Best Bow for Beginners – Guide to Archery Bows

Learning archery an exciting adventure. Once you get into the sport, it is important to buy the right equipment. Your skills will improve faster if you use your own equipment. A bow tailored to your draw length and arrows of the right length will greatly improve your accuracy and optimize your learning curve. If you are looking for the best compound bow for the money, and your equipment fits you well, you will feel more comfortable when shooting. We will help you to find your ideal archery bow and accessories with our guide to the best beginner compound bow.


The different Types of Arch

Two Main Types of Bows are mainly used:

They have a slim and effective design and are mainly used for target shooting – although they can also be used for hunting. These two types of archery bows are the best bow for beginners.

best bow for beginners

There are also other Types of Bows:

Then there are other variations of the above mentioned bows, like the blank bow or the Yumi Bow. These are presented in more detail elsewhere in our guide.

Recurve Bow – Ideal for Beginners

The Recurve Bow is the only bow used for Olympic shooting, therefore it is often called Olympic bow.

The Recurve Bow is one of the best bows because the curved limbs store and release more energy. These recurve arms are often made of a combination of carbon, fiberglass, and wood. The middle piece is made of aluminum, which has been milled into the appropriate shape.

The bow can be disassembled into three parts, which makes transport of the archery set much easier – so parts can also be replaced or exchanged.

With the Recurve Bow one often uses a visor and stabilizers as accessories.

Beginner Youth Recurve Takedown Wooden Bow
  • Riser Is Crafted From Quality Lamination Wood
  • Limbs Are Made of Maple Laminations and Strong European Fiberglass
  • Recommended Shooter Heights Up to 5'10"
  • Pre-installed Brass Bushings for Stabilizer, Bow Sight and more.
View on Amazon

Compound Bow – Much Power with little Traction

The compound bow is used not only for hunting but also for target shooting. It was only invented in the sixties and is based on the pulley principle. There are rollers, also called cams, at each end of the bow. When the bow is now tensioned, the tendon or a steel cable winds itself around these rollers and thus stores a lot of energy.

This has the consequence that during tensioning there is a resistance like e.g. with a recurve bow, when exceeding the peak tension weight the tension immediately decreases to a fraction. This reduction of tension can be up to 80%.

The pros are obvious: much less effort is required, the bow can be held more still and aiming becomes easier.

As for accessories and extensions, there are various possibilities: From the sight, a special scope with a magnifying glass, and much more.

CREATIVE XP Glass Harrier Compound Bow
  • Compact, agile, and arrives ready to shoot straight out of the box
  • 100% adjustable for users of all ages without going to a bow shop
  • Suitable for everyone from beginners to experienced bowhunters
View on Amazon

archery bows

Longbow – The Original Bow Form

The longbow is a traditional bow, which is rod-shaped in the relaxed state. When cocked it is available in D-form (Selfbow), but also with flattened throwing arms, which is the more modern version of the longbow.

The name longbow comes from the length of the bow – it is often as large as that of the archer. Today, however, the bow length is much less long and therefore the draw weight is also easier to handle.

For beginners, the longbow is not necessarily recommended, because the handling is a bit more difficult, for the first attempts a recurve bow is much more suitable.

Although a traditional bow, it is now also available in carbon/fiberglass.

Mongolian Horse Bow– The Handy and Agile one

The Mongolian Horse Bow a relatively small bow that was originally used to hit targets from horseback. Here of course the handiness and agility were important.

But a Mongolian Horse Bow does not only have its advantage from the horse, but it can also be used very well in smaller rooms.

The Mongolian Horse Bow is not recommended for absolute beginners, because the aiming is much more demanding due to the small throwing arms.

Archery Terms explained: The Basics

There are some terms in archery that you should know. We have summarized the most important ones and explain them in a clear and concise way.

  • Centerpiece: This is the grip of the bow; this is what you hold when you shoot.
  • Arched Window: It is a recess milled out of the middle piece on the side where the arrow is placed. In this way, the arrow can be placed as close as possible to the center of the bow when it is placed on the surface.
  • The Throwing Arms: These are attached to the middle piece; they form the actual bow, with the upper limb attached to the lower limb by the bowstring.
  • The Bowstring: This is the line that connects the upper throwing arm with the lower throwing arm.
  • The Nocking Point: This is the place on the bowstring where you place the arrow. The nocking point must remain at the same place so that you can aim and shoot evenly.
  • Arrow Rest: The Arrow Rest is mounted on the middle piece and serves to support the arrow. This is often made of metal or plastic.
  • The Bow Sight: The bow sight is a kind of scope like a rifle – after it is adjusted correctly, it serves you well when aiming. There are a variety of models that can be attached and detached at any time.

archery bow

Which Bow is especially suitable for Beginners in Archery?

Basically you can start into the world of archery with any bow. However, depending on the type of bow you choose, the learning curve is steeper or flatter.

So if you want to see the first successes quickly and have a low frustration tolerance, we clearly recommend the recurve bow or compound bow. The reasons for this:

  • You need less strength to draw the bow
  • It’s easier to aim it
  • The range is greater
  • There are tools and accessories that make shooting easier
  • Large selection when buying a bow

These are just a few of the advantages of the above-mentioned bows.

Recommendation of Bows for the Start as Archer

A recommendation for recurve bows and compound bows follows.

The right Arch Length

There are two main measurements you need to choose a first bow: The draw length and the draw weight.

Train length

The draw length refers to the distance to which you can easily pull the bowstring back. The draw length is important because, in order to fire accurate shots, you have to pull the bowstring back the same distance with every shot. Larger people typically have a long draw length, and smaller people typically have a shorter draw length.

There are two ways to Determine the Train length:

  1. Take your height in inches and divide it by a factor of 2.5, for example: If you are 1.80 meters tall, this corresponds to 70.8 inches and (180cm / 2.54 / 2.5 = 28.3). So the correct draw length here would be an arc with a draw length of 28 inches. This formula usually works very well.
  2. You can also go to a specialist shop and have the train length measured with a special device.

best bows

Bow Draw Weight

The Bow Draw Weight is a measure in pounds that indicates how much resistance is created when the tendon is tensioned.

A pull weight of 10 pounds is very easy to pull, whereas 50 pounds requires a considerable amount of effort.

As a rule of thumb, archers can trade a draw weight of 5 to 20 pounds until the age of 18, between 18 to 21 years 15 to 30 pounds are realistic, and from 22 years on, depending on the exercise, a bow from 25 pounds draw weight is suitable. But these are only guidelines.

Recurve bows usually have a fixed draw weight, whereas with compound bows the draw weight can be adjusted. This is a clear advantage, especially for beginners.

You can find out more about train weight in our guide article: Bow Draw Weight

Right- or left-handed Bow

When buying a bow, another important factor is that there are right- and left-handed bows:

  • Right-handed Arch: This is held in the left hand and tightened with the right hand
  • Left-handed Arch: This is held in the right hand and tightened with the left hand

Accessories for Bows

Archery is a relatively material-intensive sport if you want to do it with a certain level of difficulty. There is a whole range of useful tools and accessories that make archery easier for you.

You can find more information in our separate guide article: Archery Supplies

A Bow is not a Bow without an Arrow

There are three main types of arrows: aluminum, carbon, and wood. Each has specific properties and specific use.

Everything to the topic arrow you find with us in the following article: Buy Arrows Guide