If you’re new to archery sport, you may feel pretty overwhelmed by the many choices in the market. There are many bow brands and products, and it can be hard to find the best recurve bow for your needs.
To help you out, we did most of the hard work for you. After analyzing dozens of recurve bows, 10 of them stood out. Our choices include best recurve bows for hunting, for beginners, and experts.
Keep reading to know the perfect recurve bow for your needs.
Table of Contents
- Best All-around Model: Southwest Archery Spyder
- Best Entry Level Bow: PSE Razorback
- Best Takedown Recurve Bow: Samick Sage
- Best Budget Bow: DOSTYLE Recurve Bow
- Best Bow Package With Gear: PSE Pro Max
- Best Recurve Bow For Target Shooting: Bear Grizzly
- Best Recurve Bow For Beginners: SAS Spirit
- Best Recurve Bow For The Money: TOPARCHERY Traditional Recurve Bow
- Best Recurve Bow For Hunting: SAS Courage Hunting Bow
- Best Recurve Horsebow: KAINOKAI Traditional Handmade Longbow
How to Choose the Right Recurve Bow?
You’ll need to consider things like the purpose of buying a recurve bow, draw weight, draw length, and much more. Let’s discuss these factors in detail:
The first factor to consider when shopping for a recurve bow is how you intend to use it. If you want a bow for target practice, then you can invest in any type of bow. However, if you are in the market for the best recurve bow for hunting, then you’re better off with a bow that has a higher draw weight. This is because target practicing only requires one to stick an arrow to the material you are targeting. In contrast, hunting requires a bow that will propel an arrow with speed and power to penetrate an animal body.
If a bow has a higher draw weight, it will shoot an arrow with enough power to penetrate an animal’s skin and render it immobile. For beginners, we would advise that you go with a recurve bow with a lower draw weight for ease of usage. A bow with a higher draw weight can be quite challenging for an inexperienced archer.
Draw length refers to how far back the bowstring can pull. Remember that drawing a bow too long or too short can hurt your shooting accuracy, comfort, form, and arrow performance.
You can calculate your ideal draw length by doing several steps:
- Stand and extend your arms in a manner that extends to form a “T” shape at shoulder height.
- Have someone measure the whole distance from the end of your middle finger to the other.
- Divide the measurement by 2.5. This is your ideal draw length.
Generally, the longer the bow, the more precise it is, which means you can shoot far easily. Recurve bows with more than 60 inches of length are categorized as longbows. A bow with a length between 58 inches and 59 inches is considered average.
A rule of thumb is that you’ll want a bow that’s twice your draw length. This means that if your draw length is 30 inches, then you’ll need a bow with a length of at least 60 inches. Maintaining this ratio ensures you make precise shots.
The bow’s weight is how heavy the whole bow is – this is different from the draw weight, which we’ll discuss in the next point. If you make long trips during your hunts, you should go for a bow weighing less than 3lbs. Lighter bows will reduce fatigue.
However, for those into target shooting, the weight of the bow doesn’t matter. For beginners, it’s better to stick with a bow that weighs between two and 3.4 lbs.
The draw weight refers to the weight you apply when pulling your string. If you’re lightweight, go for a bow with 40lbs. Also, if you’re a beginner, you don’t have to be hard on yourself – opt for a bow with lighter draw weight, preferably one with 40-45lbs. Once you improve on your shooting, you can opt for one with a higher draw weight.
For experienced archers with strong muscles, a bow with over 45lbs of draw weight might be suitable. If you want to hunt down turkeys, deer, and rabbits, 40 lbs. of draw weight will be sufficient.
If you want to hunt bigger animals such as cape buffalos, oxen, and grizzly bears, a bow with 55lbs. of draw weight will be ideal.
Recurve Bow Characteristics & Accessories
A recurve bow has three main parts in its build: the riser, the limbs, and the string. In addition to these three parts, other parts and devices are attached to a recurve bow to make it more functional and better. These include sight widow, nock, center serving grip, clicker, arrow rest, and stabilizer thread.
