7 Steps to Choosing a Recurve Bow

recurve bow

You can choose the right recurve bow for you by following 7 easy steps. It’s common to get overwhelmed by the variety bows and the even greater variety of secondary options. But if you keep a few keys points in mind, the finding the best recurve bow becomes much easier.  

Summary of the 7 Steps – Determine: 

  1. Primary Use – Hunting or General Archery 
  1. Budget – the unavoidable question 
  1. Draw Weight – the strength required to pull the string 
  1. Draw Length – how far you can pull back the string based on arm length 
  1. Overall Bow Weight – affects stability and endurance 
  1. Construction and Parts – take down (collapsible) or fixed  
  1. Left Hand – Right Hand 

1. Primary Use

What do you want to do with your recurve bow? Do you want to compete in archery contests? Do you want to hunt? Do you just want to enjoy archery as a fun hobby? This is the first thing to decide. 

Here’s an example of an excellent hunting bow for the novice. 

Top Archery – Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow Metal Riser Right Hand Black Longbow 

recurve bow

Here’s an example of an excellent competition bow for the novice. 

Sino Art – Takedown Recurve Bow Adult Archery Competition Athletic Bow Weights 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 LB Archery Kit 

recurve bow

2. Budget  

Decide on your price range. Hobbyist models begin at just over $50. Serious competition bows can be more than $1000. Like most things, you get what you pay for. However, an outstanding mid-range recurve bow will cost between $100 to $150. 

Here’s an example of an excellent affordable bow for the novice. 

TOPARCHERY Archery Takedown Recurve Bow Hunting Long Bow Alloy Riser for Outdoor Shooting Training- Right Hand – Draw Weight 30lbs 40lbs – with Arrow Sight, Arrow Brush 

recurve bow

Here’s an example of an excellent high end bow for the novice. 

Bear Archery Rambo Last Blood Edition Take-Down Recurve Bow #ATD199RB 

recurve bow

3. Draw Weight 

Draw weight is amount of force needed to pull back the bow string. Bows comes from the factory with a set draw weight. The same model of bow usually comes in different draw weights. When selecting a bow, you must select the desired draw weight. It is measured in pounds.  

Draw weight in an important consideration because of the countless repetitions required for mastery. If the draw weight is too heavy, this will lower your accuracy. If the draw weight is too light, it will limit your range. The following chart is a reliable guide to selecting a bow based on your body type. 

Body Weight Draw Weight   
Kids 55-100 lbs. 10-15 lbs. 
Kids 100-130 lbs. 15-25 lbs. 
Women 100-130 lbs. 25-35 lbs. 
Women 130-160 lbs. 25-25 lbs. 
Women 160+ lbs. 30-45 lbs. 
Men 120-150 lbs. 30-45 lbs. 
Men 150-180 lbs. 40-55 lbs. 
Men 180+ lbs. 45-60 lbs. 

4. Draw Length 

Draw length is how far you can pull back the string. This is a purely physical feature based on your arm length. For adults, this will not change. Your draw weight can be increased with added strength and experience, but the draw length for an adult will stay the same. For kids, it will increase as their bodies grow.  

There’s an easy way to find your draw length. Hold your arms straight out to your sides, making a T shape. Measure your wingspan from the tips of your middle fingers. Then divide that number by 2.5 to find your approximate draw length. For example, if your wingspan is 70 inches, you calculate 70÷2.5=28 inches. Bow manufacturers list the draw length range for most models. 

5. Overall Bow Weight 

The weight of the bow can greatly reduce the enjoyment and accuracy of your shooting. Keep in mind the repetitive nature of archery. While 6 lbs. may not sound that heavy, imagine holding that 6 pounds at arm’s length for a few minutes at a time – and repeating that each time you shoot an arrow. Too much weight, especially in the beginning may compromise your purpose. We recommend testing yourself at home with whatever you have laying around. Find the weight of the bow that you are considering. Then pick up something of similar weight and hold it out like you would a recurve bow. Just hold it for a few minutes to get a sense if the weight is right for you. Then decide if a bow of similar weight is feasible. It’s a simple method, but effective.   

6. Construction 

There are 2 main build types for recurve bows: traditional and take down. A take down bow can be easily disassembled for transport and storage. Then it can be quickly reassembled for use. A traditional bow is a fixed, one piece build that requires a bit more room for storage and transport. Some say that traditional bows have superior performance, but we think that the latest tech advances make take down bows just as accurate. The preference is personal and largely a matter of taste. 

Here’s an example of an outstanding take down bow. 

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow 

recurve bow

Here’s an example of an outstanding traditional bow. 

Southland Archery Supply SAS Maverick One Piece Traditional Wood Hunting Bow 

recurve bow

7. Left Hand – Right Hand 

This one is self-explanatory, but be sure to order the correct bow for you. Some bows are designed for ambidextrous use. Other models have lefty or righty versions. 


If you are new to archery, you want to consider a full recurve archery set. There are many good options. If you follow the 7 steps outlined above, you will be sure to find the right recurve bow for you. Then you can pick the set that has the bells and whistles most attractive you. We recommend this set by Southwest Archery. It includes almost everything you will need to get started. 

Spyder and Spyder XL Takedown Recurve Bow –  Archery Set  

recurve bow


  • Bow – Wide Range of Draw Weights and Lengths 
  • Premium Carbon Arrows 
  • Bow Case  
  • Stringer Tool 
  • Armguard 

Happy Shooting!

Tac X Tactical
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