Best Recurve Bows For Beginners – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated October 7, 2021

Archery is an ancient skill that was mainly used in hunting and combat. It has somehow survived into the 21st century as a popular sport featured even in the Olympics as well. 

With their increasing popularity, archery tools continued to evolve, too, and resulted in the creation of recurve bows, which promised greater energy and speed.

Given how efficient they are, beginners might not be comfortable with just any recurve bow. Here’s a guide to picking the ideal unit for those just starting out.  

Comparison of the Best Recurve Bows For Beginners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Made from four naturally sourced woods for long-lasting quality
  • 20-60 lbs draw weight
  • 29" draw length
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  • Round edge riser design is both light and comfortable
  • 15-60 lbs draw weight
  • 29" draw length
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  • Best for the Money
  • 30-50 lbs draw weight
  • 30" draw length
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  • Riser is designed for ambidextrous use
  • 10-18 lbs draw weight
  • 17-24" draw length
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  • Durable riser made from laminated quality wood
  • 12-22 lbs draw weight
  • 26" draw length
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What Makes a Great Recurve Bow For Beginners?  

If we’ve formulated a whole recurve bow buying guide, it’s only fair that we elaborate on some of the core features that make this product an ideal choice for beginners. Let’s hop right in!

Affordability

The very first feature we need to account for is the price. If you’re a beginner, the chances are you’re not ready to splurge on an expensive product. Even if you have the budget, novices hardly have an idea of all the nitty-gritty of a bow; there are a lot of ways they can damage the product before even getting the hang of it. 

So, it’s advised to always look for an affordable option until you gain a little experience. Focus on a durable construction to ensure longevity without spending too much. You can always upgrade it with accessories as your hunting skills improve.

Low Bow Weight

The weight of the bow can account for another important factor, as it affects your overall experience. If you intend to carry the bow for long periods, the weight should be enough that it’s manageable.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, when positioning, drawing the bowstring backward and aiming, you might need to hold that position longer. Hence, if it’s heavy, it will affect the accuracy of your shot. We’d personally recommend a bow that weighs less than 3.5 pounds. 

Bigger Bow Size

Knowing your draw length, you can have a rough idea of the perfect bow size for you. A bigger bow will mean that it’s also more forgiving and supports a higher range of draw weights. As a beginner, we’d recommend that if you have a few options, go for the bigger one.

Low Draw Weight

The draw weight is the force that’s needed to pull back the bowstring before you release it. It’s measured in pounds. It’s smart to start from a low draw weight that’s easier to pull. 

With practice, you’ll eventually develop the strength and muscle memory to move higher up and work with something heftier. For starters, it’s good to buy a bow with interchangeable limbs so you can upgrade them when necessary.

Wooden Riser

A riser constitutes the center part of a bow that you grip while drawing. Risers come in two variations, wood, and metal. Wood risers are generally cheaper and thus make a great option for beginners. They’re more visually aesthetic. As you progress through your arching episodes, a riser is where you’ll attach most of the bells and whistles.

How to Choose a Recurve Bow For Beginners 

When choosing the right kind of recurve to buy for your particular needs, you’ll probably wonder how you can pick the perfect unit. Here are some factors to consider:

Intent of Use

This is a very important factor to take into account because it will form the basis of the type of recurve bow you end up buying. If you want one for the sole purpose of target practice, you can do it with basically any type of variant.

However, if you want one for hunting, circumstances will change. In this case, you will need a device that has a draw weight powerful enough to make your arrow travel great distances. Begin with options offering relatively lower draw weights as you start and build your way up. 

Upgradability

Entering the glorious arching sport, you won’t always stay a beginner, right? You’ll work your way up and become more and more experienced and qualify for the higher ranks. And, upgrading your recurve bow accordingly will go hand in hand. So if you don’t want to purchase a brand new bow every time you need an upgrade, adjust your drawstring or service one particular component of the overall configuration. Takedown recurves will prove to be the best option for you. If not, you should buy a one-piece.

Hand Orientation

Some bows are specifically designed for right-handed individuals and some specifically for left-handed bowmen, so you should choose a recurve bow according to your characteristics. Choosing the wrong type can result in discomfort. Some types are versatile, suitable for both left and right-handed people alike, but these can restrict the draw weights. So, you should choose one specifically designed for your hand orientation.  

