What Kind of Bows Do Olympic Archers Use?

What Kind of Bows Do Olympic Archers Use?

Olympic Archery is an exciting event where teams of archers from each country go head to head to shoot a target 70- meters away with 12 arrows. Only the winner of these head to head match up moves on as the arches single themselves down in brackets to just the top 2 remaining teams head to head. There is also and an individual’s event where just one person will go up against another to shoot.

As an archer, you may be watching these events and wishing to be out there one day. But just one question…what kind of bow are they using?

Naturally one would assume that Olympic Archers use the best bows in the business. But really, the secret to having a great bow is having one that is comfortable to you. So, when you see these archer’s out there shining and hitting their target with ease, don’t assume that their bow has made them capable of achieving that level of success. It takes a lot of practice and getting to know your bow to become comfortable and confident enough to perform that well under pressure.

Some brands have been known for their outstanding bows, and thus many Olympic Archers opt to use their bows. Olympic Archers will look for a sturdy bow with a high-quality riser and string.

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It is important to know that Olympic Archers use Recurve bows for the event. This is because in some parts of the world, compound bows aren’t quite as popular. Recurve bows are used to level the playing field. With all of the technology upgrades and differences on compound bows, it Is harder to confirm that each archer is on the same level of fairness with their equipment. A standard recurve bow ensures that the archers are there for their skill and there are no pieces of extra tech on their bow that can add in stability vs. the other archers or any settings that would give them a more guaranteed shot against the other archers.

Another reason is because Compound bows are extremely powerful! Because archers using Compound bows are usually hunting a moving target, feet-per-second is an important quality to have. Hunters need the speed a Compound bow delivers so that they have a better chance of hitting their target, whereas in the Olympics your target is stationary. Having a lot of power is not something that is necessary.

Despite Olympic Archers using Recurve Bows, they do tend to look pretty close to Compound bows. This Is because Olympic Archers have a lot of tech on them. Most commonly, Olympic Archers add stabilizers to their bows to help…well…stabilize their bow so that they can worry about their aim more than worrying about proper weight distribution on their bow. They also are sure to include shock absorbers so that their arms don’t get numb while they are shooting their 12 shots.

Another important piece of tech is a sight. This is important for Olympic Archers so that they can effectively aim at their target. A lesser known piece of tech that Olympic Archers use is a Clicker. A Clicker is a small metal gadget that attaches to the top of the arrow that makes a clicking noise when the Archer is at full draw. This noise will alert the Archer that it is time to let the arrow go and make their shot. This helps the Archer to not over draw.

So..where do I get a Recurve Bow like this?

Although the brand to use is not specified in the Olympics rules, there certainly is a preference among the archers. The number one brand used by Archers in the Olympics is Hoyt.

Hoyt Archery’s equipment have been taking the world by storm in competitions. From small competitions, to national competitions, all the way to the Olympics Hoyt’s products have been used to beat out the competition and set records. Hoyt has a history of creating bows with outstanding performance.

So, what makes them the top of their game? Let’s take a look at Hoyt’s Recurve bows and see what exactly makes them preferable of the world’s best Archers:

Hoyt offers 3 different risers to choose from and 4 different limb types in 3 sizes each. This will give archers a wide variety of different bows they can make depending on their preferences. This is important to Olympic Archers because not everyone is the same. It is important to be comfortable and the option to interchange parts of their bows to meet their preferences is an outstanding quality to have.

Let’s first look at the different types of risers and what qualities make them each stand out:


