No matter what you plan to do with your recurve bow, whether just for having fun target shooting or putting food on the table, you want to make sure you know how to pick the right recurve bow for your needs. But then this begs the question for the archery newcomer —
How do I pick a recurve bow?
Selecting the ideal recurve begins with answering the following questions: What will you do with your bow, do you need a takedown bow, and what is your budget. Then, based on your answers you will arrive at one or two ideal choices by process of elimination.
Let’s take a more in depth look at what the process to find the right recurve bow looks like:
Question #1: Do you plan to hunt, or just do some backyard target shooting? If you’re only interested in target practice then just about every bow on the market is a potential match for you. If you’re looking to hunt, however, you narrow things down significantly due to the following requirements:
- The bow must be available in a draw of 40 pounds or higher to allow for sufficient arrow penetration from beyond 15-20 yards.
- It should preferably be no longer than 64″ and preferably 62″ or lower, to ease maneuverability outdoors.
- It should not be loud, or else you’ll be getting a lot of bucks jumping the string.
Question #2: Do you want a take-down bow, or not? Take-down bows make storage and transport easier (because they come apart), as well as provide for faster and cheaper draw weight upgrades and servicing in case of damage.
On the flip side, they are relatively louder and typically much heavier, too. One-piece recurves on the other hand cannot be disassembled, so you’ll need to have dedicated storage and transport room, though they will be somewhat quieter and significantly lighter.
One-pieces tend to be better looking, too, although this is subjective.
Question 3#: What is your budget? Keep in mind that you’ll also need to spend a little extra on accessories: around $40-$80 on arrows and tips/broad-heads, $20-$30 for a stringer and an optional arm-guard, and anywhere from $10 to $50 for an arrow quiver if you want one. If you go the budget route, you can get all of these accessories for less than $100 combined.
Question #4: How do you plan to aim your bow? You can use the traditional aiming route, or you may like to use a sight and/or other accessories.
If the latter appeals to you, then your selection is yet again narrowed down to only those bows that are pre-drilled for accessory attachment. Unless of course you are comfortable drilling the bow yourself and know what you are doing, then it doesn’t matter – but this is rarely the case among beginner archers.
Once you’ve narrowed things down based on the above criteria and once you’ve specified a budget, simply select the bow that matches your budget and which appears to you the most (be it due to appearances, or some specific feature that differentiates it from the other viable choices).
Next, read up on how to choose your draw weight.