After looking through different recurve bow brands on the market, we conclude that Samick Sage Takedown Recurve is the best recurve bow for beginners for the reasons that we will explain below.
If you are new to archery navigating through hundreds of different recurve bows available on the market to find the best one could be downright confusing and become one hell of an experience.
But fear not, in this post we are going to give you some guidance where we explain specific important terminologies and some factors that you need to consider before selecting some of the best recurve bows for beginners you can buy today.
Without further ado, let’s start!
What is a Recurve Bow?
There are many styles of bows today: compound, recurve, longbow, flatbow, selfbow, and more.
Recurve is one of the most popular bows used in Olympic and other major archery competitions.
They are used in different types of archery ranging from traditional and field to target and hunting.
You can quickly identify a recurve bow by the ends of the bow limbs. The limbs curve back toward the archer, but the end of the limbs curl away from the archers, hence where the name “recurve” comes from.
Recurve bow varies widely in quality and price, from the mass-produced bows to the handmade custom bows. For beginners, the mass-produced recurve bow is quite sufficient.
Two Types of Recurve
Generally, there are two types of recurve: static and working recurve. For the difference between each recurve, you may want to read this post “Static vs. Working Recurve Bow.”
What is The Benefit of Recurve Bow?
Recurve bow shoots faster than many other types of bows. However, a recurve bow takes much more time and energy to master.
This is because with a recurve bow you cannot rely on a mechanical release to release the string, unlike compound bow.
Even though you can use a mechanical release on a recurve bow if you want, but most archery competitions won’t allow you to participate.
Therefore for recurve archers, choosing the right bow that fits you well from the beginning is even more critical, at least in terms of size, weight, and ability level.
The Characteristics of Recurve
To recap, here are the characteristics of recurve bow:
- Uses: you can use a recurve bow in all competitive archery events, including Olympic, Pan Am, Paralympic, and Parapan Am Games.
- Appearance: A recurve bow has limbs that are elongated and curved.
- Length: A Recurve bow has a much longer length than a compound bow when measured from tip to tip.
- Weight: To aim with a recurve bow, you need to be able to hold the total bow poundage at full draw.
- Release: Though you can use a mechanical release on a recurve bow if you want, I have never seen yet any recurve archer who uses a mechanical release in the field.
Recurve archers always utilize fingers release to release the bowstring.
Different Parts of a Recurve Bow
A recurve bow consists of different parts. The main components of a recurve bow consist of riser, limbs, and string.
If you compete in archery tournaments, you also need a rest, button, sight, stabilization, and other accessories.
Let’s take a look at each part.
A Riser, Limbs, and Bowstring
A riser, limbs, and bowstring are the most important parts of a recurve bow you will want to invest the most into.
The riser is a skeletal backbone of a recurve bow. It is the central place where a lot of the actions happen: from holding the bow to shooting and aiming; and it is the hub where other parts of the bow (grip, riser, stabilizer, etc.) are connected to.
The riser can be made from lots of different materials depending on the recurve bow type.
A traditional recurve bow uses a riser made from wood. While a modern recurve bow uses a riser made of metal or carbon. The differences between each material will be explained in the next section.
Some risers are bare, which means they don’t have any grip whereas some risers have special grips to make them easier to hold.
Metal or carbon risers can come pre-drilled so that you can attach different pieces of equipment such as arrow rest, stabilizer, and sight.
Wooden risers usually aren’t pre-drilled. For wooden risers, you can drill the riser yourself if you have to, though this may void the warranty on most new bows.
Recurve bow risers are available in several configurations, 23-, 25-, and 27- inch risers.
The recurve bow consists of upper and lower limbs that are attached to the riser.
In terms of curvature, there are two types of recurve: working and static. Working recurve uncurls when drawn whereas static recurve curls when pulled.
In practice, there is little to no difference between the two.
There is also one-piece recurve and take-down recurve. In a one-piece recurve, the limbs are permanently attached to the riser. In a take-down recurve, you can attach and de-attach the limbs (takedown) at any time.
Bowstring can be made from various types of materials. Most bows come with a string made of a substance called Dacron polyester.
