Ultimately, there is a huge selection of recurve bows to choose from on the market today. As a result, it is easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the best recurve bow for you.
In the comparisons below and the recurve bow reviews throughout this website, it is not my goal to end by saying, “This bow is the absolute best and all others are inferior!”
Instead my objective is to present the top recent models with enough information to help you to choose the best one for YOU. Many factors go into your decision such as bow size, draw weight, price, whether or not you like the style and color, the technical specs, included features & equipment and so on.
- Best Recurve Bow Reviews for 2022 – Your money is well spent with these
- 1. PSE Razorback- Good entry-level bow
- 2. Samick Sage – Best budget recurve bow
- 3. Bear Archery Grizzly – Best recurve bow for target shooting
- 4. Southwest Archery Spyder – Best Intermediate takedown bow
- 5. SAS Spirit – Best recurve bow for beginners
- 6. SAS Explorer Metal Riser – Great bow for the money
- 7. Bear Archery Super Kodiak – Best recurve bow for hunting
- 8. Southwest Archery Tigershark – Best takedown recurve bow
- A Recurve Bow – Power In A Package
- 1. Choosing the right recurve bow
- 2. Choosing the right draw length for your recurve bow
- 3. Choosing the proper size for your recurve bow
- 4. Shooting a recurve bow
This site lists the top of the line bows alongside the under $250 models, as well as recommendations for recurve bows best suited for women and kids.
Please remember that the bows recommended and reviewed here are very much suitable for beginners as well as advanced archers, so we may or may not include all of the models listed by the major hunting and outdoors publications.
Those publications tend to list only the most expensive models (imagine that!) and those particular models may not be best suited to your particular needs and/or budget. So, the goal here is to give you a comprehensive list of the best recurve bows for the money and help you to make an informed decision on your new bow. As an added bonus, all of the bows we list on this site can be bought online, often at a discount.
Best Recurve Bow Reviews for 2022 – Your money is well spent with these
1. PSE Razorback- Good entry-level bow
Forget about recurve crossbows that boast all sorts of advanced features that only make them out of this world. Chances are, they are out of this world. Instead, check out the PSE Razorback Recurve bow, which boasts nothing less than homegrown quality to help children and the youth discover the joys of hunting and archery. This model comes with an awesome set of features while delivering reliable shooting performance for the beginner archer.
Complete Recurve Bow Package
The PSE Razorback offers genuine value for money. Recommended among the best PSE bows on the market, it ships with a riser that has predrilled accessory holes. The package also comes with bolts for easy attachment of the bow limbs. The assembly and user’s manual ensure that the bow can be easily put together and set up for out-of-the-box functionality. No guesswork, less mistakes, helping you get on with the hobby in no time. The bow comes with a stabilizer that serves not only as the noise and vibration dampening component but also helps keep the weapon stable and steady during shooting. Thus, it can reduce hand shock as well with the release of the arrow.
The bow has limbs that can be easily screwed on and then unscrewed without the need for an Allen wrench. This tool-less assembly and disassembly make the weapon an ideal one to start with when you’re just exploring the benefits of hunting and archery. A truly affordable model, the unit even ships with the manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty card to ensure you of dependable use and service for years to come. It is also your guarantee of top quality and premium craftsmanship.
This model may not be exactly designed for hunting, but it offers a decent draw weight that should help the novice shooter become comfortable and sharply trained to handle a more powerful bow. This recurve bow makes an affordable starter bow for children as well as youth archers and adult women of average build. Engineered to be durable considering the cost, this recurve bow offers a brace height of 7 inches, which is considered the optimal level by most shooters because the perfect distance delivers the best blend of forgiveness and performance. This optimal brace height is perfect for those with mediocre skills or are just learning to shoot since it can ensure better accuracy in most shooting situations. This recurve bow is a well-tuned weapon that can satisfy the classic bowhunting urge.
This recurve bow from PSE is designed with the beginner in mind. It has a draw weight between 25 to 35 pounds so even if it can’t take down even small game too easily, it can still offer decent shooting capabilities, which proves to be useful for target practice. The takedown design makes this bow the perfect choice for remote area hunts or fly-in adventures. The 28-pound draw weight makes the weapon perfect for women with small frames as well as youth archers. This bow is designed for right-handed users and is recommended for those who are up to 5 feet 7 inches tall.
You won’t believe what the manufacturer has done to come out with this elegant and beautiful recurve bow. The bow has a Berger button hole that can accommodate the cushion plunger, so you can move the component in and out and ensure that your arrow is properly seated on the arrow rest and lines up perfectly with the bowstring and really pointing straight. The cushion plunger also serves as a secondary shock absorber, which reduces the natural tendency of your arrow to wobble during release. Though not an absolute necessity for successful shooting, the cushion plunger, when properly tuned, can increase your shooting accuracy.
The recurve bow has a riser made of Burma White Wood, Walnut Wood and Beech Wood, which ensures you of lasting use because of the durability and innate toughness of the materials. The bow limbs are made of maple wood and fiberglass. Made by a company that has been able to build a solid reputation from the ground up, this recurve bow should serve you for many years while ensuring consistent shooting performance for the novice or youth shooter.
