Beginner Recurve Bow


I’m really stupid. No really, I am. The reason I say that is because I seem to have completely forgotten what it is like to be a beginner archer looking for a good bow to buy, and I took way too long to create this article. In fact, I should have written this guide the first day I launched my website; that’s because there are a few important nuggets of information a beginner needs to know, but which he can’t possibly know unless someone specifically tells him. Ok, enough of that. What’s a good beginner recurve bow?

Best beginner recurve list (2021)

  • PSE Archery Pro Max Shooting Set – best for recreational target practice for beginners
  • Deerseeker – best hunting bow for beginners

Top beginner bows (2013-2020) – legacy rankings

The list below compares recurve bows that received top rankings between 2013-2020. Some of these bows are no longer on sale or are temporarily out of stock due to COVID-19-related problems, but I decided to leave the table here for the record.

#1: Beginner Recurve Bows For Target Practice And Hunting:

Samick Sage Recurve BowMartin Saber Recurve Bow Bow length62 in.64 in. Bow weight3.4 lbs.3.4 lbs. Draw Weight40, 45, 50, 55 lbs.30, 40, 45, 50, 55 lbs. Take-Down? Our ReviewOur Review

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#2: Quick notes on the above beginner bows:

Martin Jaguar Recurve

This is an excellent bow at a very affordable price which easily made it to my list of the twelve finest recurve bows in the world. It’s reliable, durable, precise, and even looks good – all for a really low price. It even comes in a variety of different draw weights so you can choose the most suitable one for you. If you aren’t sure where to start and would just like to dive right in, this is what I’d recommend getting.

Martin Saber Recurve

Another great choice for a beginner bow-shooter at a really affordable price. To be honest it doesn’t matter whether you get this one or the one mentioned above (the Jaguar) – both are excellent recurves at very affordable prices. You can safely choose based on personal preferences.

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Ragim Wildcat Takedown Recurve Set

This is an excellent choice for those who are simply looking to get started as soon as possible. Granted, you won’t be able to use the Ragim Wildcat to hunt with (maybe for squirrels in your backyard but that’s pretty much it) due to the relatively low draw weights available. However, and as you can read in the capabilities of different draw weights article, even 25 pounds is more than enough for target practice and you can successfully hit targets from 70 yards and more if you’re a good shot.

From a beginner’s perspective, the great thing about the Ragim is that it can be bought as a whole set, which includes the 62″ Take-down recurve itself, arrows, a belt quiver, 4 arrows, an adjustable sight, instruction booklet and more. The perfect choice for novice wannabe-archers looking to dive right in.

#3: Other Recurve Bow Resources:

  • Best recurve bows (top 10 chart) – divided by price range
  • Best Recurve bows for hunting list.
  • Cheap Recurve Bows list

#4: Beginner Hunters: You Must Read This

As a general rule, a hunting recurve bow really shouldn’t have a draw weight of less than 40 pounds. There are two reasons for that:

  1. If below 40 lbs., you’ll be limited in the distance your arrow can travel, and
  2. If below 40 lbs., often times your arrow won’t pierce the target as well as it should.

As you can imagine, both of the above are things we want to avoid. You want to be able to easily hit a target from a relatively large distance (20+ yards), and you also want to make sure that when you do hit, the animal will quickly die and not suffer.

Please note that every recurve bow that is suitable for hunting will also be suitable for target practice.

Basically, not everyone is going to be able to handle a 40 lbs. and more, particularly if you are a beginner recurve bow enthusiast. If the bow is for a teenager, for example, or a female with a very petite frame, chances are they will not be able to hunt at all, at least for now. They could give it a shot of course, as the draw weight chart is not set in stone – there are many deviations from it, so nothing is lost for sure. If you are from any of these two groups (petite female or teenager), then I recommend trying out a 40 lbs. recurve bow in a store before actually making a purchase, just to make sure that you can handle it. For everyone else (mostly males of 16 years or more), it’s pretty safe to assume that you can handle a 40+ lbs. recurve.

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#5: Choose The Draw Weight For Your Beginner Recurve Bow

Unlike compound bows, a recurve usually requires you to be decently strong in the arms and back – that is of course if you want to aim it properly and would like to do so with consistency. In case you didn’t know, bows are identified by their so called “draw weight.” What is that, you might ask?

Draw weight refers to the amount of force you, as the archer, need to apply to the string in order to fully draw it, and to allow for the most efficient transfer of energy from the bow and to your arrow. So the higher the draw weight of a recurve bow, the more energy ends up being transferred to the arrow, and therefore the straighter and the more powerful your shots will be. This could lead some novices to thinking that they should simply choose the a beginner recurve bow with the highest draw weight. Unfortunately, that is a wrong assumption.

You see, if the draw weight proves to be too much for your level of physical fitness, you will find it really hard to properly handle your bow; you simply won’t be able to steadily hold the drawn string for those few seconds when lining up your shot, your arms will start to shake from the effort, and you’ll end up missing miserably. As a result, you’ll find yourself losing motivation due to the lack of progress, and could even decide to ditch archery altogether. So how can you choose the right draw weight for your beginner bow to avoid that?

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I have actually done all the work for you by preparing a recurve bow draw weight chart for beginners – just click that link (opens in a new window, I hope that’s ok) and scroll down to the chart. There you will see two columns:

  • Archer’s Weight
  • Suggested Draw Weight

Simply look at the first column to find your body weight and gender, then look to the second column to find what kind of draw weight is recommended for you. This chart was designed specifically for beginner archers interested in the recurve, so it’s gonna be pretty accurate.

#6: Summary

Here is a quick run down of what you should do:

  1. Determine what the ideal draw weight for you is right now, by using the chart I linked to above.
  2. Decide whether you want to hunt, target practice, or do a little bit of both.
  3. Pick one of my recommendations above based on what you want to do with the bow.

Finally, I would like to add that this list isn’t set in stone; there are a few other recurves which will fit the bill just fine. I picked the ones above in particular because they provide excellent value for the money you will spend, which I thought was a very important factor for a beginner archer (at least I know it was for me when I was starting out).

If you want to check out more bows, just head over to my best recurve bow page to see an extensive comparison chart including over a dozen of the world’s finest recurves. I’m sure that one of them will suit your fancy and that you’ll be scoring your first bulls-eye as soon as a few days from now.