Most people who are new to archery choose to go for recurve bows these days. That’s for a good reason – recurve bows are really intuitive to use and are overall an awesome tool. But it’s important that the bow you choose will be a good fit for you. In this post, I’m going to recommend what I consider to be the best recurve bows for the money:

Best Premium

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Bear Archery Grizzly

Best Youth

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SAS Explorer

Like my other reviews, I’m mainly going to focus on value, and so I’m not going to necessarily list the most high-end bows. I will focus on getting you a high-quality bow for a reasonable price, so you can start practicing archery on the right foot.

If you’re getting a recurve bow, you should probably go for a takedown bow. You can read why on my post about takedown recurve bows, where I detail everything you need to know about them. Two of the bows in this post are actually takedown bows, but the one-piece bow is pretty great as well.

Let’s go straight to my top picks.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you buy through one of them, I’ll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. It’s a great way to support the website.

1. Southwest Archery Spyder (Takedown)

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The first thing I noticed about Southwest’s Spyder Takedown recurve bow (link to Amazon) is the traditional look and style. Really cool entry to intermediate level bow, designed for new archers. It’s one of these bows that will grow with you as you improve your skills.

It comes with all the necessary holes for attachments, so you can comfortably add accessories as you progress. It’s also pretty sturdy, to withhold hits and drops.

It’s mid-size height, 60″ tall, which is mainly great for beginners looking to target shoot. The height of the bow means that it’s balanced regarding mobility and aim. The draw weight on the bow obviously depends on the limbs, but it goes from 20 lbs to 60 lbs, which is a great starting point.

As it is a takedown bow, you’ll be able to change the limbs later on if you need to. So if something breaks, or if you simply want to increase the draw weight on the bow, you’ll be able to.

The bow is designed for people with a draw length between 22″ to 29″. If you have a draw length of 29″ or above consider getting the XL version (link to Amazon) instead. Not sure what you draw length is? Read my post about finding your ideal draw length.

Overall I think this would be the best pick for beginner archers who look for a bow that will fit their needs for a while. If you’re a bit experienced, you might want to consider one of the other bows listed below.

2. Bear Archery Grizzly (One-piece)

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I chose Bear Archery’s Grizzly recurve bow as a more high-end alternative, for more experienced archers. I mean, I really think it’s a great bow overall, for new archers as well. It’s a bit more expensive though. If you’re willing to make the investment, you won’t regret it.

It’s somewhat of a short bow, at 58″ tall, so though it can be used for target archery like any other bow, it shines on mobile style archery, like 3D archery of bowhunting. It’s also really lightweight, making it an incredibly mobile bow.

One downside of the bow, in my opinion, is that it’s not a takedown bow. This means there’s less room for changing things on the bow. The bow comes with a draw weight of between 40 lbs to 60 lbs (that, since you can’t replace the limbs, can’t be changed).

Another great feature of the bow is the high-quality material it’s made of. It makes it really reliable, and really resistant to hits and general wear. The maple wood looks really nice as well.

Overall, I think this bow will fit intermediate to advanced level archers, who enjoy mobile style archery like 3D or field archery. Beginner archers will find it more challenging to use.

3. SAS Explorer Metal Riser (Takedown)

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I was looking for a youth takedown bow, and I came across SAS Explorer Metal Riser recurve bow (link to Amazon). What’s cool about it is the aluminum riser, which is really strong but still lightweight. The limbs are made out of fiberglass and maple. As it’s a takedown bow, the draw weight is simply adjustable by changing the limbs.

This bow is taller than those I listed above, 66″. This means the bow will be easy to use for beginners, as small aiming errors will not affect the grouping much. It’s less mobile though than others though, and better used for target shooting.

The variety of draw length on this bow all fit youth archers. The options are 22, 26, 30, 34 lbs, which are a great starting point for beginners.

I think getting this bow for a beginner teenager who’s interested in archery is the best fit. It’s sturdy, with good draw weight options, so there’s room for archers to build their skills up with the bow. It’s recommended for shooters up to 6 feet tall.

How to choose a recurve bow?

There are a low of things you might want to consider when choosing a recurve bow. In this section, I’m going to try to point you in the right direction so you focus on the important things.

I tried focusing on these things myself when recommending the specific bows I chose here. But even if you decide to go for a different bow, keep these things in mind.

How are you going to use the bow?

The purpose of the bow determines the majority of things you should consider. Different styles of archery generally require different specs.

So if you’re planning to use the bow for target shooting, any recurve bow will probably do fine. You can get away with picking a lower draw weight bow, and getting a taller bow that will be less mobile, but easier to aim.

If you’re planning to use to be on a more mobile, modern style archery, like 3D archery or field archery, or for bowhunting, you’re more limited. You’ll need a higher draw weight bow, of at least 40 pounds, which is the minimum draw weight required for bowhunting. You’ll also do better with a smaller bow, that will be easier to move around with.

Takedown vs. One-Piece

It’s one of the most important things to consider when picking your recurve bow. Takedown bows have more adjustability, are cheaper and more portable. But some of the one-piece bows are just so beautifully crafted.

I wrote a detailed post where I detail the key pros and cons of going for a takedown bow, which I really encourage you to read. I actually had a lot of great tips there, and I even detailed the process of setting up the takedown bow.

Ultimately, I really think the advantages of takedown bow far overweigh the disadvantages. But if you find a one-piece bow that perfectly fits your needs, it might be something you want to give up.

Draw weight

Another thing you should consider is what’s the draw weight on the bow. Especially for one-piece bows, where the draw weight can’t be adjusted, it’s important that you choose comfortable poundage.

Still, even if you go for a takedown bow, you should still consider the draw weight. Some takedown bows have a limited selection for possible draw weights, and this should be considered.

Shooting with a draw weight higher than you can handle will absolutely ruin your shooting form and your accuracy. While still better, a low draw weight will limit your potential. It’s the sweet spot you’re looking for. If you’re not sure what your draw weight is, I wrote a detailed post about measuring draw weight you should read.

Draw length

Your draw length is really something you should make sure you’re checking before investing in a bow. A bow with draw length higher than your physical size will ruin your accuracy, while a low length might make it harder for you to properly anchor.

Again, even if you go for a takedown bow, it’s still something to consider, since you’re going to get limbs that should fit you.

If you want to read more about draw length, and potentially find your ideal draw length, check my guide on measuring draw length.

In any case, I’m sure that if you follow this guide and keep these things into consideration when choosing your recurve bow, you’ll find the best fit for you. I hope this guide helped.