Recurve Bows

For those who are considering what to buy first here is guide: What to buy

Image: Accountalive [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Riser

The Riser is the part of the bow that your hand is pushed against as you hold the bow at full draw. All other parts of the bow are normally attached to this fundamental part and there are many styles and colours to choose from. Novices are given wooden training bows and these are the simplest bows you can buy/use. Metal risers, which you will find most Seniors and all Olympic level archers use, have a lot more customizability and are more reliable than the wooden ones.

If you are thinking of buying your own riser, ask around the club and try out some people’s risers. When possible, it is very useful to try out risers before you buy one.

Reviews

Hoyt Formula

Don’t get me wrong, Hoyt’s Formula bows are good, but you need to be aware of a few things before you get one. First, it requires the Hoyt Dovetail System (HDS) Formula series of limbs. This means if you buy one of these you can’t use limbs out of our club limb store. So this will push the price up of a purchase. Second, unless you’ve got a pretty sound technique it may be quite unforgiving for you, as the limb pockets are further forward on a lot of the Formula bows, however they have recently added some newer risers to their line up to combat this.

RX

This was the first Formula bow that Hoyt put out. Do not get this confused with the Hoyt Prodigy RX, which is a newer riser with a different geometry! Having said that it’s a good bow and a lot of top notch Hoyt archers shot this bow before the HPX and Ion-X came out. The last couple of senior gents club records were shot on this bow by Luis and Sam, so they ain’t half bad at all! – David W

HPX

The successor to the RX was faster and snappier, but this isn’t always a good thing! Some people will love it, some won’t! – David W

Ion-X

The first Tec bar Formula Hoyt bow. This went back towards the RX more making it a bit more forgiving than the HPX. – David W

Prodigy

This comes in three forms, the standard, the RX and the XT (tec bar version). It’s heavier than the previous Hoyt bows and the main thing Hoyt changed was to add a tuneable clicker plate system and newer limb alignment systems. The standard and XT versions are more or less the same as before, but the Prodigy RX pushes the limb pockets back and hence makes it more forgiving to shoot (but less quick). -David W

David W shoots this bow (XT version).

Hoyt Grand Prix

These are the ILF bows that Hoyt make. Some of these are older (no longer made) risers which are still good for intermediate and advanced archers. Others are their newer models, but double check on their website first!

Nexus

This bow is getting on a bit now, but still is a high end option. It has stopped being made by Hoyt which means you can get second hand ones quite cheap (mine was £175). It allows for all the wooden, plastic and diamond wood grips that Hoyt manufacture meaning it can be suited to you. – David W

Well-made aluminium riser. Takes ILF limbs, not formula. Built-in rubber dampeners below the grip. -Andy

Helix

This bow was the Tec Bar version of the Nexus (more-or-less). Still a good bow and you can get them for similar prices as second hand Nexuses.

Suz shoots this bow!

GMX

This is a pretty nice bow and the main non-Tec bar ILF bow that Hoyt make. It is a good follow on from the Nexus/Helix. It is also shot by a lot of Olympians still as it has proved the test of time! – David W

Samantha shoots this bow!

GPX

Hoyt started making these in 2014 as their only Tec bar ILF riser. It’s a lovely bow to look at (especially in purple) and is the top end of Hoyt’s current ILF risers. – David W

Horizon and Horizon Pro

The only differences between these two are the finish quality and the grip. The standard version is very similar to the SF Forged Plus in price and you should try both out to see how it feels if this is the price level for you. The Pro is double the price of the standard version but gives you a nicer anodised finish.

WIN&WIN

Wiawis Nano TFT
The next evolution of the Win&Win Nano range, this carbon riser is designed to be quite heavy to allow more stability in your shot, whilst also removing a lot of the post-shot vibration due to the carbon-graphite used in its manufacture. All in all, it gives a very smooth shot and feels very nice to hold (plus it’s very nice looking too). The only downside is the cost – Callum

Harry, Callum and Gary all shoot this.