Higher-end recurve bows may also come with other accessories, including;
- Bow stinger to help to attach the string to the bow safely. It minimizes accidents.
- Targets: For those practicing archery, having targets can be helpful. A bow that comes with targets can be great for beginners.
- Gloves or finger tabs to help protect your fingers from friction.
- Sight: This is a device attached to a recurve bow to help you spot and precisely aim the target. It’s great for long-range shooting.
- Armguard is another necessary item to have in your kit. It covers the forearm to ensure the smooth release of the arrows.
- Arrow rest: This attachment helps you set arrows when drawing it, and it helps you aim precisely and effortlessly.
- Bowstring wax or beeswax to help maintain the bowstring for your recurve bow.
- Broadhead wrench to help tighten or unscrew the bits and pieces of your recurve bow.
The more accessories included in a recurve bow packaging, the better.
With that in mind, we can now discuss the top 10 best recurve bow brands on the market at the moment.
10 Best Recurve Bows in 2022
Southwest Archery Spyder – Best All-around Model
Southwest Archery is a USA-based company with over two decades in the archery industry. Their Spyder and Spyder XL is high-quality, lightweight, and offers a wider range of draw heights. It can be used by any gender and people of all ages, whether beginners or intermediate archers.
A noticeable feature is the round edge rise that’s slim, lighter, and beautiful looking. The bow combines four naturally sourced wood with a red-colored wood that gives the riser an exceptional look. The limbs are made up of matte black fiberglass and maple lamination that give it a pleasing look.
You can choose a wide range of draw weights from 20 to 60 pounds, making it ideal for beginners and pro-level. The Spyder is also very accurate and noiseless and will give you a calm experience when shooting. It’s ideal for deer hunting, bow fishing, and target practice.
- It offers a high-quality finish.
- It has a wide range of draw weights.
- Both hand orientation.
- It’s sturdy and lightweight.
- Requires Allen key to take down.
PSE Razorback – Best Entry Level Bow
PSE Razorback is an attractive bow that would work well for archery schools, an experienced recreational target, or a field shooter. The riser features three types of wood, including beech, walnut, and Nermawhite, combined with lamination techniques that give it a beautiful, smooth finish.
The limbs feature maple wood lamination and fiberglass and have been coated with white fiberglass. Although it has a relatively low draw weight at around 20 to 35, it’s enough for the recreational target archer or beginner. This may not be ideal for hunting big animals. If you want to use it for hunting little ones, you may also need to add some camo tape to mask the white color on the limbs.
A key selling point of the PSE Razorback is the tool-less takedown. The limbs slide into a metal pocket which you secure with a thumbscrew. When set up correctly, you’ll notice no vibration, and the sound of the string is also quiet.
- Affordable starter bow.
- It’s durable.
- Easy assembly and portability.
- Right or left hand.
- Lacks enough draw weight for hunting.
Samick Sage – Best Takedown Recurve Bow
The Samick Sage recurve bow offers good value for its price. It can shoot just as well or better than bows with higher price tags. It’s a good choice for both hunting and recreational archers.
The riser combines maple and Dymondwood to form a great-looking and durable finish. Although it lacks a thermal material or padding, the grip is comfortable and doesn’t feel cold. The riser also offers both right and left-handed variations.
The limbs are made using hard maple and fiberglass then reinforced with phenolic plastic bow tips. The draw weights range from 25 to 60 pounds, making it ideal for beginners who want to start with low weight and scale up to become experts.
The assembly is fairly easy because the limbs slide into a pocket and are secured with ergonomic finger tightener knobs. No tools are needed.
- Has a wide range of draw weights.
- Made strong and ergonomic.
- Left- and right-hand models available.
- Assembly is tool-free.
- It has a limited draw length for tall people above 5’11”.
