A type of bow that, when unstrung, actually curves in the opposite direction in which you draw it. So, relative to the person who's holding the bow, it is convex when unstrung and concave when strung. Composite recurve bows are made with a layer of bone on the side towards the archer, which resists compression, and a layer of sinew on the other side, which resists tension. This makes for one hell of a powerful bow, with possible ranges up to 800 yards! (I read this in an early 1800's book on warcraft). This is how they made thim historically.

Archery has come a long way from the bent stick cut from a hedge. The modern day bow, as used in the Olympic Games is the product of some quite high tech materials science and engineering. The modern day recurve bow consists of 3 main pieces, the riser, the limbs, and the string. The riser, or the handle if you prefer, is now usually CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminium. But other lightweight, strong materials can be used, eg magnesium or even carbon fibre The limbs, the bits that bend and do the work, are a composite material, made from layers of wood and fibreglass, or in the really high tech (ie expensive) models, syntatic foam and carbon fibre. Don't ask me what syntatic foam is, I don't know, it's patented, I reckon it behaves linearly over wide temperature ranges, whereas the more common wood doesn't. The string is made from very high tensile strength polymers such as kevlar.

Also see compound bows

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