How To Choose Arrows For Recurve Bow – The Proper Way

So, you’ve decided that the recurve bow is the one for you, hey? Well, that’s great. But an excellent bow can only shoot as good as its arrows. That’s why it is imperative that you find the right ones to shoot.

So, how do you choose arrows for a recurve bow? The first thing you need to do is identify your draw length. Once you have done this, you will be able to work out the exact measurements and characteristics of the arrows you should choose for your recurve bow. These measurements would include diameter, weight, and length.

When I first started out, I remember being so confused.

What material do I buy?

What length arrow?

What about the weight?

There are hundreds of types of arrows available to purchase!

It’s exhausting.

But don’t worry.

Today we’re going to take it step by step, shot by shot, as we help you find the best arrows for your recurve bow.

For now, though, we need to work out your draw length, so let’s start with that. 

How Do I Choose Arrows For My Recurve Bow?

You choose arrows for your recurve bow by identifying your draw length.

This is the measurement of how far you pull your bowstring back.

One way to do this is to stretch your arms wide, parallel with the floor.

Now, ask someone to measure the distance between the tip of one middle finger to the other in inches. Divide this number by 2.5.

Another method is to stand facing a wall sideways, then stretch out your bow arm whilst your fist is clenched.

Rest your fist against the wall whilst keeping your arm parallel to the floor.

Once again, ask someone to help out.

This time they need to measure the point from your clenched fist to your anchor point, i.e., your hand that would hold the bow. 

By taking both these measurements and comparing them, you can ensure maximum accuracy for calculating your draw length. 

So, now you have your draw length, you can start to work out what type of arrows you need. First, though, there are a few things to consider.

The Spine

The first is the spine of the arrows. This refers to how much your arrow bends or wiggles both when loaded and when in flight.

The spine of an arrow will be determined by the draw weight of your bow as well as the length and weight of the arrow and its head.

The higher your measurements here, the stiffer your arrows need to be so they don’t have too much of a spine.

So, if your bow has a high draw weight and your arrows are heavy and long, then you need to use stiffer arrows.

So this is something important to bear in mind.

As well as the spine, you will need to consider the draw weight. Will you be using heavier or lighter arrows?

Well, I don’t know yet!

Ah, but you do know where you’ll be using your recurve bow, though, I hope?


If you are using your recurve bow in a hunting environment, you need arrows that are heavy enough that they’ll penetrate their target.

Let’s face it, out there during a hunt; everybody wants this to be a swift process, including the hunted target.

You don’t want the animal to escape with just an injury; that means it will have a hard time surviving.

And the animal, if you gave it the choice, would want a quick death.

So, you need a lot of kinetic energy, meaning you’re going to need heavy arrows to ensure the penetration is deep and instant.

Target Practice

If you’re taking your recurve bow to take some shots at a target, then things are slightly different.

Deep penetration is not as necessary in this situation.

Therefore, some lighter-weighted arrows should do the trick.

This way, you can still pierce the target, but there isn’t the risk of harm being done to objects.

How Do I Know What Size Arrows I Need For My Recurve Bow?

The length of the arrows you need is related to your draw length. The diameter of your arrows should be related to what you’ll be using your recurve bow for.

Length is a nice easy one to work out.

You have the figure for your draw length, I assume still?

Great. Just add two inches onto that, and that’s what length you need your arrows to be!

As for the diameter, this once again comes down to what you’ll be using it for.

If you’re shooting at targets in a competition, a thicker diameter shaft is more likely to strike the lines of certain point scoring areas. 

If you’re out hunting, though, a smaller diameter is more suitable as a narrower surface area is less affected by wind.

They also improve the chances of target penetration. 

How Heavy Should My Recurve Arrows Be?

The weight of your arrows should be related to the poundage of your bow. A general rule is that lighter bows work best with lighter arrows and vice versa.

As we have discussed above, what you’ll be using your recurve bow for should have a big impact on the arrow weight you decide to go with.

Normally though, you should use approximately 10 grains of arrow per pound of draw weight.

So, if you have a 50 pound recurve bow, your arrows should weigh about 500 grains.

Of course, you can go heavier if you want to maximize your potential for penetration.

You can even go lighter, but it is advised not to go any lower than seven grains per pound, which would be 350 grains with a 50-pound bow.

It is important to note that arrow weights will change depending on a number of factors, including thickness and shaft length.

The material also plays an important role. So a wood arrow may weigh differently than an aluminum arrow or a carbon fiber arrow. 

What Are The Best Arrows For A Recurve Bow?

Below are some examples of the best arrows for recurve bows available on the market. 

Tiger Archery 30Inch Carbon Arrows

These affordable arrows are well-constructed, with a focus on precision accuracy.

They are very durable and, therefore, long-lasting for target practice but are extremely suitable for hunting due to their strong flight stability.

They also have replaceable nocks. 

You can get them from Amazon for a great price!

Pandarus Archery 31-Inch Carbon Hunting Arrows

With some rather stylish turkey feathers, these are another sturdy choice.

Not only do they look fantastic, but they also shoot very well.

They are most suitable for recurve bows and have replaceable field points.

Their nocks are a particularly strong feature as they fit perfectly on a fast flight flemish string. 

Click here to see them on Amazon

Pointdo 30inch Carbon Hunting & Targeting Arrow 

If you’re not so keen on the vintage arrow look and want something perhaps a bit more modern or even futuristic, then these are the ones for you.

They fly straight, they’re well made, and also perfect for hunting and targeting.

They are very easy to nock and remain fixed once there.

Again, these arrows are available on Amazon.


Choosing arrows for your recurve bow should be fun. Besides, this is what archery is all about.

And while it can be a little confusing at first, hopefully, you now know what to look for in arrows, and have some to take a look at.

Either way, they’re the ones I would buy.