How to Size a Recurve Bow – Finding The Right Bow For You

How to Size a Recurve Bow - Finding The Right Bow For You

So, you've decided to venture into the world of archery, or maybe you're just looking to up your game with the perfect recurve bow. Whatever your reason, sizing your recurve bow correctly is essential to ensure you hit your mark with every shot. But how can you do that? Don't fret! In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the steps of how to size a recurve bow, including measuring your draw length, choosing the right bow size, and even some pros and cons of various recurve bow brands. So let's dive in, shall we?

Importance of Proper Bow Size

Selecting the appropriate bow size is a crucial aspect of archery, whether you're a beginner or an experienced archer. The right bow size can greatly impact your performance, safety, and overall enjoyment of the sport. Here are several reasons why it's essential to choose the proper bow size for you:

  1. Comfort and Control: A bow that fits your body size and strength allows for better control and comfort during shooting. A comfortable grip and appropriate draw length contribute to a more enjoyable archery experience, reducing fatigue and strain on your body.
  2. Accuracy and Consistency: Choosing the correct bow size improves your accuracy and consistency in shooting. A well-fitted bow allows for a smoother draw and release, leading to more precise shots. Moreover, it enables you to develop a consistent shooting routine, essential for mastering the sport.
  3. Injury Prevention: Using an ill-fitting bow can lead to injuries due to overexertion or improper technique. A bow that's too heavy or has an incorrect draw length can cause muscle strain or even damage to your joints and ligaments. Selecting the right size minimizes these risks and promotes safe and healthy practice.
  4. Personal Growth and Skill Development: A proper bow size allows for gradual improvement in your archery skills. As you gain experience and confidence, you can adjust your equipment accordingly to maintain proper form and technique. This encourages growth and continuous learning in the sport.
  5. Equipment Longevity: A well-suited bow is more likely to last longer, as you're less likely to misuse or mishandle it. By taking the time to choose the appropriate size, you're investing in equipment that will serve you well for years to come.

To determine the proper bow size, consider factors such as your draw length, draw weight, and overall bow length.

It's best to consult with a professional or experienced archer for personalized guidance. In conclusion, selecting the right bow size is vital for your comfort, safety, and success in the sport of archery.

Sizing a Recurve Bow: The Nitty-Gritty

Measuring Your Draw Length

Draw length is the distance from the nocking point on the bowstring to the grip's pivot point when you're at full draw. It's crucial to get this right, as an incorrect draw length can lead to poor shooting form and a loss of accuracy. Here's how to measure it:

  1. Stand up straight and extend your arms out to your sides, forming a “T” shape.
  2. Have a friend measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the other.
  3. Divide this number by 2.5 to get your approximate draw length.

Choosing the Right Bow Size

Once you've determined your draw length, it's time to find the perfect bow size. The following table will help you match your draw length to the appropriate recurve bow size:

  • Draw length of 14-16 inches: Bow size of 48 inches
  • Draw length of 17-20 inches: Bow size of 54 inches
  • Draw length of 20-22 inches: Bow size of 58 inches
  • Draw length of 22-24 inches: Bow size of 62 inches
  • Draw length of 24-26 inches: Bow size of 64 inches
  • Draw length of 26-28 inches: Bow size of 66 inches
  • Draw length of 28-30 inches: Bow size of 68 inches
  • Draw length of 30+ inches: Bow size of 70 inches or more

Picking a Brand: The Pros and Cons

There are countless recurve bow brands on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of popular recurve bow brands:

Samick Sage


  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Good for beginners


  • Not as customizable as some other brands
  • Heavier than some alternatives

Bear Archery Grizzly


  • Renowned for its quality and craftsmanship
  • Lightweight and smooth shooting
  • Excellent for intermediate and advanced archers


  • Expensive
  • Not the best option for beginners

PSE Razorback


  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight and comfortable to shoot
  • Great for beginners and intermediate archers


  • Not as powerful as other options
  • Limited customization options


Q: How do I know if my recurve bow is the right size for me?

A: If you've followed the steps in this guide to measure your draw length and choose a bow size, you should be well on your way to finding the perfect fit. When you draw the bow, it should feel comfortable and not cause strain on your arms or shoulders.

Q: Can I adjust the draw weight on my recurve bow?

A: Some recurve bows allow for adjustable draw weights, while others have a fixed draw weight. If you're unsure about your ideal draw weight, consider opting for a bow with adjustable limbs. This way, you can experiment and find the perfect draw weight for your needs.

Q: How important is the brace height for a recurve bow?

A: Brace height, or the distance between the bowstring and the deepest part of the bow grip when the bow is strung, plays a significant role in your bow's performance. The right brace height can improve arrow speed, accuracy, and reduce noise. It's essential to check the manufacturer's recommended brace height and adjust it if necessary.

Q: Can I use a recurve bow for hunting?

A: Yes, you can use a recurve bow for hunting, provided it has enough draw weight to ensure a clean, ethical kill. Typically, a draw weight of 40 pounds or more is considered suitable for hunting small to medium-sized game, while a draw weight of 50 pounds or more is recommended for larger game.


Sizing a recurve bow correctly is the key to unlocking your full potential as an archer.

By determining your draw length, choosing the right bow size, and considering the pros and cons of various brands, you'll be well on your way to hitting the bullseye with every shot.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep honing your skills, and you'll be a true Robin Hood in no time. Good luck, and happy shooting!