Accessorization 

If you’re someone who enjoys a few accessories here and there, you’ll have to pick an option that fits well with the additional attachments.

Some forms arrive pre-drilled for the add-ons. So, if you want accessories, you can opt for a similar design. 

What Size Recurve Bow is Right For Me?

A recurve bow that’s at least twice as long as the draw length is the way to go! For instance, having a draw length of about 28’’ will require you to have a bow that’s about 56’’. The length of the bow is directly related to the overall accuracy, so the longer it is, the more precise it will be.

What is a Good Draw Weight For a Recurve Beginner?

The ideal draw weight is between 10 and 50 lbs, depending on the individual's frame and weight. Children will obviously require a smaller draw weight while males and females can handle a higher draw weight of roughly 35-60 lbs. Furthermore, adding upgrades and accessories to your recurve bow can increase its weight, so keep that in mind. 

Key Terms to Know 

To help compare products in this review, we have included a few key specifications for each. Here is a quick summary of what they mean:

  • Draw Weight: This is the amount of force necessary to draw a bow and is measured in pounds.
     
  • Draw Length/Max Draw Length: This represents the distance from the nocking point on the string at full draw to the deepest part of the grip (called the throat) + 1.75 inches. Max draw length is the maximum distance a bowstring can be pulled back.

  • Bow Weight and Length: The weight and length of the bow.
     
  • Brace Height: The distance between the grip and the string when loose.
      
  • Hand Orientation: Indicates the dominant hand that should be used.

Review of the Best Recurve Bows For Beginners

Now that you know the factors you need to look for to choose the ideal unit, here are some top recommendations that are worth considering. Have a look!

Best Overall:
Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow – Compact Fast Accurate 62' Hunting & Target Bow – Right & Left Hand – Draw Weights in 20-60 lbs – Beginner to Intermediate - USA Company Spyder-35L

PROS

  • Durable and sleek design
  • Features interchangeable limbs
  • Offers both left and right-handed options
  • Ideal for hunting deer, bow fishing, or target practice
  • Comes with pre-installed threaded bushings to facilitate accessory upgrades

CONS

  • You need proper tools for its assembly and to take it down

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers were really happy with their purchase and claimed that this is a great product. They say that the people who worked on it did a wonderful job as it’s solid and has a great feel to it. It comes with all the needed parts like riser, limbs, arrow rest, etc. All in all, if the posture is correct, this device is pretty accurate.

Why it Stands Out to Us

From a beginner’s point of view, this product is a great way to kick start your arching journey. The Southwest Archery Takedown is a lightweight recurve bow that you can’t go wrong with. The handle design is elegant and polished yet sturdy and solid.

This bow comes with two different AMO lengths, i.e., 62’’ and 64’’. The reinforceable limbs ensure that the product is extremely easy to transport. It’s easier to service individual components; it enables arrows to have a fast flight and is flemish string-compatible.

It’s also designed for upgrading, so you can add your favorite accessories to enhance your performance like mechanical rests or plungers, sights, quivers, stabilizers, and bow fishing reels.

Bottom Line

Southwest Archery gives novices the chance to try their hand at archery with little to no experience and build their skills up. Offering such an extraordinary quality at such a low cost, this recurve bow surely is a head-turner. Perfect for hunting deer, bow fishing, or target practice, you’re in for a real treat.

Product Specs

Draw Weight:

20-60 lbs

Draw Length:

29"

Bow Weight and Length:

2.3 lbs; 62"

Brace Height:

7.625"-8.5"

Hand Orientation:

Left & Right

Runner-up:
Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow

KESHES Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow and Arrow - 62 Archery Bow for Teens and Adults, 15-60lb Draw Weight - Right and Left Handed, Archery Set Bowstring Arrow Rest Stringer Tool Sight

PROS

  • Backed by excellent customer service
  • Lightweight but able to handle low or high pressures
  • Offers different drawback weights ranging from 15-55 lbs
  • Comes with pre-installed threaded brass bushings for upgrading
  • Does not need any additional tools for assembly or to take it down

CONS

  • Arrow rest is not the best
  • Assembly instructions are a little confusing

What Recent Buyers Report

Users who are avid bow-shooting enthusiasts claim that this product is a great model for both beginner and intermediate shooters. It has decent stopping power and works better with fiber arrows. Smooth draws and good accuracy make this a fan favorite. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Keshes takedown recurve bow is a nice equipment to have around if you’re either a beginner or you’re moving up from a minor bow to something with a better hit. 

