I know as a beginner archer, finding a good recurve bow was a challenge. It seems there are so many options and brands to choose from that it will make your head spin. Thanks to sites like eBay and Amazon, it looks like you will have seemingly too many options to choose from.
To help you find what you are looking for, we have made our 2020 Best Recurve Bows Review and Buying Guide. This guide focuses on the most popular bows on the market to help newbies and amateurs alike.
Table of Contents
- 1 Let us get started and go through the list of the best bows of 2020
- 1.1 SAS Courage Recurve Bow
- 1.2 Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow
- 1.3 Southwest Archery Tiger Takedown Recurve Bow
- 1.4 Martin Archery Hunter
- 1.5 Southwest Archery Spyder XL
- 1.6 Escalade Sports Bear Archery
- 1.7 Dostyle Outdoor Recurve Bow and Arrow Set Archery Training Toy
- 1.8 Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
- 1.9 SAS Spirit 62″ Take Down Recurve Bow
- 1.10 TopArchery56″ Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow Metal Riser Right Hand Black Longbow
- 1.11 Buying Guide
- 1.12 Why a Recurve Bow and not a Straight-Limb?
- 1.13 What to Look For in a Recurve Bow
- 1.14 Parts of the Bow
- 1.15 Types of Bows
- 1.16 How Long should my Recurve Bow be?
- 1.17 What is a Takedown Recurve Bow?
- 1.18 What is the Best Bow for Beginners?
- 1.19 What Makes a Recurve Bow Powerful?
- 1.20 What is a Good Brand of Bow?
- 1.21 Is it Legal to Use a Bow for Hunting in All States?
- 1.22 Final Thoughts
Let us get started and go through the list of the best bows of 2020
SAS Courage Recurve Bow
This takedown model archery bow is one made for both beginners and serious archers. This product is made by Southland Archery Supply Co. and is one of the industry standards for recurve bows. Just a few years ago, they took the archery world by storm for their low priced and high-quality bows and arrows.
This is available in both right and left-handed variations. It has a total length of 60 inches from top to bottom. As far as the draw weight, there are bows with different settings. You can go as light as 35 pounds, or you can go up to 60 pounds for its heaviest size.
What I like most about this recurve bow is its polished appearance. It has a very excellent laminated glossy finish. I also like how the limbs are made from a hardwood/fiberglass mixture. This creates strong and durable limbs.
• Made of durable Maple and Makorehardwood
• 3 years extended warranty
• One of the more comfortable arrows to hold
• Comes with options for different draws for archery and hunting
• This is a right-handed bow only, so if you are a lefty tough luck. It is either learns to use the other hand or find another bow on our list.
This is the definition of what a recurve bow should be. It is durable, feels good in your hands, and perfect for beginners and experts. This is also a beautifully polished recurve bow, just look at it!
Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow
This is is a stunningly beautiful bow made by Bear Archery. This bow is one of the most exquisite mixtures of art and efficiency. This bow was designed to be one of the best recurve bows when it was made over 10 years, and it still remains one of the best bows to this day.
What makes this such a high powered bow is that it is 62 inches of hardwood polished with an exquisite laminate. It is very smooth and comfortable to wield. I like how this bow is made for people with larger hands and appreciate the extra grip.
For such a powerful bow, there is minimal vibration after firing, allowing for a much smoother shot.
• Very accurate and powerful
• Made by a great company in Bear Archery
• Beautiful finish
• It is not as easy to grip for those with smaller hands. I would advise the younger folk to get something else. However, any adult should be able to handle this recurve bow with little issue.
This bow is going to be a tool you are very proud of. It looks beautiful and fires even better. I will say that this bow is definitely on the pricey side compared to other options on our list. That being said, if you are an experienced hunter or archer, you definitely get value from this. Not so much if you are just starting or an amateur.
Southwest Archery Tiger Takedown Recurve Bow
Southwest Archery is a giant in the bow industry. They are the ones who made the original Samick Sage bow (an excellent product), and they have the Tiger Takedown with young adults and children in mind.
What makes this bow appealing to the younger folks is first the size. It is only 54 inches and a draw weight of 16-24 pounds. It has a draw length of about 20 inches. While it is not the most powerful, the arrow will get to where it needs to go.
I think another layer of appeal to kids is the color. You cannot call something “Tiger Takedown” without having cool tiger colors on it (Insert funny Tiger Kingreference here).
