How To Choose A Recurve Bow 2023 – Ultimate Guide

How To Choose A Recurve Bow

If you are a hunter, buying a bow might always have been a challenging experience for you, and if you are buying a recurve bow for the first time, you should know how to choose a recurve bow. 

Archers who want to start using a recurve bow should know several factors before buying one. A recurve bow is indeed best for hunting, but buying one that doesn’t have the necessary features is nothing but simply wasting money. 

You might think spending more money will give you the best recurve bow, but that is not always the case. You should know what a specific model has to offer to you and how it is better than others. After researching properly, you can find the right one for yourself, even at a low cost. 

To save your precious time, we have done the research part for you, and now you only have to read the following guidelines carefully for choosing a recurve bow. 

Choosing A Recurve Bow – 11 Best Ways

1. Your Archery Style – Choosing Recurve Bow


The first and most important thing to consider is what you need a bow for. Target archery or hunting? Are you a beginner, or do you need a professional level to recurve bow? 

When you have considered all these aspects, you will be able to search for a suitable bow from the big list of several recurve bows. 

So if you are a target archer, you can choose any bow you like because, for target practice, any good quality bow is reliable because target archery does not require a bow as sturdy and efficient as for hunting. But for hunting, you should know about the various factors of a recurve bow and choose after thorough research. 

These factors include the draw weight, draw length, bow size, and a few others. These all are even more important than the brand and type of a bow. All of them are as follows.

2. Bow Type


Recurve bows have two types, take-down and one-piece bows. Both types have their own pros and cons and thus are suitable for different purposes. 

Such as, the take-down bow, can adjust as it has adjustable parts for assembling or disassembling them. This makes it a great option if you don’t have much space for carrying a bow and want to disassemble it to fit it in your backpack or anything else. Also, you can replace the parts with new ones whenever you want to.

While a one-piece bow does not have adjustable parts, so you can not replace the old parts with new ones and will have to buy a new bow every time any of the old parts break. And that is for sure going to cost you a lot. 

Still, the one-piece bows also have some pros, such as they are a great choice for beginners as they won’t have to assemble or disassemble the bow again and again. Also, not only are they less expensive than take-down bows but also they have quite durable parts. 

Therefore, if you are a beginner, a one-piece bow will be more beneficial for you, but for hunting professionally, you should always get a take-down bow. 

However, if you think you can rely on a takedown bow instead of a one-piece, even as a beginner, you for sure can choose a take-down bow. 

3. Recurve Bow Size

Bow Size

Usually, the bow size that you choose depends on the draw weight and draw length you choose for yourself. So ask the manufacturer or someone professional about choosing the right bow size.  

For a general idea, if your draw is more than 25″, a bow of 65 or above will be suitable for you. Similarly, for a 30″ draw, a bow of 70″ or 72″ is the right size. 

Keep in mind that a bow’s length and all parts’ size will determine how heavy it is. Therefore, different sizes are suitable for different age groups. For estimation, the total length of a recurve bow should be 40 inches plus the draw length that you can handle.

4. Quality of Recurve Bow Parts

Quality of Parts

It’s very crucial to check the quality of every part of a bow. A recurve bow has a riser, limbs, string, sight, rods for stability, arrows, and other accessories for a recurve bow. 

We will discuss each part one by one:

5. Bow Riser


As a hunter, everybody knows the importance of a good quality riser. It is the part of a bow from where the archer holds the bow; thus, a highly comfortable and durable quality riser is required. 

There is a wide range of risers of different qualities that come at different prices. Mostly, they are made from the best quality wood. However, carbon or metal is also used to manufacture this part of the bow. 

Wood risers are mostly preferred by hunters, but there is a variation even in the quality of wood used for risers. So, it totally depends on the amount of money you can spend on it and how well you know about what kind of material is the new best. It is better to check the quality of the bow’s riser by holding it in your hands before buying.  

6. Bow Limbs


Just like the riser, limbs vary in quality with the difference in the price range. The type and quality of wood used for limbs changes affect its performance. Also, other materials used to manufacture it can also make a difference. 

Such as the bamboo limbs are quite flexible, and the foam limbs are snappy. You can make a choice for yourself, knowing the characteristics of the material used to make the limbs. 

Moreover, you can find many models that are unique in their performance due to the use of the latest technology for manufacturing them. 

As a beginner, you should choose the ones that are not so heavy and flexible so that you can learn with ease. 

7. Bow String


For an accurate and powerful shoot, the quality of the string of the bow matters a lot. Strings available for bows vary in thickness. A thicker string weighs more and thus shoots the bow slower as compared to a thin string. 

However, a thin string might get loosened easily. Depending on the style of your archery, you need to choose the type of string. Also, choose the accurate length of the string for the length of the bow you have chosen. If the length of the string doesn’t match your bow’s length, you can twist the string on the corner of the limbs, but still, it won’t perform as well as it should.

8. Bow Sight


A sight that fits on your bow perfectly is quite important. Some sights that are not so good in quality might break or don’t fit properly on your bow. 

Then they will be of no use to you. So it’s better to get the finest quality sight so that it will be reliable for a long period of time. You can find a number of options of sight for your bow, and the new designs mostly have adjustable parts to make it more reliable for your bow. 

