When you’re looking for a recurve bow, you’ll find that there are tons of details that you will need to keep in mind. You may not yet know what you need. That’s where we come in. Not only will we give you suggestions for the kinds of recurve bows that you should look at, but we’ll tell you the different kinds of things to look for. It’ll all depend on what you want out of your bow, but you can bet that we’re going to help you discover the best recurve bow for you.
Let’s get into what you will want to look.
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- 1 What Makes the Best Recurve Bow
- 2 10 Best Recurve Bow Reviews 2019
- 2.1 1. Hoyt Satori – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Bear Archery Super Kodiak – Best for Hunting
- 2.3 3. Martin Archery Hunter – Best for the Bow Range
- 2.4 4. Bear Archery Grizzly – Best Mid-Range Bow
- 2.5 5. Tigershark Pro – Best Takedown Bow
- 2.6 6. Samick Sage – Best Bow for Your Buck
- 2.7 7. Martin Archery Panther – Smoothest Shooting Bow
- 2.8 8. PSE Archery Anthem – Best Traditional Styled Bow
- 2.9 9. Martin Archery Jaguar Elite – Best Beginner Bow
- 2.10 10. SAS Spirit – Best Budget Bow
- 3 Conclusion
What Makes the Best Recurve Bow
The ‘best’ recurve bow will depend on what you’re looking to do. Not every bow fits every need, so you’ll want to really think about what you’re doing before you start looking at bows. But regardless of what we tell you, make sure that you test the bow before you make the purchase. What might sound good on paper might not always be an actual fit for you.
1. Purpose – There are two general purposes for bows. The purpose will change some of the specifics that you look for, but not others. While we’ll talk briefly about what the different purposes mean for what you need, make sure to take a look at the rest of this section to find a little bit better information.
The first purpose for a recurve bow is for hitting targets. Almost any recurve bow will work for this purpose, regardless of any other purpose that it might have. You will just need something that you can fire well, so you’re not going to be that limited when you’re looking at bows for this kind of purpose.
The second purpose is hunting. While a recurve bow might seem a little odd for that purpose, you will be able to find bows that you can use. Most bow hunters will wind up using crossbows because they can have a little bit more of a punch. However, regular bows can also work. You will specifically need to look for bows that have a heavier draw weight. Hunting with a recurve bow may also mean that you need to spend a lot more time working on your bow skills. The strength to get a good hit in isn’t something that you will just have. So make sure that you’re not only practicing shooting but also working out to build up your strength.
2. Length – The length of the bow depends on you. The height that you look for will depend on the kind of draw length that you have. This is a measure of how far you can pull back the string before you fire. This will affect the length of the bow that you want.
There are two major ways of measuring this. The first way is to stand with your arms spread, then measure the distance across. Then you will divide that number by 2.5. This number isn’t that accurate, but it can be a good place to get started.
The second way is approved by the ATA (Archery Trade Association) and is understood by many people. You will need a bow. You will pull back the string in a proper firing position. Then you will measure from the point where you nock an arrow to the pivot point. The pivot point is on the far side of the bow, so you may want to measure to where it would be on the inside and then add length. How you do that is really up to you.
After you have this number, you will be able to figure out the kind of bow length that you will need. The following chart has the bow sizes that you will want to look at based on the draw length. Hopefully, when you got to a store, the salesperson will want to help ensure that you have the right length bow. Without the right length, you could be missing out on extra energy that could go into your shots.
For target archery, this is less important. However, if you are intending to hunt with your bow, then you will want to pay close attention to the numbers for the draw weight of your bows. The draw weight that you will be capable of achieving will also change as time goes on. The draw length shows how far back you can pull the bowstring, so you might have to work up to the draw weight that you need for hunting. This is where all that practice comes in.
3. Draw Weight – The draw weight of your bow isn’t the draw length or involved in the length of the bow that you want. In fact, you’ll be able to find different draw weights for many different kinds of bows and sizes. The draw weight is the kind of power that the bow will be able to deliver.
There are average draw weights that you will want to keep in mind when you are looking at bows though. Children will have a draw weight between 10 and 25 pounds. The smaller they are, the lower the draw weight you will want. Women will have a draw weight between 25 and 45 pounds. Men will have a draw weight between 30 and 60 pounds.
