How To Buy A Recurve Bow (Your 5-Step Guide)

Getting into archery requires a brief understanding of the bow. Buying a recurve bow is not as simple as you may think without a proper guide. In fact, there are a few things you will need to consider that could make or break your experience. 

Here, I will provide you with expert tips and what other professionals would recommend buying a recurve bow. I will break the process into five stages.

Step 1: How to Find Your Proper Draw Weight

How To Buy A Recurve Bow (Your 5-Step Guide) 1

The very first step you need to do is to find your draw weight. Hence, your draw weight is the amount of force you may need to draw your bow fully.

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Based on your personal body weight and gender, the chart below will help you establish your initial draw weight limit. Here’s a guide on how to adjust the draw weight on a bow if needed. You have to select the category in the left-hand column that perfectly represents you and then select a safe draw weight range to the right of that. Preferably aim for the lower draw weight range in the table below if you’ve never shot a bow before.

Archer’s WeightSuggested Draw Weight
Small Children (70-100 lbs) 
10-15 lbs
Larger Children (100-130 lbs)15-25 lbs
Small-Frame Female (100-130 lbs)25-35 lbs
Medium-Frame Female (130-160 lbs) 25-35 lbs
Small-Frame Male (120-150 lbs)30-45 lbs
Medium-Frame Male (150-180 lbs)40-55 lbs
Large-Frame Females (160+ lbs)30-45 lbs
Large Frame Men (180+ lbs)45-60 lbs

Step 2: Do You Plan To Go Hunting?

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While each beginner recurves bow is suitable for target practice, not all recurve bows are ideal for hunting. The draw weight of your bow will determine if it is appropriate for hunting.

Suppose you want to go hunting; you’ll need a recurve bow with at least a draw weight of 40 pounds. Anything less than that will lead to many wasted opportunities while hunting, especially if you need to shoot an arrow from more than 15 yards away.

Thus, if you want to go hunting but the table above indicates that you cannot handle a 40-pound bow or more, you should first get a bow that you can handle, then practice and improve your endurance. When you feel comfortable in your ability to handle that draw weight, you can upgrade your bow to a 40 plus pounder and go on your first all-natural bowhunting adventure.

Step 3: Choose a Suitable Recurve Bow for You

You may choose your beginner bow now that you know what draw weight you require. To assist you in doing so below is my top 3 best takedowns recurve bows with a table showing some statistics about them. (1)

Bow NameWeightDraw WeightDraw Length
Samick Sage Recurve Bow3.4 lbs40, 45, 50, 55 lbs62″
Hoyt Gamemaster II2.9 lbs40, 45, 50, 55 lbs62″
PSE Razorback Recurve2.2 lbs20, 25, 30 lbs.62″

Step 4: Read Our Reviews

We cover all topics regarding recurve bows, bows in general, and archery. You will find various reviews, guides,  tips, and tricks. Also, you will be guaranteed expert advice. To help you out, please check the below post.

Where To Buy?

When you’re trying to find a place to buy a recurve bow you may be a little overwhelmed because of all of the great locations such as archery shops and online. Though some people recommend going to archery shops you can also get a pretty good idea of what you want from some of our guides and feel confident buying online. Worst case scenario if you get a bow that doesn’t completely match your needs there are very good return terms on most of the e-commerce stores these days that will allow you to exchange it for a different model.

However, make sure that you go through our guide so you have the proper draw weights and draw length so you can be relatively confident of this size bow you are choosing.

Step 5: Additional Accessories You’ll Need to Acquire

Even if you’re new to archery or returning after a long absence, it might be difficult to determine what gear you should and should not purchase immediately. There’s a lot of fancy gear out there. But some of it isn’t necessary until you’ve gained some experience.

Below are the must-have items except for the bowstring, arrow rest, bow sight, and surely you’ll be ready to go. There are several attachments that are smart options but you can skip for now, and which stuff you should start thinking about buying along the road.

A Bow Stringer

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A bow stringer is a crucial component of any recurve archer’s equipment since it is the only method to string a bow safely and reliably. The bow stringer assists you in safely bending the recurve bow enough to slip the string over the limb tips with your body weight. 

Nocking Points

The function of a nock point is to give you a consistent position to nock your arrow on your bowstring. This is crucial because it ensures consistency in shooting, which means your arrow has a greater chance of landing where you want it to be. It also makes sure that the arrow’s fletchings or vanes do not nick your bow hand. You may also use brass points, serving string, or tape to construct a nock point. Any skilled archer or bow mechanic who helped you set up your bow can assist you in placing your nock point where you need it.

Bowstring Wax

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If you use a magnifying glass, you can see hundreds of fibers that make up just one string of your recurve bow. If not adequately polished, those fibers rub together and cause tension, forcing the strands to shatter, reducing the string’s lifespan.

Archers use bowstring wax to minimize this from arising. Bowstring wax offers comprehensive lubrication while also providing a layer of protection against water and other factors you may encounter outdoors. Purchase a high-quality bowstring wax and polish your bowstring every 2 to 4 weeks to extend its life.


How Do I Determine My Recurve Bow Draw Length?

Manufacturers tune every recurve bow for a draw length of 28 inches. Suppose your draw length is 30 or 31 inches; you may fire a 28 inches draw length recurve bow effectively, though it will feel slightly heavier to pull.

Should I Buy A Right-Handed or A Left-Handed Recurve Bow?

Of course, this is dependent on your hand orientation. You dictate this by the hand with which you draw the bow. If you pull the bow with your right hand, you’ll need a right-handed bow, and if you draw with your left hand, you’ll need a left-handed bow. The hand with which you hold the bow has nothing to do with its alignment; only the hand that draws the string does.

What Should The Recurve Bow’s Overall Length Be?

You should aim for a minimum length equal to your draw length and multiply by two. Assuming your draw length is 30 inches, a bow with a draw length of 60 inches or longer will be fine. Practically, longer bows are more efficient, but you should keep convenience in the account as well.

How Much Should The Recurve Bow Itself Weigh?

As far as it doesn’t weigh more than 3.5 pounds, you will be alright if you keep it to less. The weight of the bow only affects how convenient it is to handle extended hunting expeditions. Bows for ladies and children usually weigh less than 2 pounds. You won’t need to worry a lot about your weight if you’re an adult.

However, please remember that shooting involves keeping the bow in front of you for extended periods, so choose a comfortable bow weight for you.

Is The Bow Ready To Shoot Right When I Get It Out of The Box?

No, you must first string it and then tune it. The tuning process may take many hours. I recommend that you hire an expert to handle it for you.

Bonus Tip: How to Select the Proper Arrows?

The most significant difference is in total arrow weight. The heavier the arrow tip, the further it will puncture on strike due to higher velocity. You won’t need much penetration during training target shooting since all you want the arrow to do is to cut through some stuffed foam or board. (2)

On the other hand, when you are planning to bring your bow into hunting, this might be the time for you to get enough power. You will need it since your goal is to shoot through thick sheets of fat or even bones.

Carbon arrows are unquestionably the best option for recurve archery, even if you’re using them for practice, competitions, or hunting. Carbon arrows are more precise, durable, and safe, as well as being less costly.

(1) statistics –
(2) velocity –

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About Andy Ryan

How To Buy A Recurve Bow (Your 5-Step Guide) 6Certifications: Sc. Kin. - Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology
Education: University of Denver
Lives In: Denver

My name is Andy and I am the author and creator of Archery Power, I have been in the archery industry for many years and it’s my true love and passion. I am an instructor and maintain a Certification. It all started as a kid where me and my dad used to go hunting with a crossbow, since that time I have been obsessed with the sport.