From Longbow to Recurve – A Natural Evolution

Bows and arrows have a long and storied career that goes back possibly as far as 750,000 years. During that time, the bow has undergone an evolution, which we will explore in this text.

Despite his mightiest efforts, even the strongest cavemen could only throw a spear as far as his strength would allow. As colonies of people grew, so did the demand for food. Better technologies needed to be developed.

Strings were incorporated to add force to the spear, which later became what we know as an arrow.

This equipment, however, has several limiting factors including;

1. The length of the string determines the strength behind the arrow.

2. The string also determines the length of the bow. This is because the bow needs to be long enough for the string to be properly stretched during the resting position.

This all means that if you wanted to shoot a bow very far, you would need a very, very big bow. It could even be taller than you!

This type of bow, called a longbow, has fundamental restrictions that simply don’t allow it to fulfill the needs of many archers today.

Enter, the recurve bow.

Some very clever and inventive archer wanted to get rid of his monstrous longbow, while still being able to shoot long distances with great force.

He figured out that by curving the edges of the bow back, away from the archer, he would have a much better bow. The recurve of the edges allows the use of the longer strings needed for long distance shooting, without the need for a longer bow.

The result is a smaller bow which is easier to carry and manage, yes which also packs the same firing power as it’s larger counterparts.

In many archery competitions, the recurve bow is the only type of bow that a participant is allowed to wield. This is even true in the Olympics, where no other bows are allowed.

Archery competitions are great, but the original purpose of the bow and arrow was to kill things. The transition to recurve bows affords hunters many benefits. Not only can you target game which is much farther away, but the extra room you have by using a smaller bow allows you to prepare for the shot much more easily. This will give you more accurate shots and a greater likelihood of hitting the target.