Recurve Bows are the traditional kind of bow; their tips curve away from the user, and they are designed to store a larger amount of energy with their structure. They are also more efficient than the more popular Western-style straight limb varieties, such as the longbow.
Recurves have been in use for millennia, and their design likely originated in Asia. History has seen many cultures utilize the recurve design – its greater efficiency results in a compact and shorter bow design, making it ideal for mounted use.
It doesn’t come as a surprise then that Genghis Khan’s horseback archers used recurve bows to devastating effect!
Whether you’re looking for the best beginner recurve bow or the best hunting recurve bow, if you haven’t been in
the market before, you’ll be astounded by the various recurve bow manufacturers out there, each trying to convince you why their product it’s the best.
It can get bewildering for newcomers, which is why this guide was created to ease you into your transition to archery with a recurve. (Check Out Our Ultimate Guide here)
Also, remember that bows aren’t the only weapons to employ a recurve design; you might want to look into the best recurve crossbow first (e.g., the Excalibur recurve crossbow) since these weapons are more comfortable to load and take aim with, making them a natural preference for novices and retired archers alike!
Tips for Buying a Good Recurve Bow
Here’s a general guideline to help you get started with your market hunt for a good recurve bow:
- Ascertain your draw weight requirement: This should be your first step. Draw weight means the magnitude of force you’ll need to exert to get your bow fully drawn. This is an essential step, and you should always start your search before browsing through the best recurve bow brands.
- Is hunting your intention? Each recurve bow works well for shooting dummy targets, but only some are suited to hunting. Its draw weight mostly determines your bow’s readiness for hunting. Some casual archers may not have the muscle strength to draw the weight necessary for hunting. If you want to hunt, you’ll have to choose the best recurve bow for hunting that your budget can afford since you’ll need a reliable weapon in the field to be safe and successful. However, if you’re unsure about whether you’ll be up for hunting or not, stick with a cheap recurve bow to give archery a run.
- Comparing recurve bows: Once you have determined the draw weight you want in your recurve bow, you can pick the one you want. We’ve prepared brief reviews for recurve bows belonging to the most commonly sought-after categories so that you get an idea of what to look for and expect in the market. Of course, there are plenty of other reviewing websites online covering the top ten recurve bows, etc., both expensive and cheap. Still, we’ve restricted ourselves to four, with one per category to keep it illustrative and straightforward for the reader.
- Choose your arrows: Remember that there is always some experimentation involved where arrows are concerned. You won’t be able to buy the perfect ones on your first try. Start with arrows with reasonably good reviews, and once you gain some experience, you can sample different ones. The arrows’ behavior depends on the bow, the archer, the shot’s distance, and so on. There isn’t such a thing as the perfect arrow for a particular bow.
- Other essential items to purchase: The majority of recurve bow packages are sold as ‘raw’ in that they only include the bow (limbs/riser) and string. Arrows are generally excluded from quality recurve bow packages, and you’ll need to purchase them separately. You’ll also have to get a bow stringer and a nocking point for the string. The nocking point is affixed to the bowstring and immediately contact the arrow’s nock. You can’t shoot with a recurve bow without a nocking point. Nocking points will not be included with your recurve bow unless you buy a complete set and must be purchased separately.
What is the Best Overall Recurve Bow?
There are several top-notch recurve bows present in the market. In essence, anyone who purchases a top-end bow from one of the renowned recurve bow brands will very likely be happy and satisfied with their purchase. However, since most online reviews can be vague for the newcomer (offering a list of the ten best bows without actually explaining their features, for instance), it can get tricky to figure out the very best among them.
After a significant amount of research and sifting through some of the best recurve bows available, we’ve decided on one name – The Martin Saber.
Martin is a brand every professional archer is familiar with, and this company is owned by the same family that founded it.
The Martin Saber is a takedown bow famed for its hardiness. This Martin takedown recurves longer than most of its competitors at 64 inches, but this doesn’t impede its portability since it can be taken apart into three movable pieces when not being used.
The Saber has drawn weights between 30 and 55 pounds in 5-pound increments, suited for both novices and professional users. The Martin takedown recurves bow is a bit heavier than others at 3.4 pounds, which aids in stabilizing it while shooting without inconvenience.
This recurve is extremely comfortable to shoot, with a smooth, consistent draw and comparatively little vibration. In addition, its durability and versatility (regarding being suited to both newcomers and advanced users) are admirable.
It is also aesthetically appealing, which is always a plus. In addition, Saber sells all relevant accessories for this bow, which are also quality, and can help you get the most out of your bow. We did have some reservations, though – first off, the bow stringer and arrow rest that comes included with the package leaves something to be desired; you’ll probably be buying them separately anyway.
Secondly, this bow is offered for left-handed people, regrettable since left-handers will be missing out on a pretty sweet recurve bow.
What is the Best Hunting Recurves Bow?
Hunting using a recurring bow is often a thankless endeavor requiring a lot more patience and skill for a successful kill than a compound bow. If you’ve resolved to hunt using a recurve bow, you need to embrace the fact that the hunt is more important than the kill when hunting with a traditional bow. A recurve bow won’t get you as many kills as a compound, and if you’re looking to score in that department, it’s better to purchase a different weapon (e.g., a compound bow or a hunting rifle) to cater to your needs.
