What’s The Best Way To Store A Recurve Bow?

by | Oct 18, 2022

There are many misconceptions and half-truths surrounding the subject of recurve bow storage. Do you unstring, or leave it strung? Stand it up, or lie it flat? Cold room, or hot room? Just what is the best way to store a recurve bow?!

The best way to store a recurve bow is to keep it horizontally on a rack or stand, preferably by the string, in a cool and dry environment. This helps maintain the bow’s shape, minimize tension on the limbs, and protect it from humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations.

In this article, we’re going to dispel some of the more popular myths and put the record straight on the best way to store your Recurve bow.

What’s The Best Way To Store A Recurve Bow?

Storing your Recurve bow incorrectly can have serious implications on your bow’s health and longevity. But if you follow a few simple guidelines, you shouldn’t encounter too many problems.

Wall Mounted

The best way to store your bow is by suspending it on a rack or on the wall across two parallel pegs.

Make sure that the pegs are level and spaced far enough apart to allow your bow to hang freely. To make absolutely sure that your bow won’t suffer any setbacks, it is recommended that you store your bow unstrung.

You can hang an unstrung bow in the same way, but just make sure that the pegs are supporting the bow at the thicker part of the riser.

Stored Unstrung Recurve Bows

Although unstringing isn’t necessary for modern bows made from carbon and fibre glass, most manufacturers will still recommend it.

Room Temperature

Make sure the room you decide to store your bow in is at room temperature. Bows that are stored in hot and humid conditions can cause delamination of the bow limbs where the layers of wood within the limbs begin to separate, rendering the bow unusable.

Modern Recurves made of carbon and fibreglass can remain strung for extended periods without damaging the limbs.

Wooden bows are more vulnerable to temperature changes and may warp in cold or humid conditions.

Maintaining tension on the limbs while strung increases the risk of damage, particularly for wooden bows.

Recurve Bow Rack

Another way you could store your Recurve bow is to hang it vertically from a hook. This method won’t place any extra stress on the bow limbs as long as the bottom limb is off the ground.

Storage Methods To Avoid

Avoid storing your bow vertically as it causes uneven pressure, leading to limb twisting. Lay it flat if space is limited, but keep it dry to prevent damage.

Related: Are All Recurve Bow Limbs The Same?

Places You Shouldn’t Store Your Recurve Bow

Garage

This comes back to temperature control. If you have any rooms or areas in your home that fluctuate in temperature throughout the year, then it’s best to avoid storing your bow there. The garage is one place that can be pretty inhospitable during the winter months.

During the summer, the garage can turn into a sweatbox on a hot day. If a Recurve bow is stored in those conditions, it’ll more than likely incur some delamination or even limb cracking in time.

In Your Car or The Boot of Your Car

This one is more common sense than anything else. If you decide to store your Recurve on the back seat of your car, then at some point, it’s going to get stolen. Seeing a nice modern bow lying there will be too tempting for most thieves. So i would avoid doing that at any cost!

The boot of your car is also a risk because of the constant temperature changes you’ll be inflicting upon your bow limbs.

Should I Unstring My Bow?

If you shoot on a regular basis, then there really is no need to unstring your Recurve bow because a modern Recurve bow is surprisingly durable. Carbon and fibreglass limbs and even limbs with wooden laminate are ok to be left strung for extended periods.

If you shoot with a Longbow, then it is recommended that you unstring the bow, even if you do shoot on a regular basis.

What Happens If I Don’t Unstring My Bow?

This really only applies to more traditional bows or self-bows. If left strung for a period of months, there’s a risk that the wooden limbs on a traditional bow could set in place.

This means that when you remove the string, the bow will retain its curvature instead of going back to being a straight stick. The bow will lose a lot of its power and energy affecting the distance when you shoot.

Modern Recurve bows of carbon and fibreglass are safe to remain strung for months. Note: fiberglass is heat-sensitive, avoid proximity to radiators or heaters.

Conclusion

If you still have doubts about storage, remember: long-term pressure on the limbs during storage causes twisting. Also, drastic temperature changes weaken the limbs over several months.

While unstringing isn’t required for carbon and fibreglass recurves, leaving it strung keeps it under tension. Best practice is to unstring if not shooting for a few weeks.

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