The Best Beginner Recurve Bow (Review) in 2020

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best recurve bow for beginners is, then we recommend the Samick Sage Recurve Bow as the best one.

If you are new to archery, searching 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 when buying a starter recurve bow for adults or kids.

Without further ado, let’s start!

Our Picks for The Best Recurve Bows for Beginners

Preview Product Features Price
Samick Sage
  • Great craftsmanship
  • Quiet and accurate
  • Easy to assemble
PSE Archery Razorback
  • Beautiful bow with smooth finish
  • Easy to put together
  • Forgiving bow
UTeCiA Complete Archery Set
  • Many extra accessories included
  • Pulls back easily
  • Arrows have soft rubber tips for safety
SAS Spirit 62″
  • Excellent build quality
  • Simple to use
  • Comfortable grip
PSE ARCHERY Pro Package Set
  • Easy to setup and shoot
  • Great for backyard target practice
  • Includes everything needed to get shooting straight away

Best Recurve Bow for Beginners Reviews

1. Best Starter Recurve Bow for Adults: Samick Sage

After reviewing 12 models, we pick the Samick Sage as the best beginner recurve bow for adults. In addition to being budget-friendly, it’s sturdy and looks great on your hand.

What we particularly like about this one is a wide range of draw weights that the it has, which can be easily upgraded by changing the 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 how to assemble this product step-by-step.

Pros:

  • A good quality bow at a affordable price
  • Pre-installed bushing for additional accessories
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • A wide range of draw weights to choose from
  • Available for left and right-handed

Cons:

  • At 62″ length, some people might find it challenging to hold the bow
  • Low-quality bowstring. You may want to change the strings after a few uses

Specs:

  • Material: strong fiberglass limb laminated with Maple
  • Draw weight: 25-55 lbs.
  • Draw length: 29″
  • Brace height: 7 1/4″ to 8 1/4″
  • Length: 62″

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2. Best for Youth: PSE Archery Razorback

At 30 pounds maximum draw weight, the PSE Razorback Recurve is one of the best recurve bows for practicing target shooting, but not for hunting. 

This starter recurve bow delivers an accurate shot at ranges up to 30 yards, and assembling is easy. 

You just need to screw the limbs to the riser using the provided bolts then tighten them by hands, no need for an Allen wrench or any other tools. String the bow using a stringer, and you’re done.

Pros:

  • An ideal choice for youth and small-framed women
  • Comfortable yet firm grip
  • High-quality materials
  • Allows you to attach other accessories

Cons:

Only includes one bowstring

Specs:

  • Material: hardwood and fiberglass
  • Draw weight: 20, 25, 30 lbs
  • Draw length: 28″
  • Brace height: 7”
  • Length: 62″

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3. Best for Children: UTeCiA Complete Archery Set

The UTeCiA is an excellent training set for children ages 4 – 7. The bow itself is made of wood and pulls back fairly easily as it is designed with the perfect size and strength for children.

I like this set because the included arrows have soft tips to keep your kids safe, and it comes with plenty of target sheets for practicing. 

Overall, the UTeCiA can be one of the best birthday gifts for any kids.

Pros:

  • Complete archery set for kid
  • Specially designed for kid’s safety
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • The arrow tips fall off easily

Specs:

  • Material: wood
  • Draw weight: 10-15 lbs
  • Length: 32″

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4. SAS Spirit 62″

This bow is manufactured at lower draw weights: 22, 26, 30, 34 Lbs. Perfect for teens who are just getting started into archery.

It is a decent quality bow with the riser made of layered hardwoods and the limbs made of sturdy fiberglass limbs. The limbs can be connected easily to the riser via metal tension knobs.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Nice design
  • Great for honing your accuracy
  • Available for left or right-handed archers
  • 3-year limited manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Stringing can be tricky

Specs:

  • Material: maple laminations and strong fiberglass
  • Draw weight: 22, 26, 30, 34 lbs
  • Draw length: 29″
  • Brace height: 7” to 7.5”
  • Length: 62″

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5. PSE ARCHERY Pro Package Set

The PSE Pro-Max Takedown Recurve is the perfect starter bows for kids in the 11-15 age group. The package comes with everything you need to get started: bow, riser, limbs, string, finger saver, and more.

Pros:

  • Designed for beginners
  • A good quality riser and limbs
  • Easy to put and takedown
  • Allows you to attach accessories
  • Comes with extra accessories to get you started

Cons:

Not for all ages

Specs:

  • Material: diamond wood construction with composite limbs
  • Draw weight: 25 lb
  • Draw length: 28″
  • Brace height: 8″
  • Length: 62″

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6. Mandarin Duck Black Hunter

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.

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Sturdy
  • Low noise
  • Good price for the quality

Cons:

Low-quality arrow rest

Specs:

  • Material: laminated wood and fiberglass
  • Draw weight: 30-60 lbs
  • Draw length: 28″
  • Brace height: 6-7″
  • Length: 60″

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7. iMay Bow and Arrows Set

This budget-pick recurve bow is one of the most complete starter kit aimed for youth or junior. The package includes one riser, two bow limbs, one bowstring, one adjustable sight, five arrows, and six target faces.

