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Recurve bows are perhaps the most common bow format used in archery. These types of bow are perfect for beginners, but experienced archers also still use recurve bows pretty often. With a piece of equipment that gets as much use as a recurve bow, storing it properly is essential.
So how do you store a recurve bow? The best option is almost always going to be a bow case. This protects your bow during travel as well as keeping it safe at home. You can also choose to mount your recurve bow on a dedicated rack or shelf, as long as you do so laterally, never by the string, and somewhere with the right conditions (neither too hot nor cold).
Thankfully, you have a number of different options for storing your recurve bow.
But a lot can go wrong, and accidental damage can make the whole thing stressful and expensive.
So, let’s run through the options in much greater detail to ensure that no mistakes are made!
I’ll also be outlining my recommendation when it comes to storing in the ‘best way’ section. So be sure to keep on reading.
What Do You Need To Store A Recurve Bow?
A soft or hard-shelled bow case will always be the most vital piece of equipment. When storing your bow, it’s a good idea to give it some attention with some string wax and a cloth. You should also store a bowstringer with your recurve bow to make it easier to string the bow again.
For most archers, the main way of storing a recurve bow involves a bow case of some kind.
Using a bow case offers maximum protection for your recurve bow and also helps to keep all of your equipment in one place.
You can use both soft and hard bow cases, and each type has its specific advantages.
Soft Bow Case
Soft cases are probably the most common method.
These usually consist of specialized bags or quiver-like cases made from a soft material such as leather.
Some soft cases have foam innards to give your recurve bow some extra protection.
Soft cases are light yet durable, and many are also safe for taking your bow traveling, either in the car or on a plane or train.
They’re also cheaper than hard cases. Dedicated archery backpacks are also an option here.
This best-selling soft-case on Amazon is exactly the kind to get if you like the idea of this option.
Hard Bow Case
For the best possible protection, a hard-shelled bow case is tough to beat.
These specially designed cases are made from durable materials like plastic and can keep your recurve bow safe from hard knocks and drops.
Many hard cases also come with wheels, allowing you to transport them easily.
This also makes them ideal for taking your bow on planes or trains, ideal for competitive archers.
But hard cases are also more expensive and heavier than soft cases.
This best-selling hard-case on Amazon is exactly the kind to get if you like the idea of this option.
For home or wall storage, a well-designed bow rack is a good bet.
This allows you to store your recurve bow safely and away from prying hands.
You can also make your own bow rack, so it can be quite a cheap option for some archers.
A clean cloth and some bowstring wax are always good to keep on hand when storing your bow, as it’s good practice to clean the bow before placing it in storage.
Adding a bowstringer to the case or putting it near the bow rack is also a good idea, as you’ll need this to restring the bow when you get it out again.
Best Way To Store A Recurve Bow
The most effective method of storing your bow safely is to use a bow case, either a soft one or a hard one. For the best outright protection, go with a hard case unless this is inconvenient for you. A case also allows you to store the bow safely while traveling to your local range or even to competitions.
It’s up to you which type of case you use, as some archers will prefer soft cases while others will swear by hard cases.
Recurve bows are quite delicate pieces of equipment.
The tips of the bow limbs curve out and away from you, and these areas of the bow are very fragile and prone to damage.
Using a good case will prevent this from happening.
For the best possible protection, plump for a hard case. These cases offer more defense than soft cases, even though they’re more expensive and heavier.
But those slight differences are worth it in the long run and will help you to protect your bow for several years.
Many hard cases will contain layers of protective foam with dedicated inserts for your bow and other pieces of equipment.
Some brands will even allow you to customize these slots to suit your individual equipment.
This foam lining is great at absorbing bumps and knocks while you’re carrying the bow in your case.
Hard cases also do a better job at safeguarding your bow against things like excessive cold, heat, or moisture.
Many hard cases will be waterproof, preventing water from seeping in and damaging your bow.
If your recurve bow is exposed to too much cold or heat, it can suffer damage and even begin to warp, which dramatically affects your accuracy.
