How to Choose a Recurve Bow Length

Updated March 28, 2017

Recurve bows use the curve of the bow itself to provide the thrust and leverage to propel the arrows. In order for the bow to be effective it needs to be the proper size for you. Two measurements are taken to ensure getting the proper size recurve bow: arrow length and draw length. Use an assistant to take the measurements.

Stand at ease and square your shoulders. Bring your palms together in front of your body with the fingers pointing straight ahead.

Allow the assistant to take the measurement from the end of your fingertips to your chest. Add one inch to this measurement. This is your arrow length.

Select a bow length as determined by the ratio chart. For example, if your arrow length is between 22 and 24 inches, select a recurve bow with a draw length of 64 inches. If you are starting out in the sport, select a bow slightly shorter in draw length than your recommended arrow length measurement. This is due to the power of the bow and strength needed to draw the bowstring.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Assistant
  • Bow length to arrow length ratio chart
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About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.