Lightweight and durable, the PSE razorback may not be designed for hardcore hunting but it is sure to be an effective learning implement for youth and adult females who are just discovering the delights of archery without making a huge investment on equipment. Made for target practice, this recurve bow should last for years with normal use. It offers a great way to become better at target shooting.
2. Samick Sage – Best budget recurve bow
This model from Samick proves that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on a recurve bow that is versatile and offers excellent performance at the right price. Samick is a Korean company, well known for the recurve bows it has been making starting with 1975. You can depend on the overall quality of this model, and you can rest assured that you’re getting more than your money’s worth. Available in various draw weights, and also sold along with a broad range of accessories, it is a good deal for the budget-minded shooter on the lookout for a good buy.
That is always something you should check when you want to make sure that the bow you purchase will last and justify the expense for years to come. In this case, there are several aspects about the general construction of the Samick Sage that will convince you it is such a great deal.
For starters, the riser is made from a combination of maple wood and olive Dymondwood. That mix grants it extreme resilience, and you will be able to subject your recurve bow to a lot of wear and tear without noticing anything troublesome about it. Maple wood is used for the limbs, too, but here, the material is laminated with fiberglass to ensure that they remain flexible and easy to draw even by a beginner.
The term takedown means that you will be able to disassemble it. The even better news is that you can do so for this model without the need for special tools. You can remove the screws with just your fingers. Everything in this recurve bow was thought to offer convenience, and you will find it very manageable and easy to use.
You will appreciate the fact that this recurve bow is quite compact. Seeing that there are other, smaller models on the market, that is still a plus, and you will like the fact that you can take it along with you in your adventures.
You may notice that the tips of the limbs are reinforced with phenolic plastic. That happens to ensure that you will be able to upgrade the string, should the need arise. The Fast Flight strings available on the market are compatible with the bow. The total length of the bow is 62 inches, which allows you to send arrows at quite impressive distances.
Overall, the recurve bow reviewed here has a beautiful, stylish appearance, and you will have no regrets if you opt for it instead of another model in the same price category.
Not all the recurve bows on the market come with an arrow rest, which is why it is all for the better that this particular model offers such an extra, right out of the box. It must be mentioned that mounting accessories on this particular recurve bow is easy, as it has pre-installed brushings that allow you to do that. Should you decide you need a plunger, a stabilizer, or a quiver, you will find that all the bushings you need are there, as long as you come with the required accessories.
You will find this bow available in a large variety of draw weights, from 35lbs to 55lbs. You will only need to select the one that you believe can deliver a good job, depending on your skill and strength as a shooter.
As far as what the bow can do, there are plenty of users who vouch that they used it for deer hunting, so, as long as you can draw 40lbs, you should be able to match their performance with one of your own. The larger game you can find in the woods, however, may require the use of a more suitable bow.
Noise and vibrations
There are, so far, no mentions from users that this bow might be noisy, and that is a great plus. Any prey, but particularly deer, must be approached with extra care, and making as little noise as possible is vital. While you may not expect the same fantastic performance from this model as well as from expensive recurve bows, it still does its job.
In its price range, the Samick Sage Takedown is a good choice. It is resilient and made with good quality materials, so you will not have to worry about making the wrong investment. You will also like the fact that it allows you to pick from various draw weights, and that you can load it with accessories, should that be something you would want to do.
What we liked
- The limbs are of good quality and lightweight
- It is a good pick for novices, as well as advanced users
- Complete with a string and an arrow rest is provided
What we didn’t like
- Some users comment on the string having a short serving
3. Bear Archery Grizzly – Best recurve bow for target shooting
If there is one recurve bow sold today that takes advantage of the craftsmanship of the past and benefits of modern technologies, that should be the Grizzly from Bear Archery. The uncrowned king of recurve bows, it has been often called a legend or a work of art. In its simplicity, it makes a statement. It is no wonder that for more than 50 years since its latest design update in 1964, it hasn’t received any important improvements. Anyone who wants to learn how to shoot using an elegant, away from any run of the mill design, recurve bow, should try the Grizzly.
What makes the Grizzly such a household name? Some would say the unparalleled durability. And they would be right. The attention to detail in how this recurve bow is constructed cannot easily be rivaled by many other companies making such items on the market. The handle section of the model is made through a very particular process that gives birth to something called Futurewood.
You are probably familiar with the general construction of a recurve bow. The most used wood is maple, but, for the handle of its legendary model, Bear Archery uses a very particular approach. Through a unique manufacturing process, the wood used for the handle is pressurized until all the pores get filled. That creates a more robust, durable type of wood that will resist the test of time. That is why this part of the Grizzly doesn’t warp or crack even after years of use.
There is a consequence of the filling process that makes each Grizzly unique. Since the pores are not all uniform, they will fill differently, and that is why the handle will have what is called birthmarks. When you purchase a Grizzly, you can rest assured that it is unique. Other details about the build are that maple is used for the limbs and that the grips are capped with fiberglass for more durability.
With a total length of 58 inches, this model is the ideal pick for many archers around the world. It does not come with a particularly fancy design, but its simplicity, as well as a few design elements surely make it stand out. For instance, the riser is custom-crafted, which means that its color may vary. It weighs only 3 pounds, so you will not feel that your arms are aching, even after an entire day spent shooting.
The arrow shelf, however, is what truly makes a design statement, if there is one for this particular model. It is adorned with veritable bear hair, and the side plate is made of leather. You cannot go any more stylish than this, as far as hunting equipment goes.