CXT Nano Max

The successor to the Inno Max, the Nano Max has more weight to it. For a carbon riser it is therefore very heavy, but one thing I noticed when shooting it was that the weight distribution feels very much under your wrist, making it stable sort of like a barebow riser would. Have a go and see if you like it especially if you tend to like heavier risers! – David W

CXT Inno Max

This bow is slightly different to the ubiquity of the CXT. Win&Win removed the extra weights that you get with the CXT, and changed to a wooden grip. Ask Sara about the differences as she’d be able to give a better description, but it sure shoots nice! – David W

All I know about it is it’s like a CXT, but instead of having optional weights it is just heavier as-is. – Andy

Winex II
The Winex II is a more affordable riser of the Win & Win range, coming in around the £350 price mark. Its aluminium design is slightly heavier than other risers such as the Win & Win ATF or SF Forged Plus. I personally enjoy this as it feels sturdy and stable and is satisfying to shoot, additionally, the weight combined with the cut-outs mean it is good for outdoors in the wind as it’s not so easily blown about. However, some people find the extra weight makes it more tiring to shoot and prefer a lighter carbon riser. The best part of the Winex, for me, has to be the grip, it has a wider grip than other W&W risers, such as the ATF, and is very comfortable and easy on your front hand. I recommend giving it a try as you may find its surprisingly good for its price compared to other W&W risers! – Yanna

AL1, ATF, ATF-X

These are a succession of risers from Win&Win, and are made of aluminium with a cross weave design, with each model building on the design of the last, but with a more-or-less similar design. Some people prefer the feel/response of an aluminium riser to a carbon one.

Inno CXT

The CXT is a club favourite and for good reason too! It’s all carbon (so it won’t be cold in winter) which makes it very light, plus it has lots of areas that you can put added weight onto the riser should you feel it necessary. It has a rubberised grip which fits most size hands well. It is a top end model so it will set you back around £500, but a lot of those in the CXT club at SUAC love it to bits! – David W

Well-made carbon riser. Looks nice. Very light. Can adjust the weight of the riser itself slightly with removable weights. Can adjust limb alignment without de-stringing. Rubberised grip is nice at first, but wears away & discolours, also is very smooth and can be hard to place it consistently in your palm. Many CXT owners end up buying a JagerGrip to replace the CXT one. – Andy

Ruth, Ahmed, Abby, Juste and Michael all shoot this bow!

Rapido

For a budget W&W bow, this is just as snappy as you’d come to expect from it’s slightly more expensive cousins and not bad either. – David W

RCX-100

This bow looks stunning with RCX-100 or any all matt-black carbon limbs. It shoots very nicely too and has a good grip on it on top of being feather light. It also fits nicely into the price range and the lightness of it is a real boon for those who are worried about being able to hold a bow steady for long periods of time. – David W

Inno

This was the predecessor of the CXT. It’s still a good riser and will reward good shooting. Again, like the CXT it is all carbon and has a lovely grip on it. You can get these at a fairly reasonable price now too.

TF Apex

Pretty much the predecessor of the Inno, the TF Apecs is still enjoyed by a lot of people. – David W

Frodo shoots this bow

Seb Flute/WNS
Sebastian Flute (SF) Risers are a lower-cost range of risers owned by Win&Win, and are now sold under the brand name of WNS, so most of the SF risers below will have a WNS equivalent.

WNS Motive FX
Great cheap riser, if you have shot one of the clubs SF Forged (see below) risers this is basically the same but just updated a bit, and so if you love those you will love this too – Ben

SF Forged Plus

The Forged Plus seems to be of solid design and has many of the features of a top level riser, but at a third of the price. I’ve seen plenty of archers at other unis and at other clubs shooting this and they seem to be content with it and now several of our own archers have bought it as it’s a good intermediate bow option. Definitely a good bow for the price of it. – David W

If you don’t have the money for the Win & Win CXT or don’t want to be stuck with the new Hoyt Formula Series, I would recommend trying Sebastian Flute and especially the Forged Plus riser. The riser is a mid ranged riser which feels and looks like a high end riser. The riser is made inconjuction with Win & Win but without the Win & Win price tag. The riser itself is easy to setup and tune, giving you the ability to shot great groups once tuned. I would highly recommend you try SF before pushing to one side to go with the two heavy weights in the archery industry. – Dom

Ally shoots this bow.

SF Premium

The club buys this bow a fair bit as they’re cheap and they have clicker plates (and holes) so that novices can progress easily. However, if you’re looking for a bit more bang for your buck, you may want to try out the Forged Plus first.

SF Velocity

I’ve not shot this or held this yet, but it looks a lot to me like an updated version of the old SF Carbon Pro, which itself was a good riser which more or less made SF’s name.

