The recurve bow is the modern evolution of traditional bows that have existed for 1000s of years. The limbs positioned at the top and bottom of the bow curve back away from the archer at each tip. This is what gives the ‘re-curve’ its name. Recurve has been the bowstyle used at the Olympic Games since archery’s reintroduction to the program in 1972. The rules for the recurve bow have evolved with technology and competitive standards but have remained largely unchanged since World Archery was founded in 1931.
The riser of a recurve bow is the handle in the centre that acts as the base to which the limbs, which often detach for transport or storage, are connected. The limbs are held under tension by a bowstring that loops around each limb tip.
A finger sling is worn on the hand holding the bow so that the archer does not have to grip the handle. This is why the bow swings when it is shot.
Recurve archers wear finger tabs to protect their fingers from the pressure of the string, arm guards to protect their forearms from the sting of an impact and chest guards to keep clothing out of the path of the string on release. The adjustable sight is also attached to the riser and holds a sight pin, which is what the archer uses to aim at the target.