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The 8 Best Recurve Bows in 2022
The advantages of a compound bow are impossible to deny. But the timeless simplicity of a recurve bow will never go out of style. Whether you use it for game hunting or for target shooting, a recurve bow’s appeal lies in the way it ties us back to our ancestors. It’s about as close as you can get to the bows used by our forefathers hundreds – even thousands – of years ago.
Today’s recurve bows are, of course, more advanced than those used by our forebearers. As rooted in tradition as recurve bows may be, advancements in manufacturing technology, construction materials, and even the science behind how bows work, have given us recurve bows of unmatched power and accuracy.
Picking out a recurve bow isn’t always an easy choice, especially for those who are relatively new to archery. And it’s always worth keeping in mind that the best bow for you might not be the best bow for somebody else. Whether you’re in the market for your first recurve bow, or are a seasoned archer looking for a new tool, the following bows all deserve consideration.
1. SAS Courage 60” Hunting Takedown Recurve
For a versatile recurve bow that’s equally suited for hunting and target shooting, the SAS Courage 60” Hunting Takedown Recurve is hard to beat. It has a simple but attractive design and will give you years of use.
The bow’s laminated wood riser is smooth and feels comfortable in the hand. The limbs are made from sturdy maple and makore wood and laminated with black fiberglass. The bow has a draw weight of 35 to 60 pounds and a length of 60 inches.
The best word to describe the SAS Courage is “reliable.” There’s nothing particularly showy about this bow, but it’s effective and well-made. The folks at SAS (Southland Archery Supply) cover their bows with a thorough 3-year warranty.
I’ve never heard any significant complaints about the SAS Courage recurve bow. It’s made with serious archers in mind and is built to remain efficient and reliable after thousands of arrows.
2. Bear Archery Super Kodiak 60 Recurve Bow
The Bear Archery Super Kodiak 60″ Recurve Bow is on another level. It’s really as simple as that. From the first moment you hold this bow in your hands, the level of craftsmanship is apparent.
While this is far and away the priciest recurve bow on our list, it can give you decades of use. The riser is black phenolic with rosewood accents; the limbs are laminated maple wood, reinforced with black fiberglass
The Super Kodiak 60″ comes in 30 to 65 pound draw weights. It’s a powerful bow with a smooth, quiet draw, and has a cut-on center arrow shelf, leather side plate, and bear hair arrow rest for precision and speed when shooting.
Made in the U.S. and designed by legendary bowhunter Fred Bear, the Super Kodiak 60″ is a bow made with lifelong hunters in mind. It’s among the most effective and reliable bows you can get for hunting big game.
3. SinoArt Falcon 60” Takedown Hunting Recurve
It’s not easy to get a decent recurve bow under $100, but the SinoArt Falcon 60” Takedown Hunting Recurve definitely leads the pack in the “budget” category. This 60 inch bow weighs just 2.75 pounds, which makes for easy traveling.
The SinoArt Falcon is a well-built bow that easily beats out some recurves that cost significantly more. It has a magnesium alloy riser, and the limbs are made of a hardwood composite.
This is a good bow for beginners, but it’s not just for beginners. It’s available in draw weights ranging from 30 to 70 pounds in five pound increments. That makes it ideal for archers of all experience levels (relatively inexperienced users should choose an option lower in that weight range).
Hunting small and medium-sized game is quite feasible with the Falcon 60”. One of the only significant drawbacks is this bow is only made for right-handed hunters.
4. Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow is a favorite among those who are just starting out in archery. But it’s also a bow that many continue to use long after they’ve gained more experience, for the simple reason that it’s user-friendly and a pleasure to shoot.
This is an affordable 62″ recurve bow, with a riser made from laminated maple and olive dymondwood. The limbs are hard maple laminated with fiberglass.
Another great feature is that it’s easy to upgrade the arms on the Samick Sage. You can start out with a 25 pound draw, and gradually work your way up to heavier limbs up to 60 pounds as you gain strength and experience.
