When setting up your recurve bow, it is always a good thing to get the bow string length right. This will not only maximize the use of your gear - it will save you from a whole world of frustration! As such, let’s help you out on this archery essential!
2 Ways to Measure Recurve Bow String Length
Regardless if you have purchased a bow with preset bow strings or are replacing your recurve bow strings, you need to know how to measure the length of the string. Think of it this way - the more you know about your gear, the better you get in archery!
Do it the AMO Way
The AMO (Archery Manufacturers and Merchants Organization) method of measuring a recurve bow string length is the a standard!
The basic rule of thumb that the AMO proposes is that the bow string length should be 3" shorter than the actual recurve bow length. Most (if not, all) pro or archery shops do follow this standard. However, it'll never hurt to ask and find out if a shop does follow this rule or not!
Do it Manually
There are some cases when you'd actually need to measure the recurve bow string length itself. The most common one would be a label or AMO standard information missing from the bow.
As such, here are some simple steps on how you can measure the bow string length:
- Get a measuring tape.
- Locate one end of your recurve bow's string groove.
- From your chosen string groove end, measure along the curve of the recurve bow limb towards the belly side of the bow (the area just across the riser).
- From that point, measure towards the other string groove end (following the curve of the limb as well).
The measurement you now end up with (remember to deduct 3") will be the recommended recurve bow string length.
Brace Height and Recurve Bow String Length: Why Do They Matter?
Another important point to consider when measuring a bow string's length is brace height. Basically, brace height is the distance set between a bow string towards the deepest end of the bow grip.
Why does this matter? For recurve bows, in particular, the dynamics between brace height and actual bow string length will allow you to shoot arrows properly.
Let's illustrate this clearly with two scenarios:
- Your brace height is too low if your bow string tends to hit your arm whenever you release an arrow. Consequently, this also means that the bow string length is too long!
- Your brace height is irrelevant if your bow string length is too short – you may even little to no control over your recurve bow!
For both scenarios, when the a improper string length results in improper brace height, a loss of power can be felt whenever you shoot.
To break it down even further, follow the rule of opposites when comparing brace height and bow string length:
- Low brace height = long bow string length
- High brace height = short bow string length
Now, this is why AMO recommends bow string to be 3" shorter than your recurve bow string length. It's all about creating a balance to maximize your recurve bow's capacities to the fullest!
Recurve Bow Intricacies
Unlike compound bows that only fire properly when at full draw, recurve bows rely more on your overall strength. Although most modern recurve bows do already have a set drawback distance, your upper body strength is still emphasized to make the most out of each shot.
When it comes to design, recurve bows share and retain that unique design found on the bow limbs. Arched in such a way, these curved limbs best represent the combination of art and function:
- It is a tried-and-tested design! With the curved limbs design first introduced by the Egyptians almost a millennium ago and used all over the world, nothing really changed much – it if works, why change it anyway?
- The unique curved limb tips of a recurve bow store potential energy. With the energy conveniently stored in these locations, the force can now be safely harnessed by letting an arrow fly!
- Experts say that a recurve bow's curved limbs also gives some much-needed speed when shooting an arrow.
If you look at it from a different perspective, your recurve bow is essentially an extension of yourself. Knowing the many quirks on the dynamics between you and your recurve bow will help you to make more significant shots!
Know More About Your Recurve Bow Strings
Let’s get more intimate! Find out more on the bow strings you can use for your recurve bow:
Recurve Bow String Components
There are four components in a recurve bow string:
- The actual string – the strand of material that your chosen recurve bow string is made out of.
- The bow string loops – these are what you attach to the end of your recurve bow limbs. Take note that the loops so have different sizes. The top loop, which is usually larger than the opposite end, is the one you slide down the bow limb during stringing.
- The centre serving – notice the extra layer of thread in your bow string? This centre serving, which is wrapped around the centre of the recurve bow string, is where your fingers are found before draw the bow.
- The nocking point – this is the position where an arrow is attached to the bow string.
Recurve Bow String Types
Recurve bows do have these two types to use:
Go old school with this cool recurve bow string type. Hand-made and usually crafted by the best craftsmen, the attention to detail can be seen with the weaves on this bow string. However, this type does have a bigger price tag compared to the other bow string type!
The more commonly-used option among the two recurve bow string types. A practical choice, but do take note of one glaring disadvantage. The option to customize or make some further adjustments on the bow string may be a hassle!
Showing Some Love for Your Recurve Bow Strings
Finally, we’d like to share some pointers on how to maintain and care for your recurve bow strings:
- Store it Properly – this will help extend your recurve bow string's life!
- Wax It – constantly wax your bow string to keep its form and strength when not in use.
- Inspect It – fraying or loose strands on your bow string is never good. Replace your bow string if you see these defects!
Get the Measurement Right to Maximize the Most Out of Your Recurve Bow
The right recurve bow string length matters. Have a great time shooting with your recurve bow!
There’s more to learn about recurve bows and bow strings!
Archers share the best ways on how to measure bow strings in this forum .
Hooray to collaboration! This Reddit thread highlights how pro archers help a beginner in measuring bow string length.
This Live Free video details on how to get the right bow string length for a recurve bow.