You can leave the string on a recurve bow if you are going to use your bow off and on during the day. But if you go five to six hours without shooting, you can unstring your recurve bow.
However, to prevent damage and loss of power, it is best to keep your recurve bow unstring. The limbs are put under tension and pressure when the recurves are strung, causing them to have an irregular curve. The limbs provide the energy to let the arrow propel forward.
Leaving the string on a recurve bow for a long time, primarily the wooden recurve bows, can cause the bow to retain the curve. The curves can lessen your accuracy and power when shooting. Recurve bows get agitated when you leave them unstrung for a long time, especially without using them.
The material of your bow also plays an essential determining factor in how long you can keep your recurve bow unstrung. That is why leaving your recurve bow unstrung can cause damage to both the bow and the string. Moreover, if you plan to hang your recurve at home for a long time without using it for more than a week, it is best to hang it unstrung.
How long can you leave a string on a recurve bow?
Strings can remain in recurve bows for a few days, depending on the material composition of your bow. You can keep a typical synthetic bow for a month and bows made from other materials for a week.
Most archers agree that you should not keep the string on your recurve if you do not plan on shooting your bow for more than two to three weeks, especially when you are storing it during the off-season. If you plan on not using your recurve for an extended period, unstring it to protect its structure and prevent the loss of power.
Moreover, the materials that make up your bow play an essential role in knowing how long you can leave the strings on your recurve. Bows made of synthetic materials are less vulnerable to damage and stress. That is why you can leave the string for these types of recurve bows for a more extended period, especially when hung.
For recurve bows with limbs made of fiberglass composite materials, they are more flexible and can take more stress than the usual bows. The fiberglass composite materials give the recurve bow a high tensile and comprehensive force that enables you to leave the string in your bow without getting any damage and losses.
Modern recurve bows these days already have limbs that can support the bow in any condition while strung—all you need to worry about is the condition of your string. Although unstringing your recurve when not used is beneficial, there are also consequences when overdone.
Some recurve bows become sensitive with constant stringing and unstringing. So, if you wish to extend the lifespan of your recurve bow, only unstring it when you are not using it for more than two to three weeks. Keeping it under tension and pressure for more than three weeks can reduce your bow’s power and durability.
Is it okay to store a recurve bow with the string?
Archers do not advise keeping the string on your recurve bow before storing it. Keeping the string on the bow means constant pressure and tension on the tips of your bow. The constant stress can cause warping over a long period of storage.
After you unstring your bow before storing it, you can cover it with a bow sock to protect it from dents, dings, debris, and dust. You can also detach the parts of your bow, like severing the string, limbs, and riser. This method of separating the bow’s parts is known as the takedown recurves.
In general, if you plan to unstring your takedown recurve, you should also do it to the riser and limbs of the bow. But when you are hanging your bow on a rack, pegs, or wall, there is no need to detach your bow. You can unstring it and then hang it afterward.
Moreover, if you are traveling or a seasonal bow user, it is best to remove your string before storing it to get the best result. The belly of your recurve will be under the compressor when you keep the bowstring. Doing that will weaken your bow; it will take a lot of time to set it again, and if you keep it strung, you will reduce the life of your recurve.
When should I not string my recurve bow?
It would be best not to string your recurve bow when you are traveling and cleaning your bow. Unstringing your bow during these times will help reduce damage to your recurve.
If you have plans to travel with your recurve bow, it is best to unstring it to save space. You can put it in a case like a hard-shell case to keep it protected. When traveling, you can unstring your bow and detach it to take up less space in your luggage or vehicles.
Aside from saving space, unstringing your bow while traveling is also a good idea because it prevents the kinetic energy from building up in the limbs of your recurve.
If something happens to the string while you are traveling or during transport, you can assure that there is less damage to your bow. If you keep your bow with strings, it can go off accidentally, causing more damage.
