Takedown recurve bows have almost overtaken normal recurve bows in the archery market, and it’s not without cause. Archers interested in traditional bow models no longer have to sacrifice convenience and adjustability to shoot with their preferred equipment.
Takedown recurve bows are recurve bows made of three separate pieces rather than one: a riser and two limbs. The limbs can be screwed and unscrewed onto the riser, making for easier transportation and replacement.
If you’re looking into buying a bow for the first time, a takedown recurve might be a good place to start.
How the Takedown Recurve Came to Be
To understand what is special about the takedown recurve bows, we must explore the history of bows that led to its invention.
To do that, we must first discuss the longbow.
The first bow invented to assist humans in their food-gathering efforts was the longbow.
The longbow is the most rudimentary and basic form of bow, and it looks similar to the capital letter D.
The first bow had a simple construction: a single piece of curved wood, most often from a yew tree, was carved to perfection, fitted with notches at either end, and strung with a single piece of durable, flexible cord.
The Recurve Bow
This basic design was improved upon in about 1200 BC when the Hittites and Assyrians were shooting their enemies with bows and arrows from the backs of moving chariots and horses.
This would have been difficult to do with the traditional longbows, which were often taller than the archers who wielded them in order to get enough power to shoot long distances.
They created the recurve bow to be smaller and more powerful, and it was.
The recurve looks very similar to the longbow, except that they are often shorter and curve away from the archer at either end, forming more of a W-shape.
The curved design increased power by maximizing speed through increased tension and reducing the kickback of the release.
The Takedown Recurve
It isn’t widely known when the takedown recurve was introduced, but it can be inferred that it wasn’t long after the one-piece recurve made its debut.
Why the Takedown Recurve is Better
The fundamental advantage of the takedown recurve is in its name: it can be taken down.
After being unstrung, the limbs can be removed from the riser, usually by being unscrewed.
Though traditional, one-piece recurve bows are typically much smaller than longbows, they are still nearly as big as the archer, and so require a large case to be transported.
Even without a case, carrying around a bow that size would be cumbersome, and though bow-wielding stars on TV and in movies make it look cool to simply sling it over one’s head and secure it around the chest, this technique is likely to stretch out the bow or otherwise damage it.
Broken down into three smaller pieces, the takedown bow can be stored in a much smaller case and transported easily across long distances.
Once reassembled, the bow will need to be restrung, but modern designs have made this a simple matter of purchasing a bow-stringer and applying a small amount of effort.
If you’ve just recently purchased a takedown recurve bow, experts at your local pro shop should be able to demonstrate the best way to restring your bow after reassembling it.
It may take some practice, but soon, you’ll be able to unstring and restring your takedown recurve with no problem.
A one-piece recurve bow may use a mix of materials to create the bow’s frame, but it must all be made out of that single mixture.
When you opt for a takedown recurve, the three pieces can be made of different materials.
This is advantagous because the limbs and the riser serve very different purposes.
The riser is found in the center of the bow, and it is where you grip the bow while shooting it.
It is also where the arrow rests prior to being released.
The job of this piece of the bow is to remain stiff and strong, not to flex like the limbs.
Modern bow manufacturers have also gone to lengths to make this part of the bow especially light to reduce the overall weight of the bow.
It can be made of wood, carbon, or certain metals like aluminum.
The limbs can also be made with wood, carbon, or a mixture of metals, but most modern takedown recurve limbs are made of fiberglass.
Actually, they are made of several layers of fiberglass, allowing them the flex they need to create tension and send the arrow flying at high speeds.
Having multiple pieces also means that when a part gets damaged or needs maintenance, you can isolate the part with the problem more easily.
If one limb gets damaged, the archer need not purchase a whole new bow or even take the whole bow somewhere to get fixed.
He can simply purchase one new limb, take the one limb to have it fixed, or even buy a new limb to use while the other gets fixed.
Similarly, the riser can be replaced or serviced without having to buy new limbs to go along with it.
The archer can even purchase several sets of limbs made of different materials to determine which he likes best or to use in different shooting situations.
These bows and their parts are also often more affordable than other bow models, making them a great choice for beginners or indecisive purchasers.
The versatility is endless.
If none of this means anything to you, take the word of the professionals.
Since archery was inducted into the Olympic Games in 1900, recurves have been the only kind of bows allowed for use by competitive archers.
Most competitive archers in the Olympics and other archery competitions now use takedown recurve bows, most likely for all the reasons we’ve just discussed.
Best Takedown Recurves on the Market
If you’re looking to acquire a takedown recurve bow for yourself, there are a few clear winners on the market today.
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve
Perhaps the most popular is the Samick Sage Takedown Recurve.
It has been praised for being made of quality, durable materials as well as being incredibly easy to assemble and disassemble.
It has also been said to be easily upgradable and is a decent price compared to other brands at a little over one hundred dollars.
Spyder XL 64″ Takedown Recurve
This Spyder model has been said to be the new and improved Sage model, and the Spyder XL 64″ Takedown Recurve has been talked about just as much as the Sage model.
Reviewers have claimed that the Spyder is great for both beginners and for more advanced archers as it has a smooth draw, is light, and is not overpriced at about $150.
Not to mention, it’s beautiful.
Southland Archery Supply SAS Spirit 62″ Takedown Recurve
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the SAS Spirit 62″ Takedown Recurve is a popular choice for money-conscious archers.
At only $84.99, this bow is still said to have very similar quality to the higher-end takedown bows.
Most archers who purchased this bow are impressed by the pleasing aesthetic, which is present throughout the piece.
The riser takes advantage of three different kinds of wood: beech, chuglum, and gmelina arborea.
Not only are these woods pleasant to look at, but they are also reportedly very durable and pop well against the bold, white limbs.
This bow is great for beginners not only because of the accessible price, but because it comes with a helpful instruction manual and because it is extremely light, allowing for long practice hours.
Since it was pretty much made to be a first and disposable bow, however, there are no replacement parts and no accessories included.
Whether you’re a beginning archer or you just want something that’s easier to pack around, recurve bows are a great way to go, and they’re widely available from a variety of manufacturers.