Bow Types

There are three bow types that are practised at Bath Archers: LongBow, Recurve and Compound. In addition, Barebow shooting is also catered for whereby a Bow is free from a sight or any mark used for aiming.


Longbows, characterized by their D-shaped construction, were originally used during war in the Middle Ages and can be dated back to 9,000 to 6,000 B.C. The archer aims the tip of the arrow at the intended target while at full draw. The longbow is the simplest of all the bows, often made from a single piece of wood and lacking sights, arrow rests or any other of the aids used with recurves and compounds. Longbows are roughly the same height as the archer, and provide a good deal of stability but not always the best accuracy. It may interest you to know that arrows can leave a longbow at over 140mph, and their effective range can be as great as 180 metres.

Recurve Bows

Recurve bows are a popular type of archery bow because it can be used by an archer at any level. Recurves are characterized by the curved tips that curve away from the archer and the string touching the limbs. This construction and design allows the bow to store more energy that is transferred to the arrow during the shot, resulting in faster arrow flight than a longbow. Common materials used to make a recurve bow include wood, laminated carbon or fiberglass. Traditional archers typically choose wood, while competition shooters generally choose lightweight materials, such as fiberglass. Bow weights for recurves typically range from 28 lbs to 45 lbs.

Compound Bows

Compound bows were developed in the 1960s by Holless Wilbur Allen in Missouri to improve the function of the recurve bow. Utilizing a system of cables and pulleys, cams, wheels and limbs, what sets aside this bow from all the other bows is that as the bow is drawn, the draw weight increases to a peak and then 'lets off'. The 'let off' lets you aim for a longer period of time since the force needed to hold the string is greatly reduced. Compound bows often have a peak weight of up to 60lbs, but may only need 15-20lbs to hold the arrow before shooting it.