Being a successful hunter while using a recurve bow can bring immense satisfaction – just like so many other things in life, the more complex the journey, the more pleasure you derive upon achieving your goal.
And even though hunting with a recurve bow will not get you as many kills as that with a recurve, if you pick the best recurve hunting bow from among the many recurve bow brands out there, your chances of success will be considerably improved. So we think that the best hunting bow today is the Bear Super Kodiak.
When selecting any hunting bow, the most crucial thing is to ensure that the draw weight is adequate for your prey of choice. The Super Kodiak shines in this department since it can be purchased in draw weights ranging from 30 to 60 pounds.
We’ll advise you to stick with the highest draw weight you can handle if you intend to hunt since a higher draw weight ensures a cleaner kill, which is also more humane for the prey. The Bear Super Kodiak isn’t a takedown bow – it’s a one-piece model, so remember that when buying it. It has a standard 60-inch length and weighs around 3 pounds.
The Kodiak has been a mainstay at Bear’s, being available in one shape or the other for near five decades, which is why many pros regard it as a genuinely classic bow choice. It has excellent construction quality, and its draws are natural and smooth even when you’re on the higher weights. (Read Shooting Recurve Bow)
Its durability is also famed – lots of veteran archers reusing older versions of this class for decades without a hitch! It happens to be pretty quiet for a recurve, making it even more suitable for hunting.
- Limb Cores made with Maple laminate
- Overlaid with high-strength black fiberglass
- Crowned, cut-on center arrow shelf with leather side plate and bear hair arrow rest
- Dynaflight 97 Flemish Twist String
- Tips handcrafted and layered with Friberglass
However, beginners should note that it might not be the best deal for them since it’s one piece and won’t let you change your draw weights and length as you grow more adept. Also, it’s a higher-end bow, so it’s a bit on the pricier side.
All in all, the Bear Super Kodiak is a superb high-end bow geared towards hunters with great quality and shooting ability, and it is the best recurve hunting solution, in our opinion.
What is the Best Recurve Bow for the Money?
This category addresses budget-minded consumers’ need for the recurve bow that offers them the most value for their cash.
It wasn’t easy to choose a winner for this category since there are plenty of inexpensive, effective recurve bows in the market today. In the end, we decided on the Martin Jaguar recurve bow.
This recurves bow has a standard 60-inch length and draws weights ranging from 30 pounds to 65 pounds, with increments of 5 pounds. It weighs 2.7 pounds and is suited for hunting (given you select a high enough draw weight) and target practice.
Our Martin Jaguar takedown bow review notes that this recurve a smooth draw and feels comfortable when held, and we find its stock grip especially praiseworthy.
It is a bit lighter than competitors such as the Samick Sage, making it possible to better hunt bow in tighter situations (although extra weight gives the Sage more stability, a plus for beginners). Overall, the Jaguar is a dependable all-rounder bow with a very economical price tag, and for this reason, it is the one we ultimately think deserves this title.
What is the Best Recurve Bow for Beginners?
In the best recurve bow for beginners category, we tried to find a bow that wasn’t just forgiving and shot accurately; we wanted it to be a bow that grew with its user’s experience.
A good beginner recurves bow must have a sensible longbow length – speaking in broad terms, the greater the bow length, the easier it is for a novice to shoot accurately. In addition, we were looking for a bow that is accessible regarding price, shooting ability, and development.
The bow we ultimately decided on was the ever-popular and esteemed Samick Sage Takedown. This bow meets all our demands for the best beginner recurve, and even more! Furthermore, nearly all experienced archers we’ve consulted have recommended it as an excellent first recurve bow. It comes in 25 to 60 pounds draw weights and weighs 3.4 pounds.
- SIZE – the Samick Sage Recurve bow is 62” long, 28” draw length, and choose your draw weight from 25-60lb.
- INCLUDES: Riser - 2 Fiberglass laminated limbs - 14 Strands dacron bowstring – Stick on arrow rest – assembly instructions. Limbs are interchangeable and can be purchased separately.
- HAND ORIENTATION - Right Handed - Hold the bow with your LEFT hand and pull the string with your RIGHT. Left Handed - Hold the bow with your RIGHT hand and pull the string with your LEFT.
- FEATURES - Pre-installed threaded Brass Bushings for various attachments and upgrades, such as, Brass Plunger, Stabilizer, Sight, Quiver, Bow fishing reel.
- ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED - risers are designed with lightweight Maple wood, and a comfortable ergonomic grip, so it’s easy to hold and your hands don’t get tired
It has a silky smooth draw, and the vibrations are negligible. Its only drawback is that it’s a bit noisy. However, a beginner won’t begin hunting with their recurve bow first thing after the purchase, and they can always attach a string silencer later on.
The Samick Sage is a highly versatile recurve bow whose libs can be readily swapped to alter the draw weight as needed, providing a clear progression path as the novice archer becomes more skilled. (Read Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow Review)
Considering the many pros of the Sage recurve, especially its accessibility for rookies, we conclude that it is an excellent beginner recurve bow. But once you throw in its knockoff price of $150 into the mix, it is the best choice around for beginners today.