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 styles straight limb varieties, such as the longbow.
Recurves have been in use for millennia, and it is likely that their design originated in Asia. History has seen many cultures utilize the recurve design – its greater efficiency results in a compact and shorter bow design, which makes 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 easier to load and take aim with, making them a natural preference for novices and retired bowmen 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 initiate your search with this 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. Your bow’s readiness for hunting is mostly determined from its draw weight. Some casual archers may not have the muscle strength to draw a weight necessary for hunting. In case 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. There are plenty of other reviewing websites online that cover top ten recurve bows etc., both expensive and cheap, but we’ve restricted ourselves to four, with one per category to keep it simple and illustrative 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 that have reasonably good reviews, and once you gain some experience, you can sample different ones. The behavior of arrows depends on the bow, the archer, the distance of the shot and so on. There isn’t such a thing as the perfect arrow for a particular bow.
- Other important 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 normally 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 is in immediate contact with the arrow’s nock. You can’t shoot with a recurve bow without a nocking point. Unless you buy a complete set, nocking points will not be included with your recurve bow and must be purchased separately.
What is the Best Overall Recurve Bow?
There are several topnotch recurve bows present in the market – 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, and since majority of online reviews can be a bit vague for the newcomer (offering a list of the ten best bows without actually explaining their features, for instance), it can get a bit tricky figuring 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.
- Brand New & Original! Archery Gear Ready When You Are!
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, so it is 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 being an inconvenience.
This recurve extremely comfortable to shoot, with a smooth, consistent draw, and comparatively little vibration. Its durability, as well its versatility (regarding being suited to both newcomers and advanced users), is admirable.
It is also aesthetically appealing, which is always a plus. 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 come included with the package leave something to be desired, you’ll probably be buying them separately anyways.
Secondly, this bow is offered for left-handed people, which is regrettable since left-handers will be missing out on a pretty sweet recurve bow.
What is the Best Hunting Recurves Bow?
Often, hunting using a recurve bow is a thankless endeavor requiring a lot more patience and skill for a successful kill as compared to 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.
Having said that, being a successful hunter while using a recurve bow can bring immense satisfaction – just like so many other things in life, the more difficult 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. We think that the best hunting bow today is the Bear Super Kodiak.
The most crucial thing when selecting any hunting bow 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 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 pray. 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 truly classic bow choice. It has excellent construction quality, and its draws are natural and smooth even when you’re on the higher weights.
It durability is also famed – lots of veteran archers re using older versions of this class for decades without a hitch! And for a recurve, it happens to be pretty quiet, making it, even more, suitable for hunting.
- Brand New & Original! Archery Gear Ready When You Are!
However, beginners should take note that it might not be the best deal for them since it’s one piece and won’t let you change 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 the need of budget-minded consumers 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 comes in draw weights ranging from 30 pounds to 65 pounds, with increments of 5 pounds. It has a weight of 2.7 pounds and is suited for both 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, which can make it possible better hunting bow in tighter situations (although extra weight does give 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 sensibly long bow length – speaking in broad terms, the greater the bow length, the easier it is for a novice to shoot accurately. We were looking for a bow that as accessible regarding price, shoot 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 has a weight of 3.4 pounds itself.
- THIS 62" BOW INCLUDES: B-50 Bow String and Arrow Rest
- FOR FUTURE UPGRADES: Pre-installed Brass Bushings for Brass Plunger, Stabilizer, Sight, and Quiver, WILL FIT SAMICK SAGE HUNTING KIT
- DESIGN: Limbs are Hard Maple with Black Fiberglass; Single Tapered Knob and Metal Limb Pocket Design; LIMBS CAN BE PURCHASED SEPARATELY TO INCREASE OR DECREASE WEIGHT AS NEEDED
- RECOMMENDED MAX DRAW LENGTH: 29" (suggest Samick Journey for longer draw)
- RECOMMENDED BRACE HEIGHT: 7 1/4 inch to 8 1/4 inch
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, which provides a clear progression path as the novice archer begins to get more skilled.
Considering the many pros of the Sage recurve, especially the accessibility it has 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 obviously the best choice around for beginners today.