However, these numbers are a little bit deceptive. Test the bows before you purchase and make sure that you are capable of using the bow. You will be able to pull more as you train, so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t hunt right away with a recurve bow. Just keep practicing and working on it.
4. Extras – While extras aren’t always necessary, they can be nice. They can help you fire and make it easier to shoot more accurately. You don’t have to use them for target archery or hunting. You can typically find recurve bows that have spots where you can put extras, but you might have to find other ways for some bows that are not made for attachments.
5. Weight of Bow – The weight of your bow might not affect too much, but it can change how you decide to carry it. If you are intending to take your bow hunting, then you’ll want something that you don’t have to lug around for long periods of time. However, the more you work with your bow, the more you will be capable of carrying. After a couple months of hunting, the bow might not feel heavy at all in your hands when you’re walking around the woods.
6. Price – The price of a bow can be a major factor for some people. If you don’t have a ton of cash to burn, then you will want to find a cheaper bow that can deliver a similar experience. However, if you really know what you want and have the cash to burn, then a more expensive bow may be able to deliver a better experience. It will last longer and be made of better materials. But there are options all over the price range, so you should be able to find something that will work for you.
10 Best Recurve Bow Reviews 2019
We have picked out ten of our favorite bows. These will give you a better idea of what’s out there and what you might want.
|Hoyt Satori||2.4 lbs||62"||4.9|
|Bear Archery Super Kodiak||3.0 lbs||60"||4.9|
|Martin Archery Hunter||2.19 lbs||62"||4.9|
|Bear Archery Grizzly||3.39 lbs||62"||4.7|
|Tigershark Pro||2.3 lbs||62"||4.8|
|Samick Sage||3.4 lbs||62"||4.7|
|Martin Archery Panther||2.7 lbs||62"||4.7|
|PSE Archery Anthem||5.0 lbs||60"||4.6|
|Martin Archery Jaguar Elite||2.6 lbs||60"||4.8|
|SAS Spirit||2.35 lbs||66"||4.6|
1. Hoyt Satori – Best Overall
The 1930s began the classical period of archery in the U.S. and Hoyt was one of the first to start a big production company making quality bows. More than 80 years later, Hoyt is still leading the industry. The materials may have changed but the quality hasn’t.
The Satori is from Hoyts hunting line and is about the pinnacle of what a bow is capable of. This is among the best recurve bows made today if not the best. No matter what you want to do with a bow, this bow will do it beyond your wildest expectations. If you are a hunter, target shooter, or just like to shoot for fun, this is it!
The Satori does come with a hefty price tag. But you get a bow that is feather light, accurate, powerful, and fast. You can even get different limbs for different lengths and weights and the Satori comes with an innovative modular shelf to allow adjustments on how center shot you want your bow to be. If you are in the market for the best, Hoyt is the industry leader.
- Incredibly Lightweight
- World Renowned Accuracy
- Very expensive
2. Bear Archery Super Kodiak – Best for Hunting
If Earl Hoyt was known for his competition shooting, Fred Bear was known for hunting. Every Bear Archery bow is made with hunting in mind. Of all his designs, the Super Kodiak represents the ideals of elegance and power that Fred Bear loved.
The Super Kodiak was one of Fred Bear’s last bow designs and one he used himself on just about every game animal around the world. Packing a near legendary punch and accuracy to match, the Super Kodiak is a killer in the woods. If you want the best bow for hunting, look for the one designed by the best bow hunter.
Made from fiberglass but accented with Rosewood and Maple, the Super Kodiak is a beautiful bow without a lot of frills. It’s the kind of bow you want to learn to shoot without the need for all that fancy technology. It’s simple but powerful, beautiful and accurate beyond measure. This bow is a legend and was designed by a legend.
- Extremely Accurate
- Beautiful contrasting wood
- Quite expensive
- Rather heavy
- Handle is a little large
3. Martin Archery Hunter – Best for the Bow Range
Martin Archery rounds out the big three of old-school archery manufacturers and is a great blend between Bear and Hoyt. Great for hunting or target practice, Martin bows have had a long-standing tradition of superb quality and smooth shooting.
