Below is a list of all the recurve bow reviews I have written. I typically add one new review every few weeks, whenever I get my hands on a new piece of equipment or whenever I hear of some new interesting product.
Other than the reviews below, I recommend you check out my list of the best recurve bows on the market where I’ve listed over a dozen of the all-time best recurves ever made – I’ve covered every possible price-range. Also check out our reviews by brand if you’re looking for something more specific.
Which of the above do I particularly recommend?
I think all of these reviews are high quality, but of course I would say that 🙂
Seriously though, my favorites are the Martin Jaguar, the Bear Grizzly, the Martin Hunter and the Hoyt Buffalo. Mostly because I have had such a great time shooting every single one of these bows. They are not all in the same price range, mind you. However each of them was the “best,” so to say, in its respective quality league.
The fact that I enjoyed them is also a reason why I was able to make these reviews exceptionally informative; when I like something, I enjoy writing about it, and I try to do so in a way that expresses my emotions and satisfaction with a product. With that said, nothing on this website should be taken as the ultimate truth. These are my opinions, based on my experiences as well as those of fellow archers. So take them for what they are worth.
I would like you to keep in mind that all of the recurve bow reviews above were written after doing some extensive research – both practical and theoretical. I never review a bow unless I have shot it at least a few hundred times (usually much more) or at least know someone who has done so, as I don’t believe an honest review can be written otherwise. I would like for others to enjoy this sport just as much as I do, which is why I try to review only the finest products so as not to accidentally have someone buy an inferior recurve because of a misunderstanding.
I will however on occasion review recurve bows that are really bad and shouldn’t be bought under any circumstances (unless to present it to someone you don’t like :)). When I do that, I will make it perfectly clear that everyone should stick away from that bow by putting a little red “Stay Away!” sign right next to the review. This should make things pretty clear for everyone regardless of the recurve bow reviews they are reading.
Overall though I do not remember ever shooting a bow which was so bad as to deserve such harsh treatment. There obviously were many inferior products that I’ve dealt with, but somehow I’ve always managed to find the good in them (even if there wasn’t much of that in some cases).
What Should You Look For in a Review?
A few things distinguish a good recurve bow review from one that is not worth your time. Here are just a few elements to look for:
- Was the review actually written by someone who had access to the recurve bow in question, or at least does the review appear to have been very well researched? If not, and if it is just a load of generic information which is useless to an archer’s purchase, then you are better off looking elsewhere for better reviews.
- Are the reviews nothing more than a copy/paste of the recurve bow specifications, taken from the manufacturers website, without the addition of any extra useful data from the reviewer himself? If so, then you’re dealing with someone who prefers to take shortcuts, so you cannot really trust anything you read in his reviews.
- Are you provided with information such as the bow length, draw weight, price and other data? If not, then again you are better off searching for a better, higher quality source of information – otherwise you’ll end up wasting time without actually finding out what you really should know about a particular recurve bow.
The Difference Between Editorial And Customer Reviews
You’ve likely seen lots of reviews and user ratings of different recurve bows on the various websites which sell archery equipment. While these are very valuable, I find that they do not always paint an accurate picture as to the quality of a specific product. Why is that?
Because often enough, only customers who have experienced some issues with their recurve bow will take the time to write a review, usually in anger. Don’t get me wrong – happy customers also like to say what’s on their mind. It is however a well proven psychological fact that people with a positive experience will generally be less inclined to take the time to express their opinion about a product. Here’s an example to illustrate what this means:
Suppose 100 customers bought a certain recurve bow. Of those, 90 were happy with their purchase, while 10 were not happy. Given what I have talked about earlier, it is quite likely that out of the 90 satisfied customers only 5 or so would leave a public rating (the remaining ones would be too busy enjoying their new bow to even bother), while out of the 10 unhappy customers the majority (say 6 for example) would want to take the opportunity to rage about the product. As a result, you might see that a certain recurve has 5 positive ratings and 6 negative ones, leading you to believe that the product is not worth a purchase.
The numbers above are of course exaggerated and in most cases things won’t be this black and white – this was just an example to illustrate my point.
This is exactly why actual recurve bow reviews on a quality site should always be checked before dismissing a certain product based on customer ratings only. An editorial reviewer is usually unbiased towards the bow in question and will likely give you an honest opinion on the product. Also, a quality review website will often list only those recurve bows that are worth your time so as to avoid having people purchase an inferior product “by accident.”
Want me to review a bow?
If there is a particular recurve bow review that you would like to read, please get in touch through my contact form; chances are that I’ve already used that bow in the past, or that I at least have a friend who owns one and who could lend it to me for a few days to try out. I cannot promise a review of course, but I will do my best – I like doing this, it will definitely be a pleasure for me, so please don’t be shy and don’t assume that I won’t reply to you. I check my e-mails every day and reply to everything that isn’t spam 🙂
Is the list above all-inclusive?
No, not at all. There are many recurve bows which aren’t mentioned on this page, and which definitely deserve any serious archer’s attention. The list above simply includes bows that I really felt like reviewing, simply because they “spoke” to me in one way or another. You can always check out more high quality reviews by visiting my best recurve bow guide, which includes an overview and a comparison of more than 12 excellent bows from a wide range of prices.
