If you know a teenager or child who's expressed interest in archery or bowhunting, there's no time like the present for them to start learning. Our staff of archery experts share their top picks for best youth recurve bows that will help them start right and have fun.
These are the recurve bows that we have started our children with, and we will tell you why we chose them and what we like about them, as well as what we don't like about them.
Many of these youth recurve bows have upgradable limbs, so that the bow can grow with your child. In many cases, these are the same recurve bows that we use, only with lower draw weight limbs for youth archers.
Our Top Picks For Best Youth Recurve Bow
sas junior 58" Recurve
Best youth recurve set
samick sage recurve
Best FOR Teenagers
keshes hunting recurve
List Of The Best Youth Recurve Bows
Things To Consider When Buying A Youth Recurve Bow
What Draw Weight Should A Youth Recurve Bow Have?
Children and teenagers need lower draw weights than adults because they don't have the upper body strength to pull back powerful bows and hold them steady. It's usually recommended that children get draw weights between 15 and 25 pounds, but teenagers can start getting higher draw weights. Keep in mind that you want at least 40 pounds for hunting purposes.
What Length Should A Youth Recurve Bow Be?
The ideal bow length for a young person is important mostly because it reflects the draw length. If a bow is too big for their arms, they may not be able to draw it correctly, and may have difficulty developing proper archery form. Here are our general recommendations.
Child's Height (inches)
Bow Size (inches)
45 - 49
50 - 53
54 - 57
58 - 61
62 - 69
70 - 73
Should I Buy A Youth Recurve Bow Package?
A recurve bow is a great way to get a young person who's interested in archery off on the right foot. They usually include needed accessories, and aside from the fact that this means you don't have to go through the hassle of finding them, it means they're compatible with the bow. We highly recommend recurve bow packages for youth.
Should I Buy A Left Hand Or Right Hand Youth Recurve Bow?
A youth should use the recurve bow that matches their handedness. Ie, if they're left-handed, they should use a left-handed bow. Not only will this make shooting easier and more accurate, but it's safer too because it decreases the chances of wrist slap.
Can You Upgrade The Limbs?
You can upgrade recurve bow limbs to change the draw weight, allowing a young archer to work their way up and improve. However, you can only do this if it's a takedown recurve bow. Even then, you can only upgrade the limbs with other limbs using the same limb attachment system.
Many recurve bows use the International Limb Fitting system, or ILF, but others have proprietary systems. In this case, you'd have to upgrade the bow with limbs made from the same manufacturer.
Reviews Of The Best Recurve Bows For Youth
Best Overall: SAS Junior 58” Takedown Recurve Bow
What we like most about the SAS Junior is that it has all the quality and hunting specialty of adult SAS bows in a package specifically designed for youth. Most importantly, it has a much more manageable draw weight for young learners, and adjustable at that from 14 to 20 pounds. This lets them start easy and work their way up. While this may not be enough to legally hunt whitetails in your area, it's a good amount of power to practice on.
Similarly, the overall size is a lot easier for a young person to handle. Although the riser is still a durable lamination of white oak dymondwood and maple wood, it's a bit smaller and lighter. In fact, the bow weighs just 2.7 pounds in total. The bow itself is just 58 inches with a draw length of 28 inches, much better for children or teenagers still under 5'5".
Another reason it's good for youth is that it's a full archery kit. The equipment includes an arm guard and leather finger, especially important for youth who are going to be more sensitive to string slap and more likely to experience it. Plus, there's a storage case, great for kids who are always misplacing things.
Finally, we were impressed by the warranty. Two years is longer than other brands, especially for a youth beginner recurve bow. This way you know you're getting a quality product.
- Adjustable 14-20 lb draw weight
- Quality wood riser
- Smaller size
- Included arm guard
- Included finger tab
- Storage case
- 2-year warranty
What We Like
- The low draw weight is easier for youth to handle.
- The durable design can handle a child's less-than-accurate usage.
- The small size and draw length are better for youth to practice with.
- The included gear helps keep kids safe.
What We Don’t Like
- The draw weight is not enough for hunting.
The SAS Junior is a great choice for youth to start out on, especially if they're still on the smaller side, particularly under 5'5". It's much more manageable for smaller children with less upper body strength, it still provides the real archery experience. Add this to the protective gear included in the optional kit, and it's an ideal way to learn the ins and outs of shooting a bow.
Best Youth Recurve Bow Set: Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
A full archery set is a good option for youth because they likely need all the equipment to get started and practice accurately. The Samick Sage set comes with important gear like an arm guard and finger guard that help youth practice safely.