This bow is available in both left and right-handed versions. Southwest Archery also included a detailed step by step instruction book with photos on how to handle it.
Other cool features include a pre-installed threaded brushing, reinforced limb tips, and a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
• Cool tiger camo design
• A lot of features for the price
• Has capacity for upgrades like stabilizers and bow fishing reels
• Strong and lightweight
• This is not the most potent bow, which is fine if someone is starting off. A beginner can upgrade to a more powerful after they have mastered the basics.
If I had a child that wanted to do archery, this would be the starter bow, I would get them. It is the right size, looks cool, and has enough features that really make it appealing to younger folks. They provide a tremendous instructional manual, and the customer support from Southwest Archery makes this bow a must-have!
Martin Archery Hunter
Our next bow looks like something you would see a superhero using. The Martin Archery Hunter Recurve Right Hand Bow is one of Martin Archery’s premium recurve bows. It is 62 inches in length and has a draw weight that you can choose from 35 to 65 pounds.
It has additional features like a Flemish bowstring and stringer for added stability. This bow is made by a company that specializes in outdoor gear for over 50 years, and they know how to get the job done.
The limbs are made of beautiful Maple with a polished black fiberglass overlay. This bow is one of the most popular hunting bows available built for speed and accuracy. It lives up to its name as performing well for both hunters and archers.
• One of the most beautiful bows
• This bow would be best suited for a veteran archer as it takes a while to get a good feel for aiming. It is not that much of a learning curve, though. And not many people have reported this as a problem.
I would buy this bow as a gift for anyone who is looking for an upgrade. It looks beautiful, and the eye appeal will make that person smile from ear to ear.
Southwest Archery Spyder XL
This is the best all-around recurve bow for the price tag. I mean, Southwest Archery has outdone themselves with their Spyder 64” XL. This exquisite looking bow is made of Maple, and Redwood finished with a fiberglass outer layers. Now let us talk about the features.
It has reinforced limbs of fiberglass to give extra durability and power to your shots. A stringer comes along as well. Another thing that you are getting from a reputable company like Southwest Acadamy is an excellent customer service experience with a one year warranty. I doubt there will be much you need their help with.
The loading weight comes between 30-55 pounds and a draw length of 28 inches. It also comes in both left and right-handed variations. There is no learning curve as it comes with detailed instructions with photos as well as an instructional video.
• Great price
• Good all-around bow
• Very accurate
• The only con is that there is not much wrong with it, it is a solid bow for a solid price. There are bows on our list that are more powerfully built, but this one will get the job done for sure.
Affordability is what stands out with this bow. I cannot find a better one on our list with this combination of accuracy, durability, and price. It is a prime candidate to buy for anyone new to archery.
Escalade Sports Bear Archery
For some reason, the Bear Archery Sonoma recurve bow reminds me of something David Crockett would use. It has that appearance that someone just made it from a freshly chopped oak tree.
It is made of hardwood maple with the limbs reinforced with fiberglass for extra strength and durability. This earthy looking bow comes in with an overall length of 60 inches. It has a draw force ranging from 45 or 40 pounds depending on your preference. It has a draw length of 28 inches, making it a very accurate boat for its total length.
I have heard great things about this bow for adults. It shoots very well for archery and hunting. I have also heard that Bear Archery’s customer service is very responsive to any questions or problems with the product.
It has a takedown design for easier portability, which is super easy to unscrew. However, this is a right-handed bow only.
• Best for beginners not looking to spend too much
• Takedown bow
• Very comfortable grip
• This bow is not meant for those under the age of 14 as it is longer and a little more challenging to aim. Do not fret, we have plenty of other options for the younger folks on our list.
this is an impressive bow for under $150. It is not the most potent bow or necessarily made with the highest material; however, this is an excellent bow for hunters and archers looking to get into the sport.
Dostyle Outdoor Recurve Bow and Arrow Set Archery Training Toy
The DOSTYLE recurve bow is the perfect starter kit for a kid or amateur. It is the only choices on our list that comes with its own targets. The package comes with everything and amateur orchard needs. Included are one riser with arrow rest, two balloons, one bowstring, five arrows, and six practice targets.
It has a straightforward design that is not going to blow anybody away with its sophistication. It is made of hardwood with strong fiberglass limbs and has been tested to sure premium durability. Because it is simple, I find that it is more ergonomically designed for comfort, and anyone will feel comfortable with this bow in your hands.
This bow is exclusively designed for right-handed archers only.