Pros:

  • Complete set
  • Ideal for youth or junior
  • Simple design
  • The arrows included have blunt tips for safety

Cons:

  • Not really made for an adult

Specs:

  • Material: fiberglass
  • Draw weight: 16-20 lbs
  • Draw length: 22” to 24”
  • Brace height: 5.5″
  • Length: 45″

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8. Bear Archery Wizard Youth Bow

The Bear Archery Wizard Youth Bow is a good starter bow for children. It is perfect for teaching kids the basic archery techniques, including stance, aiming, and release. It is inexpensive and seems very well made and easy to string. 

The bow itself is not too tough to pull as the draw weight is low, but kids might still need to work out a bit to develop the strength and muscles to shoot.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Very accurate
  • Easy to string
  • Perfect for teaching children the basic of archery

Cons:

  • The arrows included are poor quality

Specs:

  • Material: solid fiberglass with plastic handle.
  • Draw weight: 10-18 lbs
  • Draw length: 17” to 24”
  • Brace height: 7″
  • Length: 47″

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9. Ragim Wildcat Complete Archery Set

The Ragim Wildcat Complete Archery Set comes with everything a beginner archer needs to get started right away. Each set includes the Ragim Wildcat Plus 62” bow, string, an sight, arrow, a belt quiver, a leather finger tab, and more.

It’s easy to set up and designed to support your growth and development. You can replace the removable limbs with heavier limbs as you develop strength and muscles over time.

The bow itself is quite accurate, we managed to shoot 3-inch groupings at 45 yards. One thing to note, you won’t be able to use it for hunting since it’s a recreational bow, but you can use this to practice your form and improve accuracy.

Pros:

  • Complete set
  • Accept accessories
  • Sleek and beautiful
  • Assembly is easy

Cons:

  • Prone to limb twist

Specs:

  • Material: laminated natural wood
  • Draw weight: 24, 29, 34 lbs
  • Draw length: 17” to 24”
  • Brace height: 7” to 7”¾
  • Bow length: 62″

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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 its 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.

They vary widely in quality and price, from mass-produced bows to handmade custom. For beginners, a mass-produced product is quite sufficient.

What is The Benefit of Recurve Bow?

Recurve bow shoots faster than many other types of bows. However, a it takes much more time and energy to master.

This is because with a recurve, 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:

  1. Uses: you can use a recurve bow in all competitive archery events, including Olympic, Pan Am, Paralympic, and Parapan Am Games.
  2. Appearance: A recurve bow has limbs that are elongated and curved.
  3. Length: A Recurve bow has a much longer length than a compound bow when measured from tip to tip.
  4. Weight: To aim with a recurve bow, you need to be able to hold the bow at full draw.
  5. 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 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.

Riser

A 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.

A traditional recurve bow uses a riser made from wood. While the modern one 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 to attach different pieces of equipment such as arrow rest, stabilizer, and sight. For wooden risers, you can drill the riser yourself if you want 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.

Limbs

A recurve 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 the former, the limbs are permanently attached to the riser. In the later, you can attach and de-attach the limbs (takedown) at any time.

Bowstring

A 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.

A bowstring comes in various lengths and thicknesses 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 ones need strings with fewer strands.

Other Accessories

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:

Rest

There are plastic, metal, fixed, or magnetic arrow rests on the market.

Some products stick on the riser with tape, and others need to be bolt to the riser, both work well.

Sight

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.

Button

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:

Stabilizer

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.

Best Beginner Recurve Bow Buying Guide

Let’s find out the various key features that we had considered when choosing the best recurve bows for this list.

Purpose

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 bow 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 prey such as deer, elk, and turkey, we recommend a draw weight of 55 pounds or more.

Draw Weight

Draw weight and bow length are more important than other factors when choosing the right shopping for 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 it up and down, then you can say it 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 15 to 30 lbs of draw weight.
  • Adult females at 21 and over should be able to handle 20 to 35 lbs of draw weight.
  • Adult males at 21 and over should be able to handle 25 to 40 pounds of draw weight.

Length

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 ranges 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 lengths, you might get a little more finger pinch with the string from different draw lengths.

This is the sign that you’re trying the wrong one, the best bow is the one that causes the least amount of finger pinch.

How to Determine Your Draw Length?

There are numerous excellent 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. They will help you using 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.

Riser

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 warmth 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 ones.

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 correctly 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:

Bowstring

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 reasonable price.

You may want to refer to our previous explanation about bowstring when you buy the new string.

Price

For beginners, we would suggest buying a product 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 product 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 ones.

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.

Our Choice

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.

1 thought on “The Best Beginner Recurve Bow (Review) in 2020”

  1. I just ordered the Samick Sage for my husband’s birthday. It’s extremely sturdy, and has beautiful wood work. However, my son had some trouble pulling back this weight, so carefully consider who you are purchasing this for.

    Reply

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