Best Youth Recurve Bow

Best Youth Recurve Bow in 2023 (REVIEW GUIDE)

It’s time to get the little ones into sports, and what’s better than archery? It teaches concentration, control, and diligence (not to mention all the excellent health benefits that come with it). It’s a great, powerful sport that builds character and competition.

But if they’re going to be serious about it, and if you’re going to foster a love for the sport, they need a good bow to learn on.

So what is the best youth recurve bow? In my opinion, the SAS Spirit Jr. is by far the best youth recurve bow. From its durability and child-friendly design to the comfortable grip to help your child learn proper control over where their arrows land, it brings fun and efficiency together.

Using old or cheap bows (and I mean cheaply made, not inexpensive) will result in a steeper learning curve and more challenging experience. The following are my top picks for recurve bows for youth, based on brand quality, versatility, and ease of use.

Last update on 2023-03-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reviews of the Best Youth Recurve Bows

1. SAS Spirit Jr Recurve Bow

SAS Spirit Jr Recurve Bow

Takedown recurve bows are the best for kids to learn on. SAS made this Spirit Jr bow with augmentation in mind, meaning you can attach a stabilizer or bow sight to help your young one learn. Keep in mind, not all attachments fit, so check with the manufacturer before buying it for this bow.

The takedown limbs are high quality, built from European fiberglass, and designed to outlast the average time frame that children will be using a bow of this size. Select from a range of draw weights (which cap out at 22 lb), and a right-handed or left-handed model.

With a maple handle and proper arrow rest, the Spirit Jr is a solid choice for newcomers or experienced archers alike. The string is durable, but will likely need to be replaced after about nine months.


  • Comfortable grip for complete control
  • Easy to take down and store
  • Durable limbs will outlast this stage of your child’s archery development


  • Limb rests on the handle warp slightly after about six months of use
  • Doesn’t include a bow stringer
  • Pre-installed brass bushings don’t fit all sight/stabilizer attachments

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2. Escalade Sports Bear Archery Flash Youth Bow

Escalade Sports Bear Archery Flash Youth Bow

Bear Archery isn’t just an excellent brand for adult-sized bows; they came in at a very close second to SAS. With this kit, you get an arm guard, as well as an arrow quiver, clipped onto the side of the handle. It can hold up to four arrows.

You even get two Safetyglass arrows (unsharpened fiberglass arrows) with your purchase. The ambidextrous design allows right and left-handed users to get the most out of this, thanks to the center cut whisker biscuit.

Now, it does have a bit of a power problem. This is for beginners at the age of 11 or 12, but with a maximum of 22 lb, you shouldn’t be using it if you need a higher draw weight range. It’s a solid and affordable bow that could help to start an entire lifetime of archery for your little one.


  • Flexible bow string is effective without putting strain on the limbs
  • Ambidextrous design thanks to the center-cut whisker biscuit
  • Includes two Safetyglass arrows


  • Very slick plastic handle; you might want to purchase an attachable grip
  • The included sight is only a single-pin
  • Not very powerful, only designed for very young beginners

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3. Crosman Sentinel Youth Recurve Bow

Crosman Sentinel Youth Recurve Bow

Strings are arguably as important as the limbs. One provides pressure, the other resists pressure. This bow has a good blend of each, offering an all-weather stringing system, as well as composite limbs that refuse to crack under pressure.

On top of this, there’s a good draw weight to length ratio, which is important for growing children who will be using the same bow for 1-2 years at a time.

However, not everybody is going to be able to get this bow. There are odd and non-specific zip code restrictions on ordering it, which is a shame since it’s a nice and affordable bow. Other than that, the only other downside is that the included arm guard is basic and not very protective.

Crosman includes a finger tab and quiver, as well as an adjustable single-pin sight with your purchase. Overall, it’s a kit that may suit most young archers with a little bit of everything.


  • Good draw weight to draw length ratio
  • High-quality composite limbs withstand major stress
  • All-weather string system


  • Limbs cannot be taken down; you need a bow stringer for storage
  • Included arm guard is low-quality
  • Not available in certain zip codes (that they do not specify)

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4. KAINOKAI Traditional Recurve Bow

KAINOKAI Traditional Recurve Bow

Your kid is getting serious about archery. That’s good, because KAINOKAI is serious about crafting stellar bows. Their traditional recurve bow comes in a variety of draw weights to grow with your child.

This kit includes an arm guard, finger guard, three arrows, bow case and more. The paper target and wax included in this purchase are both fairly basic, but don’t need to be used to get the most out of this bow.

While I’m a fan of takedown recurve bows, this single-cut design is durable. Your string is set to last for three to four years with standard use. The coloration available in photos might differ slightly from the actual bow, but they are close.


  • Excellent grip for continued dexterity during use
  • High-quality string should last for 3-4 years
  • Sturdy single cut design is as good as most takedown bows on the market


  • Sometimes arrives damaged (seller is quick to fix)
  • Coloration on limbs lose vibrancy with outdoor use
  • Some kit items (targets and string wax) have negligible quality

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Youth Recurve Bows F.A.Q. & Buyer’s Guide

What Draw Weight Does a Youth Recurve Bow Need?

It scales up with your child. On average, children under 100 lb need up to a 15 lb draw weight. Less than 130 lb and they need a 25 lb draw weight, and so on.

Shorter children might have a hard time with high draw weights. If they struggle with the draw length (feeling fatigued or stretching their arms too much), they may require a custom bow.

Should Youngsters Use a Pin Sight on Their Recurve Bow?

Pin sights are almost exclusively used in competitive archery (which only use recurve bows, not compound). Pin sights clear up the target for your child, and can be extremely useful.

However, when they get over 15 lb of draw weight, a single-pin sight can actually be damaging to their depth perception.

Recurve bows usually use sights with three to five pins. This allows the archer to account for arrow drop at a certain range. Archers should always know how fast their arrow travels (which can be determined by their draw weight and arrow material). Once they know that, it’s a calculation.

Youngsters should use a single-pin sight to get started, but once they reach past the 15 lb draw weight limit, you should upgrade them to at least a three-pin sight. It’s only going to help them get better as an archer.

How to Take Care of a Recurve Bow

You’re investing in your child’s ambition, and that’s a good thing. Don’t let that investment go to waste.

Recurve bows have to be unstrung (from at least one side), or have the limbs taken down after every use. That’s why takedown recurves are more popular than single cut designs.

If you don’t remove the string, the tension will pull on the limbs and riser, causing them to warp. Warping doesn’t take very long once the process starts.

You should teach your child how to unstring their own bow so that they can take care of it. For takedown limbs, it can be as simple as unscrewing the bolt from one limb and letting it collapse.

For single-cut designs, you need a bow stringer to effectively remove the string without hurting yourself. Learn, teach them, and never forget to unstring it before storing it.

My Choice for the Best Youth Recurve Bow

Once again, the SAS Spirit Jr. is my top pick for a youth recurve bow, due to its simple design, low cost, and durability that many other brands just can’t compete with.

That being said, it’s not infinitely superior. The Crosman bow usually has better dimensions for youth archers that are in-between stages, while the KANOKAI has a long life expectancy, so you can use it for the next child in line.

Escalade and the Spirit Jr. both sit at the best values between durability and ease of use, but don’t let that discredit less expensive options as well.

Try to understand where your child is struggling with archery. Does the bow feel a bit too tall? Is the grip not easy enough to hold onto? Find out, pick the right bow from here, and get them back in the swing of things.

Top Rated Recurve Bows for Youth

Last update on 2023-03-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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