Whether you are new to archery, or are getting back into the sport after taking some time off, you might be in need of a refresher in figuring out which equipment you need, and what items can wait until later.
There are plenty of bells and whistles you can add to your kit, but much of it won’t matter if you haven’t yet developed your skills to use those pieces of gear.
Below, we’re going to take a solid look at the items you will need as you enter (or re-enter) the fun sport of archery.
What follows is broken down into a couple different categories. Those categories are broken down even further into items that you’ll without a doubt need for archery, as well as accessories that are recommended, but not necessary.
This is followed at the end of the article by items that are good to have to make your life as an archer easier, but are considered even less important.
Let’s answer the question, what recurve bow accessories do I need?
Required archer accessories
First we start with the required archery items. These are things that the sport of archery cannot be done without. We’ve left links, where necessary, to articles we’ve written where you can learn more about how to pick out these items, as well as a few other links to stores where some of these things can be bought.
Hopefully obvious, the first listing in this article is the recurve bow itself. We have put together several guides on recurve bows that are meant to be helpful in aiding you buy the right bow, and if you don’t have one yet, you should start there. Here are some of the articles:
We recommend the Samick Sage for first time archers, read our review here.
A bow stringer
While some archers string their recurve bow without this necessary tool, it is actually an essential piece of equipment for any recurve archer.
Furthermore, I believe it is the only safe and consistent way to string a bow. A bow stringer helps you safely and effectively utilize your body weight to bend the recurve bow enough to slip the string over the limb tips, and we go over it in more detail, in the following article:
Bow nocking points
The nocking point gives you a constant place on your bow string to nock your arrow. This is crucial to consistent aiming and accuracy, and it helps make sure you don’t slice up your bow hand with the arrow’s fletchings or vanes.
The next required items are your arrows and field tips, and you’ll need more than one of them. Make sure you get arrows that are at least one or two inches longer than your draw length.
For more information on this, check out the below listed article:
Recurve bow targets
Once you’ve got all the essentials, it’s time to go cast some arrows.
In order to actually shoot your arrows, you’ll need something to shoot at. There are tons of targets for you to choose from, and you can go as simple or as fancy as you want, from a simple hand-drawn picture to a printed circular bull’s-eye.
You can also get pre-assembled targets in the shape of a deer, and other archery targets, linked to below.
In addition to the target paper, though, you’ll need a backstop of some sort. If you don’t, you may end up hitting something you don’t want to hit, like someone else’s house, or, even worse, one of your neighbors or a pet.
Always use a back stop. I’ve even used a big sheet of plywood as a backstop once, only because I had nothing else. Just use something.
Here are a couple targets that are highly recommended, found conveniently on Amazon:
Recommended, but not required, items
There are some other things that are nice to have, but it’s not absolutely necessary to invest in them right away. Still, the first two items below are ones that are designed to make you enjoy the sport more, as they undoubtedly will reduce your pain level as you’re learning the sport.
Archery arm guard
As you’re learning archery, the bow string is bound to smack or drag along your arm from time to time. This can be painful, and it might entirely scare you away from the sport.
An arm guard covers your forearm, or sometimes even your entire arm, keeping your shirt sleeves, hair, and skin out of the path of the bow string as you release your arrow. It’s a good idea to have one, even if you’re an experienced archer.
Archery glove or finger tabs
If you shoot a bow without protecting your fingers, you’ll eventually get some painful blisters, at least until you develop harder callouses to replace them.
These sores will eventually lead to problems with your release, especially if you’re only an occasional archer. A leather glove or finger tabs on your shooting hand will prevent this from happening.
Getting something like this will go a log way to protect your fingers.
Bow arrow rest
Believe it or not, some recurves don’t include an arrow rest and you may want to invest in one early on. The arrow rest is the part that your arrow sits on as it is drawn, helping keep it in place on the bow.
When you’re first starting, you can use your hands as a makeshift arrow rest, but once you know that you’ll continue practicing archery, make sure you get a proper one on your recurve.
Broadheads are razor sharp because they’re meant to slice through things, like deer and helping to aid in a quick, clean, humane kill.
If you plan on shooting with broadheads, getting a wrench is vital to making sure you can remove the tips without also slicing your fingers open.
If you just use field tips, though, you won’t need this accessory until you start doing some sort of archery that requires broadheads.
Bow string wax
Look closely at your bow string through a magnifying glass, and you’ll see there are thousands of little fibers making up just one strand of the string. Your string needs to be lubricated in order to function right.
If not properly lubricated, these fibers rub together, creating friction that ultimately leads to the strands snapping. To prolong the life of your bow string, wax it every two to four weeks.
Optional, but handy, items to have
This last part of our recurve bow accessory article list is made up of the most optional things you can buy.
While they are optional, they ultimately can make the sport more fun. Put them on your wish list for later on down the road, when you know you’ll be sticking with archery in the long term.
A sight is what is used to help out your accuracy as it helps your aiming. Most recurve bows don’t include one, because the majority of the archers prefer instinctive shooting, or simply practicing archery without the aid of a sight or other point of reference.
These accessories are perfectly legitimate to use, though, and can even help a beginner learn where to look and how to aim.
Quiver is a fancy word for the item that is used to hold your arrows before you shoot them.
Some quivers are attached to the bow and others can be worn around the waist or shoulder. Using a quiver to hold your arrows makes it much quicker to pull the next arrow for a follow up shot.
Bow string whisker silencers
Whisker silencers are small, lightweight bits of rubber, or similar material, that reduce the noise of your bow string. These whiskers reduce the noise, but without compromising your recurve’s performance.
While essential for when you go bowhunting, these don’t really matter much for target practice.
Also worth noting is that the takedown recurve can sometimes be louder than a one-piece recurve, because there are generally more vibrations. So, keep that in mind.
Hopefully this answers your burning questions about which recurve bow accessories do I need, and gets you steered in the right direction.