The first bow for many, recurve bows are a staple in competition; being the only bow allowed during Olympic target archery tournaments.
Recurve bows are easily accessible for beginners, as not only are they budget-friendly, but they come in many draw weights that can be continuously upgraded as the archer develops.
Below you will find our picks for the best beginner recurve bow available on the market, followed by a comprehensive buyer’s guide. Giving you all the information you require before purchasing your new bow.
Product Quick Comparison
Compared to its contemporaries, the Sage is a fantastic low-cost alternative that is available in draw weights appropriate for both shooting targets and hunting. While it is aimed at the beginner’s market, experienced bowmen won’t be disappointed with the Sage either.
Most importantly, the riser is very high quality and has been pre-installed with brass bushings to attach accessories. Limbs are respectable but will need replacing as you become more proficient with your technique.
There is an arrow rest, making the bow more accessible for beginners, and it is also available in right and left-handed variants. It is worth noting that at a bow length of 62’’, the Sage may be a little too large for some archers.
- Great for beginners
- No tools required
- Various draw weights available
- Great value
- Pre-drilled for accessories
- Might be too large for some users
This recurve bow is a takedown version, it is made of high-quality materials incorporating four types of wood. It is lightweight, so it is perfect for beginners who want to learn archery.
The draw weights this bow comes in cover a large range and goes from 20 lbs draw weight up to 60 lbs draw weight. And you can choose between a right or left-handed bow.
Inside the package, you will get a riser, a pair of limbs, one 14 Dacron string, and an arrow rest.
Plus, you will receive all the instructions needed to use this bow correctly and safely.
- Winner of the best recurve bow 2018
- Comes with a rinser, limbs, arrow rest
- There is an option to choose between the right-hand bow and left-hand bow
- Draw weight goes from 20lbs to 60 lbs
- This might not be on the cheapest side of the price range
This is a set aimed squarely at the new archery enthusiast and contains everything required to get you started.
Containing the Southwest Archery Spyder bow model, in both regular and XL size (for archers with 29’’+ draw length). The Ready 2 Shoot package can get you on the range immediately.
Also included as standard is a bowstringing tool, arrow rest, and armguard for protection when firing. Three arrows (in a choice of colors) are packaged with the bow in the included hard case for easy travel.
Not only is the case sturdy, but it features TSA approved locks, with built-in broadhead wrench and compartments for further accessories.
All required assembly tools are supplied, allowing you to loose your first arrow within less than 10 minutes of receiving your new bow.
Overall, the Ready 2 Shoot set is excellent for those wanting a Spyder bow and need more draw length; or for beginners who want everything they need to get started in one package.
- Comes with everything needed to get started
- High quality Spyder bow
- Selection of draw weights and draw lengths
- Arrows will need to be upgraded eventually
XQMART has created an eye-catching, modern, aluminum riser, but does it deliver? In short, yes; this is an extremely modern bow and, as such, deliver’s stability and power.
Only available in draw weights between #40 – #50, this is a bow purposely designed as an entry model into bowhunting. Extremely lightweight, the XQMART comes with many accessories not customarily provided with entry models.
Straight out of the box, you have a very modern powerful takedown recurve bow, with 12 x arrows, a quiver to store them in, stabilizer, sight, and an armguard + finger tab for firing.
All tools needed to assemble the bow are included, with a hex key to attach the limbs and bowstringing tool to attach the bowstring. An excellent addition is the inclusion of string wax to ensure the longevity of your new purchase.
Young or very inexperienced archers should be made aware that this bow may require supervision when first being used, as the draw weight may be quite demanding for beginners.
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Multiple limb weights
- Good selection of accessories
- Too powerful for youth archers
SinoArt has created one of the most budget-friendly options on the market with the SinoArt 68″ Takedown Recurve Bow. A lot of bang for your buck can be found here; with a bowstringing tool, arm guard, finger tab, arrow rest, and attachable sight all included as standard.
Many users have bought this particular model after a break from archery, wanting a cheap entry back into the hobby; and all have commended it for its favorable performance on the range. The riser is solid hardwood, with composite limbs made from maple and fiberglass laminate.
The included sight attachment is of considerable quality but will demand an upgrade once you have developed your technique further.
Available in #18 – #36 of draw weight, the SinoArt shouldn’t be purchased by anyone expecting to go bowhunting. Instead, the SinoArt is designed with target archery in mind and is where this bow will perform best.
- Comes with good quality accessories
- Great for target archery
- Ability to operate with both left and right
- Not for bowhunting
Now that you have seen our picks of the best beginner recurve bows available on the market, you may be feeling overwhelmed with the amount of information presented.
Because we know the difficulties of entering archery as a hobby for a beginner, we have decided to make this process easier. Below you will find an in-depth buyer’s guide containing all the essential information anyone new to archery could need.
By the end of this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge required to purchase your very first bow.
Important parts of a recurve bow for beginners
As a beginner, you must educate yourself on the basic makeup of a recurve bow. Recurve bows come in two distinct types, one-piece or takedown style bows.
One-piece bows, as the name suggests, are recurve bows where the limbs cannot be removed from the riser. One-piece recurve bows are more traditional than takedown bows, and are typically constructed from a single piece of wood.
Takedown bows allow the archer to detach the limbs from the riser (more on this shortly), making it easier to travel with your equipment.
Takedown bows are an excellent choice for new archers due to their upgradeability. One-piece bows are set-back by only having a single draw-weight, whereas takedown bows can be upgraded over time.
Having a good base of knowledge and an overview of the common bow parts is vital before you make your first purchase. Fledgling archers should note that most of the information below is tailored to takedown recurve bows; however, there is some crossover.
