How to Shoot a Recurve Bow – Step By Step Guide

how to shoot a recurve bow

Every day new archery enthusiasts are being born, and they are eager to learn this skill passionately. But as the modern compound bows have taken over the bow industry, the newcomers who start with a classic recurve bow keep wondering how to shoot a recurve bow and learn the skill in a short time.

Remember Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in hunger games? She hyped the recurve bow tradition and re-launched the coolness after using one in hunger games. Though recurve bow had always been so many hunters’ first choice, shooting recurve bows got a new dimension since hunger games.

You might have wondered and look for help to get details about recurve bows. But we understand how hard it can be to get it nowadays. So, we decided to gather all the basic tutorials of shooting a recurve bow and bring out the best possible tricks and tips for you.

So, let’s get started!

To get the full tutorial right, we will go step-by-step procedure and learn all those little tricks to perform the shooting better. And remember one thing the first time, everyone trembles, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right at first. With a bit of patience and a lot of practice, you will become an expert in no time!


Get a Bow that Matches Your Vitality

There are so many sizes and designs available in the market. Don’t fall for the cheesy advertisements and randomly buy a bow. Buy a bow that perfectly matches your height, hand lengths, and so on other physical Limitations. If not, you will end up suffering a lot and lose interest in overall archery.

Decide what do you want to do with your recurve bow, hunting, or target archery? If you’re going to go hunting with one of these, try to pick ones with higher draw weights. And for target archery, fewer draw weights doesn’t very much impact the results.

After concluding, research the best quality bows available in the market, be consistent with your budget, and get the best one for you.

Set up the Draw Weight

Draw weight refers to the weight you will have to use to pull the bowstring to the right place. The ideal draw weight is considered to be 18 lbs to 24 lbs for an average built adult. Children should go for a much lower draw weight that can vary from 7 lbs to 11 lbs.

The whole draw weight measurements can vary from person to person and situation to situation. So, before setting up your draw weight, know your limit and start practicing with a minimal one. Start with a lighter bow and check if it is easy for you to pull back with the decided weight.

Measure Your Draw Length

Measuring draw length is a little tricky but not as hard as people say it is. So many people cringe over this silly fact which can be decided in just a couple of minutes.

The formula of measuring draw length is-

Stand straight and spread both of your arms to the opposite direction of each. Keep your hands straight and take measurements of your arm span from index to index. Now divide the arm span with 2.5. And that’s the most accurate draw length for you.

Get an Appropriate Arrow

Choosing an arrow is one of the trickiest parts of archery. Many experienced hunters face difficulties with arrows and keep changing them. There are basically three different arrows available in the market based on their material. You will find wood, carbon, and aluminum arrows available in the market, and all of them are relatively lightweight.

The shaft plays a vital role in the arrow’s penetration. The heavier the shaft is, the deeper it will sink in the target. An effective and important tip about choosing the right arrow is that an ideal arrow will be half inches longer than your draw length. Furthermore, you should use the right broadhead for your recurve bow.

Buy Safety Gear and take Precaution

This is an integral part of learning any new skills. The arrows have very much sharp ends, and they can cause deadly effects if not used with precautions. To avoid any unwanted accident and ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, take all the safety measurements possible. Choose a safe and distant practice ground and make sure no one comes in your way while shooting your arrow.

Also, buy some safety gear like an armed guard, finger tabs, and helmet for you. These little things can make the sport more fun within a safe environment.

Find the correct Stance for You

Stance refers to the standing position which works best to shoot an arrow. There is a classical stance where you need to stand straight; pointing your left hip to the target, and your body will remain vertical. So many hunters still follow this stance and get excellent outcomes too.

If you are not comfortable with this standing position, you can customize the preferable stance that works best for you.

Set up a Target

Set up a target to practice your first shot. You can buy targets from any archery shops available in your region. Try to purchase a firm target, but it shouldn’t be too hard to harm the arrows.

And now you can mark your target with one eye open, draw your arrow and shoot!

As simple as that!


If you are a movie lover and watch series too, you may already come across a lot of scenes where the protagonist shoots an arrow and how perfectly it hit the target to knock it drop dead. It looked so simple, isn’t it? But in reality, you need to follow all these steps carefully and practice a lot, and only then you might be able to shoot a recurve bow perfectly! Let us know about your archery journey and how you handled your bow for the first time. Happy hunting!

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