Using a hard case also protects your recurve bow better when you’re traveling.
Storing your bow in a hard case will protect it even during a flight, where the case may be jostled around in the overhead locker or down in the hold.
Hard cases stand up better to bumps and knocks than softer cases. This is also very useful if you’re taking your bow on the train or storing it in the back of your car while driving to the local range.
Cleaning your recurve bow and waxing the string before placing it in the case is a good habit to get into, as well as unstringing the bow when you put it away.
Bowstring wax helps to prevent fraying and environmental stress, while unstringing the bow prevents the strain from damaging the bow’s limbs.
How To Hang A Recurve Bow
The best way to hang a recurve bow safely is to use a dedicated bow rack. Always store the bow laterally, making sure not to hang it by the string. Instead, always hang the bow by the body – the part you grip with your hand when shooting.
Bow racks don’t have to be expensive.
You can easily purchase a relatively cheap rack online or from your local archery store.
Alternatively, you could also build your own or simply use a shelf.
The main things to watch out for are how you’re hanging the bow itself as well as the environmental conditions of the room that you’re hanging it in.
When hanging your recurve bow on a rack, never hang it vertically because this places stress on the bow.
You should also avoid hanging the bow by the bowstring at all costs, as this can cause significant damage to both the string and the body of the bow.
Another thing to avoid is leaning the bow against something. By doing this, you place the weight of the bow on a single limb.
Recurve bows have outwardly curved tips on the limbs, and these can easily break if they are made to support the weight of the bow.
Always hang the bow rather than leaning it against the wall.
To hang your recurve bow on a bow rack or shelf safely, always hang it laterally using the grip.
All the bow rack needs to do is offer two prongs that help to evenly spread the weight of the bow.
Rest the body of the bow on these batons and make sure to unstring the bow to avoid damaging the bowstring.
Wherever you install your bow rack, you need to make sure that the environmental conditions in the room are healthy for your bow, especially if it’s made of wood.
Avoid any areas that are subjected to excessive heat or extremely cold temperatures.
Don’t use rooms or structures that have cold drafts, such as garages or sheds.
You also need to avoid rooms that suffer from dampness and mold or are excessively humid, as these can cause moisture to leech into your bow and damage it severely.
Can You Store A Recurve Bow Strung?
If you’re not going to be using your recurve bow for a few days, always unstring the bow to avoid placing extreme stress on both the string and the bow itself. If you can, unstring the bow every time you’ve finished shooting with it, just to be on the safe side.
Constantly unstringing and restringing your recurve bow may seem tiresome, but it’s actually essential to keeping your bow in the best condition possible.
A bowstring contains a huge amount of energy and tension. This is what gives a bow its power.
But leaving the bow in a very tense state for a long time is just going to cause damage to the string and the bow.
That force constantly strains the components and can lead to broken bows.
That’s why you must unstring your recurve bow before storing it for extended periods.
If you’ve just finished a practice session but are going to be using your recurve bow again the next day, you can store it with the string still attached.
The tension isn’t likely to cause problems over such a short span of time, although older bows or ones that have had a lot of use are at more risk.
Using a bow rack makes it easy to store the recurve bow while strung. Just be sure to hang the bow using the grip and positioning the string end to face upwards.
If you’re using a bow case, some will not allow you to store the bow while strung, especially hard cases with customized foam inserts.
Soft cases may be more suited to storing a strung recurve bow in between regular shooting sessions.
When traveling with your bow, always remove the string before packing the bow in its case.
If you leave the string attached while the bow is being jostled around during transit, especially on planes, then you are running the risk of causing damage to the bow because of the tension that the bowstring carries.
Always unstring the bow and pack your bowstringer when heading out over longer distances.
Storing a recurve bow is not too difficult.
But as you have seen, it does take careful planning and consideration.
Besides, keeping your bow safe and protected is the most important thing.
I live in Alberta, Canada where I enjoy indoor and 3D archery with traditional bows and compound bows. On this site, I share everything I’ve learned about archery along the way.