What Recurve Bow Size Should You Pick?

You may already be confused by now on what size of recurve bow you should pick. Am I right? You may have even come across several different measurements about which bow size would fit your actual draw length the best.

Let's suppose that you have the average draw length of 28". You looked it up a chart and found that the recommended recurve bow size you should choose was around 68 inches.

Everything was fine so far!

You have started to look at the different recurve bows you were interested in and told yourself: "Where the heck are those 68" bows? The only bows available are for small people or what?" 

Well, not exactly. The thing is that you might not be into Olympic take-down recurve bows for which most of the charts are for. If you are into Traditional recurve bows, one-piece or take-down, those charts become kind of useless. 


Target Archery - Olympic Recurve Bow

Target Archery - Olympic Take-Down Recurve Bow


For an Olympic style recurve, the size of the bow is quite important because the longer the bow, the more stable it will be, as long as it suits your draw length as recommended in the charts. 

A longer bow usually means longer brace height which results in more forgiveness and slightly less speed. The more forgiving the bow is, the less you are likely to notice the minor flaws of the archer in the accuracy of the shots. Characteristics that are very important when optimal accuracy is the one and only thing that really matters when you are steadily going for the bullseye at a specific distance on an archery field.

If you are not yet sure about the different recurve bow styles there is, I would invite you to read the post Choosing a Recurve Bow.


Traditional Recurve Bow

Traditional Take-Down Recurve Bow


For recreational, traditional, hunting or for any other purpose than Target Archery (Olympic Style) for that matter, most recurve bows have shorter sizes, 60 and 62 inches are probably some of the most commonly widespread across the industry. As opposed to a longer bow, a shorter one will have a shorter brace height, causing sharper and stronger shot to happen, resulting in more speed but less forgiveness, slightly magnifying the minor flaws of the archer. A shorter bow would serve well a bowhunter who wants greater power to hit the target but does not mind sacrificing a little amount of accuracy in exchange.


With that being said, let's have a look at some recommendation charts I have for you. The first one is the recommended size for Olympic style take-down recurve bows and the second chart represents the recommended size for any other one-piece or take-down recurve bows for any other purpose than Target Archery.


Recurve Bow Size Recommendations


Note that these values are only guidelines from my end and could greatly vary depending on your preferences and needs. Hunting recurve bows from Bear Archery for instance, are usually made quite small, between 48 to 60 inches are the most available sizes, allowing for shorter brace height hence more forceful shots, plus a shorter bow can be maneuvered more efficiently in bushes, tree stands or ground blinds.

That does not mean that if you have a longer draw length than the one suggested for a certain bow size that you can't use it. Simply keep in mind that it may have you pull more weight to reach your anchor point. The opposite would happen if you are using too long of a bow as you would not be using its full power potential.


I hope this post was helpful to you and remember that you can use smaller or longer bows depending on the intended purpose and that no matter what you pick, it won't hold you back from safely using the recurve bow as you should. Of course, if you are 7 foot tall with extremely long draw length, I would not recommend using a 48 inches bow but within close the average, more or less a couple of inches won't do any harm. If you are going for target archery, then use the right bow size.

Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.




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