Dacron is cheap and highly elastic, which is the reason why most new bows supply it. High elasticity is terrible in a case of the bowstring; because the more elastic the string, the slower the arrow goes.
If your bow comes with a dacron bowstring, you will want to change it with other string materials that are less elastic.
These far less elastic string materials are often referred to as FastFlight and made from materials called Spectra/Dyneema, or technically known as Ultra High Modulus Polyethylene (UHMPE) fiber.
The bowstring comes in various length and thickness too. For a recurve, a good rule of thumb is the bowstring should be 4 inches shorter than the bow’s length.
Bows with heavy draw weight need strings with more strands to handle the load; conversely, lighter bows need strings with fewer strands.
In the beginning, you don’t need to have all of the following accessories. But over time as you’re starting to compete in various archery tournaments you’ll need them:
There are many types of arrow rests. There are plastic, metal, fixed, or magnetic arrow rests on the market.
Some arrow rests stick on the riser with tape, and others need to be bolt to the riser, both work well.
Sights come in various styles and materials. Some sights are made of carbon, and others are made from aluminum.
Moveable sight and pin sight are two of the most common sight styles that archers use. Moveable sight is often used by target archer, while pin sight is a popular sight among hunters.
A button is a spring that pushes the arrow away to the left as it leaves the bow. It acts as some kind of shock absorber that makes the arrow flies smoothly toward the target.
Check out the following video more explanation about button/plunger:
A stabilizer is a bar extending from the riser. This stabilizer is a must-have accessory if you want to compete in tournaments. It calms your bow to get the best aim.
What Do You need to Consider When Buying a Recurve Bow?
Now you have learned different parts of recurve bow. Next, let’s find out the various key features that we had been considered when choosing the best recurve bow for beginners:
What is The Purpose of The Bow?
Do you need a bow for target practice or hunting?
For target practice, as you just need the arrow to penetrate through a cardboard or foam target, you can use any recurve bow. Just choose the one that fits your budget and your taste.
For hunting, you need a high poundage bow to shoot an arrow that can penetrate through the animal’s thick skin and bone.
Here we recommend a recurve bow with a draw weight ranging from 40 to 45 pounds for hunting small to medium prey, such as deer, elk, and turkey.
For hunting big preys such as deer, elk, and turkey, we recommend a recurve bow with a draw weight of 55 pounds or more.
Draw weight and bow length are more important than other factors when choosing the best recurve bow.
The main reason why most beginner archers give up the game in their first year is that they try to shoot a bow that has a draw weight more than they can handle.
Beginner archers should start with a smaller poundage bow—ideally 35 to 45 pounds of draw weight—that they feel comfortable with.
To determine the right draw weight for you, you should pick up the bow, hold it, and try to draw the bowstring.
If you can draw the bow comfortably and smoothly without having to point the bow up and down, then you can say the bow has a sufficient draw weight.
Every people can handle draw weight differently depending on their strength and physical ability, but here are the general rules:
- Young adults at 18 to 21 should be able to handle a bow with 15 to 30 pounds of draw weight.
- Adult females at 21 and over should be able to handle a bow with 20 to 35 pounds of draw weight.
- Adult males at 21 and over should be able to handle a bow with 25 to 40 pounds of draw weight.
A good place to determine what length of the bow is right for you is to check your draw length and consider your height.
As a general rule:
- If your draw length is 26 inches or shorter, you should try a 66-inch bow.
- If your draw length is ranging from 26 to 29 inches, you should try to use a 68- or 70-inch bow.
- If your draw length is 29 inches and longer, you should try to use a 70- or 72-inch bow.
As you’re trying the bows with different bow lengths, you might get a little more finger pinch with the string from different draw length.
This is the sign that you try the wrong bow, the best bow is the one that causes the least amount of finger pinch.
How to Determine Your Draw Length?
There are numerous good ways to measure the right draw length for you; these are two of the easiest ones:
The easiest way is to visit your local archery shop and ask for help. The archery shop will then use a tool called draw check bow to measure your draw length.
Another good way is to use a tape measure and ask a friend to help.
Start by extending your arms out to your sides as wide as you can. Then ask your friend to measure your distance from fingertip to fingertip.