Besides the elements mentioned earlier, there are a few other features of the Grizzly that will surely convince you this is the recurve bow you should buy. For instance, the Flemish string it comes along with is made from Dacron, a superior material, that will not snap and break. As this is one major complaint of shooters in regards to other recurve bows than the Grizzly, that’s a feature to keep in mind.
You will not have to assemble the bow, as it comes ready to shoot right outside the box. You will also love the fact that it comes with various accessories that work well, which means that you won’t have to pay extra for such items.
Noise and vibrations
One of the most important advantages of this particular recurve bow is that it doesn’t make any noise and vibrations are almost non-existent. If you plan to sneak on your prey, be it elk or other large animals, when you are armed with this weapon, you will be as deadly as efficient. Game will not be able to sense you, and you will be able to get as close as possible to land a sure shot.
The high quality of this bow is what recommends it most and foremost. As a beginner, you might not feel inclined to spend this kind of money on a recurve bow, but if you are serious about archery, there’s hardly a better pick on the market. Back in the 1970s, the Grizzly was the star of archery competitions, and it continues to offer the same precision and reliability that made it such a hit with shooters in the first place. Honing your skill is possible and even encouraged by the use of this bow.
What we liked
- The bow is lightweight, yet durable
- It can be used for hunting and target practice
- All the needed accessories are provided
What we didn’t like
- While it is advertised as a choice for beginners, some novices might not find it so easy to use
4. Southwest Archery Spyder – Best Intermediate takedown bow
For an archer looking to get a good deal on a unit he or she can use for hunting or target practice, the Spyder is quite an excellent deal. A bit better regarding craftsmanship than other models produced by the same company, it is a sound investment that you will not come to regret. Its overall resilient construction, a wide range of draw weights available, as well as its nice polished finish, make it a wise option for any shooter.
An improvement of the Sage model made by the same company, this particular recurve bow comes with some improvements that should not be overlooked. First of all, it must be mentioned that the manufacturer combines four types of wood to ensure that this model benefits from the highest resilience possible. The overall construction will offer great satisfaction, and you will undoubtedly use the bow for a long time without a glitch.
The first element of design we should talk about is the rounded edges of the riser and the pockets. The manufacturer opted for this solution to cut down on weight, and the results are noticeable. This recurve bow is lighter than the model that served as its mold, and it represents, indeed, an improvement.
Besides the advantage of becoming lighter, the recurve bow reviewed here also benefits from sleek, streamlined looks that will tip the balance in its favor when you’re comparing it against others in its price range. The red wood finish riser is another element of design that will catch your eye at the very first glance.
There is a Spyder for anyone. It looks like this is what the manufacturer of this model tries to say since there are some options for you to choose from. First of all, you can pick a suitable model for right-handed or left-handed users. You don’t have to experience the disappointment of not finding the bow you like in the configuration desired, depending on what dominant hand you’re using while hunting.
The various draw weight options are also appealing, and let you pick a different Spyder for the entire family, should you feel inclined to do so. The draw weights go from 20lbs to 60lbs, using 5lbs increments, so it is close to impossible not to find the right one that can adapt to your shooting style.
Would you like to mount more accessories on your bow? This particular model allows you to do so. The unit comes with pre-installed bushings that can be used for a variety of extras, such as plungers, stabilizers, sights, quivers, and even bowfishing reels. That also tells you something important about how versatile this model truly is. You can practically adapt it to any setup you would like to have, depending on the purpose you have in mind.
The way the limb tips are designed lets you use Fast Flight or Flemish strings as you see fit. A nice touch is that the manufacturer includes some extras, such as an arrow rest with your purchase. Even though you may discover that the extras are not the same quality, they are still add-ons that you will get to enjoy for a while.
Another thing that must be mentioned is that you can opt for a stringer tool to be delivered with your purchase, but you will have to check the right box for it.
Noise and vibrations
The Spyder may not be as silent as the most expensive recurve bows on the market, but there are no reports on it being noisy. Seeing how many shooters have already tried and tested this model until now, any issues with its performance as far as noise level goes, would have become public.
Especially if you plan to use the bow for hunting, it is essential that you remain as quiet as possible, to reduce the possibility to be heard.
You get what you pay for and a little more when you select this recurve bow from the many available. That means that the deal for the money you will get will offer benefits. The overall construction of the bow is robust, and the design improvements over another version provided by the same manufacturer count toward making the bow more lightweight and manageable. The fact that there are some accessories included only adds value to the package.
What we liked
- It’s a versatile recurve bow, easy to use
- You can use it with Flemish and Fast Flight strings
- It is lightweight and accurate
What we didn’t like
- Unfortunately, it looks like the supplied string is not up to par, according to some reviewers
5. SAS Spirit – Best recurve bow for beginners
What makes the Spirit stand out from many other recurve bows out there, and even those that are created by the same company is how versatile and adaptable to any shooter’s level and style it can be. Made by a company with a good standing tradition in making bows for hunting and target practice, the Southland Archery Supply SAS Spirit might be precisely what you’re missing to either take your game to the next level or take up archery as a hobby.