MK Korea

MKX 10

The MKX 10 was first brought to light by some of the Korean archers at the 2012 Olympics. It is a solid riser with different grips available, however it is more pricey than Hoyt/Win&Win bows. – David W

Alpha

This should have always been called the MK Shark if you ask me. Anywho, it is a lovely bow to shoot and as far as I’m aware, it is the ONLY bow on the market that allows you to go and swap between Hoyt’s Formula limbs and the ILF limbs. For this reason, it makes it the only bow on the market that you can truly pick any limb and it should fit! However, it is even more expensive than the MKX10, so you need to make the decision whether that extra dosh is worth it. – David W

Other

KAP Winstar II

I have bought this bow several times as a good intermediate club bow for novices to shoot with. Whilst I think now it’s a bit old (they’re no longer in production) and so the bow has aged slightly, I still think it’s a top intermediate choice for someone running very low on budget and you can now buy rubberised grips for them too! – David W

Fiberbow 6.9 TX
High End with a £560 price tag to match and difficult to get hold of as few shops stock it and there can be up to an 8-week wait for manufacture in Italy! Has been used by several paralympic archers as it’s the lightest riser in existence (at time of writing) coming in at approx 620g which is half of the other full carbon risers. This makes it almost impossible to shoot barebow but for recurve allows you to up the weight on your stabiliser instead. The 3D printed grip is textured and uncomfortable (abrasive), I highly recommend getting the wooden grip offered. The 6.9 variant seems to have eliminated the wear and twisting issues experienced with earlier models of this riser, I advise against getting 5.9 or below. Definitely a try before you buy type deal as it’s very different to almost everything else out there – Alex

Samick Vision II
Like the Winstar above, I think this is a very good intermediate riser. These are slightly heavier than the Winstars and this gives a bonus to stability. This is more expensive than the Winstar as it’s newer, but if you do get one, it will have a longer life expectancy than the Winstars, so keep that in mind too. – David W

I reached 568 with a club Samick Vision – Andy

Gray Archery AIX
Great, industrial-style riser that can take quite a beating. Although possibly on the more expensive side, it’s incredibly easy to adjust and tune everything exactly how you want it, especially when you start on the limb bolts! Personally, I’d suggest that if anyone gets this riser, they also invest in a Jager grip or some grip putty as it’s not the most comfortable out of the box. It may even be a winner for the Tec Bar enthusiast with Gray’s DampBridge… If you’re into that sort of thing.

Raven Prestige FX

I’ve seen this bow only once previously, and I think it’s not bad. As far as I’m aware it’s made by the same people that make the Samick Visions, and so obviously similarities can be drawn. Again I’m not too clued up on it, but it just seems like a cheaper Vision to me, but without cutting quality. – David W.

Spigarelli Revolution

Every now and then, someone turns up with a completely different looking bow. The Spig Revolution is one such bow. It is made of what effectively is three sheets of metal that are bolted together. You can’t get these new anymore, but if you want to see one, ask Sam B to get his out of hiding. – David W

Barebow Risers

“If you’re a serious barebow archer it’s well worth looking into a proper barebow riser rather than a recurve riser with barebow weights, stabilisation-wise it makes so much difference and it definitely does improve your shooting. However, be warned they do take a bit of time to get used to. Plus, to recurve archers, they’re heavier than you think!” – Fiona

Most barebow risers have some form of integral weights (see weight section).  Most barebow risers are made by Italians (Bernadini, Spigarelli and Best) although Sirius of Beligum and Stolid Bull of Germany also make barebow risers.  Liam shoots a Best Zenit, Fiona shoots a Best Moon and James a Bernadini Nilo.  Barebow riser range from a couple hundred quid through to the Bernadini Aladin which is about £650.  However cost is not a measure of quality as a lot depends on the feel and weight of the riser (the Bernadini range have fairly awful grips (bar the Luxor) and the Stolid Bull Black Thunder weighs 2.5 kg).

Gillo G1 Gold Medal

Designed and produced by Michelle Frangilli (Italian Olympic champion and 11 time world champion), this is a solid aluminium riser that retails somewhere around £350. Although the G1 can be shot as a standard Olympic recurve its main forte is as a barebow specific riser. It contains an internal weight system that can be adjusted to compensate for cant, and an external metal cover that is available in multiple sizes to balance bow rotation upon release. At full draw the riser feels solid and stable, in part due to its heavy weight (1.35kg). It’s also quite aggressive meaning arrow speed is high but mistakes can be amplified. Overall this is a good mid-level recurve riser, and one of the best top end barebow risers (a significant number of world barebow records are being claimed using a G1). – Patrick C.

Limbs

Limbs are the two curved pieces of wood that lock into place at each end of the riser. The strength/power of your bow is determined mainly by the strength of the limbs, novices will start at 18 lbs, but as you get stronger you will be able to draw back more and this will improve your accuracy. Different limbs provide other aspects such as smoothness and stackability, some limbs are easier to draw than others due to the quality of them; simply put you pay for what you get.

