How to Shoot a recurve bow Properly | for beginners (Step by Step)

Archery is an age-old sport that is in its revival stages nowadays. Men, women, teens, and children all are showing great valour and interest in this sport and are learning how to shoot a recurve bow. Archery is considered a royal sport, and those having very classic tastes derive great pleasure from their bows and arrows. It is a must to know before starting archery for beginners the correct shooting method

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How to shoot a Recurve bow

Recurve bows have curved ends that enhance the arrow’s speed and make the release very smooth and accurate. In order to know how to shoot a recurve bow accurately and properly, there are a few important things that every archer, especially beginner recurve bow users, must keep in mind. So today, we are going to teach you everything about shooting an arrow using a recurve bow if you will follow this guide I hope you will be able to shoot a bow properly.

Let’s begin:

Shoot with Left or Right Handedness:

Before shooting, you must find out your dominant hand side. If you are a right-hander, it means that you will hold the bow in your left hand and stretch the string with your right hand. Similarly, if you are a left-hander, it means that you will hold the bow in your right hand and draw with your left hand.

Dominant Eye:

It is common to assume that your dominant eye is the same as your dominant hand, but it is not always the case. It may be opposite to your dominant hand. So, it is necessary to find your dominant eye before shooting. Follow the steps given below to find your dominant eye

  • Focus on a distant object and create a triangle using your hands.
  • Place the object in the center of the triangle while keeping both of your eyes open.
  • Now, close both of your eyes one by one.
  • The eye that keeps the object in the center of the triangle is the dominant one.

Correct Dominant Aye video Guide

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Archery stance:

You must follow the steps given below before starting shooting:

  • Your shoulders must be in a straight line with the bow arm.
  • Your feet must be shoulder-width apart
  • Your feet must be parallel to the shooting line
  • Your spine must be straight
  • Don’t bend your knee, back or shoulders.

In order to aim accurately, you must stand in an upright position, and your focus must be on the target. The position of your arms, hips, and feet is important in this regard. Your upper body must be in an upright position to ensure accurate aiming, while the lower body must be stable enough to support the upper body while drawing the arrow.

Several archery forms could be adopted while shooting. Some of them are more sophisticated and need to be practiced a lot. While some others are really easygoing and even a beginner could perfect them on their first try. You should select a stance that feels natural to you, and you feel the most comfortable in it while shooting. Moreover, practicing the posture before the mirror really helps in perfecting it. There are two major postures that you can follow Square Stance and open Stance :

Square Stance:

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When you stand perpendicular to the target with your feet shoulder-width apart from each other, and your dominant hand is farthest from the target, then you are in a square stance. In this stance, the left foot is ahead of the right foot. Square Stance is one of the most basic and easiest archery stances, and most Olympians even use it.

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Open Stance:

As the name suggests, the feet are shoulder-width apart in the open stance, just like the Square Stance. The only difference is that the left foot is one step back from the right one in this posture. Your torso is also rotated to align the shoulders with the bow arm. This Stance is mostly used while shooting on uneven grounds.

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Nocking of the arrow:

While holding the arrow in your dominant hand, position it on the arrow rest. Position the arrow in the arrow rest so that it faces opposite to the recurve bow. Another point that should be taken care of is that you should not grip the arrow tightly in the arrow rest; rather, let it rest there on its own. Now your arrow must be in a parallel position to the arrow rest. Nock it at the centre of the bowstring

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Gripping the bowstring:

Three fingers are used to grip the bowstring, and these are your index finger, middle finger and ring finger. You must not grip the string with your whole hand or pinch the string with your fingers. The right way to grip the string is by creating a crook using the first joints of your fingers and then placing the string there. At the same time, the nock comes in between your fingers with the index finger on top of it and the middle and ring finger below it. It is recommended to use gloves or finger tabs to make the grip even more smooth and comfortable.

Holding the recurve bow:

Recurve bow is always held in your non-dominant hand. When you hold it in your non-dominant hand, grip the bow with the arrow rest and ensure your grip is not too tight. The grip should be only there to keep the bow in place. Moreover, your knuckles should make a 45 degrees angle with the grip area of your recurve bow.

Shooting form:

Start by raising your non-dominant arm and hand(holding the bow) to shoulder height. After that, hook the bowstring. It should be in such a way that while facing forward, your dominant elbow gripping the bowstring should be raised enough to be in line with the arrow. Furthermore, it is recommended to engage your back muscles in this whole process.

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Anchor point:

Before releasing the arrow, you must stretch the bowstring to your anchor point. It is the point to which you can choose to stretch the string the most towards yourself. It could be close to your nose or your mouth.

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Taking Aim:

Now, this is the step when your aiming style matters whether you are using sights or not.

How to shoot a recurve bow without sight:

If you are the one that wants to know how to shoot a recurve bow instinctively, it means that you are opting for target shooting without using any sights and prefer to shoot with a traditional recurve bow. Just like in ancient times when the archer only depended on his instincts and natural talent while target shooting with a recurve bow without the aid of any modern accessories. You will aim by closing one eye and using your dominant eye to aim as accurately as possible.

How to shoot a recurve bow with sight:

However, if you are the one that goes for modern shooting techniques with the aid of advanced accessories, then you must learn how to shoot a recurve bow using sight. Undoubtedly, using sight gives more accuracy and precision if you want your arrow to hit right on the target.We have reviewed some of the best bows sights you can check

Releasing the arrow:

Releasing the arrow from the bowstring should be a slow and controlled process. You should just simply and slowly let go of the bowstring while relaxing your hand, so it slips out of your hand completely.

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A- A traditional recurve bow is the one in which you have to follow instinctive shooting methods like gap shooting etc.

A- In a bow that does not have an arrow rest, you have to use your hand as a rest by placing it at the middle point of the bow. Then place the arrow on top of it while keeping it in place by using your index finger. While drawing the bowstring, you will remove your finger from the top of the arrow and place it below it. In this way, the arrow will come on top of your index finger.

A- As a beginner, you can learn to shoot a recurve bow properly by following all the points mentioned in this article. You must especially focus on your archery form and practice a lot in front of the mirror to master it.

A- If you want to learn how to shoot with a traditional recurve bow without sights, then you must completely depend on your instincts. You must practice a lot and find an archery form that suits you the best. Moreover, the selection of the right recurve bow, draw weight, and arrow is equally important in this regard.

A- As a beginner, a square stance is one of the easiest postures you can adopt. It is even used by professional Olympic archers.


After going through this article, we really hope that you have learned how to shoot a recurve bow and target shooting with it. Seems like a piece of cake, but it requires to be done with proper technique and archery postures with determination and consistent practice, you can master this art in no time and get good at shooting with a recurve bow!

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