DOSTYLE Recurve Bow – Best Budget Bow
If you’re in search of a recurve bow with an effortless, stylish, and user-friendly design, look no further than the Dostyle Archery takedown bow. It’s very easy to use and is designed for both left-handed and right-handed archers. You can easily carry this outdoor bow anywhere, although it’s ideal for small game hunting.
The premium set includes a riser, a bowstring, two bow limbs, a stabilizer, 12 arrows, an arm guard, six target faces, a finger guard, an Allen wrench, archery target nail pins, and a three-tube quiver. In other words, you get everything needed to get started.
The limbs are made of fiberglass, which offers more strength to bow. The round-edged riser and fine finishing allow for precision for the perfect shot. The draw weight is relatively low at 40 pounds, meaning it’s not suitable for large game hunting.
- It’s lightweight and easy to carry.
- It’s strongly built to last.
- Offers a range of accessories.
- Suitable for beginners.
- Not powerful enough for large game.
PSE Pro Max – Best Bow Package With Gear
Users prefer PSE Archery Pro Max because it is easy to handle and use during hunting sessions. This makes it an ideal choice for novices. You get all you need in one pack, such as arrows, recurve, finger savers, hip quiver, arm guard, adjustable sight, bow, rescue stringers, and a plastic stick-on rest.
The recurve stringer ensures your stringing is safe and efficient for better hunting. Plus, the finger savers allow for a quick mechanical release to enhance your hunting experience. Also, the recurve bow is lightweight and ranges between 15-35 lbs. to enable you to hunt for longer periods of time. Besides, the reduced draw weight helps you easily aim and shoot with precision taking your hunting experience to a whole new level.
- High-quality finishing.
- Carbon arrows thaw work best with the bow.
- Finger savers for mechanical release.
- It comes with accessories included.
- Not for experienced archers.
Bear Grizzly – Best Recurve Bow For Target Shooting
Whether you are an upcoming or seasoned archer looking for a recurve bow, you should consider the legendary Bear Grizzly recurve bow. The bow presents a beautiful picture of craftsmanship and is one of the most durable recurve bows ever.
Standing at 58″, the riser is crafted from a single piece of hard-rock maple wood featuring a satin-gloss exterior and Flemish string made from high-quality Dacron. This makes the bow beautiful yet lethal. The riser features hard-rock maple wood, while the limbs are made of fiberglass and maple.
While initially designed for traditional hunting, the bow is highly versatile and can be used for sports and recreational purposes such as target shooting or bow hunting. The bow comes fully assembled with two limbs perfectly balanced. Moreover, the riser is positioned well and covered with real bear hair, making the shot incredibly smooth and accurate. What’s more is that this bow is lightweight, weighing slightly less than 2 pounds.
- High shooting accuracy.
- Very lightweight.
- Durable and could last up to half a century.
- Produces no vibrations.
- Relatively pricey.
SAS Spirit – Best Recurve Bow For Beginners
Whether you are a beginner or veteran who needs an affordable bow for hunting or partaking in archery sports, here’s the perfect option for you. The Southland Archery Supply bow is designed to propel arrows with incredible precision towards the intended target.
The bow is highly flexible, featuring fiberglass and maple laminations. It’s made from three types of wood in Gmelina Arborea, Chuglam, and beech, which are known for their durability. The product is available for both right- and left-handed users and can be used by people as tall as six feet.
The spirit bow comes with a standard user manual that lets you know everything you need to know, including SAS contact information. However, users said the assembly is quite challenging for people who haven’t assembled a recurve bow before. Nonetheless, you should figure it out fast by watching any tutorial on assembling a recurve bow.
- Economical options for beginners.
- Fiberglass and maple make it flexible and durable.
- It’s available in a variety of draw weight versions.
- The manufacturer offers left-handed and right-handed options.
- No explicit instructions for assembly.
