Traditional Riser = Traditional?


New member
This is a newbie question, so apologies if it's akin to saying that I shoot instinctively with my feet at an angle and the cock feather pointing the wrong way.

Is a wood riser with a shelf still considered a traditional bow?

I think that traditional archery is more than just the equipment, but just wondered what the common perception was.


Active member
It depends, in what sense are you asking if it's traditional?

If you're asking for an individuals views, then to me any bow that can be taken apart except save a carriage bow won't be traditional. Plus for me the fact is has a shelf wouldn't make it traditional. Though that is just me, American archery (that I've seen) would describe a wooden recurve with a shelf as a traditional bow, as long as you don't have all the usual bells and whistles you see in Olympic style recurve.
I have an old recurve with wooden rise and fibreglass limbs with wooden core, but again I wouldn't class that as traditional.

To me a traditional bow is one that you can see used in history e.g. longbow, horsebows, yumi, paddle bows, flatbows (without a shelf). But again that is just me.


Well-known member
I’ve always understood a “traditional” bow to be one without an arrow rest such as longbows & hunbows.



I agree with Raven's-Eye. I think there are different interpretations of the word. There are some who use the term in its ordinary sense and there are others who use it to describe a particular set of rules/restrictions that apply to their( regulated) shooting discipline. If we say, "It's traditional", it's fair to ask; "What tradition is that?"


My opinion only is I think it's a traditional bow, but not a primitive bow.

As far as how it would be classified in sport archery, in target archery you'd be in the barebow class and be up against people with thoroughly modern recurve setups. Field associations vary but looking at NFAS as an example it looks like it could be shot in the "Traditional Bowhunter" or "Hunting Tackle" categories depending on complying with all their requirements.

Zhoo Zhoo

I have shot many times in the Traditional Recurve class in Archery GB field competitions. The traditional bow I shoot is a wooden takedown bow with reflex-deflex hybrid bamboo and fibreglass limbs. I could use a metal riser though. I shoot off the shelf but could use an arrow rest. I am not allowed a sight, weights or stabilisers and I have to shoot wooden arows with one fixed anchor and string holding position close to the arrow nock. Lots more in the rule book but those are the basics. I guess you could just as easily shoot an Asiatic recurve or a reflex-deflex long bow that did not meet American Flatbow criteria.</p>