SA Sports Youth Axis Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
SA Sports Youth Axis Recurve Bow

SA Sports Youth Axis Recurve Bow

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How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
18 lbs.Yes


  • Includes a full range of accessories for first-time archers
  • Provides 8- to 10-year-olds with an excellent introduction to archery
  • Well-built, but inexpensive


  • Does not include a bowstringer
  • Instructions are hard to understand
  • Lots of vibration and noise in this bow

SA Sports is relatively new to the field of archery as a company, having only gotten its start in crossbows a few years ago. The company’s founder, Mark N. Ambrose, has more than 20 years of experience in the crossbow industry, and this is reflected by the inclusion of a power stroke row on most of the recurve bow’s specification tables. Let’s see if they know how to make a recurve bow as well as they do a crossbow.

What Comes In The Box?

The first thing that impressed me about the 18-lb. Axis was the number of accessories included in the box. Here’s what you get for your money:

  • The SA Sports Axis, including riser and limbs
  • Assembly hardware
  • Allen wrench
  • Bowstring
  • Sight bracket
  • Brass sight pin
  • Arrow rest
  • Arm guard
  • Target arrows
  • Hip quiver
  • Target faces
  • Owner’s manual

The inclusion of a sight, even a simple one, is quite impressive. The fact that the box includes an Allen wrench for assembling the bow is also impressive. They missed out on including a bowstringer, and that perplexed me given everything else that was in the box.

Is The Axis Easy To Assemble?

SA-Sports-Youth-Axis-Recurve-Bow-ReviewAssembling your Axis is pretty easy, but it can be a bit confusing to install the sight bracket if you’re new to archery. Really, all you have to do to get started is attach the limbs to the riser, using the included Allen wrench and limb bolts, and then string the bow. I highly recommend buying a bowstringer, even though this is a light-pull bow, just to get your young archer into the habit of doing things the right way. Unfortunately, the instructions are fairly useless in assembly, so you may want to have a bow technician help you the first time around if you’re a novice.

What Accessories Can I Install?

The SA Sports Axis is designed to accept an arrow rest and the included sight, and it even has the insert for a stabilizer. I can’t see installing a stabilizer on such a lightweight bow, but it’s there anyways. Before you head out to the range, I recommend installing the sight bracket and sight pin, or having someone help you do that. Then, I suggest you follow our guide to tuning a recurve bow to make sure you get your nocking points and other aspects of tuning done right.

Is The Recurve Accurate And Powerful?

The SA Sports Axis comes in a single draw weight, 18#. As you might guess, this isn’t every powerful. It’s about perfect for a young archer, though, for target practice. If you’re a bit older and looking at this bow, I would probably suggest taking a look instead at our guide on selecting the right draw weight for your purposes.

As far as accuracy goes, the Axis is pretty solid. My young archers were firing this bow all day long, and by the end of the day were easily maintaining 2″ groupings from 20 yards. For their first time on the range, that’s very impressive.

Can I Use This Recurve Bow For Hunting?

In a word, no. The Axis, despite its appearance with the camouflage paint job, is not designed for hunting. It is, rather, designed with learning archery in mind. Other than that, 18 pounds is simply far too light a draw weight to tackle any hunting duties, even for small game.

Will Beginners Do Well With This Bow?

Beginners should find the Axis a very easy bow to learn on. It’s quite forgiving of poor technique and stance, and the included sight is perfect for learning how to train your eye on the target. This particular sight design is also good for building your skill up to instinctive shooting, so I cannot say enough good things about it. The Axis is great for 8- to 10-year-olds to get started, and then move up to more powerful bows.

What Are The Best Arrows To Use With The Bow?

Arrow selection depends on both your size and what you plan on shooting the arrows at. With that in mind, I direct you to our guide on arrow selection for more information.

How Durable Are The Limbs And Riser On The Recurve?

The SA Sports Youth Axis is build from aluminum and fiberglass, and seems to be very resilient. I always recommend disassembling takedown recurves, of course, to get the most life out of them. With that said, I didn’t notice any tendency towards limb twist in the SA Sports Axis, and typically don’t see that in pure fiberglass limb bows, anyways.

What Strings Will Fit This Recurve Bow?

Any regular Dacron string at 18 pounds of draw weight will fit this bow just about perfectly, as long as it’s the right length. The bow is a 54″ AMO length bow, but the limb tips are not reinforced. Therefore, you won’t be using FastFlight or Flemish twist strings on this bow.

Is It Heavy?

The bow itself weighs in at less than two pounds, so it’s not very heavy at all. It’s easy to carry around, even for youngsters, and they’ll be so excited at the thrill of archery that they probably wouldn’t notice if it weighed twice as much.

How Quiet Is The Bow?

This is where the bow’s quality seems to take a dive. This is a very noisy bow with lots of vibration. It offers a fair deal of hand shock, and I noticed cramping in my hands after just a few shots. Part of that may be the result of not being able to pull the bow to my full draw length (the bow’s string only stretches out to 26″), but it’s also because of the amount of hand shock, string snap, and overall vibration in the bow.

Recurve Bow Summary

Thanks for reading my review of the SA Sports Youth Axis. This is a great little bow for beginning archers, as long as you remember its purpose: target shooting and getting youngsters involved in archery. Don’t expect this bow to be good for hunting or competition purposes. Instead, recognize it for what it is: a great first bow for that 8- to 10-year old you want to get involved in archery.

Take a look at Today's price on the SA Sports Youth Axis Recurve Bow if you’re interested in buying.

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