This recurve bow is pretty much what you would expect from a product in this price range. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t offer excellent value for the money. For starters, the limbs are made from maple with laminations of fiberglass for increased durability. The number one reason why the Spirit is a good option for a beginner is the flexibility of its limbs. You can draw and shoot to your heart’s content, as these limbs will not break.
Durability means that you get a good deal if you’re planning to use the recurve bow quite a lot. The manufacturer even goes as far as to say that you may try to break this bow, but you won’t be able to do it, at least, not easily. Being a model that caters to young archers, it is suitable for shooters that are up to six feet in height. But that’s the only requirement that you should know about.
Chuglam, Gmelina arborea, and beech are the names of the woods used for the riser. These woods are the strongest that can be found in Asia and used for making archery equipment, so it is commendable that this manufacturer uses them for making this recurve bow so sturdy.
The recurve bow has 66 inches in length, and it is suitable, as shown earlier, for shooters less than six feet in height. It could be a good pick if you intend to teach your son or your daughter how to shoot a bow. You will find it particularly easy to handle for target practice, but, if you want the younger members of your family to accompany you when you go hunting, you will discover that it makes a good weapon for taking down prey, just as well.
You will find this model available in various draw weights that go from 22lbs to 34lbs. Depending on the skill and the frame of the shooter, you will be able to choose one that’s suitable. Another good thing about it is that it comes in both left-handed and right-handed versions, so you will have no trouble getting the right one.
The Southland Archery Supply SAS Spirit is a takedown bow, which means that it will require some assembly. However, you are provided with all the hardware and tools needed for this operation, as well as a manual. Although, it must be mentioned that clear instructions on how to put together the bow are not supplied, which is a downside for a bow that is, otherwise, easy to use. Luckily, most takedown recurve bows are the same, so learning how to assemble one means that you’ll know how to assemble all.
Apart from the details provided earlier, the recurve bow doesn’t come with any outstanding features. It must be mentioned that the manufacturer offers a limited warranty for three years, which might tell you something about how durable this bow is.
Noise and vibrations
The shooters who have already tried and tested this recurve bow do not have any complaints about the recurve bow making unnecessary noise. For a company that knows what to do to make recurve bows that are head and shoulders above the competition, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Approaching your prey without giving away your presence is essential, so it’s a good thing that this recurve bow doesn’t appear to be particularly noisy.
Although the Southland Archery Supply SAS Spirit is a pretty straightforward option, without any bells and whistles, you will discover that it is good at what it does, which is, after all, the most critical aspect to consider. Its flexible and robust construction guarantees that you won’t have a problem with it for many years, which means that it is a sound investment. Especially if you are looking to spend little on a bow for your teenage son or daughter, this one meets all the criteria.
What we liked
- It is available in both right-hand and left-hand versions
- Excellent for kids growing up while learning to use a bow
- Decent versatility that can make it a good pick for hunting, too
What we didn’t like
- One aspect that some reviewers noticed about this model is the poor quality string; a solution would be to replace it
6. SAS Explorer Metal Riser – Great bow for the money
While it may not be the bow you would get for competitive archery, the SAS Explorer Metal Riser is the right model to pick for someone who is just looking for a good bow for target practice and low-key hunting. It is affordable, which means that novices will not be put off by the hefty price tag, and it also comes with a nice design that will catch your eye. Seeing that it is 66 inches long, it is designed for tall people, something that might not be easy to find, especially in the price range of this budget-friendly option.
Durability is one crucial aspect of any recurve bow you may happen to set your eyes on. Flexibility is the other that you should never compromise. It is an excellent thing that this bow has them both, which means that you will be making a sound investment if you decide to purchase this one instead of others. Because its limbs are made of maple, you can expect this bow to accompany you on many backyard hunting sessions.
The limbs are also reinforced with fiberglass, and they will bend time after time whenever drawing the string. That, however, doesn’t mean that you should worry that the limbs will break. Flexible, yet durable, this takedown model will help you stay in the game for as long as you want. Also, the riser is made from aluminum, so it doesn’t weigh down the bow but does serve for increased robustness for years to come.
The recurve bow we’re reviewing here has 66 inches in length, and that makes it a good option for taller individuals. While you might not expect it for the price, the wooden limbs are polished to perfection, and you can tell from one glance that the manufacturer didn’t spare the extra craftsmanship to make the model attractive.
It is available in five different colors, including a camo option, so it will be easy for you to pick one that is just what you want, depending on your style preferences. It must be mentioned that this model is designed to serve only right-handed shooters, so, unfortunately, left-handed archers must look somewhere else.
You will like the fact that this bow comes in different draw weight configurations. They vary between 22lbs and 34lbs, and that means that you will be able to pick a model that you can easily string, depending on how strong you are. That also gives new archers room to grow and offers a lean learning curve, which is why this bow is recommended for target practice.
Since this is a takedown model, that means that the bow needs assembly. But don’t worry; once you learn how to put together a takedown bow, you will have no issues with any other similar models. So, all in all, this is what makes this bow a good pick for beginners.
Other things you need to know are the increased accuracy you will experience while shooting and the overall excellent performance it offers. If you get a bow for the first time in your life, you should go for an option that can assist you in honing your skills quickly, as an archer. And this particular bow does precisely that.