Risers are the main hub of any bow, and are the thickest, most central area of the bow’s body; this is where you will grip the bow. Most manufacturers choose to construct the riser from wood, but modern fiber and aluminum risers are gaining more traction within the community.
Aluminum, fiber, and composite materials can reduce the amount of vibration transferred to the bow when shooting, leading to more efficient, quieter shots.
When looking for a new bow, but mainly a beginner bow, the quality of the riser should be given the most consideration. If you are on a budget, you should look for the bow that offers the highest quality riser, even if the limbs are of slightly lower quality.
A good riser can last a lifetime, with upgraded limbs being added over time as the archer’s proficiency goes up, or their needs change.
A bow’s limbs attach to the top and bottom of the riser and transfer potential energy into kinetic energy when firing the bow. Traditionally, limbs were made from wood, but like risers, composite and fiber limbs are surging in popularity.
A bows limbs determine the poundage of the bow (the effort required to draw the bow), and beginners will require a lower rating until they develop the necessary strength and technique.
Most bow manufacturers follow a standard procedure during manufacturing, which means many brands are compatible with one another.
Most modern bows will come with either a metal or plastic arrow rest, although some purists still prefer resting the arrow on their lead hand.
The bowstring attaches to the tip of each limb, the center of the bowstring is where you will nock (place an arrow) for firing. Bowstrings can be upgraded with nock points to ensure consistency between shots.
Once an arrow is nocked, the bowstring is drawn back to aim, then released to propel the arrow towards it’s intended target. Pulling back further on the bowstring creates a more significant amount of potential energy, resulting in a more powerful shot.
Takedown Recurve Bow Assembly
Assembly of a takedown recurve bow is reasonably straight forward and takes no longer than 5-10 minutes. However, you should check before purchase whether the model you are looking at requires specialist tools or not.
If you feel that assembling your new bow may be too difficult, there are many resources online. But a local bow tech should gladly set it up for you.
Takedown Recurve Bow Measurements
It is easy to become overwhelmed when looking for a new bow. There are many statistics and numbers involved.
What is draw weight? How is draw length different from bow length?
At Archery Edge, we have walked this same path and are here to help. Below you will find a breakdown of the most common bow measurements and what they mean for you.
The force required to pull the bowstring back before shooting is measured in lbs and is called the draw weight. A higher draw weight results in a bow that can fire arrows faster and with more force than a lower rating.
High draw weight isn’t essential for sport target archers, except for when outdoors in high wind situations, but it is crucial for bowhunters. To ensure a humane kill, you will need to have a draw weight appropriate for the game you are hunting; and most states have their own strict laws and regulations.
There will also be physical limitations on draw weights, dependant on age, gender, physical strength, and competency levels. It is hard to define appropriate draw weights without experience, but here are some rough numbers:
- Young Adults: 15lbs – 30lbs
- Female Adults (over 21): 20lbs – 35lbs
- Male Adults (over 21): 25lbs – 40lbs
Most companies offer bows in draw weights from very low (5lbs – 15lbs) to very high (over 40lbs up to 100lbs). Beginners should be looking to purchase bows with a draw weight on the low end of the scale at first; especially if buying a takedown style bow.
Higher draw weights result in more fatigue over time, and it is not recommended to upgrade until you gain more proficiency and endurance with your current bow.
Draw weight is typically denoted with a # symbol, so a bow with 30lbs of draw weight will be listed as #30.
Without over-complicating things, a bow’s draw length is essentially how far you pull the bowstring back before firing. Draw length is dependent on the user, so before you buy a new bow, you will need to calculate your draw length.
A rough estimate can be worked out quickly by measuring your height in inches and dividing it by 2.5.
So, if you are 6.0ft tall, you will have a height of 72 inches.
You can then work your draw weight out like this:
72 / 2.5 = 28.8 inches
For simplicity, you would round this number up to 29 inches. Another, more accurate option, is to visit a local bow tech and have them measure your draw length.
Many manufacturers will advertise the draw length suitability when advertising their bows. So if you know your draw length is 29’’, look for bow’s suitable for draw lengths up to 29’’.
If you are struggling to find the suitable draw length of a bow, there is a way to determine it, if you know the bow length.
Below are draw length estimates based on the bow length in inches:
Draw length: 14-16 inches Bow Length: 48 inches
Draw length: 17-20 inches Bow Length: 54 inches
Draw length: 20-22 inches Bow Length: 58 inches
Draw length: 22-24 inches Bow Length: 62 inches
Draw length: 24-26 inches Bow Length: 64-66 inches
Draw length: 26-28 inches Bow Length: 66-68 inches
Draw length: 28-30 inches Bow Length: 68-70 inches
Draw length: 31+ inches Bow Length: 70-72 inches
It is worth noting, however, that these numbers are not set in stone. Many archers find success with bows a few inches shorter or longer than these estimates.
If you are opting for a longer bow length, it will add roughly 2.5lbs of extra draw weight for every inch. But for beginners, I wouldn’t dwell too much on this, as it is only with experience that you will begin to figure out your preferences.
Hopefully, you have found our buyer’s guide useful, and now feel prepared to purchase your first recurve bow. If I were to revisit my halcyon days as a beginner, I would have liked to see a product like the Ready 2 Shoot Spyder/Spyder XL Archery Set available.
Not only does it come with everything you need to get started immediately, but the Spyder is a high-quality bow that is sure to perform for a long time. If you are looking for a recurve bow to add to your collection, buying the Southwest Archery Spyder on its own is sure to be a welcome addition.
Do you agree with our selection of best beginner recurve bows? Any recommendations or tips for new archers? Let us know in the comments below.
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