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The definition of a hybrid bow will vary depending on who you ask. If a recurve bow and a flatbow had a baby, it would look like a hybrid bow.
Hybrid bows have the long, slim aesthetic of a flat bow, but with a partially recurve limb shape.
If you are a competition archer, check the rules of your governing body to determine what classification of bow you would be shooting as.
A modern longbow may be the best way to describe this type of bow. In fact, ‘Longbow’ is its common name if you happen to live across the pond in the USA.
But do not mix up the terms. It is not a Longbow, as our American friends call it – it is a flatbow! Like a football is not a prolate spheroid – it is a sphere!
The utilization of modern materials is what differentiates it from its ancestor. Its fibreglass outer laminates give it increased flexibility and durability. It also has a small cut-away to shoot the arrow from the shelf, rather than off the hand.
A flat bow is a good compromise of tradition and modern materials.
Shorter than a typical target recurve bow, field recurve bows are designed to be shot without sights and often without an arrow rest. Their shorter length makes them faster than their target bow cousins, and more manoeuvrable in the woods.
Due to their more compact dimensions, many of the bows are of ‘one-piece’ in design – meaning the limbs cannot be detached, while other ‘take-down’ variations are still popular.
Neither offers any benefits in performance over the other. Personal preference would be the deciding factor as there are excellent examples of both.
When combined with feathered wooden arrows, this type of bow makes up one of the most popular divisions in field archery.