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Best Recurve Bow

Last Updated: January 24, 2020
Alexander Herbert
Product Review by Alexander Herbert

Searching for a new bow is always very exciting although it is not always an easy task, especially if you are a beginner in the matter.

I remember that I had the same problem and I wasted a lot of funds on bows that didn’t feel right for me. Even if finding the best recurve bow might not be easy, it is definitely worth the investment of both time and finances!

This struggle with finding a great recurve bow motivated me to share my experience with you so that I might make it easier for anyone with the same goal in mind. You might wonder why i am talking about recurve bows and not other types of bows.

First of all, because these bows are perfect for all kinds of archers, from beginners to experts. Compound bows are more appropriate for competitions and professionals in terms of archery.

Unlike recurve bows, compound ones are faster, and they have a structure that is a lot more mechanical than recurve bows. Which is also why they aren’t as popular.

Our Reviews

One of the best bows that you can find on the market at a decent price is this SAS Spirit one. It is a great option that a beginner can invest in, and it is highly adjustable so suits a variety of needs.

Since it is for beginners, the draw weight that you can choose from ranges from 12 lbs up until 22 lbs. It is an excellent present for children and a very appropriate starting tool.

Just like the majority of recurve bows, this one also has two options: one for right-handed users and one for left-handed users. The bow is made of fiberglass and maple wood.

Since it is recommended for children, the shooter height shouldn’t be more than 5’4″.

They will be able to learn to shoot the right way and develop their archery skills properly if they start practicing with such a recurve bow. The price of the SAS Spirit model is great!

Pros

  • It is ideal for children
  • The draw weight goes from 12 lbs to 22 lbs which is perfect for beginners
  • It has a right-handed option and a left-handed option
  • Made of resistant wood to increase its lifespan

Cons

  • Doesn't have a wide range of draw weights

Southwest Archery released the Spyder as a direct competitor to the Samick Sage, which is generally considered one of the best beginner bows on the market, and it delivers.

Many user’s regard the Spyder as an improvement on an already fantastic model. More than just a little bit inspired by the Samick Sage, Southwest Archery’s Spyder boasts improved riser quality with limbs available in draw weights from #20 – #60.

When purchasing, you will want to ensure that you choose a draw weight option that comes with an included bowstringing tool, to make your life easier when assembling. It should be noted, however, that while some bows can be assembled by hand, you will require a hex key to screw the limbs onto the Spyder.

Inset bushings are pre-installed on the Spyder, allowing for additional accessories to be attached.

All things considered, the Spyder is a great takedown style recurve bow for beginners, with a quality riser that will see you through multiple limb upgrades.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip
  • Great starter bow
  • Selection of draw weights
  • Light

Cons

  • Tool required for assembly

This Bow is designed for hunting, you will notice that it doesn’t come in many draw weight sizes. As a matter of fact, it has 3, 50 lbs, 55 lbs and 60 lbs, which is why it might not be the best choice for beginners.

Also, this one is intended for right-handed people. The limbs are made of wood and fiberglass while the riser is made of hardwood.

The length of this bow is 60″. It also comes with three years of limited warranty.

The design of this bow is also very attractive, so it will be a great addition to your bow collection.

Pros

  • Best takedown recurve bow for hunting
  • Easy to use as it has a simple design
  • It comes with three years of warranty
  • It is made of highly resistant materials

Cons

  • The biggest downfall of this bow is that it comes with only three draw weights and it is not recommended for beginners

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.

Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • No tools required
  • Various draw weights available
  • Great value
  • Pre-drilled for accessories

Cons

  • Might be too large for some users

Another recurve bow that you should definitely consider is the Southland Archery bow. Since it is a takedown recurve bow, you can adjust the draw weight as you feel comfortable.

Draw weight options go from 18 lbs to 36 lbs. You can choose between a right or left-handed bow.

The limbs, which you can replace as and when you please are made of fiberglass. The wood used for the bow is maple, and it is very resistant.

It also comes with three years of limited warranty!

Pros

  • It has different sizes to choose from
  • Suitable for both right-handed users and left-handed users
  • Replaceable limbs
  • Three years of limited warrant

Cons

  • Draw weight range isn't the best

Choosing the Best Recurve Bow for You

Just like when you are planning to acquire any other product, there are specific characteristics that you should look for when after the best recurve bows available. Especially if you need to find the best recurve bow for beginners, here is what to keep an eye on!

Also, keep in mind that what is suitable for other people might not necessarily be ideal for you. So you should try to choose as subjectively as possible!

