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How to find the right recurve bow for you
Recurve bows are the most used type of archery bow in target shooting and in the Olympics. They are easily differentiated by the ends of the bow, where it cas curved tips. Compared to compound bows which has one wheel, also knowns as cams, on each end.
A recurve bow is an excellent starting bow for newcomers to archery. It’s easy to shoot, and easy to dismantle and put together again for when you travel with it.
If you have looked at recurve bows before, you might have noticed that they come in different lengths and draw weight. So what exactly do you choose? Let’s help you understand what to look for when you make your purchasing decision.
If you want to skip the reading and go straight to the bow finder, head back up to the top of the page and follow our step-by-step guide which will guide you to the best bow for you.
Target shooting or hunting?
First of all, what will you be using the bow for? Shooting at targets or hunting game? The reason this is important is because if you plan on hunting with the bow, then you need at least a certain draw weight. Larger game requires higher draw weight because the draw weight decides how much power the bow will have. Handling a heavy draw weight might not be easy for newcomers, so a compound bow can be a lot more forgiving for new large game hunters.
If you’re going to use the bow for target shooting however, pretty much any draw weight will do. The things you should look for a length of the bow, bow weight, and some other things we will cover later.
What length should you choose?
This is also an important factor to determine the best recurve bow for you. Choosing a bow that is too long or too short will ruin your archery experience and you won’t have as much fun. Every bow is designed to perform best at its manufactured bow length. That means if a bow is too short or long for you, you won’t get the optimal performance out of it.
So how exactly do I find a bow that fits me? For this you need someone to help you measure.
Stand upright with both your hand extended out to each side at shoulder height. Like a T-position.
With the help of someone you know, measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger.
Take that number and divide it by 2.5. This is your draw length.
Now, follow this chart to find the right bow size for you.
14 to 16 inches = 48 inches bow
17 to 20 inches = 54 inches bow
20 to 22 inches = 58 inches bow
22 to 24 inches = 62 inches bow
24 to 26 inches = 64 to 66 inches bow
26 to 28 inches = 66 to 68 inches bow
28 to 30 inches = 68 to 70 inches bow
31 inches and longer = 70 to 72 inches bow
There you have it! Now you know what bow size is right for you.
What is a Take-Down bow you might ask. This is the name given to bows that allows you to remove the limbs from the riser (handle). For that reason, Take-Down bows are much easier to transport, and if one part of the bow breaks if can easily be changed for a new one.
Another good thing about Take-Down bows is that they are very good for beginners. Why? If you start out with a recurve bow with a low draw weight, you can up the draw weight by simply changing the limbs. This will save you money as you do not have to buy a whole new bow if you decide you want an upgrade.
The con for this is the price. As Take-Down bows are generally a bit more expensive than other ones.
Not to be confused with draw weight, this is the mass weight of the bow. You have to remember when you hold the bow in front of you for extended periods of time, the bow’s weight plays a factor, especially if you’re new to archery as you might not have build the right muscles required for holding a bow steady for a long time.
If you are new and unsure about how heavy your bow should be, choose one that is 3 pounds or less to be on the safe side.
So you have come to the part where you’ve found the right bow for you. Now you’re wondering what type of accessories you should get for your bow.
Many archers prefer to keep in simple. That means no sight, no stabilizer, no armguard etc. However, as a newcomer you might want to add a sight to your bow.
Other things you can get is a stabilizer which absorb the vibrations in the bow when you shoot, reducing the shock you feel.
You might also want a quiver to hold your arrows. A glow or finger tabs to protect your fingers. Nocking points which will give you consistency when shooting.
There is a whole lot of accessories for recurve bows, but in honesty most of them you do not need as a beginner. Only when you take archery seriously, you might look into all the different gears for your bow.