Best Recurve Bow for Beginners: Reviews and Buying Guide For 2018

Bow hunting can open up more tags for you every season. It’s also a way to enjoy hunting in a brand new way if all you’ve ever done is gun hunting in the past. Knowing how to find the best recurve bow for hunting can help you make sure you can find something that meets your needs today. Choosing the right archery equipment requires more than finding a great bow, so this guide will take you through all the things you’ll need to know.

If you’ve been bow hunting in the past and you know what you’re looking to find, then skip the rest of this guide and use this chart instead. These are the recurve bows with the best reputations based on public reviews so you can quickly find what you need.

Top 5 Best Recurve Bow Review:

1. Longbowmaker Review:

If a traditional experience is what you want from a recurve bow, then this is one of the best bows on the market today. It’s made by hand and you have several draw weight options from which to choose. The draw length is 28 inches with a safe draw length up to 33 inches. This bow might be a little difficult for beginners to use, but otherwise it’s hard to find anything negative to say about it. We did find that putting on a new string did provide us with better accuracy, so keep that in mind when taking a look at this quality bow.

2. Buffalo Bow Review:

This hunting bow also offers a handmade style that is very unique and very effective. It’s one of the few recurve bows that we’ve seen which works well for both hands and the draw length of 80cm will work well for most shooters. The durability of this bow is beyond question and the red snakeskin cover gives you a unique look and grip that will keep you on target. Just a note of consideration: this bow may not be legal in your jurisdiction for hunting purposes, so check local laws before finalizing a purchase.

3. PSE Razorback Review:

Ok. So a bit of honesty. I’m one of the unusual folks who are right-handed, but left eye dominant. I was taught to shoot left-handed because of my eye dominance, so this right-handed bow was a bit of a struggle for me. It naturally felt good and the weight was perfect, but with my training the bow felt a little awkward trying to transition to my dominant hand. This bow is a solid option for those who are right-eye dominant and will provide a smooth experience for any hunt and is at a competitive price. That’s undeniable. If you’re like me, however, you might want to look at one of the other options here.

4. Barnett Spotlight Review:

This recurve bow set comes with everything you need as a beginner to see if archery is something that you’re going to be passionate about. The draw weight is 25 pounds and the draw length is up to 28 inches, so it’s suitable for most folks. A limited 5 year warranty backs up your purchase, but at this price, a warranty isn’t really necessary. You get a couple arrows and a protective finger tab along with the bow, so now the only thing you need to find is a target so you can begin practicing your accuracy. This is a great value purchase.

5. Samick Sage Review:

What we love about this recurve bow is its versatility. You can purchase it as an entry level bow so you can get your skills developed, but pre-installed brass bushings allow you to upgrade this bow as your skills upgrade so you don’t wind up with a massive collection of bows in your garage. This bow also works with the hunting kit produced by this manufacturer. The maximum draw length is 29 inches and it comes equipped for a quiver as well. Easily one of the best recurve bows for hunting on the market today.

What Is a Recurve Bow and Why Do I Need One?

Recurve bows can be identified easily thanks to the curved tips they have at both ends. It’s these curves that help to soften the release while increasing the speed of the bow. This design has been employed by archers for thousands of years and is gaining in popularity again thanks to its presence in The Avengers and The Hunger Games, as well in competitive archery events.

There are three things that you’ll want to examine when looking at a recurve bow.

  • Limbs. This is the top and the bottom of the recurve bow.
  • Riser. This is the middle of the bow, which includes the grip.
  • Takedown. This is the process of taking apart the bow so that it can be safely transported or stored when not in use. It is also the process to attach limbs so that you can achieve higher or lower draw weights. 

You’ll also want to look at draw weight. Hunting draw weights tend to be between 50-70 pounds, but that can be too much for someone who has never used a recurve bow in the past. Introductory draw weights of 10-25 pounds are a better choice. If hunting season is coming up and you haven’t been bow hunting, then this isn’t the season to start. Find the best recurve bow for your needs today, practice with it for the next 6-9 months, and then you’ll be ready to go hunting because your skills will have improved enough to make it happen. 

How to Find the Right Recurve Bow for Me

There are a couple myths that you’ll find are widely believed about bow hunting. The first is that you can determine the right size of bow to use based on your age. The second is that you can find the right bow based on your height. Neither is correct and believing these myths can cause you to bring home a bow that could be potentially dangerous to you.

The fact is that even if there are five people of the same height that are standing next to each other, you will likely have 5 different arm spans. This means a height calculation for bow size might be effective for some people in that line, but could negatively impact others. That’s why knowing how to calculate your draw length is important to the recurve bow shopping process.

Here’s what you need to do to figure out your calculated draw length: measure your arm span and then divide that number by 2.5. Once you’ve got that figure, you’re ready to begin shopping for the right size of bow. There’s a helpful chart here that will let you see how your calculated draw length transitions over to bow size so you can find the best option for you. Combine that with the proper draw weight and you’ll be ready to practice your shooting.

Never shot a recurve bow before? Then the video below will take you through the necessary steps so you can take your first shot and then keep on practicing.

Common Issues with Recurve Bows and How to Solve Them

The primary issue with a recurve bow is that someone inadvertently becomes over-bowed. This means they have a draw weight that is too heavy for their current skill level. When an archer is over-bowed, then tend to arch their back more, have poor form, and are very inconsistent. Shooting can even cause physical pain in these circumstances. Look for a bow that offers variable draw weight settings so that as your skills and strength improve, you can step up to hunting season without needing to purchase another bow.

There is also the issue of the string of the bow contacting your forearm, even on a good shot, and leaving a nasty bruise or burn. This can be solved with archery arm guards, with some models designed to even protect above the elbow.

What Are the Prices of the Best Recurve Bows Today?

The pricing on recurve bows really depends on the size, features, and to some extent, the draw weight that is desired. Entry-level recurve bows for youth or true beginners can be found for under $50 right now, but these are not necessarily suitable for hunting. They are mostly for target practice only, but can be a good purchase if you’re trying to find out if you’d like bow hunting.

If you’re ready to get serious with your bow hunting or you’re looking for a replacement recurve bow, they are several solid picks available in the $100-$150 price range. If you’re looking for a premium hunting bow, then expect to pay about $200 for one that has the proper draw weight to meet your needs. Competitive recurve bows may be $500 or more and could be used for hunting, but tend to perform better under sporting conditions.

Final Verdict: 

Recurve bows are designed to provide you with an arrow that flies straight and true. The best recurve bow for hunting will give you flexible weight options, meet your specific skill needs, and let you enjoy longer hunting seasons. Find your bow today and it will be an investment you won’t regret.