9. Bow Rods / Stabilizers


The main purpose of the rods or stabilizers of a recurve bow is to keep the bow stable for accurate shooting. You attach it to the riser and reduce the vibration of the bow while shooting. 

You don’t have to worry much about stabilizers and can find great quality stabilizers without putting too much effort. It’sIt’s because there are not so many options of stabilizers available, and all that are available are great in quality.

But there are a few types of rods to select from. Always prefer long rods as they will reduce the vibration more effectively. 

10. Buttons for Bow


A button is basically a spring that you attach to the riser to push the arrow away from the bow. It is known as the button. If you are buying a button for your bow, select the one that fits your bow properly. 

11. Arrow Rest


Rests are used to keep the arrows in place and shoot them without any problem. Arrow rests are either plastic or metal. They are fixed to a bow and don’t need to be replaced as these do not break. But the quality still matters to fit perfectly on the bow and keep the bow in its place. 

12. Arrows


You can find a number of great quality arrows, but I would recommend a cheap quality arrow to beginners. It’sIt’s because high-quality arrows usually have more weight and require more power to shoot. So if you buy an expensive bow, you will not be able to practice properly. 

Therefore, buying a cheap arrow for practicing will be the right option. When you get professional, you can surely buy an expensive one. 

These were the main parts of a bow. Besides these, you will need a few bow accessories for archery. You can find a lot of bows that come with a complete kit and include all of the accessories or a few of them. Following are the accessories:

  • A quiver for keeping the arrows
  • A bag or bow case to carry the bow
  • Arm guard for protection of your forearms
  • A chest guard for protection from the bowstring
  • Finger Sling to prevent the bow from falling on the ground

Besides these, look for any useful features, and ergonomic design of a recurve bow before buying. You might not need all of these accessories, so I would recommend buying those that you need separately instead of buying an all-accessories kit. 

Choose Recurve Bow of Suitable Draw Weight


Unless you have a recurve bow of suitable draw weight, you cannot use it for archery as you need the power to pull the arrow and make a shot. You can measure the power as the draw weight of the bow. So it is necessary to consider it while purchasing a bow.

There are different draw weight ranges for different age groups, male and female archers. For bows, this draw weight is measured in proportion to how far you need to pull over the bow, known as draw length. For recurve bow, this distance is 28″. 

So you should be able to pull the bow at a distance of 28″. And for that, you will require a bow with a high draw weight. Therefore, if you are a beginner, choose a bow with a draw weight that is enough for shooting the arrow with power but also easy to handle for you. A bow with a draw weight of 40 to 50 pounds can be the right choice for beginners.

Choose Recurve Bow of Suitable Draw Length


Besides the draw weight, the archer should choose a draw length suitable for himself. This length is the total distance from the nock of the bow to the riser. 

For everyone, a suitable draw length is different. You can measure it by following steps:

  • Stand straight with your arms wide open
  • Measure the distance from the mid finger of one arm to the mid finger of the other arm
  • Divide this length by 2.5
  • The answer is the exact draw length that you can handle easily


Once you have considered all these aspects, you are ready to choose a recurve bow for yourself. However, the quality of a bow also depends on your budget. If you are a professional, you definitely need to put a good amount into getting a reliable recurve bow. Only then can you get the best recurve bow and best performance by it. 

Additional Common Questions

What is the best recurve bow for beginners in 2023?

When embarking on your journey in archery as a newbie, you might ask yourself: “What is the best bow to start with?” The answer is the Samick Sage. Regarded highly in the archery community, the Samick Sage is an excellent recurve bow for beginners mainly due to its affordable price and top-tier construction quality. This beloved bow is not only perfect for beginners, but its robust structure makes it a favorite among experienced archers as well. It serves as an ideal practice bow, fit for perfecting your skills and advancing in the sport.

How can I determine which recurve bow is right for me?

Choosing a recurve bow that is suitable for you is based on your draw length. If you’re shooting more than a 29″ draw, you should consider a 70″ bow. Should you shoot more than a 27″ draw, a 68″ bow may be more suitable. For those with a draw length above 25″, a 66″ bow serves you best. But, if your draw length is less than 25″, a 64″ bow, constituted by short limbs and a 23″ riser, is your ideal choice. Remember, the right bow for you is one that complements your style and enhances your performance with every shot.

How can I know the ideal size of a recurve bow that I need?

If you’re wondering how to settle on the perfect bow size for you, a rule of thumb to remember is that your bow should ideally be twice as long as your draw length. For instance, if you have a draw length of 28″, you should aim for a recurve bow that’s 56″ or longer. Typically, the longer the bow, the more accurate it is. This is because a longer bow allows for a more extended reach, facilitating a better release and ultimately increasing accuracy. It’s a winning combination all around!

What size recurve bow do I need based on my height?

The size of your recurve bow is dependent on your height as well as your draw length. If you’re 5’7″ or shorter, a bow measuring 64″ to 66″ is suitable for you. Conversely, if you’re between 5’8″ and 5’11”, opt for a bow between 66″ and 68″. For archers standing 6′ or above, a bow size between 68″ to 70″ is ideal. Remember that your comfort and ability to shoot the bow accurately are paramount, and this may require adjusting the bow size to suit your unique needs.

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