Noise and vibrations
There are no mentions for users regarding noise and vibrations, and that’s a great thing. While you should not expect to be able to take this bow along for big game hunting, all the hunting you can do in the backyard can be carried on with the SAS Explorer Metal Riser. Any prey and even varmint can detect noise rather quickly, which is why you need a model that is silent and easy to use. Once you get used to how this model works, you should encounter no issues with getting close to prey and shooting it down.
The SAS Explorer Metal Riser is a good option if you are a beginner. It can be used by people as tall as six feet, which is seen as a plus, and it is a takedown model. You can see, right from the start, that the manufacturer spared nothing for this bow, as its polished design can vouch for. Suitable for target practice, as well as some backyard shooting, it is the type of bow that you won’t regret picking up. Its affordable price only comes to complete the picture of a decent bow.
What we liked
- Made of high-quality materials
- Great versatility for a shooter still growing
- No matter how much you bend it, you won’t be able to break it
What we didn’t like
- It’s only available for right-handed use, which means that left-handed shooters will have to look somewhere else
7. Bear Archery Super Kodiak – Best recurve bow for hunting
Bear Archery is a company with a long-standing tradition in making high-quality bows, and, as you might expect, the Super Kodiak is part of what carries on the household name with pride. It must be said, right from the start, that this model is part of the brand’s traditional series, so it has a design that was first launched on the market in 1967. Tested by time, and embraced by hunters and shooters everywhere, the Super Kodiak is, without a doubt, an investment that may last you a lifetime. The result of the manufacturer’s dedication to creating the strongest and most accurate recurve bows on the market, the Bear Archery Super Kodiak is a gift you might like to reward yourself with, as a seasoned shooter.
When it comes to durability, Bear Archery makes some of the toughest recurve bows available right now. The Super Kodiak comes with a strong build that will offer you years and years of use, without damage. The riser on this model is made from hard rock maple, and you will notice right away its high quality. The entire bow is polished, and the riser is designed with ergonomics in mind.
As far as the limbs go, their tips are reinforced with fiberglass to ensure that you will enjoy the same durability and flexibility for years to come. You will not have to worry about splinters when you’re using this bow. As you look at the laminate construction, you will not be able to notice any bubbles under the laminate surface. That is just another proof of the superb craftsmanship invested by the manufacturer in this particular piece.
For a recurve bow that costs several times more than the available cheap models on the market, you should expect at least a few elements of design that make this Bear Archery creation unique. And you would be right to think so, as the Super Kodiak proves that its name is a synonym to craftsmanship and attractive design.
The arrow rest is covered in real bear hair, and the side plate is made of leather, which will instantly catch your eye. The overall design of the model is polished and states that the model you pick is of high quality. You will be pleased with the broad range of draw weights the model is available in, as that varies between 30lbs and 65lbs. At 60 inches in length, it is comfortable to hold and shoot by most archers without a problem.
There is one strong reason why you should consider the Super Kodiak for hunting. Its solid arrow rest will help you send your arrows with pinpoint accuracy toward your prey. The design of the arrow rest makes it durable and also acts as a great stabilizer, and, seeing that this model doesn’t allow the use of extra accessories, that’s a great plus.
The Super Kodiak is resistant to bad weather, so you can safely carry it along with you on hunting sessions that require you to face such conditions. The Dynaflight 97 Flemish string that is delivered with your purchase will increase the value of this bow. You can expect the same high performance all around, and you won’t experience the same bad string mishaps as other shooters report for cheap recurve bows.
You will be impressed with how smooth this bow draws and shoot. The high-quality string used helps with the overall performance and accuracy, as well. Overall, you will have a great experience when you’re shooting this bow, and the fact that it comes with a hefty price tag is justified.
Noise and vibrations
As expected from a model that is so much praised by the vast majority of people who have tried and tested it, this one is deadly and silent. You can get near your prey without worrying that drawing your bow will make the wildlife discover your position. If you’re looking for an ally that truly delivers, you will not go wrong with the Super Kodiak.
Due to its high pricing, the Super Kodiak is not precisely for just any archer, and most certainly, it doesn’t sound like a model you would get for a beginner. But the array of features, as well as its overall craftsmanship and design, will convince you that there is hardly any better competitor on the market. The fact that the models in the traditional series from Bear Archery are sold with a limited lifetime warranty is proof enough of what you can expect from this particular model.
What we liked
- Overall amazing build and quality
- Superior performance in every way
- Extra attention to details
What we didn’t like
- While it is a beautiful recurve bow that will certainly do justice to the great shooter you are, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag, so not everyone can afford it
8. Southwest Archery Tigershark – Best takedown recurve bow
If you’re looking for a versatile recurve bow, and also a model that comes with positive feedback from users, the Tigershark from Southwest Archery is an option you should consider. Made by a company that employs essential upgrades to its designs on a regular basis, the Tigershark is a reliable and durable option. Also, seeing that it comes with an arrow set, it is already a good deal for a beginner who just wants to learn how to shoot. That said, you can pick this bow for hunting, too, and you will be pleased with its overall performance. The decent price tag contributes to its appeal, as well.
An improvement over the Samick Sage, one of the company’s best known recurve bows, the Tigershark is an example of how a durable model should look like. The limbs are made from naturally sourced woods, which means that the manufacturer also cares about harvesting its materials from sustainable forests. The limb tips are reinforced, which means that you can expect excellent durability from this product.
