A Guide to Proper Recurve Bow Storage: Preserve Your Recurve

by | Jun 16, 2023

Proper recurve bow storage is crucial in maintaining its longevity and keeping it in top condition for the next time you need to use it. A recurve bow is an investment that can last for years, but only with proper maintenance and storage.

By investing some time in proper bow storage, you’re ensuring that your bow will be ready when you need it most. When stored improperly, a recurve bow can become damaged in many ways.

If exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures for long periods of time, the wood can warp or crack. The string can also become stretched out of shape if left under tension for too long, potentially decreasing its lifespan.

Even small amounts of dust or dirt can accumulate on the limbs and riser over time and lead to more significant problems down the line. In short, proper storage is essential if you want your recurve bow to last as long as possible without any issues.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about storing your recurve bow correctly so that it’s always ready when you are.

A Proper Guide To Recurve Bow Storage

Choosing the Right Storage Space

When it comes to storing your recurve bow, finding the right space is crucial. A dry and cool area is ideal for keeping your bow in good condition.

This means avoiding areas that are damp or humid, as moisture can cause damage to your bow over time.

Additionally, you should avoid areas that are too hot or cold, as extreme temperatures can also cause unwanted wear and tear.

Man with Recurve Bow

One option for storing your bow is in a basement or garage, but keep in mind that these areas may be more prone to moisture and temperature fluctuations.

If you choose to store your bow in these areas, make sure it is stored off the ground and away from any sources of moisture. Alternatively, you could consider using a closet or spare room inside your house.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight and Extreme Temperatures

Direct sunlight can be harmful to your recurve bow because it can cause warping or cracking of the limbs. It’s best to store your bow away from any windows or other sources of direct sunlight.

Extreme temperatures can also be detrimental to the health of your bow, so try to find an area with consistent temperature control.

A good way to ensure that you are storing your recurve correctly is by investing in a hygrometer – this measures humidity levels so you’ll know if there’s too much moisture where you’re keeping it.

By choosing the right storage space for your recurve bow, you’ll be taking an important step towards ensuring that it stays in great condition for years to come.

Disassembling Your Bow

One of the most important aspects of storing your recurve bow properly is disassembling it before storage. This means taking your bow apart into its separate components – the limbs, riser, and string – and storing them individually.

Proper Bow Storage

Not only does this make storage easier, but it also protects the integrity of each individual piece.

Removing the String and Limbs from the Riser

The first step in disassembling your bow is removing the string. This involves detaching each end of the string from its limb tip using a bow stringer. Carefully unstring it from each limb in turn, and then sliding it off over the end of one limb.

Next up are the limbs themselves.

If your bow is fitted with the ILF limb fitting system, the limbs can be removed by simply pully them free of the limb pockets. If they aren’t ILF limbs, then you need to loosen their bolts or screws with an appropriate tool (usually a hex wrench). They can then gently slide off their mounts on either side of the riser.

If you’re not sure how to remove your limbs safely, consult an experienced archery coach or refer to manufacturer instructions for guidance.

Cleaning Each Component Before Storage

Before you can store each component separately, you’ll want to clean all pieces thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that could cause damage over time.

Use a soft cloth or sponge with warm soapy water to gently wipe down each component separately until they’re free of dust and grime.

If you encounter stubborn spots or stains that resist gentle cleaning, consider using a specialized cleaner specifically designed for bows. You can find these products at archery supply stores.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that could scratch or damage delicate materials like carbon fibre or wood.

Storing Your Bow Components Separately

Once you have disassembled your recurve bow, it is important to store each component separately to prevent any potential damage.

One of the best ways to do this is by using a bow case or sleeve specifically designed for your bow’s components.

Not only will this keep everything together and organized, but it will also protect against dust, moisture, and any accidental bumps or knocks.

Recurve Bow Stand

If you don’t have a dedicated bow case or sleeve, you can also use soft cloths or towels to wrap each component before storage.

Just be sure not to stack or lean the limbs and riser against each other as this can lead to warping or other damage over time. Instead, store them side by side in the same container with plenty of padding in between.

Avoiding Stacking or Leaning Components Against Each Other

The most common mistake when storing a disassembled recurve bow is stacking or leaning the limbs and riser against each other.

While this may seem like an easy way to save storage space, it can actually cause serious damage over time as the weight of one component presses down on the other.

To avoid this issue, always store your limbs and riser side by side with plenty of padding in between.

This will distribute weight evenly across all components and prevent any unnecessary pressure points from forming.

If you are using a bow case or sleeve with multiple compartments, ensure there is enough space for each component so that they are not touching.

By following these simple storage tips, you can ensure that your recurve bow stays in top condition for years to come. Remember: proper storage is just as important as proper use when it comes to maintaining your equipment!

How To Store Your Recurve Bow While Fully Strung

Storing a recurve bow with the string on is generally considered ok, and can even be advantageous for a few reasons. While it’s important to exercise caution and ensure proper care for your bow, leaving the string on during storage can be a convenient and practical alternative.