TOPARCHERY Traditional Recurve Bow – Best Recurve Bow For The Money
Users love the Toparchery Handmade Recurve Bow because of its classic look and fast shooting. Besides, the brand is reputable and offers excellent bows at reasonable prices for beginners and bow hobbyists. The wooden riser and fiberglass limbs make it sturdy enough for large games and can work regardless of the weather.
This beautiful traditional-looking bow also allows you to use both your right and left hand. You can carry it for longer distances in the woods because it’s just 1.92 pounds heavy. The center of this handmade recurve bow has been designed with faux leather, which is decent and comfy.
Like most other takedown bows, Toparchery comes unassembled, so you also need to sit and assemble once you receive the package. The manufacturers include standard information and instructions so you may reach them in case of any issues.
- Affordable price tag.
- Lightweight and sturdy.
- Fit for both right and left-handed archers.
- Perfect for beginners.
- Tips are glued to the fiberglass limbs, which seem not very firm.
SAS Courage Hunting Bow – Best Recurve Bow For Hunting
Southland archery is a popular name in the archery industry, and SAS courage is among its premium hunting bows. We call it premium because it features durable hardwood such as Chuglam, Bitangor, and Makore. The SAS courage is designed for hunters with shorter and more flexible limbs made with high-strength fiberglass.
The courage 60″ is an efficient and excellent starter pack for beginners and expert archers. It’s easy to handle for learners and allows for accurate shooting with terrific velocity. Assembly is quite straightforward, and you can attach the takedown limbs with just a bolt and Allen wrench, which are included in the box.
The draw weight is a maximum of 50 lbs., which is suitable for hunting large animals. Another advantage is the stable riser that keeps the sturdy limbs centered and stable for accuracy. Users say that drawing the string feels easy and smooth.
- Good price.
- Shorter bow length for smaller archers.
- Easy to assemble.
- Lacks accessories.
KAINOKAI Traditional Handmade Longbow – Best Recurve Horsebow
Kainokai traditional recurve bow is filled with numerous features that make it an ideal pick. It’s a wooden longbow with a leather covering that gives it a traditional and long-lasting look. As this is a single-piece bow, it’s easy to assemble and disassemble. Both right-hand and left-handed archers can also use it.
Kainokai designed this recurve bow with a variety of draw weights between 40 to 55 pounds for experts, while beginners may select anywhere between 25 to 35 pounds. It’s the perfect recurve bow for hunters but can also work for practicing targets.
The hunting bow features lots of accessories such as an Armguard, Finger guard, Handguard, Bow bag, Wood hunting arrow, Arrow target paper, a bow string, and bowstring wax.
- Made durable material.
- Elegant looking singe-piece bow.
- Has various draw heights.
- It has a bunch of accessories.
- Quite long and not suitable for kids.
Best Recurve Bow Buying Guide
Here are the features and things to keep in mind to help you compare different recurve bows:
Price and Affordability
Although not a feature, it’s the first thing you should consider before choosing the best recurve bow for your needs. Therefore, before digging deep into your pocket to buy a recurve bow, you should consider its durability and affordability. Consider how frequently you’ll be using the bow and how it’ll impact its durability.
Remember that not all high-end recurve bows are the best, and not all cheap bows are of poor quality. You can find good recurve bows at budget-friendly prices. As a beginner, go for cheaper bows with readily-available parts so, in case of malfunction or damage, you can easily replace them. However, ensure quality matches the price.
Wooden risers will often be cheaper than metal ones unless it’s a quality traditional bow. Wooden risers look nicer than metal ones, but of course, this is a matter of preference.
The bow’s riser normally comes with pre-drilled holes to accommodate various accessories such as arrow rest, sight, and stabilizer. Wooden risers tend to be easy to drill yourself, but this may void the warranty.
Some bows only allow right-hand archers, while others allow both left and right-handed people to use them. Ensure that the bow you go for suits your dominant hand.
Go for a recurve bow that best suits your shooting style. If you want something sleek yet solid, you can go with a wooden bow made of durable wood such as mahogany. If you prefer a modern-looking bow, opt for a metallic bow or a carbon bow.
