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Walsall Company of Archers

Bow Styles


Recurve Bow

A recurve bow has tips that curve away from the archer when the bow is strung. By definition, the difference between recurve and other bows is that the string touches a section of the limb when the bow is strung. A recurve bow stores more energy and delivers energy more efficiently than an equivalent straight-limbed bow, giving a greater amount of energy and hence speed to the arrow. Arrows can be made of aluminium or carbon  or a combination of the two.This is the only bow type allowed in normal Olympic competition.


Compound Bow

A compound bow is a modern bow that uses a levering system, usually of cables and pulleys (cams) to bend the limbs. The limbs are much stiffer than those of a recurve bow, this limb stiffness and cam system makes the compound bow more energy-efficient than other bows. When the bow is drawn the string causes the pulleys to turn, this has the effect of mechanically reducing draw weight for the archer when the bow is at full draw. Arrow speed is also greatly increased.



The longbow is a traditional bow that has been in use for centuries for hunting and battle. It is made from a single stave of wood and it’s limbs are relatively narrow and are circular or D-shaped in cross-section, and is roughly equal in height to the person who uses it. There is no sight, and arrows also made of wood with feather fletchings. Flatbows are similar to the longbow, but differs in that the cross-section it has limbs that are approximately rectangular.