What recurve bow size do I need

What is bow size?

End-to-end length of a bow

It is the length of the bow from end to end while it is stringed.

Why care about the bow size?

Bow size matters because an archer is able to use the full potential of the bow only when he/she is using an optimal setup of the equipment (bow in this case).

If archers use a LARGER BOW then necessary, then they are not able to fully utilize its full power by pulling it to the most optimized length.

While if the BOW IS SHORT, archers experience something called stacking. It is when you draw past the optimal point. And the draw weight suddenly increases. Basically, it gets a lot harder to draw at your full draw length. It is hard to be consistent with it, but otherwise it is still ok to shoot with it.

The other thing with shorter bows is that the angle of the string becomes a lot steeper. This may cause the finger to squeeze together, and touch the nock of the arrow. It is called arrow pinch, and it can make it more inconsistent and uncomfortable.

With shorter bow, because the angle of the string is different, it’ll be difficult to anchor it well on your face for certain anchor points. Especially your nose, and lips, if you use them.

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How to choose the right bow size?

Bow length helps you optimize and use the power of bow to the fullest!

Getting the right bow size is quite important, and many new archers wonder what the right size for them is. Bow length, is based on your draw length (as in, how much do you pull back the string when you are ready to shoot).

There are 2 ways to measure your draw length. The accurate method is to measure yourself while drawing the bow. But for this, you require a bow. What should you do if you don’t have a store to test out different bow sizes and you are more inclined to order a bow online?

The other method is to measure your arm span from finger to finger and then divide by 2.5.



Then you check this table below to have an approximate idea of bow size you are going to require:

14” to 16”48” Bow
17” to 20” 54” Bow
20” to 22” 58” Bow
22” to 24” 62” Bow
24” to 26” 64” to 66” Bow
26” to 28” 66” to 68” Bow
28” to 30” 68” to 70” Bow
31”+70” to 72” Bow

Don’t get stuck into the notion that this guideline provided is “the right length”. It is only a guideline. This table shows optimal bow length for your draw length. This is basically the most efficient bow for you.

The catch is that these sizes generally refer to full size target shooting bow. These are like standard size you use on an Olympic size recurve.

Read: Archery 101: How to Buy Your 1st Recurve Bow

Is it true for all kinds of recurve bows?

If you are looking at a beginner bows or a hunting bows, they don’t come in these sizes. And are generally much shorter.

These bows are designed to be shorter. Having a hunting bow the same size as you can be clumsy to carry around. Beginner bows are meant to be used by variety of people. There is nothing harmful about using a shorter bow though.

Shorter bows are easier to carry and handle as well.

Read: What Size Recurve Bow is Right For Me?


If you are getting into the sport of target archery (meaning shooting a target – Olympic style), then you do want to get a bow length that matches your draw length.

But if you getting a hunting recurve or an entry level recurve, the bows you are looking for are generally much shorter.

Generally speaking, if you have long arms, you want to get a bow that is longer and vice versa.

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