What Draw Weight Can you Handle

The draw weight is actually the energy and force you need to invest to pull the string of your bow to use it. This should be the first thing you determine before you decide which bow you should go for.

To determine the draw weight, you need to know your own weight because the two values are strictly connected to each other. Your gender will also play a role in determining the draw weight of the recurve bow that you need.

The values of draw weight that you can choose from are as follows:

10-15 lbs for children with a weight between 70 and 100 lbs
15-25 lbs for children with a weight between 100 and 130 lbs
25-35 lbs for small females with a weight between 100 and 130 lbs
25-35 lbs for medium size females with the weight between 130 and 160 lbs
30-45 lbs for men with a weight between 120-150 lbs
40-45 lbs for men with a weight between 150-180 lbs
30-45 lbs for large size females with a weight over 160 lbs
45-60 lbs for large size men with a weight over 180 lbs

However, there are exceptions to this table that you should consider. For instance, the best starter recurve bow will also be the one with the smallest draw weight, regardless of your body weight.

When you first try using a bow for archery or hunting of any kind, it should be the lightest bow on the market. Once you gain experience, you can start increasing the weight of the bow according to your body weight.

With that being said, you might change your recurve bow a lot at first, until you understand which one has the best draw weight for your body and archery skills.

If you are wondering what type of archery you can do with different types of draw weights, here are some examples that will clarify this for you!

A 25 lbs to 30 lbs draw weight is perfect for practicing shooting and recreational archery. It is a good draw weight to use on a target that is placed up to 70 yards away from you.

As for a 35 lbs or 40 lbs draw weight, this is perfect for reaching a target that is up to 80 yards away from you. Some archers use a 35 lbs draw weight for hunting, but a 40 lbs one would do much better since it has more of an impact.

If you are interested in recurve bows that have a 45 lbs draw weight or higher, you have to know that these bows are ideal for hunting. You can do almost everything you want with such a bow.

Why do you Need a Recurve Bow

When purchasing a new bow you should first establish what type of archery you will be using the bow for; it will have a significant influence on the type of recurve bow you choose as well.

If you are looking for a recurve bow for simple target practice, you can go for pretty much any type of bow, and it will meet your needs.

If you want to purchase the best recurve bow on the market for hunting, you will need to pay a lot more attention to the draw weight that it has. You’re hunting, after all; make sure that the arrow has enough power to penetrate the animal hide and kill the animal cleanly.

This detail alone means that your bow should have a draw weight of a minimum of 40 lbs. Not to mention that you should also have the best arrows for the recurve bow to be successful.

You should keep in mind that the bigger the target is, the more draw weight you will need to take down the target.

For instance, if your target is a buffalo, you should use a recurve bow with a draw weight of 55 pounds.

Check the Reviews

It is important to see what others had to say about any potential recurve bow you intend to buy.

You might discover some red flags that you are not willing to take a chance on.

When you are reading such reviews, pay attention to the criticism more than the positive parts. See if there are users not happy with the resistance of the bow or the materials used to put it together.

Arrows and Draw Length

A recurve bow or any type of bow would be nothing without a good arrow. And there is a multitude of arrows that you can use. But you need to find those that match the bow you have as well as your experience.

As a matter of fact, the only way to identify the best arrows for you is to experiment with different types. Most likely, you will not find the best arrow from the first pick. But by trying several ones, you will learn what you need in a good arrow and what you can compromise on.

There are arrow types that might be suitable for your recurve bows without being comfortable for you. To decide the draw length of your bow, all you have to do is spread your arms wide.

Keep them parallel to the floor and have someone measure the distance between your middle fingers. Take the number you obtain and divide it by 2.5. This will be the draw length of your bow.

Determining the draw length of your bow is going to give you a pretty good hint regarding the length of the arrow you should use. If your draw length is 28″, you should go for arrows that have 30″ in length.

The general rule says that you should add 1 or 2 inches to your draw length to obtain your ideal arrow length.

Check the Special Features

Each recurve bow has certain details that make it different between one product and another. For instance, the manufacturer might include different parts in the package of the product as part of your order.

While most of them send just the bow and the string, some companies would send at least one arrow and a target along with your bow.

This is great for using your bow right out of the box without additional investment.

Also, the weight of the bow is just as important as the draw weight. You need a recurve bow anywhere between 2 and 4 pounds if you are a beginner.

It is important to pay attention to the length of your bow as well. The rule of thumb says that this length should be double the draw length.

You should find specifications like this in the description of the product.

