Southland Spirit Review – a Recurve Bow Inspection


LengthBow WeightDraw WeightTakedown?
Southland Spirit Bow

Southland Spirit Bow

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62 inches3.6 lbs

How to: choose arrows, draw weight, and tune your recurve
26 to 36 lbs.Yes

- Inexpensive beginner bow
- Includes bushings for stabilizer, sight, and plunger
- Riser and limbs come unfinished from the factory
- Bolts strip easily
- No bowstringer included
- Only available for right-handed shooters
Also recommended: Best Southland BowsCompare prices across top hunting gear sellers

Package Contents

Welcome to my review of the Southland Spirit. Each package delivered by Southland includes the following items:

  • The Southland Spirit Bow
  • 14-strand string
  • Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty card

Assembling The Bow

Assembly of the Southland Spirit only takes minutes, because this bow is designed to be a takedown bow. Be mindful of how tight you screw in the takedown bolts, however, as they strip easily. You might even find that one or both bolts are already stripped right out of the box, as I did! Other than that, this is a simple no-frills bow that assembles and disassembles quickly and easily.

You don’t get a bowstringer with the bow, so make sure you have one on hand. Stringing a bow without a bowstringer is not only dangerous, but it voids your warranty as well.

How Powerful and Accurate is the Bow?

The Spirit is available in strengths from 26# to 36#, and it shoots pretty straight. Those draw strengths won’t provide a lot of power behind the shot, but the bow is plenty powerful enough for target shooting.

I only shot the Spirit from 25 yards, and found it to be fairly accurate. I was able to maintain 3/4″ groupings from 25 yards with ease. I also found the bow to be quite forgiving of poor stance and technique when I let some younger shooters give the bow a try. This bow is definitely designed for beginning archers, and it is inexpensive enough to allow them an introduction to the sport before they upgrade to fancier, better, and more expensive bows.

Is The Bow Suitable For Hunting?

While the manufacturer says this bow is “perfect for .. trips into the woods for bow hunting,” the maximum strength of the bow (36#) falls short of the 40# draw strength required by many states as a minimum draw strength for bow hunting deer and larger game. The bow might be good for squirrel or rabbit hunting, though, since it is accurate and quiet.

Is The Bow Suitable For Beginners?

With its inexpensive price point and forgiveness of poor technique and stance, the Southland Spirit truly is perfect for beginning archers. My only recommendation would be to have a professional bow technician put a coat of finish on the bow, since it arrives as bare wood from the manufacturer.

Does This Recurve Accept Accessories?

The Southland Spirit is predrilled and includes the bushings required for installing accessories like a stabilizer, sight, or plunger. You can trick this bow out with the latest technology with ease, or you can have a bow technician install them for you.

I tend to prefer natural shooting for my own use, shooting without a sight or any accessories. However, many beginners benefit from the use of a sight, stabilizer, or plunger, so it is very nice that Southland has made those features available without extra cost.

Materials And Durability (Riser, Limbs)

spirit-takedownThe Southland Spirit is durably constructed, with the riser made up of laminations of chuglam, gmelina arborea, and beech, to give the riser a pale yellow to cream colored look. The limbs are laminated fiberglass with maple to give them a beautiful appearance. Unfortunately, the first round I went with the Spirit featured stripped-out takedown bolts, but Southland was very quick to replace the bolts.

The most upsetting thing about this bow, though, is that the riser and limbs are unfinished. There was absolutely no finish coat at all applied to the riser and limbs, meaning the bow will not fare well in rainy weather conditions. I’ve read some reports of the limbs being finished, but everyone I’ve heard from and my own experiences show that the riser, at least, comes completely unfinished.

On the other hand, the bow is quite resistant to limb twist, and has withstood several seasons of backyard and range shooting for me and my younger archer friends.

What String Fits The Southland Spirit?

The Spirit accepts a 58” string, and the included string is just 14-strand Dacron. I recommend upgrading the string to a 16-strand string, but bear in mind that the limb tips are not reinforced. This means you cannot use FastFlight or Flemish strings on this bow.

Is The Spirit a Heavy Bow?

At just over 3 pounds, the Spirit is not the heaviest bow I’ve ever shot, but neither is it the lightest. It feels pretty good in the hand, though, and does not cause any hand cramping or fatigue even after hours of shooting. This is a fun little bow to shoot, and should provide at least a couple of years of fun backyard or range shooting for someone just getting started in archery.

How Loud Is The Southland Spirit?

The Southland Spirit has very little vibration and is almost silent when shot. You will be hard-pressed to find a quieter bow at this price, and you can make it even quieter with the addition of string silencers. The quietness and lack of vibration contribute quite a bit to making this bow fun to shoot.

Recurve Bow Review – Summary

Thanks for reading our bow review. The Southland Spirit is a fun bow to shoot, and stands up pretty well to the rigors of young, beginning archers. Unfortunately, it comes unfinished out of the box, so you will want to take care to keep it out of the rain unless you get a weather-resistant finish coat applied to the bow. Take a look at Today's price on the Spirit if you’re interested.

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