Removing the strings from your recurve bow when doing maintenance and cleaning is also advisable. Pulling the string makes it safer and easier to clean your recurve. The only exception of not stringing your bow is when you are applying wax to the string.
What happens when you do not unstring a recurve bow?
Unstringing your bow can increase the risk of twisting the bow’s limbs. It can also cause damage, scratches, and loss of draw weight when kept unstrung for an extended period.
The most common effect of unstringing a recurve bow is to cause the limbs to curve due to too much tension and pressure. When the limbs curve, it dramatically affects accuracy and the power to hit your target because the limbs are the ones that provide energy for the arrow to propel forward.
However, if you only unstring your bow for a short time, nothing concerning will happen to your recurve bow. Many archers report leaving their bow under full pressure or tension for a couple of weeks without losing any draw weight.
If your bow has fiberglass materials, there are lesser chances of losing power compared to wood recurves. Be more careful with wooden bows because they tend to lose draw weight quickly and get more damage after a long time of not unstringing.
The strings can cause tension from the limbs, taking more space and making it difficult to store. Also, if you do not unstring your recurve bow, you will have more difficulty with storage. That way, you can incur more damage to the bow and spend more to fix it.
How to properly store my recurve bow when unstrung?
The best way to store your recurve bow when unstrung is to put it in a bow case. You can also mount your recurve bow on a dedicated shelf or rack if you keep it unstrung.
Another essential tip when storing your bow is not to let it rest on its tip and not lean it in a corner. Do not stick the tip of your recurve on the ground; never lean on your bow as if it is a walking stick. Without the tips of your bow, it is impossible to hold a sting, so make sure to protect the tip of your recurve when storing.
Sticking the tip of your bow on the ground will wear the tip faster and may cause a lot of scratches and break off the tip. Also, if you store your bow for an extended time, put it in a bow stock. A bow stock will help protect your bow from cat hairs, dings, dust, and moving around.
Bow stocks also prevent your bow from getting piled up on top of a lot of stuff. Moreover, if you want to keep the strings on your bow before storing it, here are the tips you can follow to keep it in good condition.
- Replace your string before storing it if it already looks ratty, old, and worn. Replacing the string is cheaper than replacing your bow. It is better to replace your string ahead of time than to replace your bow because the string broke.
- Put wax on your string regularly to make it last longer. Wax not only holds the string together for a more extended time but also protects from moisture.
- If you prefer to hang your recurve for storing, unstring your bow. Over time, bowstrings tend to put tension on the bow’s frame, which can cause damage to the quality of the bow. To keep your bow in good quality and shape while in storage, hang it unstrung.
- Hang your bow horizontally and not vertically when storing or hanging it on a wall. To do this, you must install two pegs on the wall for each side of the limbs. That way, you can distribute the bow’s weight equally and avoid any possible strains or damage to the string.
Remember that you must install both pegs evenly and proportionately in one direction and line so that your recurve bow can rest evenly. If you put it in an uneven position, it will cause the limbs to twist and break.
Hanging your bow in a vertical position can cause a lot of damage to your bow. It is because the upright position will only place the entire weight of your recurve bow on one side or one limb. It causes the bow to become fragile and can break easily.
- Store your recurve on a bow rack to store your bows on top of each other. A bow rack allows you to store your recurve bows safely but also keeps your bows organized and in good condition. You can buy bow racks from your nearby archery shop, or you can also find one online.
When putting it in a bow rack, do not lean it against the wall. If you lean it on a wall, there is a big possibility that your bow will break because of too much stress and weight. It is because the limb will have to carry the whole bow’s weight. Pile your bows instead on top of each other.
- When storing your bow, avoid putting it in a very humid room, like garages. The moisture and humidity in these areas will severely damage your bow and cause your recurve bow to rust over time when storing.
There are more ways how you can adequately store your bow. You can choose which one is more convenient for you. The tips mentioned above are suggestions you can consider on top of your ways of storing your recurve bow.
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