Which Draw Weight to Choose | Capabilities of Different Weights?

A recurve bow has a measurement of how hard it is to draw back the string. Unfortunately, many people have draw weight egos, which means they choose too high of a draw weight when starting. 

This is detrimental to your ability to shoot accurately and have fun, and people who start too high may eventually lose interest in archery. 

Whether you are buying a bow online or in a store, one of the toughest decisions you make is the poundage of the limbs. Buying either a too heavy or too weak bow is very frustrating and costs a lot of money. 

It also often happens that archers quit for a while since they experience muscle issues. This is often due to a too heavy bow.

 Therefore, I will discuss how you can avoid these mistakes and buy a bow with the right draw weight. No time to read on?

This article will refer to the draw weight with a commonly used symbol. 30# which means a 30-pound draw weight.

Read Also: How to string a recurve bow?

The best Draw weight to choose for adults:

We all know that adults are somehow stronger than teenagers. Therefore, they can easily lift more weight compared to them. The maximum weight that is most suitable for them lies between 35-40 pounds.

Here are some tips that might help you in choosing the best draw weight for yourself.

1: Ready yourself

You should be able to hold your bow steady for a full minute and shoot accurately afterward. If you feel fatigued after an hour of shooting, stop and take a break. 

A little soreness in your muscles is to be expected, especially if you are normally able to shoot for shorter periods. However, feeling as if you are going to collapse is not acceptable.

  • Your draw weight is not at a level where you can increase it. Do not move up if you are shaking like a leaf after holding for 30 seconds.
  • Shooting in the backyard or as a hobby does not require more than 35 pounds of ammunition.
  • Deer hunting requires a 35-45 pound bag in some areas. You will need up to 55 pounds to ensure a clean, ethical kill when hunting elk or bears.
  • When you shoot longer distances, higher draw weights give you flatter trajectories and less need to adjust your sight. Due to the arc of your arrow, you will not have to aim way over the target.

2: Select a specific number of Arrows

 You may opt to use a 10# jump or 5# jump if you shoot fewer than 15-20 arrows per session. Pulling back a heavier draw weight will not fatigue you if you do not shoot enough times. 

Move up by 2# or 4# if possible if you shoot 80-100 arrows per session. This will have the least impact on your training. The bow will be drawn back more times in succession, and as little change as possible is required to remain on course.

3: Increase more weight

 When you are just beginning, it is fine to increase your weight by 5 pounds or even 10 pounds at a time. Once you have practiced and performed some extra exercises, you will be able to adjust.

 To ensure that you will grow into the bow without losing too much time, you should increase your draw weight by 2-5 lbs each jump over 30 lbs.

  • If you are moving up 2# at a time, your club may have a system of trading out limbs, reducing costs. As well as providing good targets for shooting, they are also a good way to receive general advice about your form.

4: Buy new Limbs

A takedown bow can be fitted with additional limbs from the same manufacturer at a different draw weight if it is a takedown bow.

 It is possible to match an ILF (International Limb Fitting) recurve with another ILF limb or riser.

  • A new riser may be required if the old one is no longer capable of taking a large amount of draw weight. It is common for cheaper risers to have a maximum weight of 35 pounds.
  • Keep the old limbs/bow as a practice set, so you can relax and practice your form or warm up using a lighter draw weight.

5: Adjust yourself to new weights

To adjust to higher draw weight, there are some exercises that you can perform. Use a bow or something similar to perform Specific Physical Training (resistance bands are also suitable).

 Using good form, draw back your bow for 15 seconds to your anchor point. It is recommended that you rest for twice what you held. 

So, in this case, you would rest for 30 seconds before beginning again. Gradually increase the amount that you will hold your bow.

  • You should build shoulder muscles to be able to draw your bow back. Try single-arm dumbbell rows, dumbbell side lifts, and forearm planks.
  • Tension your back. As if you were pulling back a string without a bow, pretend to be pulling back the string. 

The best draw weight for teenagers:

Teenagers also like to show their skills using the recurve bows. The maximum weight that they can handle using these bows is between 10-20 pounds.

Here, we will also inform you about the major tips that can help you to choose the best draw weights for yourselves.

1: Do not show off

Anyone who believes a high draw weight is a bragging point is probably not a good archer.

When someone shoots a 30# bow into the gold ring every time, it is much more impressive than when they struggle with a 60# bow and can only pull it back three or four times.