The most unique piece of equipment Samick included is definitely the bow stringer tool, something you won't find in a lot of kits. This makes it especially good for kids or youth who may not be interested in archery constantly. When they aren't using the bow, they can take it down to preserve the bowstring.
As for the draw weight, it's probably better for teenagers who already have a bit of upper body strength. Unfortunately, it's not adjustable, but you can choose from a low of 25 lbs to a high of 60 lbs. That means you can get something to learn on or a more powerful bow that's ready for hunting.
- Fiberglass limbs
- Draw weight from 25-60 lbs
- Included arm guard and finger tab
- Included bow stringer
- Brass bushings for hunting accessories
What We Like
- You can choose a draw weight appropriate for the user's strengths and activities.
- The full set allows for hunting or practicing with confidence and safety.
- You can safely store away the bow whenever you're not using it thanks to the included bow stringing device.
- It's suitable for hunting since you can install hunting accessories.
What We Don't Like
- The bow is 62 inches long, which can be hard to manage for young kids.
Notice how much we mentioned hunting? As a full set, the Samick Sage is one of our favorites for teenagers who want to start bowhunting. Hunting with a recurve isn't easy, so all the included gear lets the archer practice correctly and build their skill. At the same time, the power and bushings for accessories mean it can be used for serious hunting.
Best Youth Recurve Bow Package For The Money:
Tidewe Recurve Bow And Arrow Set
Of course, the main thing we like about the TideWe is the budget price. Youth don't always stick with the same interests, and they might also end up wanting to upgrade to a better bow. As a result, you probably don't want to invest too much in their starter bow.
Despite being inexpensive, the TideWe package is still a good deal and includes important accessories for someone starting out with archery. For instance, it comes with a finger guard, six carbon arrows and even an archery target for practicing.
We also like the lightweight design. Coming in at just 2.45 pounds, it's easier for new archers to aim. That said, it's a bit long at 62 inches, so it's better for those who already have long arms.
- Ergonomic riser
- Easy assembly and takedown
- Included finger guard
- Included arrows and target
- Lightweight design
What We Like
- The low price is better for kids or teens who may not stick with archery or might want to upgrade later.
- The full package includes arrows and a target, so you can start practicing immediately.
- The lightweight design makes it easier to hold steady and aim, especially for kids with less upper body strength.
What We Don't Like
- The long limbs and draw length can be difficult for those with shorter arms.
- The low-quality string is more likely to break if the archer uses it for a long time.
This package is definitely what you should consider for a kid or teenager who has mentioned interest in archery but doesn't have any specific goals. In fact, it makes a good gift they can use immediately, inspiring interest. At the same time, it's not a huge investment if they decide archery isn't for them.
Click here for our full TideWe Recurve Bow Review
Best Youth Recurve Bow For 10 Year Old:
SAS Spirit Jr 54" Beginner Youth
Most small children's bows end up being plastic things closer to toys than actual weapons. The SAS Spirit Jr is not that at all, though. It's the equivalent of a standard adult recurve, just a bit smaller for kids around 10 years old.
Specifically, the Spirit Jr is just 54 inches, so it's still accessible to archers under 5'4". Similarly, you can select draw weights as low as 12 lbs. With an easy draw weight like this, a child can still fully draw the recurve and get the feel of real shooting.
Finally, despite being too small for actual hunting, the Spirit Jr has bushings for adding on accessories like a stabilizer and bow sight. Again, this helps a child get the real archery experience so they can accurately shoot adult bows when the time comes.
- Wood riser with fiberglass limbs
- 54" height
- Brass bushings for accessories
- 12-22 lbs draw weight available
- 3-year warranty
What We Like
- The small size is great for kids who still want the true archery experience.
- You can choose a draw weight as low as 12 lbs for kids who still don't have big arm muscles.
- Despite being for kids, it has bushings for serious archery accessories.
- The 3-year warranty means it should see your child through several years or could be passed down to other learners.
What We Don't Like
- This is a basic bow that doesn't come with a lot of other equipment you need to get started.
We highly recommend this bow if you're trying to find a starter recurve for a child around 10 years old. It's a true bow that's great for learning on while still being small and light enough for a child to use.
You can read our SAS Spirit Bow Review here.
Best For Teenager: Keshes Takedown Hunting Recurve Bow
The first thing we noticed about the Keshes hunting recurve is that it has a full 62-inch height while still having available draw weights as low as 15 lbs. In other words, if you have a teenager who's fully grown but not used to heavy draw weights, they can learn on this bow.
