Recurve Bows vs Longbows – what to choose

Longbows are D-shaped bows. They are called longbows because they are the longest bows from tip to tip. They are perfect for those seeking a bow that is accurate and moderately powerful since they have both of these qualities.

Recurve bows are also D-shaped. The difference between a recurve bow and a longbow is that the recurve bows curve away from the archer at the tips of the bow. With this design, more energy and power can be distributed into the arrow making them more powerful than a longbow. Therefore, they are perfect for those seeking a fast and powerful bow.

In this article, you'll learn why you should use a recurve bow and why you should use a longbow. In addition, you'll learn how the two compare in terms of speed, effort, nostalgia, and quietness.

Longbows are shaped like the letter D. A general letter D shape can also be found on recurve bows. The fundamental distinction between recurve and longbows is that the limb tips of recurve bows curve away from the archer. Recurve bows are more powerful than longbows due to their distinctive design, which concentrates power on the arrow. If you want a powerful bow, you should use a recurve bow rather than a longbow.

If you wish to participate professionally at the top levels, you should use a recurve bow. Of course, certain archery contests only allow archers to use longbows. The most prominent archery contests, such as Olympic target archery, however, only allow contestants to use recurve bows.

Another reason to go with a recurve bow over a longbow is that recurve bows are better for field archery. The reason for this is that they are more powerful than longbows, therefore they can shoot arrows further.

Finally, you should choose a recurve bow rather than a longbow because recurve bows are easier to wield. When compared to longbows, recurve bows are easier to assemble, use, and pack away.

The advantages and disadvantages of recurve bows are listed below.



  • Recurve bows are versatile and can be used for Olympic target archery, field archery, and 3D archery
  • Recurve bows are easy to assemble, use, disassemble, store, and transport because they are compact
  • Recurve bows are generally more powerful than longbows
  • They are typically faster and more accurate than longbows
  • They require more effort and practice compared to longbows
  • They tend to be louder than longbows

Looking at the facts above, it is easy to see that there are many reasons why you should choose a recurve bow instead of a longbow. Check out the best recurve bows currently available on the market

Given the information presented above, it is clear that there are numerous reasons to pick a recurve bow over a longbow. Right here, you'll find the top recurve bows on the market.

recurve bows vs longbows

Is a Longbow better than a Recurve Bow?

Longbows are basically bows with a D form. They're the bows you've most likely seen in classic or medieval films because they've been around for a long time. Unlike recurve bows, they do not bend away from you at the limb tips.

Longbows are great for beginners since they are so easy to use. Because they do not bend or flex as much as recurve bows when drawn, they fire far more straight and accurately.

So, if you're a beginning archer looking for a bow that will help you hit the target more often, especially in the first few weeks, a longbow is the way to go.

If you don't want to spend a lot of effort every time you shoot an arrow, a longbow is a good option. This is due to the fact that longbows require less effort to shoot than recurve bows. In comparison to recurve bows, they are also easier on the fingers because they require less effort to draw.

If you want a classic bow, you should go with a longbow rather than a recurve bow. Longbows, as previously said, have been around for a long time. They're ideal for medieval fairs and tournaments, as well as traditional archery.

The advantages and disadvantages of longbows are listed below.



  • Longbows do not require a lot of effort to draw and shoot
  • They are perfect for those wishing to do archery like their ancestors did
  • They are less likely to cause injuries
  • They are much quieter than recurve bows
  • Some longbows can cause hand shocks
  • They tend to be larger and harder to assemble, disassemble, and store

Longbows are ideal for people who are new to archery because they are simple to operate. They're also gentler to your fingers, arms, and shoulders. If you're certain that you need a longbow, have a look at our list of the best longbows. For new archers, these are the best longbows here.

longbows versus recurve bows

How Recurve Bows and Longbows compare in terms of speed, effort, nostalgia, and quietness


A recurve bow is the best option if you want to shoot arrows at a high rate. Due of their design, recurve bows are far more powerful than longbows.


A longbow is a good choice if you want a bow that requires less effort to shoot every time. Because their limbs do not flex as much as recurve bows, longbows are easier to shoot. Also, because they are long and therefore simpler to handle and use, they are ideal for tall archers.


Longbows are more superior than recurve bows in terms of nostalgia because they have been around for much longer. They're also the bows you'll see in classic films like Robin Hood. So, if you want a bow that creates feelings of nostalgia or a sense of the Middle Ages, a longbow is the way to go.


Both bows are rather quiet when it comes to noise, however longbows are more quite than recurve bows. Because of their flexing limbs, the strings of recurve bows vibrate more. Longbow limbs, on the other hand, barely flex when in use.


1. What is the difference between a longbow and a recurve bow?

A longbow is a straight bow with limbs that are relatively the same length. A recurve bow has tips that curl away from the archer, allowing for more power and accuracy in shooting.

2. Which is better for target shooting, a longbow or a recurve bow?

Recurve bows are generally better for target shooting as they can be more accurate than longbows.

3. Are longbows more powerful than recurve bows?

No, both bows have similar power potential, but recurve bows tend to be more efficient as they require less energy to draw back, allowing for smoother shots.

4. Can you hunt with either a longbow or a recurve bow?

Yes, both bows are suitable for hunting, though recurve bows may be more accurate when shooting at game.

5. Is one type of bow easier to learn than the other?

Recurve bows may be slightly easier to learn as the curved tips allow for smoother shooting without having to practice as much.

6. How durable are longbows and recurve bows?

Both types of bows are fairly durable and can last for many years with proper maintenance and care.

7. What type of arrows should I use with a longbow or a recurve bow?

For both longbows and recurve bows, you should use arrows designed specifically for your bow. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing arrows.

8. Do I need special equipment to shoot a longbow or recurve bow?

Yes, you will need an armguard and a finger tab to prevent the string from cutting into your skin when shooting. Additionally, you may need a bow stringer if you are using a recurve bow.

Final remarks

Both longbows and recurve bows are excellent bows. Choose your preferred style and purchase a bow in that style. Just make sure it's a high-quality one. You'll be able to have some fun with it.

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