Want to get started in recurve archery without breaking the bank? After all, it’s pretty easy to spend a small fortune on a gorgeous new recurve bow, so you might think you need to be a Rockefeller to get into the sport. The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth and there are plenty of inexpensive (read: cheap) options out there for recurve enthusiasts.
The problem is finding the balance between a cheap but good quality bow and a cheaply made knockoff. Here are the qualities you should look for in a cheap recurve bow, along with our top three picks for you to choose from, if you like.
The Best Cheap Recurve Bows
Martin Archery has been a favorite of the sport’s enthusiasts for years, and the Saber is a venerable model that fits into my top three lists for a wide variety of purposes. If you’re just starting out in archery with recurve bows, this is a terrific beginning bow. It’s not the least expensive recurve on the market, but it has the build quality to stand up to almost anything you can throw at it and still keep flinging arrows down range.
This particular model is a takedown recurve, meaning you can remove the limbs from the riser and replace them. This is great for a cheap recurve, because it means you can upgrade to stronger limbs as your draw strength improves. The Saber is also durable, and accepts all the popular accessories. The only drawback is the arrow rest, which is made from cheap rubber and has a tendency to wear out quickly. On a final good note, the bow is very forgiving of poor stance and technique, an important factor if you’re new to archery.
Korea-based Samick Archery has been around since 1975, and their bows are sold in more than 50 countries. Samick has also been the sponsor for several highly-acclaimed competitive shooters, so you can rest assured their products are well-made and accurate. This definitely holds true for the Samick Sage, one of the most popular inexpensive recurves on the market.
This particular recurve is also a takedown model, and replacement limbs are readily available. It is sold in draw weights from 40 pounds to 55 pounds, which might be a downside if you are brand new to archery and haven’t developed the upper body and back strength yet to handle a 40# recurve. Chances are, though, if you’re an adult with average build and strength, you’ll be fine. It’s wonderfully forgiving of poor stance and technique, without much at all in the way of other drawbacks.
Finally, the list of cheap recurves wouldn’t possibly be complete without a youth recurve, for those young archers in your life. After all, a Martin Saber or Samick Sage is going to be way too much bow for a 7-year-old, so you need to know what’s good for that age group.
The Martin Archery XR Youth Recurve is well-made, and has a draw strength of 10# to 20#, depending on your youngster’s draw length. The recurve itself is 46 inches long, and it’s a takedown model for easy storage and transportation. It includes the bow itself along with three arrows, a quiver, an arm guard, a finger tab, and a target. It should last long enough for your young archer to be ready to upgrade to a stronger bow, so buy with confidence.
Now, what should you be looking for in a cheap recurve bow? Obviously, you want it to be accurate and durable, but there are some other factors to consider when you’re trying to save a few bucks on your archery equipment. Let’s take a look at the important characteristics of a cheap recurve, just in case you don’t care for any of the models listed above.
It’s easy to buy a cheap recurve that will suffer from limb twist or some other quality issue quickly. The key here is to find a model that walks that fine line between between quality and value, preferably finding a recurve that is built to last as long as a more expensive bow.
Ability to customize with accessories
Next, it’s nice to be able to add a stabilizer, sight, or Berger button to your recurve bow. I personally shoot instinctively, without using any accessories, but a growing population of archers prefers to use them. The option should be yours, and it doesn’t take much additional effort for the manufacturer to drill the holes and insert the bushings. Look for a model that accepts accessories to get the most value from your investment.
There’s your list of three great recurve bows at terrific prices, including one for children and youth. You can also shop with the knowledge of what goes into choosing a great but cheap recurve bow, so you can choose any other model with confidence knowing how to avoid cheaply made models. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get into archery, as long as you are a smart shopper.