As a woman hunter, I have to be smart when buying my bows. When I look around the hunting and outdoor stores I see so many products geared to men and finding a recurve bow or other hunting products that work for me can be difficult. Without proper research it is easy to get lost in the world of draw weights, draw lengths and risers. I mean what does any of that mean? Well I did the research, checked online recurve bow reviews and now I’m here to tell my fellow Karine Vanasse fans how to choose the bow that will work for them.
- Draw weight: In simple terms, draw weight is how much weight or force it takes to pull back the bow to shoot it. To keep good form and to have an accurate shot you must be able to comfortably pull back the draw string of your bow. Men can often use a bow with a draw weight of 75+ pounds, which is not an ideal weight for us woman.
So what draw weight do you need? This depends on your weight and your strength but here is a simple guide:
100-130 pound woman: 25-35 pound draw weight
130-160 pound woman: 30-40 pound draw weight
160-180+pound woman: 45-55 pound draw weight
- Draw length: One you decide on your approximate draw weight you need to think about what length of bow you need. Draw length is the distance you can draw the bow back when shooting and depends strictly on your arm length.
To find your ideal draw length measure your arm span. To do this hold yours straight out from your sides and measure from fingertip to fingertip. Now divide this number by two and you have the perfect draw length for your recurve bow.
- Riser: The riser refers to the shape of your recurve bow and really depends on what type of hunting you are going to be doing with your bow. The three types of shapes recurve bows come in are deflex, reflex and straight.
For indoor target practice, deflex risers are the preferred bow. They produce longer brace heights and shoot at faster speeds than the other shaped bows. The brace height refers to the distance between your hand grip on the bow and the draw string.
Reflex shaped bows have a shorter brace height and also produce great speed. A reflex riser is preferred by outdoor hunters. Straight bows are the most common riser shape and are a combination of reflex and deflex bows. Typically this bow is used by beginners in either outdoor or indoor archery.