Recurve Vs. Compound

There are two defined types of bows on the market: the recurve bows and compound bows. Each one of these major types can be split into several other types such as takedown or fixed recurve bows and different models of compound ones.

The compound bows are more complex than the recurve bows. They are also a lot more adjustable thanks to their mechanical structure.

Compound bows also tend to be smaller than recurve bows. On the other hand, the advantages that a good recurve bow comes with are hard to beat, as I will show you here.

First of all, recurve bows, being takedown or fixed ones are best for beginners of all ages. They are simple and easy to use.

They are also the only type of bows allowed to be used at the Olympic Games.

When it comes to the weight of recurve bows, these tend to be much lighter than compound bows. The recurve bows tend to be bigger, but because their design is a lot simpler, they will not weigh more than 3 or 4 pounds.

The costs are also more reasonable when you want to invest in a recurve bow. Generally, these bows are much cheaper than compound bows.

With the price of a middle of the range compound bow, you can get a high quality recurve bow. And a takedown one at that!

Unlike compound bows, you can easily fix a recurve bow. For instance, if the string comes off or breaks, you can replace it yourself.

Similarly, if your recurve bow is a takedown, you can replace the limbs if it is necessary. All you have to do is bolt the new limbs in, and you have a new, functional bow.

If your compound bow breaks, you most likely will have to take it to a professional service to fix it because you can’t do much on your own with it. Plus, the risk of something going wrong with a compound bow is higher since it has more parts that can break.

If you are interested in the aesthetics of your bow, you will be glad to hear that recurve bows are a lot more stylish than compound ones! They were used throughout history, and they have that traditional vibe to them that archers prefer compared to mechanical compound ones.

Another reason why a recurve bow is best for beginners is the fact that all you have to do is adjust the limbs to make it fit your needs. You can start with limbs that are great for a draw weight of 20lbs and increase the size as you get better at it.

Should You Invest in a Takedown Recurve Bow?

Takedown recurve bows allow you to take away the limbs from the risers. There are many reasons to go for the best takedown recurve bow on the market, rather than a different type of bow.

Here are the main advantages that I took into account.

They are Easier to Carry

Since you can take the limbs apart, the takedown recurve bow is a lot lighter to transport and travel with.

A Longer Lifespan

This is always a plus buy cheap buy twice, a good quality product will last much longer and incur less cost due to repairs or buying multiple bows. If some parts were to break on the bow, you could easily replace those parts without replacing the entire weapon.

It is the Best Beginner Recurve Bow

A takedown recurve bow is an excellent choice to start you on your path of mastering archery. Such a bow allows the user to modify the draw weight, which we believe is extremely beneficial.

The limbs will determine the draw weight of a bow. And if you want to increase this draw weight, you just have to replace the limbs.

It’s About Choice

Ultimately, the type of recurve bow you choose is up to you. But if you are not an expert at archery, you should consider investing in a takedown recurve bow rather than a compound or a fixed bow.

This gives you more freedom to practice the sport that you like and a lot more comfort as you gain experience with different types of shooting sessions.

How to Use a Recurve Bow Properly

Having a rough idea of how to use your new recurve bow before you even purchase it, Will increase the likely hood you’ll enjoy your new hobby and end up sticking with it.

Place an Arrow in the Recurve Bow

First place the arrow in the notch on the handle of the bow, slotting the string into the notch on the arrow.

Get in the Right Position

You should raise your recurve bow to shoulder height. Locking out the arm that is holding the bow.

Do not bend your shoulder at all because it will affect your shooting.

Drawback the Bowstring

From the right position established above, draw back the bowstring using a grip with a finger on either side of the arrow. Keep your back straight and drawback until you can touch your face slightly with the hand holding the bowstring.

It might take a few goes until you can achieve this posture comfortably, but once you learn, it is going to be worth it.

Close One Eye and Aim with the Other

Aiming for your target is the secret of your success. Close one eye and use your other eye to aim at your target.

Choose the eye that you rely on the most. Some recurve bows come with a sight which help a great deal.

Release the String

Now that you have your bow set and your target in sight, all you have to do is to release the arrow. Let go of the string slowly and make sure you don’t move your bow.

Try to be relaxed and allow your arrow to follow its path naturally. If you add stress to your hand, you might change the direction of the arrow and miss your target.

Wait Until the Arrow Hits the Target

It is safer to stay in place and try not to make sudden movements as soon as you release your arrow. This way, you don’t risk influencing your shot and causing it to stray.

So, keep your position until your arrow reaches its target.