Reviews

Hoyt Formula limbs

As these are only useful for the Formula risers (RX/HPX/Ion-X/Prodigy), I thought it best to mention all of the limbs together. I shoot Hoyt Quattros, which are lovely and smooth, as are most of Hoyt’s older Formula limbs (I’ve shot F7s that feel like butter and F4s which are smooth too). I would say to go for Quattros if you can, but there are some cheaper alternatives like Excel and ACE limbs. Also, MK Korea make some Formula limbs too and I’ve been told that the MK Veracity limbs are very good. – David W

Hoyt 990TX

These are a really good set of limbs. They’re obviously made for the ILF fit Hoyt geometry, but as with all ILF limbs, they’ll fit into any bow. They’re nice and smooth to draw and there is a reason why a lot of top archers were shooting them on their Hoyts before the Formula geometry started. These have been discontinued, so if you want a set, you’ll have to try and grab them 2nd hand or get jammy in a sale somewhere! – David W

Hoyt 990 TXs were recommended to me by other SUACers, and I would recommend them myself. If you are familiar shooting with Samick Visions or Universals these are in a completely different league in both quality and price. At £330-420 new (28/05/2013) it is worth shopping around or buying second-hand (the option I went for, via Clickers Archery). They are an excellent match to the Hoyt GMX and (from personal experience) the Hoyt Nexus risers. Even at my draw length (31”) these limbs have a very smooth draw, with low stacking compared to others, making them a great choice of limb for increasing weight. Another great feature is the torsional stability, which means that the side to side motion of the string is very small and with the correct tuning they can prove forgiving and are unlikely to hit your arm (even for the worst loose). They are a popular choice of limb, very reliable (despite being second-hand, mine haven’t given me any trouble other than aesthetic damage). – Theo

Hoyt 900CX

These were quick and stable limbs but got a bit of a bad reputation for twisting. Maybe best to stay away from them now as they are an old model so getting a pair that is straight is going to be hard.

Win and Win Inno (Ex) Power/Prime

Having pulled a few pairs of these up, I think they’re lovely. Again, they’re built for the Inno geometry, but they will fit in any bow with ILF limbs. I did feel however they seem to stack quite early on, but I kind of like this feature in the limbs. It means you really feel what you’re pulling at full draw. The only difference between the Powers and Primes is what they’re made of, but I haven’t felt any difference myself, although some people prefer the Primes for their snappier feel. – David W

Samick Extreme

So these were my very first set of nice limbs that I bought. I must say I was very impressed with them even though I got them second hand! They feel very very smooth when drawing, plus they seem to give some nice feedback on the shot execution. After buying another set of limbs to go up poundage, I realised just how fast these limbs were though: they come out the same speed as other sets of limbs which are wound in 2 to 3 pounds heavier! However, these have stopped being made so you’re looking at grabbing these second hand as a bargain. – David W

Mybo Synergy

I heard somewhere on the grapevine that the Mybo limbs were very similar to Samick Extreme’s. I can’t lie when I say that they feel very similar and give the same speed for very little poundage. I would get them if you are a novice and wanting to move up poundage as they are lovely and smooth. – David W

Sebastien Flute Premium

Decent wood core limb. I personally found them very snappy when they shot, but not necessarily particularly forgiving. However a decent limb for the price. – David W

Sebastien Flute Foam

The SF Elite Foam limbs are a great set of limbs if your looking for a set to train on, with a smooth draw time after time, I would highly recommend them if you are planning to move through poundages until you get comfortable and buy a set of carbon limbs, as well as the add bonus they look cool in black.

Kaya K1

These are a decent wood core limb. I’ve bought these in the past for the club as they do well at low poundages. Kaya tend to make some good quality stuff, and although this is the bottom of the range (and expect the smoothness of draw to show this), I prefer these to the Seb Flutes of the same price bracket by a small margin. – David W

Kaya K3

Having not shot these for long, it’s hard to rate them, but I’ve found them very very quiet compared to other limbs I’ve shot. They seem very responsive to good technique, putting in ends of around 50 at 70m without much effort at all. These are certainly a step up from the K1s, but again they aren’t as fast as my previous limbs at the same poundage which was disappointing. They also seem to shoot nicer the further wound in your limb bolts are. – David W