That also means that the model is compatible with both Fast Flight and Flemish strings, a plus for those who will want to upgrade their bows by replacing this particular element.
One of the first things we should say is that this model is available in both right-handed and left-handed configurations, which means that you will not have a problem finding one that fits. This bow is lightweight and compact, so you will have no issues with storing it away when not in use. Also, carrying it along with you for hunting or target practice won’t take a toll on your arms, and you will be able to shoot it as many times as you want.
The beautiful satin finish adds to its appeal and proves, once more, the manufacturer’s care for creating recurve bows that will make an impact. With more than two decades of experience in making these bows, the company surely wants to get more shooters onboard with its products, and the Tigershark is just another example of the improved craftsmanship it employs.
There are quite a few features that we must talk about. For instance, the Pin-Locking technology used for the PRO version ensures that the limb placement will be a contributing factor to your increased precision. The 62 inches in length offer the possibility for tall archers to try this model. You will find it available in various draw weights that vary between 25lbs and 60lbs, using 5lbs increments. It is quite clear that the manufacturer wants this bow to appeal to a wide range of shooters.
Another thing you will like about this model is that it comes with pre-installed bushings for adding extras, such as plungers, stabilizers, sights, or reels for bowfishing. As expected, this feature adds versatility to the bow, as you can customize it as you see fit. A Dacron string will be included with your purchase, as well as a set of arrows, which means that you will be able to start shooting as soon as the bow is delivered to your door.
The manufacturer will supply a stringer tool in case you don’t have one. Just make sure that you check the needed boxes when you place your order so that you can have it delivered with the rest of the package. As this is a takedown bow, that also means that it is portable, and you can have it with you on hunting trips, without burdening yourself.
Noise and vibrations
You will not hear any complaints from users regarding such issues when it comes to this takedown bow. Seeing that it is versatile and that it can be used in practice, as well as hunting, you will want to know if it is silent enough to help you remain concealed while stalking your prey. You won’t have such worries when you’re using this bow, and you will manage to stay silent throughout your hunting experience.
The Tigershark is a model made with the needs of many in mind. It comes complete with an arrow set, to ensure that you will be able to start using it, right out of the box. Its overall construction is durable, and you will not be left disappointed by its precision, either. A takedown model, it can be assembled and disassembled, as needed, an aspect that makes it portable and compact. Overall, it is a good option for beginners.
What we liked
- It is built with durability in mind
- The draw weight can be adjusted with ease
- You can install various accessories on it
What we didn’t like
- It is a good thing that this model is compatible with both Flemish and Fast Flight strings, but the one it comes equipped with is of cheap quality
A Recurve Bow – Power In A Package
Bows and arrows have always been part of human history. Since the time when cavemen realized that they can throw their spears only as far as their strength will allow, strings were integrated in the equation to add force and strength to the velocity of the spear, which was later developed into an arrow.
The problem with this equipment is that the distance and strength of the arrow will depend on the length of the string. The longer the string, the longer the trajectory the arrow can take. The shorter the string, of course, the shorter the distance the arrow will travel. Now the length of the string dictates the length of the bow. Since the string should be properly stretched during rest position, the bow should be long enough to accommodate the same.
Imagine if you want to tackle a distance of 700 feet. Usually, you’d need a really, really, REALLY low bow, which can even be longer than your height.
Quite problematic, right?
Thankfully, recurve bows have been invented to deal with the problem. Basically they are bows with edges that curve outwards. Usually, the bow forms an arch, that when held by the archer, extends away from the body with the edges curving inwards. A recurve bow is build as such, as well, only, the edges do not stop their inward curves, instead, they curve outwards allowing for more drawing mileage for the strings.
The result? You have strings that can shoot the arrow at great distances and speed without necessitating a longer bow body. Hence, you’d have a more portable bow that is easier to wield.
It has since become the standard equipment for most archery competitions. In the Olympics, for example, only a recurve bow is allowed to be carried by the participant. This is the reason why most add-ons for archery bows are made with this type in mind.
This shouldn’t be taken to mean that it is only good for sporting competitions, however. Outdoor hunting likewise benefits from the things that a recurve bow brings to the table. Even if the game is many feet away, you won’t have to chug a long and hefty bow to ensure the right speed and trajectory. You’d have better chances of hitting your target with the flexibility that it allows while preparing for the strike.
1. Choosing the right recurve bow
With limbs curved away from the archer when unstrung, a recurve bow can store a greater amount of energy and is thus able to utilize that energy more efficiently compared to a bow with straight limbs. The arrow flies faster and with more energy. Choosing the right recurve bow comes with knowing what to consider when checking out this kind of equipment.
For target practice, any recurve bow will do fine, even those models for beginners. Choose one that suits your budget or that you personally like. You won’t need to wield an extra powerful bow for target practice since the arrow will just have to go through the cardboard or foam of the bullseye, and this won’t need a whole lot of energy to achieve.
For hunting, the arrow should be able to penetrate the animal’s thick skin and slip through fat tissue and even the bone of the game animal as well. Any recurve bow with a draw weight ranging from 40 pounds and up will be great for hunting purposes. There are a lot of options on the market for recurve bows in the 40 pounds and higher range. For shooting targets, just about any recurve bow will do, but when you’re shooting game, such as deer, elk and turkey, a draw weight of 40 to 45 pounds is ideal. When things heat up with larger game, such as buffalo, oxen or bears, you will want the security of wielding a recurve bow with 55 pounds or more draw weight.