As far as its specs, the bow is 52 inches long with a drawl weight of 40 pounds. It comes only in black.
This is another great affordable option for beginners.
• Comes with plenty of accessories
• Perfect for amateurs
• The excellent price tag for what you are getting
• This bow is meant for younger people or amateurs. It is not the best-built bow as it was intended to be a starting bow. It is super fun to use, and it will make that perfect gift for anyone interested in archery.
a straightforward bow that is the cheapest on the list. This is the ideal starter kit for any first-time archer. This is a perfect gift by someone for their birthday, Christmas, or any other occasion as it is a complete archery set with the targets.
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
What makes the Samick Sage Takedown bowso amazing is its elegant design. The limbs are made of hard Maple hardwood and black polished fiberglass that are of the most exceptional quality. As you know, with stronger limbs comes added power and accuracy when shooting.
The bow is total 62 inches in link with a drawl length of 30 inches. It has a dry weight of a range of 40 to 60 pounds, depending on your skill level.
If you are an expert then I recommend purchasing it with a 50 pound draw length. With this force it will make big game hunting and shooting long range targets much easier.
To me, this is a good bow for intermediate to expert archers. This is an excellent product for those who want to get their first takedown recurve bow. It’s very easy to set up an easy to adjust the sites to shoot. Also, parts are straightforward to find online and allow a lot of customization. Other future upgrades for this product include a stabilizer with sight/quiver and a brass plunger.
• Allows for a lot of customization
• Parts are easy to find to customize
• Great all-around bow in terms of power, durability, accuracy
• This bow does not do any one thing that well. It is accurate but not as much as other ones on the list. While it is durable, it may not last as long as other bows like the SAS. However, for the price tag, you are getting a hell of a deal, and it will not break down or stop working like a $10 set of headphones from online.
this boat is not excellent in one category but very solid all around. It allows for a lot of customization for more serious archers and comfortable enough to use for beginners. I would slightly prefer this one over the similar Tigershark takedown recurve bow.
SAS Spirit 62″ Take Down Recurve Bow
Here we come with another SAS product created by Southwest Academy. This one is the Spirit Recurve Bow that gives a fantastic performance for its price tag. This bow is 62 inches in length and made for both left and right-handed individuals.
It has a draw weight of either 22, 26, 30, 34 pounds, which makes it ideal for younger folks and females.
The bow limbs are made of maple hardwood, finished with a top lamination layer. To give it additional strength, it is reinforced with durable fiberglass material to add flexibility and power to the shot.
This will make any backyard shooting or outdoor hunting trip super fun. Another additional benefit is that it comes with a three-year limited manufacturer warranty.
• Beautiful design
• Great price
• Allows many options for customization
• Lightweight frame
• While it looks nice, the white limbs make hunting harder as this bow does not blend in with the environment. Also, it lacks power and accuracy, so I would not use this bow for serious hunting. This is the perfect bow for target practice and archery competitions.
this is an ideal bow for children or anyone under 5‘9“. I would not take this bow hunting as it really does not blend into many environments, especially with the limbs being so white. Otherwise, this is a great starter bow.
TopArchery56″ Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow Metal Riser Right Hand Black Longbow
TopArchery has made a fantastic product for both beginners and intermediate archers. This recurve bow has a total length of 56 inches with a maximum drawl length of 30 inches. I like how it comes in multiple drawback weight options for 30 pounds, 35 pounds, 40 pounds, 45 pounds, and 50 pounds.
I found the one at 40 pounds draw weight has the best reviews.
This bow is made with a beautiful aluminum finish and nicely polished. The limbs are made of durable fiberglass with a maple hardwood core. However, this bow is only made for right-handed archers only.
This bow does look amazing as it is sleek with a beautiful black and gray color pattern.
Top archery is so confident in this product they offer a one-year warranty with a 100% satisfaction policy guaranteeing a full refund if you were not satisfied with this bow.
• One year warranty with 100% satisfaction guaranteed
• Suitable for beginners and intermediate archers
• Great price tag
• Durable design
• This one of the few bows that does not have a left-handed version. Do not worry, I would recommend getting the SAS Spirit if you are looking for a great recurve bow at a reasonable price.
The history of Recurve bow
We think that archery most likely dates even further back around the times of the Stone Age of man roughly 20,000 BC. These primitive bows and arrows were one of the first of many technological innovations in humanity. Humans, instead of using wood tips, started using stone tips and arrowheads, making them more deadly.
