Recurve Bow Strings
Recurve Bow Strings are arguably the easiest to select from. Recurve bows use only one string stretched between
the two nocking points, allowing a large variety of string types to be used.
The material, length, rigidity, and special qualities of the string are much freer to select from
without the restriction of compound bow mechanisms, which would otherwise limit the choice of bow string material
Since recurve bows are much older in design and still in use, it's not uncommon to see an archer use organic
materials for their bow strings. Virtually any fiber can be spun into a bow string. Hemp, linen, and rawhide are
all used to make traditional bow strings.
More expensive rare materials are sold for seasoned or meticulous archers. Silk is such a material that is
rigid, organic, and rare in production. Sinew, like silk, is organically produced in small amounts and can be hard
to procure. Thusly, many recurve bow archers will select from new synthetic materials for their bowstring
Dacron is a commonly used material for its stretch, and thus less stress on the bow itself. The material tends
to warp lengthwise over the course of regular tension on the bowstring. An archer can buy pre-stretched bowstrings
or bowstrings made of pre-stretched material to offset this factor.
When choosing the string, it is said that a bow string should be able to withstand 4 times the weight of the
riser. The riser is the stiffest part of the bow and can hold a lot of weight. Thusly, strong material is best
suited to a recurve bow.
When working with recurve bows, there are no pulleys or cable mechanisms to aid the arrow release process.
Instead a bow string is either tied to or looped over the nocking point. This is a minor difference in shooting,
but this proves to be troublesome in the ways of wear and lifespan of the bow string. Serving the ends of the
strings, or loops, can prove to reduce this defect.
A string that can withstand the pull of the archer's mechanical advantage will generally fit onto the bow just
fine. A recurve bow put next to a compound bow nowadays would seem like a revolver put next to an automatic pistol.
The design is solid, original, and relies on less peripheral mechanics to operate.
For this reason, virtually any fiber can be used to tie between the two ends of the bow stave. This has been the
method of trial and error that has lead civilizations through millenia of improvement to the simple bow mechanism.
Spectra, Kevlar, and Dacron are all formidable materials for recurve bow strings, but traditional materials, like
sinew, hemp, vegetable fiber, and hide are just as useful in archery. Materials that are best for a recurve bow are
really materials that are best for the recurve bow shooter.