How Are Recurve Bows Measured?

How Are Recurve Bows Measured

Recurve bows have a long-standing tradition and are beloved by archery enthusiasts for their elegance and versatility. Understanding how recurve bows are measured is essential when selecting the right bow for your needs. This comprehensive guide will delve into the various measurements associated with recurve bows, demystifying their significance and helping you make informed decisions. Whether you’re a beginner archer or a seasoned professional, How are recurve bows measured? This guide will provide valuable insights into how recurve bows are measured.

Bow Length

How are recurve bows measured? The length of a recurve bow refers to the distance from tip to tip when the bow is unstrung. It is an important measurement that impacts the bow’s performance and the archer’s shooting experience. The bow length is typically expressed in inches and ranges from 58 to 70 inches for most recurve bows. Longer bows generally offer a smoother draw, increased stability, and improved accuracy, while shorter bows are more maneuverable and suitable for archers with shorter draw lengths.

Draw Length

The draw length of a recurve bow is the distance between the deepest part of the grip and the bowstring when the bow is at full draw. It is a crucial measurement that determines the power and efficiency of the bow. To measure your draw length accurately, stand upright with your arms extended to your sides, and have someone measure the distance from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other. This measurement is your draw length.

Brace Height 

Brace height refers to the distance between the deepest part of the grip and the bowstring when the bow is unstrung. It plays a significant role in the bow’s performance and determines shooting speed, forgiveness, and comfort. A lower brace height generally results in faster arrow speeds but can be less forgiving and more challenging to shoot accurately. Conversely, a higher brace height offers more forgiveness and ease of shooting but may sacrifice some arrow speed. The ideal brace height varies depending on the bow design, and manufacturers often provide recommendations.

Draw Weight 

Draw weight refers to the force required to pull the bowstring back to a specified draw length. It is measured in pounds and represents the power or strength of the bow. The draw weight is essential to determine the bow’s suitability for different archers and purposes. For beginners, the lower draw weight is recommended to develop proper form and technique. As archers progress and gain strength, they can gradually increase the draw weight. Recurve bows typically have adjustable draw weights for various skill levels and shooting styles.


Tiller refers to the relative bend or flexibility of the limbs in a recurve bow. It is an essential measurement that ensures balanced limb performance and good arrow flight. The tiller is measured by comparing the distance between the string and the limbs on both the top and bottom sides of the bow. A bow with an actual tiller has identical measurements on both sides, indicating that the limbs are bending symmetrically. Proper tiller adjustments can enhance accuracy, consistency, and overall shooting experience.

Arrow Length 

While not directly related to measuring the bow, understanding arrow length is crucial for proper bow setup. The arrow length is the distance from the groove in the nock to the end of the arrow shaft. It is essential to choose arrows appropriate for your draw length and the length of your bow. Using too short or too long arrows can affect accuracy, arrow flight, and even your safety.


How are recurve bows measured? Understanding how recurve bows are measured is essential for selecting the right bow that matches your needs, shooting style, and physical attributes. The bow length, draw length, brace height, draw weight, tiller, and arrow length are crucial measurements that impact a recurve bow’s performance and shooting experience.

How are recurve bows measured? By familiarizing yourself with these measurements and their significance, you can make informed decisions when purchasing a recurve bow. Consider your skill level, shooting goals, and physical capabilities to determine the ideal measurements for your bow. Consulting with knowledgeable archery professionals or experienced archers can provide valuable guidance in selecting the right bow for you.

Remember, proper measurements and fit are vital for safety, accuracy, and overall enjoyment of archery. Regularly reassessing your measurements as your skills and physical attributes evolve is essential for continued progress and optimal performance.

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