Now one does not need to be a strong, burly man to catch wild animals when hunting, allowing more people to be able to hunt. Also, there is increased survival as ranged weapons allowed humans to use the environment to hide until that opportune moment for the kill.
The next group of civilized people that evolved the arrow were the Egyptians during the Bronze Age. They popularized archery for hunting, warfare, and sport.
The bow then dominated the massive continent of Asia during the Mongol/Chinese wars. This time arrows were used by the horseback Mongols of ancient Central Asia that were invading West China around 1000 BC. We can find mention of the use of bows and arrows in the Bible, Torah, and Quran as well (depending on what your religious beliefs are).
What made the bow and arrow so useful was that only a little training was required for a bow.
Compared to a sword or spear or ax, which required much more time and skill to use. Thus the recurve bow and arrow can make any inexperienced soldier into a deadly weapon.
In Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War, written400 BC, he states how they were essential to victory. Archers were both very mobile and hit with deadly precision. The recurve eventually spread its way across Asia East and West to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
The recurve bow was eventually developed into a more gigantic bow called the ballistae to be used on a mounted tripod on land or by Roman Cavalry on horseback. Think of this as an anti-personal type of weapon meant for “shock and awe.”
Eventually, bows faded out of combat, especially with the development of gunpowder. Now with firearms, even less training was needed to make soldiers deadly.
Today bows are still very much used for both hunting and game.
Why a Recurve Bow and not a Straight-Limb?
Recurve bows are unique in that the limbs curve away from the archer when he winds up the arrow. Because of this, the archer can generate more kinetic energy into the shot. With more power, not only is the shot more powerful but more accurate as well.
Also, because of their longer frame and the way the limbs bend, they are more durable as well.
Straight bows still work fine, however, if you are looking to buy a bow, then recurve is the only way to go.
What to Look For in a Recurve Bow
A good recurve bow can run you from $60 to $250. Do you want to go for all the bells and whistles? Or do you need a recurve bow that can just get the job done?
If you are an experienced archer or hunter looking to take your hunting game to the next level, you can consider investing in one of the higher-end models. Those higher-end models worth investing in include the Bear Archery series of recurve bows.
Do you have monthly hunting trips with the boys?
Or do you just want to shoot some archery targets every now and then?
The purpose, along with cost, should be the two most significant factors on the brand of recurve bow you should buy.
For those that want to get prolonged use out of it. It would be wise to invest in a more advanced, durable model. If you wish to use it for fun, there are plenty of options under $100 on our list.
If you are going to shoot some targets, weight might not be a bid deal. However, if you are going on hunting trips, a lighter bow would be better. Lighter bows alow you carry them around longer without getting worn out.
The rule is if you are going hunting and expect to carry it for a while, go for a recurve bow under 3 pounds.
Just make sure to check the weights on the company site and Amazon before making the purchase.
Some of the most popular brands of bows include Southwest Archery, Bear Archery, TopArchery, Martin Archery, Samick Sports, and Hoyt.
All these companies
1. Use high-quality wood and materials
2. Feature comfortable grips with options for left and right-handed users
3. Use high-quality strings
4. Feature recurve bows with flexible limbs
Read the reviews and customer testimonials on Amazon to validate the brand before buying.
This is the amount of force you need to place on the string to fire the arrow correctly. In general, beginners should be using a draw weight of 30 pounds, while more experienced users can handle 45 pounds.
The reason is that the more force needed to cock the arrow, the more powerful and accurate that shot will become.
For hunting something like a bison or elk, you may need every bit of that 45-pound draw weight to deliver an arrow that can penetrate that skin.
If you are shooting at a target, 30 pounds is more than enough to penetrate it. Just know the more force you use, the more difficult the shot becomes as well.
I will keep it simple with the rule for bow length.
The standard bow length should be between 54” to 60”. Closer to 60” for grown adults and closer to 54” for children/teens.
The longer the bow, the more powerful and accurate it is.
Do not worry if your recurve bow is longer than you. It must be made this way to deliver enough force and accuracy. However, make sure the bow is never one foot longer than you, and you should be fine.
Parts of the Bow
The part where the limbs connect to and where your grip will arise. This is the central part of the bow where other accessories like your stabilizers and quiver will attach to.
This part is usually made of carbon fiber or some metal like aluminum for durability while being light.
The component that connects to the riser and gives attachment to the string. The limbs are where the kinetic and potential energy of the arrow are stored by pulling on the string.
