Archery has become more and more in vogue of late, what with popular culture bombarding us with characters like Legolas and the very bad-ass Daryl Dixon. But archery is more than just pulling at the bow and shooting arrows. And those people didn’t even have to worry about things like the recurve bow draw weight.
There are different kinds of bows – straight, recurve and compound. And pulling at the bowstring is rarely as simple as stretching it and letting the arrow fly.
What is Bow Draw Weight?
The draw weight is how much strength it takes to pull back the bowstring. That is equal to the force that’s put into the arrow. So, pulling a 50lb draw weight bow, in this case, is similar to lifting a 50lb sack. With one arm.
Ask any archer, he’ll tell you the same thing: a heavier draw weight means you can shoot heavier arrows with more energy and momentum. Simply put, the more weight you pull, the faster you can shoot.
More than Just Speed
So is speed and momentum the only reasons for learning the correct bow draw weight?
A heavy draw weight, one that is not right for you, increases the likelihood that you won’t learn the proper biomechanical form. And archery won’t be a very enjoyable experience.
You know what else?
The wrong draw weight can cause actual bodily harm. How? If you have a hard time pulling the bowstring back and accidentally let go, you could have your arrow flying all over the place, possibly injuring another person.
And lastly, using the wrong draw weight can put a lot of strain on your shoulder muscles and cause you pain.
Best Draw Weight for Recurve Bow
Using a recurve bow for archery means being able to draw and hold the weight long enough to aim and shoot.
Of course, before determining the weight, you’d have to figure out the length. As you pull back, the resistance also increases. And if you cannot reach the optimal draw length, you won’t be able to shoot consistently.
So, if you already know the length, how do you find out the draw weight if you’re using a recurve bow?
The simplest way is to get a scale, like those used in the grocery to weigh fish or fruits. You’d need to nock an arrow then draw the bow back to its maximum. The scale needs to be in-between your hand and the string.
Whatever the scale reads is your draw weight. This is also how archery shops would usually do it.
Is the draw weight from the scale your best draw weight, too?
The draw weight that is best for any person varies depending on skill level. And the more you shoot, the better your physical condition and skills become. This means the best recurve bow draw weight for you could also change.
Experts usually advise adult beginners to stick between 26-28 pounds for a start. Children could below 10 years old should only be at 10 -12 pounds. And teens at not more than 16 pounds.
Recurve Bow Draw Weight Chart
|Archer||Body Frame||Weight ||Suggessted Draw Weight|
|Kids||Small||50 - 70 lbs||10 - 15 lbs|
|Kids||Larger||70 - 100 lbs||15 - 25 lbs|
|Women||Small||100 - 130 lbs||25 - 35 lbs|
|Women||Medium||130-160 lbs||25 - 35 lbs|
|Women||Large||160+ lbs||30 - 45 lbs|
|Men||Small||120-150 lbs||30 - 45 lbs|
|Men||Medium||150-180 lbs ||40 - 55 lbs|
|Men||Large||180+ lbs ||45 - 60 lbs
Archery can be a fun and challenging sport. But over bowing can take the enjoyment out of it and leave you shooting tired and inconsistently. It can even cause you injury. So knowing what the best recurve bow draw weight for you is paramount to having a good and injury-free archery session.