Uukha X0

I will admit that the reason I bought these limbs was partly because they were black !!  These were the first set of nice limbs I bought with my own monies, and I am really enjoying shooting them.  They feel much smoother to draw than the club limbs and seem to be snappier as well, but I quite like this as it allows me to feel the difference between good and bad shots easier.  At about £250 they are good mid range carbon limbs, but they are more recurved than I am used and so took slightly more time to tune than my old Samick or Kaya limbs did. – James

Uukha VX1000 Curve

The Uukha VX1000 Curve limbs are very similar to the VX1000 XCurve limbs. The Curves are a few FPS slower, however are still faster than the majority of other limbs on the market. The main difference is the draw profile. The Curves are smoother and more linear feeling throughout the entire draw, especially at the final expansion phase of the shot. This is different to the XCurves, which increase the resistance of the draw throughout before simulating a let off at the final point. It’s personal preference as to which style you prefer. (Overall regarding Uukhas; If you’re looking for a forgiving gentle limb, this is not the brand to consider. These limbs are aggressive, fast and will punish bad form.) – Patrick C.

String

Strings are obviously important! They span from the top of each limb, and can be made at the club. The string has other important features as it will also have serving and nocking points. We usually make strings for all the bows we hand out, so no need to worry about buying one of them! If you want to know technical specs, then we use BCY 8125 and BCY 3D serving for novice and senior strings, and Dacron with BCY Soft Twist for the beginner ones.

To change the bracing height in your bow, you must adjust the number of turns in the string, and  this bracing height is very important to keep the same every time you shoot! For extra help, see the section on Tuning your bow.

Fingertab

These go on your release hand and put a nice piece of leather between you and the string to improve loose form and make it more comfortable for you to shoot! There are several designs and an important difference between recurve and barebow tabs!

Reviews

Fivics/Soma Saker II

Before they were bought out by Fivics (and renamed), the Soma Saker II was pretty much everyone’s favourite tab at the club, and still is really. The reason I like it is the metal plate is just the right size to stop bending of the wrist and palm, which allows for a much better loose. It also has a small sharks fin that some people like to use for their little finger to rest on, a moveable thumb plate which allows the archer to put their thumb above or below the plate (not all tabs do this) and a nice piece of Cordovan leather to boot. A really good all around adjustable tab coming in at around £35. – David W

http://www.clickersarchery.co.uk/view_product.php?product_id=915

Fivics/Soma Saker III

This one is not as good as the Saker II. Most of it is the same, but you don’t have as good a plate on the palm of your hand. It’s more expensive than the Saker II and if you have loosing problems, I don’t think the Saker III is going to help as much as the Saker II will. – David W

Decut Rugbii Tab

Decut make some decent stuff. Unfortunately this isn’t one of them. It’s cheap and cheerful and if you’re really on a tight budget then go for this, but I really wouldn’t recommend it. The leather is not as good as in the Fivics ones, the adjustability isn’t there in the thumb plate due to the leather fastener being on the inside of the metal plate and also the leather used in the fastener for your middle finger isn’t particularly strong. One of these broke at BUTC 2012 for the opposing team in the 1st round which Dan from Clickers and I had to try and put back together in time so the girl could shoot. I’d stick clear of this one, and for the same reason the Fivics Neonine tab too (which from what I’ve seen is slightly worse). – David W

Arizona KSL

Two tabs here to discuss, but they do mostly the same thing. The only difference between the KSL Gold and the KSL Gold Light is that the former is made out of brass (making it very heavy) and the latter is made out of aluminium. I made the switch to the brass version and haven’t been disappointed. You cannot move your hand at all in them which is part of the problem with loosing technique, so for that reason I would recommend them if you can afford one. The light version is £45 and the brass version at £53 so they’re not cheap at all. However they’re very good tabs, so it’s whether you want a heavy and expensive tab. – David W

http://www.clickersarchery.co.uk/view_product.php?product_id=1740

Black Widow (Barebow)

It is perfectly possible to shoot barebow with a recurve tab, however barebow tabs are generally smaller and without the large metal plates to keep your hand in position.  this is because barebow archers have different shooting styles and anchor positions that can be interfered with by large obtrusive metal parts.  Also most barebow tabs have a regular something (stitching, lettering) on them to help string walking archers properly measure how far they have walked to keep their shooting constant.

