A high-quality recurve bow can last more than 20 years if maintained and stored correctly. Thus, make sure you buy a high-quality recurve bow when shopping for one.
You may be wondering how long a recurve bow lasts. Like any other material, a recurve bow deteriorates bit by bit over time as well. Others still use their recurve bows for decades, while others need to replace their recurve bows soon.
A well-maintained and adequately stored high-quality recurve bow can last for over 20 years. Some archers have used their recurve bows for five decades, which is possible. Nevertheless, the lifespan of your recurve bow depends on how well you take care of it.
Before enumerating the steps to maintain and extend your recurve bow’s lifespan, you must first ensure that you bought a high-quality recurve bow.
If you buy a cheap quality recurve bow, expect it to deteriorate sooner than expected. You can’t expect a cheap quality bow to last for over two decades. Especially when it’s poorly taken care of, it may not even reach one decade.
The catch is that if you own a high-quality recurve bow, the odds of using it for decades are high. If you haven’t purchased a recurve bow yet, below are the things you need to consider in finding a high-quality recurve bow:
- Correct limbs and draw length
Not all recurve bows have the same purpose. For example, you can’t hunt with a recurve bow designed for target shooting. Therefore, you must identify how you intend to use the recurve bow.
There are two recurve bow styles: takedown recurve bow and one-piece recurve bow.
One-piece recurve bows have sturdy construction. Although they can be visually elegant, they are pretty challenging to store and transport.
Moreover, their limbs aren’t replaceable, so you must purchase a new recurve bow if they get damaged or if you are going for higher draw weights.
One-piece recurve bows’ risers and limbs, made from a single piece of material, is what makes it differs the most from the takedown recurve.
On the other hand, you may want to consider buying takedown recurve bows since they are easier to store and transport. Additionally, they can last longer because they have replaceable limbs.
Unlike one-piece recurve bows, you can disassemble the takedown recurve bows to separate them into several parts. Hence, if you need to replace a specific piece, you can detach them and replace them instead of changing the whole bow.
Therefore, takedown recurve bows are ideal.
Aside from the recurve bow style and purpose, you should also ensure you get the right limbs. You should pay attention to how much pressure you will apply because a limb will exert excellent resistance and feel stiff if you bend it beyond its intended range.
Remember that the wrong limbs will strain your muscles, making the pull less comfortable. Shooting with limbs that are too short would also make it painful and shorten the recurve bow’s life expectancy.
On the other hand, if you buy limbs with excessively high draw weight, you will start to tremble and fire less accurately. Therefore, you must also ensure the draw weight is appropriate. You can ask for help from your local archery shop to help you calculate your correct draw weight.
The material composition that makes up your recurve bow is the most critical factor since it significantly impacts its longevity. The typical materials or elements that compose a recurve bow are wood, fiberglass, and carbon.
Wood, in general, deteriorates faster than carbon and fiberglass. If you plan to buy a wooden recurve bow, you have to be extra careful since it is more prone to wear and cannot endure environmental conditions for a long time.
Meanwhile, fiberglass and carbon recurve bows are synthetic materials that are more durable and less fragile than their wood counterpart.
If you plan to purchase a used recurve bow, choosing one made within the last ten years is better. If it fails somehow, there may still be parts or models available to replace the damaged ones, and you can continue to use them for a longer time.
How to make your recurve bow last longer?
You must follow a maintenance routine, store it properly, and take good care of the bowstring to make your recurve bow last longer.
You may think the only reason recurve bows don’t last long is their poor quality. However, bow quality is not always the case.
Knowing that several factors damage a recurve bow, resulting in its decreased lifespan, is essential. These factors include not taking care of it properly, poor maintenance, wrong physical shooting form, accidental dry firing, and improper storage.
If you practice the following bad habits above, even a high-quality recurve bow won’t last long.
To help you make your recurve bow last longer, below are the tips to keep in mind:
- Follow a maintenance routine.
Maintenance is always a critical factor in keeping your bow intact in archery. Therefore, you must follow a maintenance routine to extend your recurve bow’s lifespan, as enumerated below:
- Inspect your recurve bow and look for any damage, including burs, delamination, or noticeable wear and tear.
- Check your bowstrings. If you find cuts or frays, replace them as soon as possible. Do not shoot unless you replace the damaged bowstring with a new one.
- Always keep your recurve bow clean and dry.
- Check that the limbs and riser align after stringing the bow.
- Regularly check and tighten all the fastenings and apply waterproofing lubricant to reduce corroding and ward off moisture. Using lubrication to your recurve bow’s axles every six months would be best.
