How To Pick A Recurve Bow (6 Basic Tips)

By Andy Ryan


Updated at
recurve bow parts

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert, asking the right questions will help you choose the right bow. Below is the professionals’ take on the best way to pick your recurve bow. We narrowed it down to six basic steps with each step being the questions we ask personally when choosing a recurve bow.

1. What Do You Want to Use it For?

For those new to archery, picking a beginners’ bow that is specifically geared to them is important. Like all other professions, in stores, you will find three levels of products; one for beginners, intermediates, and professionals. In picking a recurve bow, you need to know what you want to use it for.

Recurves with draw weights ranging from 15 to 70 pounds are totally suitable for target shooting. However, to give you a glance at the specific draw weights to use in various target shooting activities, below is a detailed table:

If you want to enhance your archery skills at a beginner’s level, you need a recurve bow with draw weight showing on the first row. So, if you are looking to join amateur contests, you would want to use a higher quality recurve bow compared to your practice bow. Therefore, the bow’s draw weight should be the numbers on that second row above. Here is a complete guide on how to measure a bow’s draw weight.

Finally, if you are entering a professional stance and hunting, the right recurve bows stats are from the third row. These recurve bows are far more powerful and accurate but challenging to handle at the same time. For a better understanding, you may want to read our reviews on recurve bows.

2. Do You Prefer a Take-Down Bow?

You must determine whether you want a “Take-Down” or not when purchasing a recurve bow. If you have a take-down bow, you should expect that you can detach the two limbs of your recurve from the riser. So what are the benefits of a take-down bow?

  1. You can store this type of bow easier. This kind of bow is considerably easier to keep and put into a tiny handbag because you may separate the limbs from the riser. If this is important to you, then choose a take-down design.
  2. It’s easy to maintain a take-down recurve. If something breaks by mistake, you can immediately eliminate the broken part and send it for repair instead of sending the whole bow.
  3. Lastly, a Take-down bow is ideal for beginners since it lets you change the draw weight. Fundamentally, the rigidity and structure of your bow’s limbs influence its draw weight. For example, if you buy a recurve with a 30 draw weight and realize a few months later that you want to improve it, you don’t have to buy a new bow anymore. You just need to modify your existing limbs with the draw weight you wish to progress with.

3. What Should the Bow’s Weight Be?

The draw weight isn’t the only factor to consider. The weight of the bow is also significant. Please note that shooting will require you to keep the bow in front of you for lengthy periods, so you have to choose a bow that is suitable for you.

Sturdy recurves normally weigh around 2 and 3.5 pounds, and these are generally safe to choose if you’re a novice. However, if you’re not sure how much you can take, go for a bow that weighs no more than 3 pounds.

4. What Should the Length of the Recurve Bow You Need Be?

A bow that is at least twice as long as your draw length is advisable. Suppose your draw length is 28 inches; you’ll need a recurve that’s 56 inches or longer. In general, the longer the bow, the more precise it is. If you’re unsure about your draw length, here is a quick step-by-step guide below to help you out:

  1.  Spread your arms while keeping them both parallel to the ground.
  2. Without curling your shoulder blades in, you should get someone to measure the length between both of your middle fingers with a tape measure.
  3. Once you have the measurement, divide the value by 2.5. This will provide you with a pretty accurate estimate of your draw length.

5. Do You Want to Customize Your Recurve with Accessories?

An additional factor to take into account when choosing your recurve bow is the other accessories you should consider in adding to your recurve bow kit. Some recurve bows come with pre-drilled attachments, while others do not. However, it is better to have a brief understanding of what other accessories you can attach to your beginner recurve bow kit:


This is the portion of the bow where you should put the most effort. The riser serves as the basis for the rest of the bow, and it will last for many years.

You may find risers made of various materials, including wood, metal, or carbon fiber, and you can see them in different archery stores. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Wooden and carbon risers are lightweight, requiring additional stabilization to maintain balance; however, aluminum risers are exceptionally durable. Commonly, individuals who want to shoot traditionally prefer wooden bows, whereas metal and carbon risers benefit from current technology. (1)

The right balance, proper hand placement, perpendicularity, and geometry are common characteristics of a good riser. Its shape and weight determine how the limbs bend, how the bow behaves when fired, and how well it shoots.

Sight Pin

Your sight should be the second most expensive piece of equipment you should get at an archery shop. In this situation, you definitely get what you paid for, as a cheaper sight may shake apart after a few shots or be delicate and impossible to tune.

Micro-adjustable parts, better construction quality, and superior materials are all features of more advanced sights. Choose something durable and dependable, as this piece of equipment, will be with you for a long time.

6. Which Arrows Should You Purchase?

The most significant variation is in overall arrow weight. Due to more kinetic energy, the heavier the arrow shaft, the farther it will pierce on impact. But, when practicing target shooting, you won’t need a lot of penetration because all you want is for the arrow to penetrate some packed foam or cardboard. 

However, when hunting, you may need to pierce through large sheets of fat and even bones.

Carbon arrows are arguably the best all-around option for most recurve bows, whether you will use them for training purposes, tournaments, or even hunting. Carbon arrows are more accurate, robust, and safe, while also being less expensive. (2)

Carbon arrows are recommended for recurve bows with a draw weight of 35 to 50 pounds. On the other hand, hunting arrows with detachable tips are another excellent option for most recurve bows. These are best suited to recurves with a draw weight of 40 to 60 pounds.


(1) benefit from current technology –
(2) Carbon –