How to Quickly Find Your Perfect Recurve Bow Size

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If you’ve looked in online or visited specialised shops and looked at recurve bows you’ll have noticed that complete bow sizes are measured in inches from 48” all the way up to 72”. Although recurve bows are forgiving and will allow you to shoot with a draw length that is either too short or too long in order to really get the best from a bow you need to be drawing to it’s sweet spot.

The sweet spot is the point where the advertised draw weight will equal the actual drawn weight, drawing past this point will result in a rapid increase in draw weight known as ‘stacking’ which may make you inaccurate as you’d be pulling more weight than expected, and drawing your bow too short will result in an underpowered shot.

In the tables below you’ll see bow sizes measured in inches, and this inch measurement refers to the AMO (Archery Manufacturers Organization) size of the bow which you’ll see listed in bow specifications online and on this site.

There are 2 methods for finding your bow size.

Using Draw Length to find your Bow Size

Find your draw length (if you don’t know it look here) in inches and then lookup the correct bow size in this table:

Recurve Draw Length and Bow Size

As a simple rule of thumb bow length should be at least double your draw length, but this doesn’t always correlate to a good decision, so the values in this table should assist.

Draw Length (inches)Bow Size (inches) – AMO
14-17 48

Archer Height and Bow Size Chart

You can just go with the basic premise that all people proportioned relatively similarly and using the table below, lookup your height bracket and this will give you a corresponding ideal bow size.

Archer Height Bow Size (inches) – AMO
Up to 5’6″ 64
Up to 5’10” 66
Up to 6’2″ 68
6’2″ and over 70

I hope this has been helpful and you’ve found what you were looking for and you now know your ideal bow size, but as always if you have any questions please leave a comment below or send us a message!

Which bow to choose?

Now you know what size bow you need you might be interested in taking a look around our article that rounds up the best recurve bow or if you’re just starting out then the best beginner recurve bow (spoiler the best of the best of both is the same bow!!). There’s something in those articles for everyone.

Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

17 thoughts on “How to Quickly Find Your Perfect Recurve Bow Size”

      • The one thing i’ve learned in all my research buying my first recurve bow as a novice. Is the mistake most male’s make is purchasing their first bow with far too much draw weight. I thimk this may be an ego thing particular to male’s. Who knows, i also may be guilty of it too. Methinks it would be far more benificial to have less draw weight, till you get used to it. Then buy stronger limbs with more draw weight. hopefully you will have become more skillfull by this time. I speak as a compleat novice & no disrespect is intended. To end, good luck & enjoy your sport…

        • I actually returned the first one I purchased after doing the length research for correct possible size, due to THAT very factor. Returned a 50lbs for a 40lbs, and also have a 35lbs on the way

    • I’m 5′ 5″ and have been shooting a 72 AMO 1968 Bear Tamerlane HC-300 and rocking it! In the end its it’s all about your technique, focus and intent.

  1. So… I’m 4f10″ (147cm) tall.
    My arms-length measurement is 58″ divided by 2.5 = 23.2″
    Then, I understand I need a size Bow 60″ – 62″. RIght?

    I thought I’d need a 48″ or 54″ because of my short size. I’m happy I found your guide.
    My little son and my daughter use the Decathlon Junior 51″ Bow 12lb
    My daughter is almost as tall as me probably I’d need to share my bow with her.

    Now I need to know which drow weight do I need. I was thinking 20lb but my husband instructor thought that was too low. And I’m thinking the kids 12lb is too hard to pull back.
    She is going to pass to me a Bow tomorrow so I can try.

  2. Been shooting the Hoyt Nitrum 34 compound @ 50lbs. with a draw 30″ Easton FMJ & 150 gr. points. I’m 6 feet. Do not hunt big game but am considering some upland bird next year. As per your charts, that puts me at a 68″ bow. I see risers come in various sizes. Is there a calculation as to which size I should be considering? ( IE 17″ 19″ 21″ )

  3. I am 5 foot 4 inches and my arm span is 67 inches which would make my draw weight about 26-27 inches that would make the bow the same size as me… Is that right because that seems very big or did I do something wrong?

    • Hold your hand you would use to hold the bow in front of you, as if you were holding it. Pull your string back until your pointer finger is touching the corner of your mouth. That distance, roughly, is your draw length. For example, I am 6ft and my draw length is about 34”, so I’d be picking anything 70 inches and above as a bow size. I know this is an old comment, but, if it helps it helps

  4. My son 55″ height. Now he is using 24lbs recurve bow.
    He should shoot 60meter distance
    Pls suggest recurve bow height and poundage.
    Suggest some best brand midel bows.

  5. I’m 5’9 And my draw length is 27.5 what size recurve bow should I get? And what do people mean when they talk about poundage does it matter?


    Draw Length:
    *Draw Length = Arm-Span ÷ 2.5
    *Draw Length = Measurement between tip of middle finger to Buttons on Center of Collared Shirt x 2 (or distance between tips of my middle fingers – left hand to right hand with arms stretched out, side-to-side) ÷ 2.5

    Distance between both of my middle fingers is 75 inches.

    75 inches ÷ 2.5 = 30 inches

    My Draw Length is 30 inches

    Draw Length + 30 inches =
    60 inches

    NOTE: I currently shoot a 62 inch, Samick Sage Recurve Bow (even though, I’m rated to shoot a 60 inch bow. This is OK. A few inches longer isn’t going to make that much of a difference.

    *In Georgia (where I currently reside), the minimum hunting rating is at least a 40-pound bow (anything less is illegal). This rating various from state to state.

    ** Only buy a bow, based on the weight that you can pull to your chest (comfortable without shaking), with one arm, while laying face down, on a bench press bench (or on the edge of a bed) Use a dumbbell of a bucket of sand, dirt or water (check the weight of the bucket with a luggage scale purchased from the travel section at your local Walmart or search luggage scales on Google to find one) (buy a luggage scale that maxes out at a high weight number – like 60-80 pounds).

    **Buying a heavier, pounds-rated, bow will only sacrifice your form, stance, and most importantly, your accuracy while trying to aim and/or shoot instinctively – aiming without a sight).

    ** Improper form/stance = a less accurate archer


    Arrow/Draw Length Math:
    *Distance between tips of my middle fingers (left hand to right hand with arms stretched out, side-to-side) is 75 inches.

    75″ ÷ 2.5 = 30″ (Draw Length)

    *Arrow Length is 2″ or 3″ longer than my Draw Length, to accommodate for Arrow Tip Length – or –
    Broad Point (Tip) Length

    Note: An Arrow Tip (aka Arrowhead) can be an inch long to several inches long, which can increase the total length of the arrows)

    My Draw Length is 30 inches
    Plus, 2 or 3 inches for Arrow Tip

    My Arrow Length is: 32″ or 33″.

    *Arrow Grains Math:
    Add 5 or 6 Grains per rated pound of the bow setup. Example: 40 pound bow =
    40 lb x 5 grains = 200 grains
    40 lb x 6 grains = 240 grains
    200 – 240 grain arrows are recommended for a 40 lb bow (this calculation works for longbow, recurve bow and compound bow)


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