At the same time, it isn't just for learning. As the name suggests, this bow is ready to hit the tree stand. The maximum draw weight you can get it in is 60 pounds, more than plenty for hunting whitetail deer. Plus, there are bushings for hunting accessories like a sight and stabilizer. Some important hunting accessories like an arrow rest are already included.
- Takedown design
- Draw weights from 15-60 lbs available
- Bushings for accessories
- Included arrow rest
- Stringer tool
What We Like
- The full size combined with low available draw weights is great for learning teenagers.
- Teenagers interested in hunting can also choose a higher draw weight.
- The bushings allow for serious hunting pursuits once the basics are learned.
- Included accessories like the bow stringer help your new archer get started right away.
- The takedown design makes travel and storage convenient.
What We Don't Like
- The finish is lower quality and the paint may chip down the line.
- The bow string is lower quality and may fray sooner than others.
If you're trying to get a teenager off the couch and into nature, we'd recommend this Keshes takedown bow. Produced by the same manufacturer of the popular Samick Sage, it's a quality bow that's great for learning while still being capable of serious archery and bowhunting.
Click here for our full Keshes Takedown Recurve Bow Review
Best Youth Recurve For Hunting:
Southwest Archery Spyder Takedown Recurve Ready To Shoot Package
The Spyder is a very well-known bow in the archery world and popular with veteran adult archers. Interestingly, it also makes a great choice for youth since it has available draw weights as low as 25 pounds, and a light, comfortable design.
What we like most about this model, though, isn't even the bow itself. It's everything that comes with it. It's a "Ready 2 Shoot" package that has just about all the accessories a youth needs to start practicing, except maybe a finger tab or shooting glove, which we'd recommend getting. It does have high-quality VForce arrows as well as an arm guard, arrow rest and even a carrying case for keeping it all organized.
- Durable riser and limbs
- 25-55 lbs draw weights available
- Bushings for hunting accessories
- VForce arrows
- Carrying and storage case
What We Like
- The Spyder's craftsmanship inspires passion for archery and accurate practice.
- The available draw weights are manageable but still enough for hunting.
- The ready-to-shoot kits means you get quality, matching accessories.
- The carrying case is good for kids who tend to lose things.
What We Don't Like
- We wish the kit included a finger tab or shooting glove.
- The large size might be hard for smaller children.
With a number of included accessories as well as bushings for even more, the Spyder recurve kit is a good place to start for any youth who's not just interested in archery but hunting as well. Similarly, you can choose a good draw weight that's enough for hunting but still accessible for a wide range of people.
Click here for our full Southwest Archery Spyder Review.
What is a good starter bow for a 10 year old?
We recommend a bow like the SAS Spirit Jr for beginners. Ten-year-olds are usually tall enough to begin using legitimate recurve bows but still need a much smaller model. Plus, they need a low draw weight like what's available on the Spirit Jr.
What pound bow should a 12 year old use?
Most 12-year-olds need a bow with a draw weight between 15 and 25 pounds. Of course, every child develops differently, and if they've already begun to gain some upper body strength, one over 25 pounds could be appropriate.
What is the best bow for an 8 year old?
Because of its small size and available draw weight as low as 12 pounds, we also recommend the SAS Spirit Jr for eight-year-olds. Just make sure you keep their strength and development in mind and get a draw weight on the lower end of the range.
Can a 7 year old do archery?
Seven-year-olds can certainly practice archery. While USA Archery recommends starting at age eight, this is in reference to fully designed recurve bows. Nevertheless, children under eight can still use small, safe toy-like bows that allow them to learn rules and form.
How do I know my child's draw weight?
Your child's needed draw weight is dependent upon their physical strength, so in some ways you need to consider how strong they are. As a rule of thumb, though, you can go by their bodyweight.
Child's Body Weight (lbs)
Recommended Draw Weight (lbs)
70 - 100
15 - 25
100 - 130
25 - 40
Archery is a great hobby for young people that builds character, concentration and skill. To help them learn, make sure to get them the best youth recurve bow possible. We highly recommend the SAS Junior 58” Takedown Recurve Bow, but it's important to read our guides on draw weight and height to find the right bow for their size, strength and interests.
One of the biggest mistakes that we see parents making is they will buy their kids a recurve bow like the Bear Grizzly recurve, which is a great bow, but not for kids. Get your kids a youth specific recurve bow that they can enjoy and grow with.