It's specially designed from high-quality wood to ensure lightness in terms of weight and durability in terms of body. Since it is extremely comfortable to hold, it is perfect for arching and bowhunting, and the additional drawback weight options ensure ideality for both novices and advanced hunters. We love how the product comes pre-installed with threaded brass bushings to make it compatible with your upgrade of choice. 

The riser is constructed from beautiful wood, and the overall finish is impeccable. Lastly, the included thumbscrews for the limbs make it really easy to dismantle, and the bow stringer facilitates setting it back up.

Bottom Line

This is a solid yet light bow that punches well above its price and weight, delivering just the value you were looking for. However, the low weight does not obstruct its endurance. Purchase this product, and we guarantee you’ll be impressed with its performance.

Product Specs

Draw Weight:

15-60 lbs

Draw Length:

29"

Bow Weight and Length:

3 lbs; 62"

Brace Height:

7.75"

Hand Orientation:

Left 

Best for the Money:
Toparchery Archery 56"

TOPARCHERY Archery 56' Takedown Hunting 50lbs Recurve Bow Metal Riser Right Hand Black Longbow

PROS

  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • High-quality casting aluminum riser
  • Limbs are constructed from strong fiberglass with maple core
  • Offers a draw weight range with options between 30 and 50 pounds

CONS

  • Does not include a bow stringer
  • Only suitable for right-handed people

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers say the device is awesome because it's really easy to assemble and disassemble. They like that the price is great for the value that it provides, and the exceptional metal riser comes with comfortable rubber grips. They also love the premium-quality limbs. Plus, they could attach their arrow rest, which they really liked.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bow offers a price synonymous with the lower-end models, but the quality it offers is at par with the higher end models in the market. 

The Toparchery 56” makes it to our list due to its exquisite construction quality. Both the riser and the limbs are of top-notch assembly. It comes with standard tapped spots for an arrow rest, sight, and front stabilizer. Moreover, the overall performance is fast, sturdy, and very accurate. The selection of draw weights makes it a lot more versatile than other models.

Overall, it’s really good workmanship.

Bottom Line

Toparchery has really knocked it out of the park with this gadget. With a decent weight of 3.5 pounds, this solid framework is light on your pocket but heavy on the performance. To top it all off, the takedown feature surely is the cherry on top!

Product Specs

Draw Weight:

30-50 lbs

Draw Length:

30"

Bow Weight and Length:

3.5 lbs; 56"

Brace Height:

7.4"

Hand Orientation:

Right

4. Bear Archery Wizard Youth Bow

Bear Archery Wizard Youth Bow Only

PROS

  • Comes with a sight pin and finger rollers
  • Perfect for children who are 8-14 years old
  • Extremely affordable for the delivered quantity
  • Good starter bow for children or newcomers to gain experience
  • Durable body to facilitate children because they're generally more careless

CONS

  • Armguard is poor
  • Arrows that come with this product have stiff plastic fletching that can break off quite easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Users state that this bow is ideal for children. They claim that they used it for teaching archery to their kids, and it served the purpose quite well. They find it both lightweight and durable. It’s also small, and buyers are sure it will last a long time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Like mentioned, the Bear Archery Youth bow is perfect for teaching young people how to use a bow. Once they get the basics down, the product works great for inculcating additional knowledge, techniques, and methods of archery like stance, aim, release, and constancy of technique.

The design is simple and made up of solid fiberglass with a molded rubber grip. It’s very easy to use and is adjustable with a 17” to 24” draw length and 10” to 18” draw weight. With proper care, it will last a long time without significant replacements or service. 

Lastly, the ergonomic grip ensures that you can hold it for longer periods without any muscle fatigue. 

Bottom Line

Perfect for beginners and children, this model offers everything you need to spur the necessary arching interests in your kids so they can learn and kick start their hunting endeavors from a young age. With additional upgrades like sight pins and finger rollers, you don't have to invest a huge amount of money in catering to your child’s arching interest anymore. 

