Longbow vs. Recurve: What’s the Difference?

When I was starting into archery the question whether I should go with a longbow, or recurve bow was quite fascinating,  I was confused like hell, and I know so are you, the debate on longbow vs. recurve bow is, and today I am going to clear your doubts about it,

while choosing your bow you need to take care of various things like power of the bow and how good is the performance of the bow, is it easy to shoot or not, how portable is the bow and how easy is to maintain it.

without wasting time let’s  get into the straight debate of longbow versus recurve bow.

Longbow vs. Recurve bow (Detailed comparison)
Anatomy of the bows


Longbow is tall bow It is as long as archer’s hight it has long draw made up of single wood, it is curved but ends are straight not curved like recurve bow, when you compare it with recurve bow it is made up of thicker and narrower wood than recurve, ends are quite thin which makes it easy to shoot and release arrow.

Due to its construction, it is less powerful than recurve bow but easy to shoot and accurate.

Recurve bow

Recurve bow is made up of 2 limbs which are curved at the end; basically, it has three parts two limbs and base, It is thinner and wider than a longbow. Recurve bow have almost similar width across the end of the bow, and due to its curve end, it is really powerful than the longbow.

It needs more practice to have a perfect shot on recurve bow as well as you have to take care of the shooting angles as well due to its shorter length, it is shorter than the longbow and even takedown recurve bow can be turned into three small pieces so easy to carry.

Power of the bow

Both bows are quite powerful but when you’re comparing power with another then you will notice that the end of recurve bow makes it more powerful due to the curve ends the releasing power of recurve bow enhance and that transfer into the speed of Arrow so we can say that a recurve bow is more powerful than longbow and it is vital to use recurve bow where more power is required for archery.

Longbow doesn’t have those recurve ends that’s why it is easy to shoot and less powerful than recurve bow.

Aiming with bow

when it comes to  Aiming, the longbow is known as a more forgiving bow in nature due to its longer size the shooting angles are more for forgiving which means you will not need to take care of shooting with that much,

On contrary, if you are shooting with recurve bow, you need to take extra care on shooting angles and when it comes to releasing the longer is quite smoother than recurve bow, so it is easier to release.

shorter the length gets string will get harder, and it will be challenging to release that that’s why most of the compound bow Shooter uses bow release due to its compact size.

Size of the bows

We can Spot the bigger Bow by its name, longbow is called “Longbow” because it is longer than any other bow available in the market,  recurve bow has curve ends and which makes it quite compact for example if you if you want longbow of 60 pounds then it will be 64” inches long and recurve bow with 60 pound draw weight can be easily available at 58” length.

The noise of the bow

In longbow, the power is wholly transferred into a row, so there is no contact between string and bow.

when you shoot with recurve bow at the end string comes in contact with Limbs which produce some noise, this noise is based on several factors like the construction of recurve bow or on the shooters form so you can say that longer is quieter than recurve bow.

Almost every recurve bow comes with some noise I haven’t seen any silent recurve bow yet, but it’s worth to have this bow for big hunts where we need lots of power.

Longbow > Recurve bow > Compound bow

Portability or transferring bow from one place to another

longbow is made up of one piece of wood that’s why it cannot be broken into pieces, so it is hard to travel with longer, in recurve bow we get the option of Takedown bow, Takedown recurve bow can be Turn down into pieces it is quite easy to travel.

and if it is not takedown bow then as well it is easy to carry recurve bow than longbow due to if its compact size frequency when it comes to portability recurve bow is a winner

Customization of Bow

if you’re a fan of customizing your more, then you should definitely go with recurve because if you’re wearing a longbow was you have bought the longbow you cannot change anything of it explain except the string but if you are going with recover and you can replace its limbs

For Beginner’s, youth, Hunting and  Target shooting

Technically when you are starting into archery it I essential to go with Longbow, But when it comes to real life usage longbow doesn’t do that well so it will better to start with recurve bow and improve shooting skills slowly.

Yeah, it definitely takes time to learn shooting angles and releasee and form in recurve bow but the pain is worth.

Starting archery at an early age is good there are lots of benefits for kids, but if you want to get your kid started then I would recommend you our list of best youth bows where you can choose kids bow, I prefer simple longbow for kids.

Hunting needs a lot of power and as we have discussed previously that you want more power then recurve bow is you go to go bow,
that doesn’t mean that longbow can’t be used in hunting, in fact, our ancestors have hunted for a long time with this old bow and it work’s like a charm but still to hunt animal especially in big games its good to have more powerful recurve bow.

For target shooting we want accuracy and longbow is synonyms for accuracy in archery, It is more forgiving bow due to its long size, and we need to take care of shooting angle less than a compound bow and recurve bow.


Now I think your confusion is cleared which bow you should buy, and I usually consider recurve bow because it is more powerful and easy to carry while hunting but it is my personal choice If you want to purchase longbow then go ahead you will love it.