Oregon 4-H Archery Member Manual 3
The Bow and Arrow
There are three types of bows:
(1) recurve, (2) longbow, and (3) compound.
Recurve bows commonly are made of fiberglass or laminated
fiberglass and wood. Some have risers made of metal or limbs
made from a synthetic material such as graphite. Because of their
curved limbs, recurve bows shoot arrows faster than longbows.
They often are used in hunting and target shooting. Archers who
compete in Olympic events have to use recurve bows.
A longbow is a straight piece of wood or fiberglass shaped to
form limbs, string notches, and a grip. Fiberglass longbows
typically are inexpensive; handcrafted wooden longbows, used
by archers who prefer traditional hunting equipment, typically
are expensive. Many modern longbows are made of laminated
wood and fiberglass.
Compound bows use cables and pulleys to store and release
energy. The cable and pulley system creates a “let-off” or bump
about halfway back during the draw. This let-off is where the
maximum force of the draw is felt. Once past the let-off, it
becomes much easier to draw and hold back the string. This
feature makes compounds popular with bowhunters, who
often have to wait at full draw while their quarry comes
into range or clears an obstacle.
This type of a bow is not recommended for a begin-
ning archer in this program.
Selecting a bow
If you select the right equipment, your experience will
be more successful and more enjoyable. The first piece of
equipment you will select is a bow.
The first thing you want to determine is whether you need a left-
hand or a right-hand bow. There is more involved in this decision
Archival copy. For current version, see: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/4-h361