18 CommentsAdd a Comment
Yesterday I snaped a limb on my PSE Sequoia longbow 68″ 55#. I have a 32″ draw and use alum arrows. This bow was shot 2.5 hr per week for the last two months sense new. I took very good care of this bow. My guess is this bow could not take the draw length or the alum arrows were to light and caused shock to the limbs. All that being said do you have a bow (long bow or recurve) you could recommend that would be tough enough not to snap. Mark West
Sorry to hear about your experience. Can you tell me what your budget is?
Love the site! Great un biased info. My dilemma is do I jump in full wallet and buy the hoyt buffalo (which I loved the design since it appeared) as my first recurve or hold back a bit? I’ve shot a sage a fair amount but at a low #. It will be mostly target and a future in hunting. I can’t find a negative on it except price. Help me bow-kenobi your my only hope! Suggestions?
Hello, my young Padawan. 🙂
If it was going to be your first ever encounter with a bow, I would definitely recommend holding back on the Buffalo and going for something cheaper first. However, since you’ve already got some experience under your belt (with the Sage), you should have a good feel for whether this is a sport / hobby you want to pursue long term or not – and since the answer seems to be “YES”, you should definitely go for the Buffalo, it’s a phenomenal bow. The only thing to watch out for is, as you suggested, the draw weight. It’s really better to undershoot than overshoot on this. What DW are you interested in?
Thanks for the fast reply. I was thinking 50-55. The buffalo can be adjusted some correct? I drew a 70# compound today (first attempt at that weight) with about 75% of max effort. You recommend 15 lower so that should be reasonable. I know I could buy different limbs if needed but the cost of the bow itself it using most of the cash.
It’s never a good idea to compare your performance on a compound bow to a traditional bow from a DW point-of-view. Can you tell me:
1. What was the DW on the Sage you shot and how did it feel?
2. Your “stats” (age, height, weight)
The best solution would of course be to go to a pro shop and test out a bow in the 50-55 range. However, this is a rather high DW for someone who’s never shot anything over 40. The 45 might be a better idea, especially if you have no way of testing out a higher DW recurve.
The sage is 35# at 28inch and my draw length is 29. I literally can shoot all day with no fatigue. I’m 31 y/o 6 foot tall and 170 lbs. trying to get to a pro shop but none in the area that have any recurves :/
With a 29″ draw, you’ll be drawing slightly beyond the optimal 28″, so you’re actually pulling a little more than you think (in a way). If you can’t get to a pro shop to give a 50-55 lbs. a try, I’d recommend going with the 45 lbs.
Drove out to a pro shop and tried out a 50#. I could draw it but with trouble. Tried a 45# and could hold it. Amazing what 5# can do! So you were right. Ordering the buffalo tonight in 45#. Now what color?!? Choices choices. What arrows would you suggest?
Hi mate, happy you found the answer!
As for arrows, it will really take you a good long while to determine what the best arrows are as it will largely depend on how you use the bow, what string you ultimately go with, and many other factors. For now I just recommend following what I outlined in my beginner’s guide for choosing arrows, just to get you started — you can dwell on more advanced details once you’ve got a little more shooting experience. Here’s a link to the guide in case you can’t find it: http://www.bestrecurvebowguide.com/how-to-choose-arrows-for-your-bow/
And make sure to check out the tuning guide as well (see top menu).
P.S. fun little fact: the English longbows of the older days had, on average, 90-110 lbs. of draw weight (with some having much more than that), and every English archer was pretty much required to be able to comfortably draw that much and shoot at extreme rates during a battle.
Hi I was wondering wat would be the best recurves for me? I’m 6’7 23 and 280 pounds my draw is 32″. And for the life of me I can’t find a guide on recurves and draw.
That’s because pretty much every single regular recurve has a 28″ draw. The longer your draw is compared to that, the heavier the bow will feel when drawn so you will need to be more conservative with your draw weight selection. I suggest that you get started here: http://www.bestrecurvebowguide.com/buy-recurve-bow-ultimate-guide/
And ask away if you have any questions after going through the guide.
OK thanks I’m thinking that the martin saber would probably be my best option for the draw I’m looking for because of the length of the bow right?
That’s very much correct!
Hi, I’ve had a look at your reviews and they’re great but I’m having trouble narrowing down a bow in my price range. I’ve been shooting for a while now that I’m ready to hunt, I just need to upgrade. What would you recommend for a beginner hunter in the 4-500 dollar range maximum?
What do you know about the Spyder Takedown Recurve Bow/set? My 23 yr old daughter wants a new bow.
Hey i have a 31 inch draw and i am looking for a recurve takedown could you recommend a bow for under $200? i know many bows are under that mark but some one told me that with a 76.5 span that i need a 70” bow but those aren’t really available, do i actually need a bow that long or can i sue something shorter. i am only going to use it for target practice.
I’m looking into the bear paw Mohican bow or the ragim red lion bow. Have a 30 inch draw length and looking for a 45 pounder in either. Which one will u prefer?