  • This is more common among people who wish to appear impressive and show off. If you wish to become an accomplished archer, you should not do this.

2: Avoid bad advice

You may be suggested to start with as high a draw weight as possible by some individuals. The question is, do you think you will enjoy archery if you are sky drawing, having to pull your bow back with all your strength, and shaking when you attempt to aim?

 No, of course not! It is best to stick to what you are comfortable with and to overestimate your capabilities.

  • Several of these inaccurate statements are attributed to compound archers. When you draw a compound rifle, you are only holding about 15-20% of the weight at full draw.
  • Don’t trust anyone or any chart that suggests a draw weight solely based on age. You are capable of pulling back a bow regardless of your age.

3: Show your strength

 It is true that the body frame does have an impact on what your drawing weight should be, but not as much as in other sports.

 An archer uses muscles that are seldom exercised normally, so even an extremely fit individual should not begin archery at the age of more than 35. 

 Rhomboids, trapezius, and latissimus dorsi as well as shoulder muscles are used in archery.

  • Beginner adult archers should start with 15-25 pounds, depending on their physical condition and frequency of shooting.
  • It is recommended that typically weaker beginning children (not always), begin at a weight of between 10 and 20 pounds.

4: Select a suitable length

 By industry standards, all recurves are manufactured to a 28-inch length. Draw. A 30-pound bow will pull exactly 30 pounds if you have a 28-inch draw length. 

You will pull more if your draw length is longer, and less if it is shorter than 28 inches. Divide your wingspan (from the tip of each middle finger) by 2.5 to determine your draw length.

Typically, an increase or decrease in poundage is estimated at 2.5 pounds per inch over or under 28 inches. It is, however, more accurate to use a bow scale.

  • On a bow weighing 30 pounds, you will draw approximately 24 pounds if your draw length is 25 inches.
  • To prevent stacking, or an exponential increase in draw weight, get a bow over 68-72 inches tall if your draw length exceeds 30 inches.

5: Find yourself the best weight

You may have already started with a bow that is too heavy for you to draw back. It may be necessary to point it at the sky (sky drawing). 

In addition, if your bow shoulder collapses inward, or if you begin shaking without being able to hold the string for even a few seconds, you have started too high.

  • Bend your waist and point your bow at the ground with your bow hand near the side of your knee to test this. If you cannot draw the bow to your anchor point, you are overbowed.
  • If it is a takedown recurve, you will have to buy new limbs or a new bow. With practice and exercises, you may be able to recover from a starting weight of 30# if it has become too high (although it is not recommended).

Capabilities of different draw weights:

Contrary to popular belief, a 30 lb. or even a 25 lb. Recreational target practice requires no more than a draw weight.

 With this type of draw weight, you can successfully hit a target from 60 to 70 yards away if you have the aim and form.

 However, this depends upon your skill set – the bow itself will not do any of the work for you (although some designs are more forgiving, such as the Martin Saber or the Samick Sage, to name a few cheaper ones).

In particular, this is helpful information for youth and small-framed women, who may have difficulty with anything heavier than a 30 lb draw weight. They will be able to enjoy the recreational aspects of the sport without experiencing too many limitations.

 The majority of high-quality recurve bows are usually available with a minimum draw weight of #30, however.

 I guess that most people are simply more excited about owning a “powerful” bow, so there is less demand for the lower poundage bows.


What is the process for determining draw weight?

As a recurve or longbow is pulled farther, the draw weight increases incrementally. To determine their draw weight, the standard length of 28 inches is used. On the lower limb of the bow, the draw weight is marked with a pound sign (#), for example, 35# @ 28″.

What is the most common draw weight used by hunters?

It is important to note that you can effectively kill deer with a bow with a draw weight of 40 pounds. Whitetail deer are efficiently killed by 40 pounds of kinetic energy, while elk, moose, and bears require 50 pounds or more.

Is accuracy affected by draw weight?

While draw weight may not affect your accuracy as much as other factors, if you are over-bowed, it can take you longer to get into your shooting process.


It is well known that the draw weight of a recurve bow plays a significant role in its performance. The draw weight is therefore very important to be aware of. 

Our article was intended to address this issue. As a result, you will be able to easily resolve all the confusion in your mind.

Therefore, we provided you with information regarding the best draw weights for both adult and teenage categories. In addition to their details and capabilities.

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