For the recreational or social archer, other bow types are available besides the Recurve and Compound.

Traditional Bows have a single bowstring attached at the tips of the limbs.


A Longbow is usually constructed from a single piece of wood or several layers of wood. It differs from a Recurve in that it lacks the curved tips at the end of its narrow yet thick limbs, which bend gracefully through the entire length of the bow. The limbs form the letter ‘D’ when strung and the bowstring does not touch the limbs. Longbows have a straight grip and may have a shelf in the riser that functions as an arrow rest.

Several WCA Members shoot this bow type and you may see them on the range at times. The club has five Longbows in its arsenal, including three suitable for adults and two suitable for children. Students can try out one of the club’s Longbows in a Beginners Course.

Former WCA Member Patricia Batchelor at her home in Mulgrave.

Yumi (Japanese Longbow)

This bow type is an asymmetric Longbow over 2 metres in length, used in Japanese archery, or Kyudo, a martial art.

A WCA Member and Archery Instructor shoots with this bow type. If you are lucky enough, you may see a demonstration of the Yumi during a Beginners Course, or on occasion down at the range on a Saturday morning.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Horseback Bow

This bow type is a composite Recurve of about 50 – 55 inches in length. They are short compared to other bow types, as they are designed to shoot arrows at a target while mounted on a horse. Unstrung, Horseback Bow limbs form the letter U’. Traditional materials used in bow construction were bone, wood, horn and sinew.

If you are down on the range on a Saturday morning, you may see a WCA Member shooting with a Mongolian Horseback Bow, complete with striking red arrows (minus the horse, of course!).

Photo by Michael Anfang on Unsplash

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