Most limbs are made of either wood, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. You can also see combinations of wood and fiberglass to give even more strength.
It gives the view of your shot from the riser. Usually, most archers place some type of pin in their sight to help guide their arrows. These are plus or minus as you do not need them but can help with beginners.
This is the part that absorbs the excess vibration energy of the shot. This is a system made of rods and bars. They are inside the limbs and risers to give a counterforce when the arrow is fired. The primary stabilizer of the system is the v-bar.
This is the cord structure that tips the limbs to help transform stored energy into kinetic energy when fired.
This is the part of the recurve that is meant to reduce oscillations when it is on the arrow rest. This makes the arrow more likely to go through the center of a target rather than sway horizontally.
A simple name for the part where the arrow rests on before firing.
Types of Bows
The longbow is a tall bow that is straighter in design compared to the recurve bow. It also usually made of one piece of wood compared to compound and recurve bows.
It has more narrow limbs, and they have a more circular cross-section when firing.
The main pro is that you do need as much force to fire one as a recurve bow. Another benefit is that they are lighter and have less sway from side to side. The first bows created were longbows back in 3,000 BC.
The cons were that these bows were prone to breaking. Their limbs cannot handle to much strain since they are narrower. These bows must be made of a more pliable type of wood like Yew rather than a harder wood like Maple or Oak. Also, due to being made of weaker wood, they are less potent than recurve bows since once cannot generate as much force out of fear of breaking the bow.
This is the upgraded version of the original bow incorporating more mechanic elements. These types of bows are more popular among hunters because of the shorter limbs and lightweight design. They are made of robust and durable material and designed in a stiffer build.
The feature is that it uses two string connected pulley systems in tandem to give more kinetic energy to the arrow once fired. Since they are compact and narrow, it makes less noise, thus ideal for hunters.
The downside is that they are more expensive and require more upkeep. Not to mention slightly heavier on average. They cost a lot more to maintain, as well. You must also make sure to take care of them as anytime is dropped or hit; it can lose accuracy.
This is the modern form of the ancient bow made of carbon fiber, aluminum, or stainless steel.The recurve bow gets its name from how the limbs curve away from the user. This is a powerful type of bow that requires a longer draw. Thus because of this, it fires with more power and accuracy than a bow and arrow.
As for the downside, they are larger and noisier. Also, the string is more likely to snap under significant force, thus making you buy new strings.
I recommend anyone to buy a Compound Bow.
While these can be pricier, they are more durably built and more accurate.
How Long should my Recurve Bow be?
The general rule is that you want a bow that has a draw length of half of the total length. To give an example, if the bow length is 60 inches, the optimal draw length should be no more than 30 inches. This ensures the bow can generate enough power leading to a more accurate shot.
What is a Takedown Recurve Bow?
This is bow where you can unscrew the limbs and make it more portable. Takedown bows are meant for those on the go or looking to reduce storage space.
What is the Best Bow for Beginners?
I recommend getting either the SAS Spirit or the DOSTYLE hunting bow. They are both easy to use and will not burn a hole in your wallet.
What Makes a Recurve Bow Powerful?
It is the tension caused by the pulling of the string, which bends the limbs. When you are pulling back, you are creating kinetic and potential energy, which increases the farther you pull back.
What is a Good Brand of Bow?
The most reputable brands are Southwest Academy, TopArchery, Samick Sports, Martin Archery, Bear Archery.
Is it Legal to Use a Bow for Hunting in All States?
Bows are allowed for hunting use in all 50 of the US states with some restrictions on arrow length.
Unlike a crossbow, a recurve bow is not considered a loaded weapon, so there are fewer rules.
For instance, there are currently no restrictions on the bow’s draw weight, let-off, arrow-length, or sights in my own state of Georgia.
Editor’s Choice: SAS Courage Takedown Recurve Bow
This bow feels excellent in your hands. It is both useful for archery practice as well as hunting game out in the wild. It is at a very affordable price for such a high-quality bow, you would have to be the pickiest of archers not to like it.
My advice is to hit the practice archery ranges with a rental bow first. That way, you can feel out what size bow feels best in your hands as well as getting some practice. I hope our guide has helped you in finding that recurve bow that will enhance your target practice or hunting.
Go out and get a recurve bow and get some friends to bring with you. It is time to get outside now that the coronavirus lockdowns are starting to get lifted.
Enjoy and Be Happy, and Healthdy! Most importantly, be safe and wear a mask!