Product Specs

Draw Weight:

10-18 lbs

Draw Length:

17-24"

Bow Weight and Length:

1 lb; 44"

Hand Orientation:

Left and Right

5. SAS Spirit Jr 54" Beginner Youth

SAS Spirit Jr 54' Beginner Youth Wooden Archery Bow Takedown Kids Boy Girl Women Traditional Both Right Hand and Left Hand

PROS

  • Easy to put together
  • Made from quality lamination wood
  • Three-year warranty corroborates reliability
  • Has brass bushings pre-installed for a stabilizer, bow sight, and more upgrades

CONS

  • You cannot purchase separate limbs with this product

What Recent Buyers Report

Kids, as well as the instructor who used this product, confirm its quality and performance. They say it’s easy to put together and is tapped to be compatible with standard bow sights. Some users were bummed that you cannot purchase additional limbs for upgrading, but the overall quality and features are good trade-offs. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The SAS Spirit offers a unique design for both left and right-handed archers accordingly. It's an ideal investment to make if you want your kids to get into archery and more into outdoor activities. 

Using this product, your kids will surely polish up their hand-to-eye coordination as well as their posture. Extremely light and easy for children to use, it’s made from high-quality lamination wood to corroborate durability. 

It’s also open to additional upgrades here and there. With a three-year warranty, this product is sure to hit the mark!

Bottom Line

Specifically designed for the two different hand orientations, the SAS spirit is a great-looking device that feels nice in the hands and offers an effortless assembly. It is a good introductory recurve bow for kids. You can also add additional upgrades to expedite the learning process.

Product Specs

Draw Weight:

12-22 lbs

Draw Length:

26"

Bow Weight and Length:

3.3 lbs; 54"

Hand Orientation:

Left & Right

What is a Beginner Recurve Bow Good For? 

Recurve bows come with a whole list of advantages that make them perfect for specific occasions, but what really is their purpose? Let's find out:

Developing Skills

Starting from a novice archer, you'll eventually bask in the glory of an experienced or professional huntsman, but you can’t forget your companion that helped you through the journey. Beginner recurve bows are an excellent way to start and polish up your arching skills because they offer the most basic configuration for you to work with.

However, as you start to progress, you can easily upgrade individual parts to manage the pace with your newly acquired arching techniques. You can eventually master accuracy and precision even with the naked eye.

Versatility

Beginner recurve bows give you the margin to change out the limbs or add additional accessories. This excellent upgrading feature makes it the ultimate choice for starters. 

The more a new archer improves his skills, the more he thinks about experimenting with the next best thing, and a good recurve is what you need for this exact purpose. The ability to upgrade as you please will save you the extra money of investing in a new bow every time you dwell in the exploration of this sport. 

Easy Access

Specially designed for newcomers, beginner recurves are affordable and hence easy to access. Their lower starting point makes them approachable to almost all customer segments. Furthermore, they’re simplified to facilitate starters in their journey. 

Recurve For Beginners - Comparison Overview 

With so many different options displayed at your local archery store, you’re probably trying to decide on what will prove to be the best option for you. Let’s compare possible rivals so you can make a well-informed decision.

Recurve vs. Longbow 

Both recurve and longbows have been contenders in a hunter’s arching catalog for as long as we can remember. Let’s see what each product purveys. 

Design

The longbow is, as the name suggests, long! They’re a single piece of wood, and they can essentially be as tall as the archer himself. Recurve bows, on the other hand, curve away towards the hunter from the edges. 

Power

Generally speaking, a recurve bow is more powerful than a longbow since the tips of the limbs store energy quite efficiently due to the curved shape. A recurve arrow will travel faster and with more power. 

Size

As it is quite obvious, recurves are smaller than longbows. Since most of the power remains stored due to the great re-curve in the limbs, they don’t need to be long or big.

They do the job pretty well without it. For example, a longbow that’s about 60 lbs will be around 64” in length whereas a recurve of similar weight will be about 58” long. 

Portability

Since most recurve bows are take-downs and have the feature of being dismantled quite easily, they are portable and easy to transport compared to one-piece longbows. 

Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown

Adjustability

A recurve gives you the option to purchase different limbs and install them according to your choice to increase or decrease the power. With a longbow, you can’t really make use of this feature as it does not exist! So, essentially, recurve bows are more versatile in this aspect.

Compound Bow vs. Recurve Bow 

Another kind of bow that you will come across is the compound bow. Let’s see how it compares to recurve bows

Design

As stated above, a recurve bow’s prominent feature is the famous curve around the edge, but what about compound bows? Compound bows have small wheels located at the edge of the limbs. This feature allows archers to not waste force while holding back the string before shooting. It uses an effect called let-off. 