This bow may be called the hunter but it is perfectly suited for the target range. It shoots fast and fast arrows are less forgiving in the field where they may hit brush or obstacles. But the quicker the arrow travels, the less it drops over distance and that makes those longer shots a little easier to nail down. Like the Bear bow, this is a no-frills, wood and fiberglass bow that not only shoots well but looks amazing!
The original Martin Hunter was designed more than half a century ago and very little has changed from that original model. There was a time when this was probably the most popular bow on the market and known for its stability, accuracy, and speed. Martin’s Hunter is your best bet if you want a bow that looks great and shoots smooth as silk.
- Very fast
- Elegant and attractive
- More difficult to shoot well
- Not a well-rounded bow for the price
4. Bear Archery Grizzly – Best Mid-Range Bow
If the Super Kodiak is where Fred Bear ended his bow designs, the Grizzly is where he began. He spent fourteen years perfecting the Grizzly and twenty more hunting with it. This bow was designed to be the best all-around bow for your money and fifty years later, it still is.
The Grizzly lacks the high-end power of the Super Kodiak and the breakneck speed of the Martin Hunter but come in square in the middle of them both. It may not excel at any one trait but performs better than average at all of them, all while looking stunning with black fiberglass limbs and rock maple riser.
Bear Archery’s motto is ‘Walk Among Legends’ and with the Grizzly, you will. There is no doubt that the Grizzly has taken every game animal available in North America over and over again in the hands of thousands of hunters. If you are on a budget but unwilling to compromise, the Grizzly is the best bow in this price range, bar none!
- Great bow for the money
- Very well rounded
- Known for being a great bow
- Slightly expensive
- Slightly heavy
- Handle can be awkward for smaller hands
5. Tigershark Pro – Best Takedown Bow
A lot of bows can be taken down but that doesn’t mean they are designed to be taken down and put back together repetitively in the field. To make a bow that can be disassembled and reassembled easily, you have to design the bow with specific features and strong points to prevent failure and make everything line up accurately. Southwest Archery may be a new company to the bow world but they have nailed the takedown system.
A few years ago, Southwest Archery took the bow world by storm with bows offered at a very low price that were high quality and amazing to shoot. The Tigershark series is one of several that are mostly named after their color and pattern. With a laminated hardwood riser and maple core fiberglass limbs, the Tigershark may be the most durable and rugged of Southwest’s bows.
This bow was thoughtfully designed and is comfortable to hold and not heavy which is common in cheaper bows. It comes with all the standard attachment points of modern compounds, so you have plenty of options on how you set up your bow.
- Very affordable for the quality
- Very well engineered
- Moderate weight
- Arrow speed is a little slow
- Lacks the power of more expensive bows
6. Samick Sage – Best Bow for Your Buck
If you were to ask anyone in the archery market what the best value bow is for someone just getting started in archery, at least half would recommend the Samick Sage. The success of this bow has been prolific, to say the least. More of these have entered the hands of new archers since its release than any other single bow.
Southwest Archery’s second bow on this list is simply the best value bow on the market. It may not be as accurate, fast, or powerful as some of the above options. It isn’t excellent in any one thing but it does everything better than average. This is a bow that you can hunt, target shoot, or just play around with for the price of just over a hundred bucks.
Like the Tigershark, this bow is a takedown but isn’t as exact in its takedown mechanism. It does have all the attachment points for accessories and is made of similar materials. This is undoubted a good bow and if it is slightly worse than the Tigershark, it is only in the fit and finish and some finer details.
- Unbelievably good for the money
- More accurate than any other bow in this price range
- Better than some bows costing hundreds more
- Arrows feel sluggish
- Bow feels a little rough around the edges
7. Martin Archery Panther – Smoothest Shooting Bow
There is nothing like a bow that is just slick to use. If you are in the market for something that is just fun to shoot with a smooth draw and let-off with no hand shock or vibration. A bow that is just a pure pleasure to shoot, then Martin Archery has the perfect bow.