Suitable Draw Weight and Draw Weight
When choosing the perfect recurve bow for you, it is necessary that you figure out what draw weight you are most comfortable working with. The draw weight denotes the amount of force needed to draw the bow correctly and fully. Principally, you will have to consider your age, gender and body weight, along with any physical disabilities or limitations you may have. Beginner archers can build up more strength with time, so they may need to think about their own progressive development instead of being stuck with just body weight as a primary determinant.
Generally, it is recommended that children weighing less than 100 pounds first pick up recurve bows having draw weights between 10 and 15 pounds. A draw weight of 25 to 35 pounds should serve well for females with small to medium build. Males with average height should be able to handle draw weights from 40 to 55 pounds.
A draw weight from 40 to 60 pounds may be just what larger men want. To shoot game, you will need nothing lower than 40 pounds, which ensures effective shooting at a safe distance. Should this figure be greater than your recommended range, first go for a draw weight that you can handle comfortably and then work your way from there.
Your draw length refers to the length of your arm span in inches, which is measured from the tip of one middle finger to another with your arms outstretched to both sides and palms facing forward, and then divided by 2.5. Peg your draw length at a reasonable range, since too much will affect your shooting accuracy, form, comfort and safety during shooting. This will also allow arrows to be trimmed to the proper length to complement your shooting gear.
Recurve Bow Characteristics and Accessories
Aside from draw weight, the recurve bow’s actual weight should also be considered. Most solid recurve bows weigh in at 2 to 3.5 pounds, which is a safe starting point for beginners. Bow weight is not as important as draw weight though, so there’s no pressing need to focus on it. The length of the bow should be twice as long as your draw length, so if your draw length is 27 inches, you need to get a recurve bow 54 inches or something reasonably longer.
It may take a bit of trial and error to pick the right arrows for you. It is not a huge issue when you pick the wrong arrows on your first try. Start out with decent-feeling arrows and after your skill grows, you could choose just the right arrows for you. There are many factors aside from the shooting distance and your experience that could affect the arrows’ reponse to your bow.
Recurve bow packages mostly come with a bare minimum of accessories, which may only include the bow and string. However, many models ship with more than that. Fortunately, you could always make separate purchases for the essential components for your shooting system, which should include a bow stringer, arrows and field tips, nocking points, and archery targets for practice. Items such as an arm guard, finger tabs, arrow rest, bow string wax and a broadhead wrench can be bought later but they will still go a long way to ensuring long term comfort and bow durability. A quiver, string whisker and a sight are not absolute necessities but should ensure a simple and enjoyable shooting experience.
2. Choosing the right draw length for your recurve bow
Choosing the right draw length for your recurve bow is as important as choosing the perfect pair of shoes for you. The process may not be extremely difficult but your success at archery depends on being able to get the draw length correctly. No matter what kind of bow you have, it is important to measure correctly for a suitable draw length for you, as this also helps you find out the right size and length of arrows you can use as well as the size of your bow. You do not simply choose a bow and then fit yourself to it, but you have to fit the bow to your body if you are to shoot consistently.
Elements that influence your draw length
When measuring for proper draw length, the top of your shoulders and your bow arm should be correctly aligned. Make sure your shoulders are not in a shrugging position but in a low, natural position. These two elements will ensure that you can get a draw length that isn’t shorter than your actual one. To ensure that the draw length you get won’t be longer than your actual, your neck and head shouldn’t be straining backward while measuring, so just keep them relaxed.
Make sure not to hold the string at an anchor point too far back. Make sure your release aid doesn’t lengthen your draw either. Observe good posture when measuring and make sure the wrist of your drawing hand is not arched or strained. Don’t use your back muscles when measuring as this will push your entire shoulder toward your spine, giving you a falsely long measurement.
Beginner archers should not attempt to take their draw length by themselves. It is best to work with a coach or pro-shop expert who can help you measure your draw length properly using a practice bow and a measuring arrow. Remember to stand in good form and alignment during the process.
Why measure your draw length at all?
No matter how your archery instructor tells you that there is just one position animal stance, all archers have to accept that we are, each and everyone of us, unique. While some people have longer or shorter arms than average in relation to their chest, others have smaller forearms and slightly longer fingers as well. When using recurve bows, a draw length or bow size that is too small will make it impossible for the archer to assume proper archery shooting form.
How to measure draw length
With both arms outstretched to your sides and your palms facing outward or to the front, measure from one middle finger to the next. This will be your arm span. Then, divide that measurement by 2.5. Another way is to subtract 15 from your arm span and then to divide the difference by two. The number you get from these methods will be pretty close to an accurate measurement. You will probably want to simply take the average measurement between the two methods and use that number instead of just relying on just one method.
Another way to measure draw length is to take a yardstick that you place one end of on your chest, at the point just down your throat. Extend your arms as far out as you can, like you were clapping your hands in front of you. Mark the reading you get at the very end of your middle finger and add an extra inch to that to get your rough draw length.
