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Thread: Recurve vs Compound?

  1. #1
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    Recurve vs Compound?

    Whats the biggest difference between the two kinds of bows as far as performance, price, adjustability, and ability to compete(legal for competition)? Im going to get into competitive archery but now im having doubts of whether I should buy a compound vs a recurve. I also plan on doing some small game hunting with the same bow that Ill use for target shooting since cash is short right now



  2. #2
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    I think this is about the shooting process you prefer. I think a key question is whether you want to shoot with your fingers or with a release. I enjoy shooting with my fingers so I shoot recurve and compound fingers. Cost and competition issues are fairly equal. Competition depends on where you live; some areas have strong FITA programs, others seem to focus on 3D and more hunting related disciplines.
    Barebow Recurve

  3. #3
    I think that target archers is a social activity and it makes a difference as to the type of archers that you shoot with. A new recurve archer would have difficulty getting advice if the rest of the group were exclusively compound archers. And vice versa. When one is “serious” about their target archery, coaching becomes important. A coach can help with everything including equipment selection. Quality coaching can be costly. Since cash is tight, perhaps you can investigate what kind of archers are in your community. It is much more affordable to take part in local events such as 3D vs field vs International style. Equipment rules for each can be different. Those in your community would like have used equipment to sell which is another money saving strategy. How close are you to Guadalajara, home of the 2011 Pan Am Games?
    Serious Fun...
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  4. #4
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    Pretty far, about 8 hours on the bus although I know there are some competitions about 45 minutes away from my house. I might be in Guadalajara during the Pan Am games though due to a school field trip(checking out universities)

  5. #5
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    I shot competitive barebow recurve for local competitions for a year or two, switched over to olympic style recurve 4 years ago when I started shooting state and regional shoots, and then last year switched to compound. Cost for Oly style and compound set ups are about the same, depending on the kind of bow your looking at. Some Oly style set ups can be drastically cheaper.
    Amount of practice time to be competitive is drastically different. Recurve archery is a lifestyle imo, you have to dedicate yourself to practice so your form settles in well and your release is as clean as possible. Compound is a science, and any person with a "real" job is going to find it much easier to be competitive as well as rewarded by compound archery without as much work. I AM NOT saying one is easier than the other...by all means it is not easier to shoot a compound, especially at a high level. Both require a acute knowledge of what the hell your doing to shoot one correctly, which is where either garnering the knowledge on your own OR finding a good source of information locally will drastically help your cause.
    Working at an archery shop I spell it out to my customers like this...
    1. How much time to you have to dedicate to PRACTICE?
    2. WHAT kind of shooting/ competitions do you want to compete in?
    3. What kind of competition do you have locally?...this is what your going to shoot the most...because you have to be honest with yourself, your not in competition with anyone but yourself if your the only guy in your class most of the time, for some people thats OK...for others its not.

    Your comment about hunting with the bow for small game is one thing that stands out to me...target archery equipment in the woods for a recurve usually is tough to manuver...long stabilizers and all...compounds can easily be switched over to shoot pin sights and short stabilizers and maintain a high amount of accuracy. Recurves without sights require dedication to a whole different aspect of the sport...i.e. practicing without a sight...don't get me wrong you can haul that shibuya in the woods with you and shoot with it...but its gonna be tough to adjust that thing to the yardage everytime that rabbit runs.

  6. #6
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    Interesting thread...I'm certainly not trying to highjack this thread, but I'm in a similar situation.

    I'm a "traditional" shooter, but am looking at trying something a bit different. I did shoot a compound several years ago, but it never totally grabbed me. I'm going to try Olympic next week and then hopefully make a decision in which direction to go.
    ScarletArrows, Your comment on practice time has me thinking. I usually only shoot once a week, so MAYBE a compound is the way to go. Of course I'm only a recreational shooter.

    Need-a-bow, good luck in your decision. I'll be following this thread to see where you go with it.

    Good Luck

  7. #7
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    I agree with Scarlet Arrows. You can be competitive (to a point), with a compound, shooting far less frequently than with a recurve. With recurve, I normally shoot about 5 times/week-but ramp it up to 7 times/week when a tournament approaches. Shooting once/week with a recurve will not even enable you to maintain the level you reach during the previous shooting session. Generally, good compound archers count the number of arrows that are NOT 10's or X's, good recurve archers count the number of arrows that ARE 10's or X's, and barebow shooters count the number of arrows that are on the target.

  8. #8
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    I shoot an ILF recurve, competitively at local, state and national levels, shooting NFAA Traditional class. I practice everyday shooting 1-200 arrows a day. Currently most of my practice has been indoors, but the last 2 weeks I have shot 3D tourneys. Shooting a recurve in the Trad or barebow class will take you an extreme amount of practice time if you are going to be competitive at the STate or National levels. Now I must vehemently disagree with "ENGTEE" above, those of us shooting barebow recurve at a competitive level do not count the number of arrows on the target, suggeesting that we can barely hit the target. I shot 3 NFAA Blueface rounds yesterday, yes that is over 180 scoring arrows. My worst round was 270 12 X, my best was 273 21x, and for kicks I shot the olympic bow with sight and stabs and only improved to a 283... and I am far from being the best, emphasis on "FAR"... Alan Eagleton is averaging in the 280's with a recurve shooting NFAA legal trad.... it can be done with commitment and good quality practice.
    I am not Trad, I just like shooting recurves and longbows.

  9. #9
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    If I hunt I would be doing it barebow, not with stabs, sights, etc., unless it was with a compound. I actually have an old compound bow that I might tune and use for hunting and 3d if I have a chance. But i want to get into target shooting and I think Ill buy an affordable ILF rig. I am willing to shoot every day if it means being successful

  10. #10
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    I normally shoot the IFAA blue face in the 250's, and shoot 1-2x a week traditional.

  11. #11
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    sounds like you have the work ethic to be a very successful oly shooter! good luck and let me know if you have any questions... welcome to the recurve family lol
    Quote Originally Posted by need-a-bow View Post
    If I hunt I would be doing it barebow, not with stabs, sights, etc., unless it was with a compound. I actually have an old compound bow that I might tune and use for hunting and 3d if I have a chance. But i want to get into target shooting and I think Ill buy an affordable ILF rig. I am willing to shoot every day if it means being successful
    "From the outside looking in, you cant understand it. From the inside looking out, you cant explain it" Texas A&M Archery
    "A good archer does it until they do it right. A great archer does it until they can't do it wrong." (the original)
    *2007 Hoyt Nexus* *2010 Hoyt Vantage Ltd*

  12. #12
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    I have enough space on my farm to set up 90m range and Im there about 3-4 hours every day so I have the time and the space. Now I just need to buy my bow.

  13. #13
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    I must apologize to rsarns. What I said simplifies the situation, but certainly does not pertain to dedicated, competitive shooters. Simply a way of visually describing the differences.

  14. #14
    Recurve is hard to shoot, easy to win, compound is easy to shoot, hard to win.

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