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This answer seems to imply that it was a longbow.

Is there canon information on what kind of bow would Elves use? (and if so, was it different for different Elvish groups?)

  • I don't recall any mention of crossbows, so some type of longbow, either simple or recurve. Recurve bows are more elegant-looking so elves in general are often depicted using them, but there's no canonical Tolkien information on the subject. – Joe L. Dec 18 '14 at 15:28
  • "they laid Beleg in a shallow grave, and placed beside him Belthronding his great bow, that was made of black yew-wood." Yew was the preferred wood for the legendary English Longbow. I'm guessing elves used longbows exclusively. – Wad Cheber May 12 '16 at 23:31
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There is no one single type.

The Teleri in Valinor are described in the Silmarillion chapter Of the Flight of the Noldor:

For the Noldor were become fierce and desperate, and the Teleri had less strength, and were armed for the most part but with slender bows.

Beleg Strongbow has something a bit more substantial (from Of Túrin Turambar):

...they laid Beleg in a shallow grave, and placed beside him Belthronding his great bow, that was made of black yew-wood.

The difference between the bows of Mirkwood Elves and those of Lórien Elves is described at Galadriel's gift-giving in Lord of the Rings:

To Legolas she gave a bow such as the Galadhrim used, longer and stouter than the bows of Mirkwood, and strung with a string of elf-hair.

But in general Tolkien doesn't really describe this kind of level of detail, except where it's important to the plot. There are other references where only possession of a bow is mentioned without specification of type: "Fingon strung an arrow, and bent his bow", "Curufin, being filled with shame and malice, took the bow of Celegorm".

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