Once you get more experience, you will feel more confident in your skills, and you will not have to pay attention to every move you make.

Accessories

Some manufacturers will sell you a complete starter kit along with your recurve bow.

You may not end up with a bow that comes with accessories so it is important to know about accessories you may need.

And this is not complicated at all, as long as you know what to look for when you start shopping!

There are accessories that you will absolutely need but also some that you can definitely live without, at least while you are a beginner in terms of archery. Here are the items you have to possess when you start your archery adventure!

A Recurve Bow

This is obvious. You don’t just need a bow, but you need one that is the best for your level and body needs.

A Bow Stringer

Some bows come with a bow stringer, but this is not the norm so you might have to be ready to invest in such an item separately. You will need this to string your bow safely.

You will use this tool a lot, so don’t neglect to have it in your archery kit.

Arrows

Another very obvious accessory that you will need in your archery kit is an arrow…as a matter of fact, you should have more than one.

Use the information in this guide to get the right arrow for you and don’t be afraid to experience with other models until you find the best one.

Nocking Points

The nocking point will give you the same space to place your arrow on the bow. This means that if you use a nocking point, you will shoot in the same way so it enables you  to develop a shooting strategy much easier.

Targets of Your Choice

Targets come in all shapes and sizes, and they depend on the type of shooting you want to practice as well as the equipment you are using. The most common type of target is the circular bull eyed one.

And to make it safe, you need a target that will stop your arrows and not allow them to go through it. This is why you should go for professional targets rather than the improvised ones.

And here are the fancy accessories that you might not need but you might be interested in having once you get the hang of shooting!

An Arm Guard

An arm guard is great tool to have in the arsenal. It covers your entire arm or simply your forearm, depending on the model that you decide to get.

Using an arm guard will protect your skin from from the friction of the string when firing the bow.

A Special Glove

Using a special glove called a finger tab will protect your fingers as you are shooting. If you shoot without a glove, you might end up with blisters that take a long time to heal, and they affect your shooting technique as well.

An Arrow Rest

Another item that will surely help you. The arrow will sit on it nicely as it is drawn and exclude any hazards you might have to face if you don’t use one.

To begin with, you might be able to use your hands, but this is something to consider investing in.

A Broad head Wrench

You will use a broadhead wrench to take off a broad head tip from your arrow. But not all types of archery need the use of broadheads; therefore, this is not something you will need at all times.

As a matter of fact, if you use field tips, you will not need this at all.

Bowstring Wax

This wax will protect the string of your bow. Even if you use the a top of the line bow string, you will still have to protect it as it is prone to come apart quite easily if you shoot frequently.

The wax will protect the string against water and other weather conditions, and it will also add a certain level of lubricant to it. Even if this wax is not something you need from when you begin shooting, it is definitely something to add on the list.

Safety Measures

Regardless of the type of bow you use, safety should always come first, and as fun as archery is, there are some risks that you should be aware of.

Here are some safety rules that should keep you out of harm’s way while using your recurve bow!

Always point your loaded bow in a safe direction and don’t place the arrow inside the bow unless it is safe to use it.
Don’t focus only on your target but on the surroundings of your target as well.
When you shoot, always do it in a straight line. No shooting over the hill or any other type of ridge.
Don’t release the bowstring when there is no arrow inside of it because you can injure yourself.
Repair all the problems you might have with your bow before using it.
Store your bow in a case designed specifically for storing it and do the same with your arrows.
Avoid shooting when you are under the influence of alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.

Product Reviews

The market has plenty of recurve bows to use, for both beginners and experts. As a matter of fact, you will not have a problem in finding what you need, but you might have a problem choosing from such a wide variety of bows.

So, to ease your job and search, I put together the best five recurve bows that you can choose from and why you should consider these before others!

Recap

If you are looking for the best recurve bow without taking any risks, you can count on the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow. This one is definitely the best in terms of functionality but also the most adaptable bow you will find in its price range.

Unlike other similar products, this one has a wide range of draw weights to choose from. It comes as a right-hand bow or a left-hand bow according to your needs. And it is the best recurve bow under 300 that you will find with so many features.

Plus, you will receive a set of archery accessories along with this bow such as an arrow rest, a pair of limbs and a Dacron string. The only thing left to purchase will be your arrows.

But bottom line, any bow from the list above will be a great choice for you as they are the best that you can find!

Don’t forget to comment and share your experience with other readers. Your opinion matters, and it can also make a big difference for others who want to make the most out of their shooting experience.

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