Don’t let the comfort of this bow lead you to think it’s somehow soft. This bow is a speed demon with one of the fastest arrow speeds on the market. It’s all in the technology. Martin has made a bow that is low weight and low vibration and that means it’s very low in power loss. Every bit of energy gets put into the arrow.
This bow is capable of hunting and is plenty accurate. It could also serve the role of a target bow. But perhaps the best use is just for something to have fun with. It would make a great all-around bow but when you are hunting, power is king and you may only shoot one arrow in a day. This bow wants more, it wants shot after shot and can do it without leaving you with a sore wrist or shoulder the next day.
- Comfortable to hold and shoot
- Very lightweight
- Maybe the fastest bow on the market
- Clean and elegant look
- A little hard to learn on
- Could be more accurate
8. PSE Archery Anthem – Best Traditional Styled Bow
Humans have been using bows for millennia, that is part of the beauty and allure of the bow. Our ancestors have been bringing in meat with the same tool for countless generations. It’s a great feeling to do things the old way with old tools. You could go all the way back to an all wood longbow but those take a lot of time and skill to master or you could get a bow styled after those ancient hunting tools. Both are a lot of fun!
PSE has made bows for years with a focus on the latest and greatest technology available. They make some of the most advanced compound bows on the market. It’s surprising to see that PSE has a full Heritage line of longbows and recurves and all of them are worth considering but the Anthem is probably the most beautiful.
The Anthem is PSE’s only recurve that doesn’t feature removable limbs. As a solid piece, this bow lends itself well to both accuracy and power. Unlike a lot of bows on this list, the Anthem has limbs that work almost all the way to the handle which makes it a smooth drawing, smooth shooting choice. If you love the traditional styled bows, there are a lot worse choices than PSE.
- Stunning looking bow
- Smooth draw and release
- Far cheaper than most bows of this style
- Great warranty
- Bow throws the arrows high
- Power seems a little lacking
- Has some hand shock
9. Martin Archery Jaguar Elite – Best Beginner Bow
There are specific traits that a beginner needs to be successful with a bow. It’s an acquired skill that takes time to be proficient at. The two most critical traits are how smooth a bow is to draw and how consistently it shoots.
With a rigid aluminum handle and very stable fiberglass laminated limbs, the Jaguar Elite should be about the most consistent bow on the market. Couple that with a comfortable grip, smooth draw, and low vibration and this bow should be comfortable shot after shot for longer practice sessions. This bow may not shoot as smooth as the Panther but it is far easier to hone in on proper technique.
For a first time bow shooter, this bow can easily transition from the archery range to the deer stand. It may not be the best bow but it is a good bow, especially for the money. Whatever your eventual need, this bow will get you there and serve you well.
- Easy to shoot and learn
- Comfortable enough to shoot all day
- Better bows available for the money
- Could be more accurate
10. SAS Spirit – Best Budget Bow
Sometimes all you need for a bow is reasonable performance for a budget price. Not long ago that wouldn’t have been possible. Newer trends in machinery and more cost-effective materials have made it possible to get a bow that is capable of hunting for less than a hundred bucks.
Perhaps one of the best of the extreme budget bows is the SAS spirit. With the same styling and similar functionality to the Southwest Archery bows, this is a decent shooting little bow, considering the price can be as low as 70 bucks if you shop around.
There is nothing exceptional about the SAS Spirit. At best its average in its performance. Yes, it can take game and its accurate enough with some practice but it’s not the best hunting option. It’s a fun little bow to shoot without any notable issues, it just isn’t what could be called a great bow. But it is great at getting someone out and shooting on the absolute cheap! It’s an excellent backpacking bow and would work very well for bowfishing.
- Super affordable
- Great for occasional use
- Lots of options and attachment points
- Noticeable handshock
- White limbs poor choice for hunting
- Could be more accurate
- Arrows are slower
There are so many bows out there for you to try. When it comes to recurve bows, there are so many good qualities to look out for. Out of this list, I would like the Hoyt Satori the most since most of what I want to do is target practice. But I’m not you. What I need and what will fit me will not fit you. Make sure you figure out exactly what you need from your bow before you start looking to purchase the bow. However, once you find the bow that fits everything that you need, you will find something that you will cherish for years to come.