Once you get the number, divide that number by 2.5, and you’ll arrive at the best draw length for you.
One-Piece or Take-Down Recurve
A takedown recurve has limbs that can be “taken down” from the riser. For beginner archers, we would recommend opting for a takedown recurve, instead of a one-piece.
The reason is that take-down recurve is portable, easier to service, and lets you adjust the draw weight when necessary.
To upgrade the take-down recurve draw weight you just need to get a new set of limbs and replace the old ones. It’s easier and cheaper than buying a whole new bow.
Recurve risers are made of wood and metal.
If you practice traditional archery or do archery just for hobby, the wooden risers will be your best pick.
Wooden risers are cheap and have that traditional warm and feeling. Most have limited attachment options; they come pre-drilled for sight and stabilizer but nothing else.
Metal risers are usually made of aluminum or magnesium for lower-end to middle-end bows, and carbon for the top-end bows.
When it comes to choosing the best riser, the adage “what you get is what you pay for” holds true, the more expensive the riser, the better the performance and the more durable the bow.
If you’re starting to take archery as serious stuff, you will want to get the middle to top-end raisers.
We recommend middle-end raisers for beginner archers. You’ll be able to shoot properly with these middle-end risers, and they should be able to last long enough before you need another one.
Take a look at the video below for more explanation about recurve risers:
All the bows that we recommend here come with string quality that is good enough, though not the best.
If you want to replace the brought-in strings with the new ones, there are plenty of high-quality strings available on the market at a good price.
You may want to refer to our previous explanation about bowstring when you buy the new string.
For beginners, we would suggest buying a recurve bow at a medium price range.
You wouldn’t want a cheap bow that will break in months, but you also don’t have to buy the most expensive bow made for professional archers.
Lefty or Righty?
Common sense rules that left-handed archers should get left-handed bows and right-handed archers should get right-handed bows.
But in archery, your dominant eye is more paramount than your dominant hand.
If your dominant eye is the same with your dominant hand, you won’t have a problem. But to some percentage of the population, the dominant eye can be different from the dominant hand.
If your dominant eye is different from your dominant hand, you may want to follow your dominant eye, as it’s easier to train your weak hand than to train your weak eye.
The 5 Best Recurve Bows for Beginners
After looking through at many of the top-selling recurve bows on the market, in our opinion, here are the top five options for the best recurve bow for beginners:
1.Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
After reviewing 12 models, we found that the Samick Sage is the best recurve bow for beginners. In addition to budget-friendly, it’s sturdy and looks great on your hand.
What we particularly like about this bow is a wide range of draw weight that the bow has which can be easily upgraded by changing the bow limbs.
The bow is easy to put together, and the screw-in limbs can be attached and detached easily. There’s even a great instructional video from the manufacturer that shows you step-by-step how to assemble the bow.
2. PSE Pro-Max Takedown Recurve Bow
The PSE Pro-Max Takedown Recurve is the perfect starter bows for kids in the 11-15 age group. The bow comes with everything that you would need to get started: bow, riser, limbs, bowstring, finger saver, and more.
3. Mandarin Duck Black Hunter Recurve Bow
This beautiful, sleek-designed bow made of hardwood riser and fiberglass limbs is perfect for beginner hunters.
The package comes with one takedown bow, one string, one spanner, and one leather arrow rest, enough to get you started.
4. SAS Takedown Recurve Bow
This bow is manufactured at lower draw weights: 22, 26, 30, 34 Lbs. Perfect for older teens or young adults who are just getting started in archery.
It is a decent quality bow with the riser that is made of layered hardwoods and the limbs that are made of sturdy fiberglass limbs. The limbs can be connected easily to the riser via metal tension knobs.
5. Dostyle Outdoor Recurve Bow
This budget-pick recurve bow is one of the most complete bows package aimed for beginners. The package includes one riser, two bow limbs, one bowstring, one adjustable sight, five arrows, and six target faces.
After considering all the options that we have listed above, in our opinion, the Samick Sage is the best recurve bow for beginners.
Not only offering the best value for your money, but the bow also has a great-quality that ensures it will last for a long time.