This bow is available for both right-handed and left-handed archers. Some users have reported limb twist issues after using the bow for a few months, but this doesn’t seem to be a common problem.
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5. PSE Archery Razorback Traditional Recurve
There may be no better “first bow” for youths than the PSE Archery Razorback Traditional Recurve. It’s lightweight, simple, and easy to use, but also durable. This bow will last a long time, and it’s definitely not a toy.
The Razorback weighs a trim 2.2 pounds. The handle is made of a laminate that includes various hardwood, and the limbs are maple wood laminate and fiberglass. It’s a budget-friendly bow, but it doesn’t feel cheap.
A lot of adult first-time archers love this bow too. It’s a 62″ bow that’s available in right- and left-handed versions and has a maximum draw weight of 35 pounds.
This makes it great for learners, but it must be said, the PSE Razorback is a great bow for practice only; not for hunting. For ethical hunting (i.e. adequate penetration) you really need a bow with at least a 40 to 45 pound draw.
6. Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow
Hunters and target shooters alike agree that it doesn’t get much better than the Grizzly Recurve Bow from Bear Archery. Powerful and lightweight (just 2.1 pounds) this bow means business.
If ever a bow could be described as timeless, it’s the Grizzly. The design of this thing literally has not been changed since 1964. The riser is custom-crafted Futurewood laminate, and the limbs are maple and fiberglass. The whole thing has a satin gloss coating to protect it from wear and tear.
At 58″, it’s a little shorter than most bows, but this gives it a lot of power. The grizzly is available right or left-handed, with draw weights from 30 to 60 pounds. It’s user-friendly but also built for high performance.
7. Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow
An excellent mid-range bow, the Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow is great for anyone ready to level up and leave the “beginner” stage behind. It’s a 62″ bow with a smooth draw and a riser that fits comfortably in the hand.
The Spyder is a handsome recurve bow too, with a riser handcrafted using white oak, Dymond wood, and padouk. The limbs are hard maple wrapped in fiberglass, with reinforced limb tips.
Another cool thing about the Spyder is its versatility, with options to add all kinds of accessories like sights, plungers, stabilizers, and quivers. The draw weight ranges from 20 to 60 pounds, and it’s available in righty and lefty.
8. PSE Archery Night Hawk Recreational Shooting Bow
An excellent traditional recurve bow, the PSE Archery Night Hawk Recreational Shooting Bow is beautiful in its simplicity. It’s fast, accurate, and no-frills, with a timeless design. It also has a built-in stabilizer to minimize vibration noise.
The Night Hawk is constructed from beechwood, walnut, and fiberglass, with a smooth, durable, and handsome finish. At 3.5 pounds it’s not the lightest bow we’ve seen, but it’s still light enough for just about anybody to handle.
The Night Hawk measures 62″, and right and left-handed versions are available in weights from 25 to 50 pounds. Models above 40 pound draw are plenty suitable for small and medium-sized game hunting, but this is a great target shooting bow all-around.
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Recurve Bows FAQs
The defining characteristic of a recurve bow is that its limbs are shaped in such a way that their tips curve away from the archer when unstrung. This gives the bow the ability to shoot faster and with more power than a traditional longbow. Longbows have a simple C-shaped curve, lacking the outward-curving tips of a recurve bow.
Compound bows differ from both recurve bows and longbows in that they use a pulley system to take the strain off the bow and give slack to the archer, making them easier to shoot. Compound bows are a more modern invention, but many archers prefer recurve bows for their simplicity, and because they feel more authentic. Recurve bows are also easier to transport and maintain than compound bows.
Picking out a recurve bow depends on your experience level, and on your intended use. First and foremost, get a bow with a draw weight you are comfortable with. The best way to do this is to try out bows with different draw weights, keeping in mind that lower weights are typically best for beginners (no matter how strong you are).
Whether you intend to use the bow for hunting or target shooting is also a factor, and of course, it’s always best to get a bow that’s well made from quality materials. Read reviews of various bows, and choose based on the bow’s reputation, along with your own needs and budget.