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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 and construction.

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 needs.

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.

Compound Bow Strings