Originally Posted by kronckew
? - why do they string the bows backwards (string is on the wrong side of the recurve)?
It keeps the undrawn string tension low (even zero, if you want). This means you can keep the bow strung forever without worrying about the bow losing its spring (i.e., developing string follow). Gives you more freedom with what materials will be OK for the bow and the string.
You sacrifice power. This gives you a force-draw curve that starts with a gentle slope, which means you get a concave force-draw curve.
The reflex-recurve Asian bow does the opposite - the reflex is designed to keep the undrawn string tension high, giving a steep beginning to the force-draw curve, and a convex force-draw curve.