The Evolution of Archery

The Longbow

Developed in the middle stone age for hunting, man discovered that the longbow was a far superior weapon than those previously used. The longbow’s force was far greater than that of a hand and a spear alone, and therefore more deadly. In the Iron and Bronze Age, it was also used in warfare. It is often made from a single piece of wood, and is ideally about the height of the person using it. Archers shoot traditional bows in all major types of archery. You’ll see traditional bows in target archery, field archery and 3D archery.

The Recurve

The recurve bow was developed shortly after the longbow. The limbs of the bow curve slightly outward. This provided an even greater force, without adding to the archer’s draw weight. It also shortens the height of the bow, which was better suited for warfare. Recurve bows are the only bows the Olympics allow. Many archers also shoot recurve bows in field archery and 3D archery.

The Compound

This bow features added wheels and pulleys, and stiffer limbs which heighten the force generated when the string is drawn back. Such technology allows for a heavier draw weight, which lets off when the string is fully drawn, and thus creates a more powerful shot. Compound bows are known for their widespread use in field and 3D archery and many archers also shoot compounds in target archery.

The Compound – The Newest Technology

In recent years archery technology has improved immensely. Much like the recurve, the newest compound bows are even more compact. Using the same idea, their limbs actually sit completely parallel, which is not only easier to carry, but also increases the bow’s power. Because the bow is so short, however, they cannot be shot traditionally, with just the archer’s fingers. They require a special piece of equipment called a release. This not only improves accuracy, but eliminates “finger pinch,” which is the result of drawing back on such a short string.