Bear in mind that wooden and metallic bows have their benefits and shortcomings. For example, wooden bows are lighter ass compared to metallic bows. On the flipside, modern-looking bows have advanced technologies and thus can accommodate extra accessories such as viewing scope.
Takedown Recurve Bows
When choosing a recurve bow, you’ll have to decide whether you need a takedown or not. A bow is considered a takedown when its two limbs are detachable from the riser. There are several reasons you’d like to choose a takedown recurve bow over a one-piece bow. Firstly, takedown bows are very easy to transport as you can remove the limbs from their riser. The disassembled bow is easier to store as it can easily fit into a small handbag. If you value portability, then a takedown recurve bow will appeal to you.
Secondly, a recurve bow is easier to service as the parts are easier to remove. You can remove the pieces that need fixing and send them to a repair shop rather than send the whole bow.
Thirdly, takedown bows are good for beginners as they allow one to adjust the draw weight easily.
Limbs / Upgradeability
As a beginner, it’s vital to consider the selection of the limbs. Virtually all limbs on the market fall in the IFL system. Still, it’s important to ensure the bow you’re ordering has limbs that match the IFL system for purposes of upgradeability.
If you’re on a budget, purchase inexpensive limbs which you can easily renew later on. The typical limitation of poundage starts at 18.32. Any change in poundage will affect your shooting.
Some shooters pick limbs made from fiberglass or carbon fiber, while others prefer wooden materials with layered foam. Although the type of limb you choose is all based on your preferences, make sure to buy a bow whose limb replacements are readily available so you can progress to higher draw weight.
Different manufacturers back their bows with varying warranty periods. The warranty often covers parts such as riser and limbs and not arrow rest and string.
Warranty is an important consideration as bows may develop quality issues, which means you’ll be covered. Manufacturers’ warranties can be for some time or a lifetime. Make sure to ready know the conditions and caveats of the warranty to avoid voiding it.
How to Shoot a Recurve Bow
If you’re trying to shoot a bow, there are several things you need to do to shoot right. Here’s a quick guide:
Step 1 – pick the right bow for your needs.
Step 2 – Maintain a proper stance. Although this may seem basic, a lot of beginners ignore the tip. Your feet should be in the same place for you to shoot consistently. There are different stances, including square stances, open stance, and closed stance. Learn the best stance for your shooting.
Step 3 – Align your upper body. Make sure your shoulders are in a straight line for maximum support. Your body should form a straight “T” shape when you draw back your recurve bow.
Step 4 – Find a good anchor point. The anchor point is the place your draw hand rests when pilling the bowstring. For beginners, aim to align your index finger to the corner of your mouth. With time, you may switch to under the jaw.
Step 5 – Smoothly release the bow.
Is a Recurve Bow a Good Beginner Choice?
Recurve bows fit beginners as they are budget-friendly compared to compound bows and come in varying draw weights that can be easily upgraded as your archery skills develop.
What’s Better, a Recurve or Longbow?
If you’re unsure about what bow style will suit you more, this summary will help you make up your mind.
Recurve bow offers both speed and power as compared to longbows. They are more accurate than longbows. Takedown recurve bows allow one to shoot accurately at a lighter draw. In addition, they allow one to increase draw weight by buying limb replacement instead of buying the whole package, as is the case with a longbow. On the downside, recurve bows are more challenging to shoot than longbows and thus require more practice. In addition, they are louder than longbows. If you also want to know the difference between compound and recurve bow, you can read up on this guide: Recurve Vs. Compound Bow.
How Far Does a 50 lb Recurve Bow Shoot?
Bows between 45 and 55 lbs. draw weight will easily provide enough power to penetrate a wild anime 20 yards or less from the shooter.
Where Can I Buy the Best Recurve Bow?
There are many places you can buy recurve bows, including local stores and online stores. However, we recommend that you make your purchase online as there are many varieties and it’s cheaper most of the time.