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Guide To Choosing The Right Recurve Bow Draw Weight

When you aim your bow to take your shot, you are pulling back the bow while holding the draw. This requires strength to do. The draw weight of your recurve bow will determine just how much strength you will need.

It is crucial to decide the ideal and right draw weight for yourself when going bow-shopping. You might now wonder “what draw weight should I get for a recurve bow?”

Well, we are here to help you with it!

Down below we will discuss everything about recurve bow draw weight and how to adjust the right draw weight.

The draw weight can usually be found marked on the lower limb’s face. It is normally specified in pounds or lbs. For instance, 32 lbs @ 30 inches would mean a weight of 32 pounds will be on the string when drawn to a length of 30 inches.

It is important to note that a heavier draw weight will not directly result in your shots being more accurate as a stiffer arrow will be required which can be heavier. Heavier arrows tend to fly slower.

A general rule of thumb is that you can expect 2 lbs. of extra weight for each inch over drawn.

Similarly, under drawing an inch could lead to losing about 2 lbs of draw weight. If all this seems too complicated, refer to the draw weight chart to help you out.

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Anyone who knows anything about archery will tell you having a very high bow draw weight is not something to brag about. It is much more impressive shooting more accurate shots with a draw weight that works for you than someone tiring their muscles out and only being able to shoot 4 to 5 time.

If you are just starting out, you will find it is much easier to use a lighter draw weight. Once you have developed the technique and become consistent, you can think about increasing the weight

As you practice more, you will develop the muscles used in shooting the bow and naturally be able to draw more weight and hold it steady.

Do Not Overestimate Yourself

People will suggest you to start off with a draw weight that is as high as possible which is not the right thing to do. However, we care about you!

You must note that you will absolutely not enjoy the sport if you have to use every ounce of your strength to draw the bow. You will be shaking constantly and be way off target with your aim.

It is also important to know that some draw weight charts suggest a draw weight based on your age, even though age has no effect on your ability to draw a bow.

Recurve bows are different from other compound bows. If the recurve bow has a 30 pounds draw weight, you will be pulling that exact weight whereas a compound bow will need only 15% to 20% of the draw weight to be pulled due to its let-off feature.

Picking The Correct Draw Weight for Recurve Bow

Archery uses muscles in your back and shoulders which are not usually exercised like the trapezius, rhomboids and the latissimus dorsi. A very well fit person could still be having drawing weight more than 30 to 35 lbs. We would recommend you start off at 20 to 25 lbs. if you are a beginner. Children are generally weaker and should start off around 10 to 20 lbs.

As mentioned above, the draw length is a very important factor when picking out the correct draw weight. Calculate your draw length and simply multiply it with 2, however a bow scale will provide better accuracy. If your draw length is over 30 inches get a taller bow or increase draw weight exponentially.

But, how to determine draw weight for a recurve bow precisely you may ask?

Well, a great way to know what is a good draw weight for a recurve bow is to just try it out for yourself. Take a few lessons, rent a bow or go to the range and -just try out a few different weights.

Once you shoot a certain number of arrows, you will get a better understanding on what you can handle and what is appropriate for you.

Keep in mind that you should be able to keep shooting after you have already shot the arrow a few dozen times. Decrease the weight if your muscles keep getting tired after a few shots.

Note that shopkeepers have a better understanding of these but you should not rely solely on what they think is best for you.

Picking The Correct Draw Weight for Your Recurve Bow

Right Draw Weight for Hunting

Hunting is very different from shooting in a range. The draw weight for deer hunting with a recurve bow should be at least around 40 lbs. As you need to be shooting at a distance of anywhere above 15 yards, you might miss a lot of the times if your draw wight is below 40 lbs. Now you will need to strengthen your muscles to be able to use this weight if you are not already comfortable with 40 lbs.

Approximate Recurve Bow Draw Weight Chart According To Archer's Type

Archer Type

Body Weight

Draw Weight

Small Kids

70-100 pounds

10-15 pound

Large Kids

100-130 pounds

15-25 pounds

Small-Frame Woman

100-130 pounds

25-35 pounds

Medium-Frame Woman

130-160 pounds

25-35 pounds

Small-Frame Man

120-150 pounds

30-45 pounds

Medium-Frame Man

150-180 pounds

40-55 pounds

Large-Frame Woman

160+ pounds

30-45 pounds

Large-Frame Man

180+ pounds

45-60 pounds

Know When You Can Move Up

When you are using a certain draw weight for a while, it will keep getting easier to pull the bow back and keep your hands steady while aiming. As your muscles develops, you should also be looking to move up your draw weight as well. Being able to shoot a couple dozen arrows while your hands are steady without tiring your muscles are indications you are ready to increase your draw weight.


This is about everything you will need to know about recurve bow draw weight and how to choose the weight that is best for you. We hope we were able to answer all your queries to help you choose the best draw weight for recurve bow.

You need to know your purpose and what you want to accomplish with your bow. The bow draw weight differs based on how they are being used and we hope this quick guide has been useful for in picking out your ideal draw weight.

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