  • Alero Riser: Built on award-winning Earl Hoyt geometry, the Alero Riser was built with the same technology as Hoyt’s top riser models at an affordable price. The Alero was engineered to maximize balance and stability while still keeping the snappiness and responsiveness that is sought-after in recurve bows. The ILF system is great for archers to be able to switch between different limbs for optimal preference. The Alero Riser is equipped with the Pro Series Limb Adjustment Dowels so that you can adjust anything to make it ultra accurate. Precise limb alignment with improved reliability and alignment consistency is all possible with the Pro Series Collet style tiller bolts upgrade. The Pro Series Limb Adjustment Dowels are also an amazing addition to this riser that will allow you to adjust to right or left hand preference, and the new Independent Limb Tuning Technology will allow you to make micro adjustments to the limbs that will ensure they always stay balanced and centered through the entire draw cycle.
    • SPECS:
      • Original Early Hoyt geometry
      • Dove-tail limb system
      • Pro-Series Limb Adjustment Dowels
      • Light precision machined aluminum construction
      • Independent Limb Tuning Technology
      • 25- inch length
      • High polish anodized finish
      • Left and right hand adaptability
      • 2.9 pounds
  • Xceed Riser: The Xceed Riser is one of a kind because it offers String Tension Technology that will allow you to customize your string tension to change how your limbs feel without changing your tune. This riser also features a Dovetail Adjustment Block for micro adjustments. The tiller bolts also create a solid connection of the limbs to the riser. The difference in this riser is that it includes a Vertatune clicker plate. There are 3 option of the clicker plates so it allows for the customization of reset height position for optimized tuning and performance no matter what your shooting style. You also have the option to add riser weight to help with a steady aim. The weight Is available in 15 and 32 ounces. You can mix and match the weights because it comes in plates of 7.9oz and 2.7oz each. This is the most accurate riser Hoyt has ever built because each section of it has been engineered to control flex throughout the whole shot. It is also the most balanced riser they have made so you won’t have to worry about adding to many stabilizing rods.
    • SPECS:
      • 25- inch length
      • Original Hoyt Geometry
      • ILF Limb fit
      • Vertatune clicker plates
      • Dovetail Adjustment Block
      • String Tension Technology
  • Formula XI Riser: The Formula XI features the same string tension technology and pocket weight system of the other risers and is adaptable to the Formula Carbon Velos Limbs. It also includes the Clicker, has been designed to control flex, and has specific weight distribution.
    • SPECS:
      • 2.7-pounds
      • 25 inches long
      • Original Early Hoyt Geometry.

The Riser isn’t the only component of the bow! Of course, you need some limbs! Luckily, Hoyt also creates the best limbs on the market and all adapt to their risers.

  • Formula Carbon Velos Limbs: These limbs were designed with the most narrow and lightest limb tips in Hoyts history. The newly engineered carbon layers increase the smoothness, speed, and consistency. These limbs are also available in Formula of Grand Prix with bamboo cores for short, medium, and long lengths. They come in 66,68, and 70- inches long with a 22-50-pound draw weight.
  • Formula Carbon Integra: These limbs have a slimmer design and is a full 2 feet per second faster than the Carbon limbs. These limbs are built from maple, carbon, and glass for the tips. These limbs are available in short, medium, and long. They come in 22-50- pound draw weights and are available in 66,68, and 70- inch lengths.
  • Grand Prix Carbon Velos: The difference for these limbs is that it has a new wedge design allowing you to have an enhanced flex pattern and greater stability. It features carbon layers for increased smoothness, speed, and consistency. It is available in 22-50- pound draw weights and gives the option of 66,68 and 70-inches long.
  • Grand Prix Carbon Integra: These limbs were designed by top recurve engineers. They feature a slimmer design for increased arrow velocity. It is a whole 2 pounds faster than the Carbon 840 limb. They are made from maple, carbon, and glass tips. It is available in 22-50-pound draw weight and comes in lengths of 66,68 and 70 inches.

These risers and limbs together will make the best bow you can shoot. Hoyt’s full customization is something that professional arches aim for (pun intended) when searching for the perfect bow. This is what makes them so sought-after by Olympians because they need to be very stable and comfortable for their competition.

Another thing that is important to the Olympic Archers is their choice of string. The string is the last component you need to build your bow, so we need to make sure that they are also top of the line.

A great choice for a state-of-the-art string is the appropriately named Winners Choice Bow Strings. They offer custom string configurations and options so that you can fully customize your strings for your preferences. They are made from the very best materials and manufacturing techniques that are the best in the business. These bow strings are second to none and prove themselves in durability and performance.


Olympic Archery takes the top skilled archers in the world and puts them head to head to find the best in the world. If you want to test your skills and practice shooting like an Olympic Archer, now you have a good idea of what to look for in a recurve bow. All of the elements featured above are priceless to the Olympic Teams and make a world of difference. When you need to focus on your aim, it helps to have a bow that will do most of the stabilizing and weight distribution for you. If you want a bow that stands up to the ones in the Olympics, Hoyt is the route to go.