Maintenance of the bow

Maintenance of the recurve bow

Recurve bows are virtually fool proof. If you keep some important rules in mind, it is very unlikely anything will ever go wrong with your bow. However, it is a good idea to inspect both the bow and the string before going out to shoot. Cracks on the bow, creeping (see waxing below) or other signs of weakening on the string means something is not right. If the bow ever breaks, it is unlikely that it will injure you, not even the strong ones. However, it can ruin an otherwise perfect day if you discover that your bow is not what it used to be just when you start shooting in the woods.This goes for the arrows too. Make sure you have plenty of healthy arrows – check for cracks and bends, inspect the feather too.Simply stated, the bow is a stringed projectile weapon designed to shoot arrows. It consists of a slender stave (the bow-stick) and a cord fastened to it at each end under a certain amount of tension. By drawing the string and the arrow back until the stave is bent, and then releasing the string, the impelling force of the bowstring shoots the arrow5. Though it sounds easy, many bows require as much as hundreds of pounds of force to bend the bow sufficiently and then incredible marksmanship to make the arrow fly true.

Avoid dry firing

Never shoot the bow without an arrow. These finely tuned bows are designed so that the weight of the arrow is taken into consideration. If you shoot them without arrows, they will suffer a whiplash effect and may be damaged, even though the damage is hard or impossible to observe.


When shooting, aim before you pull the string. Once the string is pulled, you should shoot as soon as possible. Do not hold the bow with the string pulled.

Heat and ultra violet light

Do not leave the bow on direct sunlight for a long time. Heat and UV light is not useful for anything man made.


Do not keep the bow stringed when you do not use it. When the bow is stringed, the bow is bent and the energy stored in the bow puts quite a stress on the body. This is emphasized when you pull the bow, see Aiming above.Do not hang the bow by its ends. The weight of the bow will slowly but surely deform the bow, resulting in a gradual deterioration of your bow.Keep the bow leaning towards a surface facing you, with the back supported. It is the same with guitars, the strings pull the neck in a direction, you should rest it so the resulting force counters the string (although, as you know by now, you never keep your bow stringed for a long time)