A longbow is a type of bow that is tall—roughly equal to the height of the user; allowing the archer a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw. A longbow is not significantly recurved. Its limbs are relatively narrow so that they are circular or D-shaped in cross section.
A recurve bow is a bow with tips that curve away from the archer when the bow is strung. By definition, the difference between recurve and other bows is that the string touches a section of the limb when the bow is strung. A recurve bow stores more energy and delivers energy more efficiently than an equivalent straight-limbed bow, giving a greater amount of energy and speed to the arrow. A recurve will permit a shorter bow than the simple straight limb bow for a given arrow energy and this form was often preferred by archers in environments where long weapons could be cumbersome, such as in brush and forest terrain, or while on horseback.
The Compound Bow