurve bow is essentially used in Olympic shooting competitions, but it’s also effective in hunting small prey, even though it can take down larger animals too. You can read more about recurve bow parts here.