- Do not use spray lubricants since these types can produce droplets welcoming dirt to your bo
- Make sure that you use the correct arrow weight. Remember that arrows that are too light may result to dry firing of the recurve bow.
- Replace damaged parts as soon as possible.
- Deep clean your recurve bow every six months to keep it in good condition.
wstring. Instead, use silicone-based lubricant.
Performing maintenance in your recurve bow can be quite a hassle, yet it pays off since it can help extend your recurve bow’s lifespan.
Besides doing maintenance, properly storing your recurve bow is equally essential. You will waste your routine maintenance if you store your recurve bow anywhere.
Whenever you aren’t using your recurve bow for more than a week, make sure you store it correctly by taking note of the following:
- Never store your recurve bow strung for a more extended period as you take it down for storage.
- It is always better to store it in a bow case rather than hang it. By storing it in a bow case, you are protecting it from accidental bumps and knocks. It will also keep it clean from dust and debris.
- Lay it down flat on the ground. Leaning it on an angle may result in a bent limb, making your recurve bow misaligned.
- Always place it in a dry area away from direct sunlight and high humidity levels. Remember that the heat can cause the limbs to bend out of shape.
Of course, you should not forget to take care of the bowstring. Once a bowstring breaks while you shoot, you risk yourself and those around you possible injuries, which will also lead to a sudden need to replace your recurve bow.
Thus, you have to wax the bowstring thoroughly. For instance, after use, it is best to wax it to protect it from wear and tear. As a result, you are making sure it stays moisturized.
Also, inspect your bowstring for any fuzz, fray, and stretch before shooting. When this happens, make sure to apply wax and rub it with your fingers until the wax melts into the bowstring.
You have to replace your bowstring every three years, but once it starts to wear and tear, you must replace it as soon as possible.
Therefore, following the tips enumerated and elaborated above, you must properly care for your recurve bow to prolong its life.
When should you replace your bow?
Dry fire, broken or bent limbs, and changing draw length are the main signs that you need to replace your recurve bow.
Modern recurve bows are durable and sturdy enough to last a lifetime. Nonetheless, like any other object, there are cases where it starts to show signs of necessary repair or, worst, replacement.
When a bow is in poor condition, you will likely need to replace it with a new one. Hence, you must pay attention to the following main signs to avoid any injuries in case your recurve bow acts weird while shooting:
- Dry fire
- Broken or bent limbs
- Changing draw length
Accidental or not, dry firing calls for a significant repair or immediate replacement. You may suffer injuries from dry firing since fragments fly through the air, metal particles become shrapnel and a tightly wound string lashes back at your face.
Dry fire doesn’t only happen with crossbows and compound bows; it also happens with recurve bows.
In recurve bow, dry fire happens when you shoot too light arrows. Therefore, using arrows with the proper weight is vital to avoid the possible risk of dry fire.
Your recurve bow will likely get misaligned, bent, or worse, broken if you store it improperly. Besides improper storage, limbs that have cracks and splinters are significant signs that they are getting old, which means you have to replace them.
Limbs are also prone to get bent over time. Once this happens, you may try to approach your local archery shop and ask if they can help you straighten it out again. However, it would be best to replace them for safety, especially if it is a one-piece recurve bow.
If you own a takedown recurve bow, consider yourself lucky because you can swap the old limbs with a new one without replacing the whole recurve bow. That’s why most archers recommend owning a takedown recurve bow because of this main advantage.
Always remember that you should refrain from shooting if you haven’t fixed or replaced its limbs. Not only will you shoot inaccurately, but you are also risking yourself.
Draw length can change over time, significantly when you are growing or starting to outgrow your recurve bow. If you own a one-piece type recurve bow, you have to replace it with a new one.
You may think that a change in draw length is nothing to fuss about, but a draw length that is too short will put too much strain on the limbs. As a result, it will cause damage to your recurve bow.
Therefore, when you feel like you have to change your draw length, you will have to replace your recurve bow and buy a new one with the correct draw length.
Paying extra attention to the signs will help you identify whether you must replace your recurve bow sooner than expected. A recurve bow in poor condition will put you in a dangerous situation and lead to shooting uncomfortably.
High-quality recurve bows can last a lifetime with routine maintenance and proper storage. That’s why it is crucial to find the right high-quality recurve bow that you can look forward to using for decades.
It doesn’t take much of your time to take care of your recurve bow. If you think thoroughly, it will cost you a lot if you fail to keep your recurve bow in good condition.
In conclusion, keeping your recurve bow in good shape certainly extends its life.