Firstly, a recurve bow’s limbs are designed to withstand the tension of the string when the bow is strung properly. When properly braced, the limbs are under constant pressure, which helps maintain their shape and structural integrity.

Removing and restringing the bow repeatedly can subject the limbs to unnecessary stress and potentially cause damage over time.

By keeping the string on, you eliminate the need for frequent restringing, reducing the risk of accidental damage during the process.

Secondly, leaving the string on can save time and effort. Recurve bows are commonly used in archery as consistency and regular practice are essential for skill development.

Storing the bow with the string on allows for quick and convenient access to the bow when you want to shoot. You can simply pick up the bow, inspect it for any signs of damage or wear, and start shooting without the additional step of stringing it.

Precautions For Storing A Strung Recurve Bow

However, it’s crucial to ensure proper precautions are taken when storing a recurve bow with the string on. Here are a few important considerations:

  1. Choose an appropriate storage location: Select a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations. Excessive heat or moisture can affect the bow’s materials and potentially weaken the string.
  2. Use a bow sock or case: A protective cover or case can shield the bow from dust, accidental knocks, or other potential sources of damage. Make sure the bow is secured safely within the case to avoid any movement that may cause strain on the limbs.
  3. Regularly inspect the bow: Periodically examine the bow for any signs of wear, fraying, or damage to the string. Pay attention to the bow’s limbs, tips, and the serving area around the string loops. If any issues are detected, consult a professional bow technician for appropriate repairs.

By following these guidelines and maintaining a regular inspection routine, storing a recurve bow with the string on can be a reasonable and convenient choice.

Recurve Bow Rack

However, it’s always a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or seek advice from experienced archers to ensure you’re properly caring for your specific bow model.

String Maintenance

The string of your recurve bow is a vital component that needs proper maintenance to ensure longevity and performance. When you’re not using your bow, it’s essential to loosen the string tension to reduce stress on the limbs and prevent unnecessary wear and tear.

To do this, you’ll need to remove the bowstring from the bow and make sure that there’s no tension left in the limbs.

Checking for frays or damage is another crucial aspect of string maintenance. Before storing your recurve bow, inspect the string carefully for any signs of fraying or damage.

If you notice any issues with your bowstring, it’s best to replace it before storing your bow. You don’t want to risk damaging your bow when you’re ready to use it again because of a damaged string that could have been easily replaced beforehand.

Properly Loosening The String Tension When Not In Use

The process of loosening the string tension is not complicated but should be done correctly to avoid damaging your recurve bow. Start by removing any accessories attached to the riser, such as stabilizers or quivers.

Next, use a bow stringer to take the string off the bow.

Once the bow is free of tension you can store each component separately (if it’s a takedown bow) or hang the bow up in a safe place.

Checking For Frays Or Damage Before Storage

The last thing you want when taking out your recurve bow after months of storage is to find out its string is damaged, causing a delay in your archery activities.

That’s why checking for frays and damage on the bowstring before storing it is crucial. You can start by inspecting the entire length of the string carefully.

Check each strand for any signs of wear or damage. If you identify any issues with the string, it’s best to replace it immediately to avoid further damage to your bow when you’re ready to use it again.

Proper maintenance of your recurve bow’s string will help increase its lifespan and ensure that it performs optimally each time you use it. Take care with this process, and always make sure that there are no signs of damage before storing your equipment away.

Additional Tips for Long-Term Bow Storage

Applying wax to your bowstring before storage

When it comes to storing your recurve bow for a more extended period of time, you want to make sure that the bowstring is in good condition when you take it out of storage.

One way to ensure this is by applying wax to your bowstring before storing it.

Waxing the string protects it from dirt and moisture which can cause damage over time. When putting wax on your bowstring, simply rub a small amount onto the string and work the wax into the fibres using your fingers or a cloth.

Checking on your bow periodically during long-term storage

Even when stored properly, it’s important to check on your recurve bow periodically during long-term storage. This will give you an opportunity to inspect all components of the bow and make sure everything is still in good condition.

Ideally, you should check your recurve bow every few months. However, if you are aware of any changes in the storage environment, such as temperature or humidity, it may be necessary to check on it sooner.

During these check-ins, look for any signs of damage or wear on all components of the recurve bow including limbs, riser, and string.

If there are any issues at all with any part of the recurve bow during these inspections, take care of them immediately before they become bigger problems later down the line.


Properly storing your recurve bow is crucial to ensuring it lasts a long time and continues to perform at its best. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to keep your bow in top condition for many years of use.

To recap, it’s important to choose a dry and cool storage space for your bow, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Disassembling the components of your bow and storing them separately, like using a case or sleeve for limbs and riser, will help prevent damage to your equipment.

Regular maintenance of the string is also necessary for optimal performance. Loosening string tension when not in use and checking for any signs of fraying or damage before storage are good habits to get into.

Additionally, applying wax regularly can help protect the string from wear and tear. If you plan on storing your recurve bow for the long term, make sure to check on it periodically during storage to ensure that everything is still in good condition.

By taking care of your recurve bow properly with these tips and techniques, you can enjoy endless hours of archery fun without having to worry about equipment failure or replacement costs. Happy shooting!