With roots in ancient history the recurve bow is now hi-tech and is the principle competition bow. It is the only class of bow that is shot at the Olympic Games. Its basic working principles are similar to that of a traditional longbow. Its defining feature is that the ends of the limbs curve forwards slightly, which increases the power gained from the bow and smooths the draw.
The number 1 hunting bow and competition bow. The compound bow is designed to reduce the force that an archer must hold, yet increase the overall energy stored by the bow. Most compound designs use cams or elliptical wheels on the ends of the limbs to optimize the leverage exerted by the archer and to reduce the holding force of the bow at full draw in what is known as the "let-off". With less force required to hold a compound bow at full draw, the muscles take longer to fatigue, thus giving a compound archer more time to aim. A compound bow must be adjusted so that the let-off occurs at the correct draw length appropriate to the archer.
An ancient and well loved hunting bow. The Longbow is a type of bow that is tall (roughly equal to or greater than the height of a person), is not recurved, and has relatively narrow limbs that are circular or D-shaped in cross section. The traditional English longbow is usually made so that its thickness is at least 5/8 of its width. If the thickness is less than 5/8 of its width then the bow would be disqualified from most modern longbow competitions. Typically a longbow is widest at the handle. Longbows have been used for hunting and warfare, by many cultures around the world, a famous example being the English longbow, during the Middle Ages.