3. Choosing the proper size for your recurve bow
Getting the proper bow size for your recurve bow shouldn’t be like learning rocket science. Recurve bows come in various lengths and you should not choose a weapon that is extremely long or too short for you, as it will affect your shooting accuracy. You want a properly sized recurve bow to prevent physical pain, costly loss when you miss your target, and an altogether frustrating experience during use.
It is incorrect to assume that people of the same height have the same draw length. There is no evidence to prove that your arm span is equal to your height. People with the same height will not have the same arm lengths, and neither are their fingers of the same length. In addition, your age does not determine the proper bow size for you. Age may be used as a guiding factor but it is not a primary element to consider in determining correct draw length, mainly because of the same reason mentioned before this. Thinking that people of the same age have the same draw length is just like believing that recurve bows are one-size-fits-all pieces of equipment.
How can you take your draw length? Stretch both your arms to their respective sides of the body at shoulder level, with your palms facing front. Do this in a relaxed manner without stretching. Have someone else measure the distance between one of your middle fingers to the other middle finger. Divide the number you get by 2.5. Another way is to subtract 15 from the number you obtain there and divide the result by 2. Now, you have your calculated draw length, which will be quite close to your actual draw length. To make doubly sure, just get the average between the two calculation methods and you would pretty much reduce any huge difference between the two. Round off your calculated draw length to the nearest half inch.
If you want to be all technical about it, you can just use the Archery Trade Association (ATA) method for taking the true draw length. The true draw length refers to the distance between the nocking point of the bow string to the pivot point of the bow grip at your full draw, plus an extra 1 ¾ inches. This is obtained by drawing the bow to the proper anchor position then having a friend measure from the nock grove or the apex of the string to the bow grip pivot point. Just add 1 ¾ inches to the number you get and you should have your proper bow length. Some websites provide a table for draw length and the matching bow size for that specific measurement. You can simply refer to the information given in those sites to make things easier, but it is always better to know how to arrive at an approximate measurement on your own.
It is vital that you are able to get a reasonable measurement for your bow length since going too short will not give you the accuracy level you need for shooting. Going too long, on the other hand, will cost you speed and overall bow performance. Aside from draw length, you also need to determine the proper draw weight for your recurve bow. This component varies from one archer to another and can be affected by the individual’s physical strength, stamina and coordination. A draw weight that’s too heavy will cause you to develop poor shooting habits that can be very hard to correct down the road.
4. Shooting a recurve bow
Assume the proper stance or position. Stand with your legs positioned apart at a distance that matches the width of your shoulders, and your whole body, your hips and torso placed perpendicular to the target. Right-handed shooters should stand with the left hip pointing toward the target, while left-handed individuals should stand with the right hip pointing toward the target. Make sure to have one foot on either side of the shooting line. For right handed shooters, the target is to the left, and for left-handed archers, it is to the right. Keep your body vertical, with your dominant side foot slightly ahead of the other foot and at 45 degrees to the shooting line.
Your head should be turned toward your target so you can look at the target directly. Keep your body perpendicular to the target at all times. Keep your shoulders down and your chest in, and do not hunch your shoulders. Take an arrow, seat it on the arrow rest, nock it and lift the bow to shoulder height. Do not draw the string when you nock your arrow. Make sure your bow arm is straight and locked to your elbow so that when you release the bowstring, your arm is safely away from it. A bent elbow will also make it difficult for you to draw the bow. Tuck the pinky and ring fingers of your bow hand to the palm of that hand to make a gun shape. Push into the bow grip with the inner part of your palm, or the pad of flesh just below your thumb. Keep your knuckles at 45 degrees to the ground. All the knuckles of your bow hand should be visible to you.
Use a comfortable yet firm grip to hold the bow. Fortunately, most recurve bows come with handles so you won’t have to figure out by yourself where to hold the weapon. Relax the wrist of your bow hand. Do not use a death grip to hold the bow, as this can result in loss of accuracy for shooting. It is best to stay relaxed to ensure smooth movement all the way.
Now, for your tab hand, your fingers should form a hook, with your index finger above the arrow and the middle and ring fingers below the projectile. The pinky finger of your tab hand should be relaxed towards the palm of that hand. For your anchor point, the top of your index finger and the platform of the tab should be placed along your jaw. Draw the bowstring to the center of your nose. When you draw back, make sure not to twist your torso to face the target. Make it a habit to allow the stronger muscles on your back to carry out most of the work when you draw the bow. Do not let your arm muscles do most of the job.
Use your dominant eye when aiming while keeping the other eye shut. Using your dominant eye for aiming ensures greater reliability for hitting the target. If your recurve bow is equipped with a sight or scope, use the notches in the device to help you line up the target. Check your aim with your eyes. When you are sure that your arrow is pointing correctly at the target, you are ready to release the bowstring.
To release the string, let it simply slide out of your fingers. Do not release it abruptly nor jerk it suddenly. The action of releasing the bowstring should be smooth and like simply relaxing the fingers that hold the string anchored. Allow the bowstring to just slide out with a smooth motion and drive the arrow to the target. If you pull on the string or jerk it before you release it, there is a huge likelihood that the arrow will fly jerkily, not straight.
Once you release the string, your tab hand should end up behind your neck. Your bow arm should remain solid until after the arrow has hit the target. As long as possible, stay unmoving after you release the bowstring and till the arrow hits the target, because a jerk of the body as soon as the bowstring is released could affect arrow trajectory on a negative level.