Power

Both types of bows impart the same level of force in reality. 

Size

A compound bow is smaller in size than a recurve bow. For example, a 70 lbs compound bow will have a length of about 30-34”. A recurve bow of the same weight will be about 60-64” long. 

Portability

Recurve bows can be ‘taken-down.’ It’s easy to disassemble the parts and put them back together when needed. A compound bow offers no such feature, so recurve bows are the clear winner here.

Adjustability

While you can purchase different sets of limbs for your recurve bow, with your compound bow, you can draw weight, length, and power by tweaking it with a tool. This makes compound bows more versatile.

How to Shoot a Recurve Bow For Beginners 

Before we delve into how to shoot a recurve bow, we need to focus on the type of arrows we use. Fletching/veins on the arrow change how we shoot them. 

  1. For beginners, it is suggested you get an armguard for your holding arm, which covers most of your forearm. 

  2. Using a glove will provide more protection for your drawing arm while using an archery tab will provide a better feel for sensitivity. 

  3. Now, if you are using the arrow rest/shelf on a traditional bow. It will not have as much give for plastic fletching. Therefore, it is recommended to use a feather fletching arrow. However, if the rest does have more give, a plastic one can be used. 

  4. Slightly tilting the bow at an angle will help hold the arrow in place, but if there is stable rest and you are using peep sights, you should hold the bow vertically straight.

  5. Always clip the arrow below the nocking loop; otherwise, it will slide over. 

  6. Always have the odd-colored fletching on the arrow face away from the bow; otherwise, the fletch can be ripped off.

  7. Firmly hold out the arm in which you have the bow and draw the nocking loop to your preferred anchor point, such as the corner of your mouth or under your chin while resting the string on the tip of your nose. 

  8. Then, release at your target.

For more details, refer to the video below for a visual understanding of the whole process.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Recurve Bow For Beginners 

Investing in a good-quality model like the ones we just mentioned will provide you with a myriad of benefits. To keep it short, we’re only going to discuss a few.

Take-Down’s Ability to Upgrade

Most recurve bow designs pretty much like the ones we included in our guide are take-downs, meaning that the limbs are detachable from the riser. This makes them perfect about interchangeability. 

We think take-down is a fantastic feature for anyone who’s just starting out. It allows you to experiment and keep upgrading the original design with stronger limbs, thereby improving the overall strength and robustness. You can also service individual parts without having to service the whole bow for a tiny discrepancy. 

Portability

Bigger or one-piece bows are extremely hard to transport. Recurve bows, on the other hand, can easily be disassembled and packed inside a suitcase or a bag. Hence, it’s perfect for people who fancy indulging in hunting trips or archery competitions.

Stability

Most archers are big fans of recurve bows because of their exceptional stability. They are made up of three different components, making them heavier than one-piece longbows. This feature works to the huntsman’s advantage when they shoot in a crosswind. Moreover, additional stabilizers can be attached for added comfort. 

Shorter

Since recurve bows are ‘curved’ from the edges, they can be a lot shorter than traditional longbows, all while maintaining full draw length. It’s widely believed that in ancient times, recurve bows were quite popular for shooting from horseback, something which is impractical with a longbow. 

Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow

Conclusion

Now you know why every new and old archer loves the thought of having a trusty old recurve bow in their bags. 

This carefully formulated guide will be your savior if you’re stumbling across the internet, website to website, hoping to satiate the multitude of question marks traipsing in your mind. We hope you find what you came here looking for. 

People Also Ask 

Still unsure about a few things? Here’s a short section answering the most frequent questions consumers usually have when they go out to buy a recurve bow. 

Is a Recurve Bow Good For Beginners?

A recurve bow is the ideal choice for beginners because it’s affordable, easily upgradeable, can be assembled and disassembled, and offers great companionship to fellow archers who have a knack for precision and accuracy. It can really help new hunters to learn the art of arching. 

Why is a Recurve Bow Better?

A recurve bow is better because it is more powerful, small, and easy to use. It’s also travel-friendly and offers impeccable versatility as well as adjustability. Lastly, it’s very well constructed.



My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at admin@biggamelogic.com. Read more about Big Game Logic.