The Black Widow seems to be one of the most popular barebow tabs around as the SUAC barebows all shoot with it.  Technically there are 6 versions of the tab although at SUAC we all shoot with the mediterranean release( 1 finger over 2 under), leather faced tab.  There is  the same tab with a chin anchor added and a purely 3 finger under tab that is similar as well, but if the need arose to shoot mediterranean, which may happen outdoors at your longest distance, the 3 under tab becomes an issue.  Also all Black Widow tabs come with the choice of leather or calf hair faces.  There is little difference between the two but apparently calf hair is smoother and so helps your release.-James

Button

This little gadget allows you to adjust how the riser reacts to the bending of the arrow as it is shot. This is vital to ‘tuning’ arrows to the bow, and means a wider range of stiffness of arrows may be used with the same setup.

Reviews

Shibuya DX

Pretty much the only button that Adam will recommend to anyone (with the exception of the Beiter). It’s a good button, and has two tips and a couple of extra springs. It will do you well as a beginner, novice or an experienced archer. There is no point spending close to £100 on a Beiter button, when this one will do the job admirably. – David W

Beiter

This is the button to end all buttons, but it does come with the pricetag. It’s used by pretty much every archer that wants to be (or is in) an Olympic team. It has click adjustment (rather than using grub screws) and it’s just very good all round like pretty much everything Beiter make. But for the cost, you will get very much the same results as using the Shibuya DX. – David W

This is one of two buttons I would consider buying, the other is the Shibuya DX. The advantages of the Beiter over the DX are:

    • Specific tools to tighten the button to the riser: if used properly it’s almost impossible for it to come loose while shooting.

 

  • Spare parts: The Beiter comes with a large amount of spare parts so that you won’t need to order replacements if lost or broken.
  • Micro adjustment: The DX requires the use of allen keys to adjust tension, the Beiter on the other hand has a micro-adjustment mechanism which can be used for windage or speed up the tuning process tenfold. This mechanism is easy to use and well marked for recording settings (where the DX is has no built-in feature for this).

 

Do not buy this button without first shooting with the DX, so that you fully appreciate the improvement. I’d also not recommend this button for less serious archers since it would not be worth it. While the DX is significantly cheaper £20 (vs. £90 for the Beiter), the Beiter makes certain aspects of tuning much easier. The improvement you get isn’t huge but can be the difference between a great setup and a perfect setup. – Theo

Cartel Basic

This is awful. Don’t buy it. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was adjustable, but unfortunately after a few adjustments the grub screws round off and make it pretty much useless, so you have to buy a new button. – David W

Cartel Triple

So this is where it gets a tad confusing. The Triple is hard to get hold of now, but I’ve shot with one, most memorably at SEAL Outdoors 2013, and thought it was actually not too bad a button coming in at a similar price to the Basic. The grub screws are better made and the whole thing seems more solid than the Basic, despite being smaller in profile. – David W

Seb Flute button (comes with Forged Plus riser)

I shot with one of these for a session and I was quite impressed by it. It’s fairly cheap compared to other buttons, and whilst the grub screws are not as good as the Shibuya ones, they aren’t far off. Certainly better than the Cartel Basic button! – David W

Clicker

This helpful little device is only fitted after you have a good technique anchoring on your nose and chin frequently. It is used as a draw length check as it clicks when you draw the arrow to a certain point (hence the name). As you hear the click, you’re meant to loose the arrow so they do take some getting used to!

Reviews

Cartel

Works well enough, but has a problem with being screwed into the clicker holes on the riser at times, so can come loose and get knocked forward. If you tighten it up with pliers you should be ok though.

Arctec

So I tried this out as it looked like a nice little piece of carbon kit (and I didn’t want W&W on my bow 😛 ). However, it spectacularly failed when I was at a national level shoot, when the brass piece fell off and I didn’t notice, which meant the angle that the clicker normally sits at (due to the design of this one) kept rebounding after the click and effectively pushing the arrow off the rest as I shot it. I’m going to get another one at some point, but I’d go for the W&W if you want to be on the safe side with a carbon clicker. – David W

Beiter

Simple design that works well. Pretty much every senior shoots this one in the club and it’s worth the extra few quid over the Cartel ones. – David W
Fine, but may bend and produce a weaker click (or none at all). All you have to do is bend it back, though. – Andrew

Win and Win

This carbon clicker gives a good positive clicking sound, but is slightly more expensive than the Beiter. Most archers with CXTs seem to have this clicker in the club. – David W
As it’s carbon, it can’t bend permanently and so will always give a very strong click. The screw is also easier on the fingers so you can screw it in tighter than the Beiter. – Andrew

Rest

The rest is the part of the bow that the shaft of the arrow sits on. Simple rests are made of plastic and are static structures, the more expensive ones are normally metal and have customizable arms and orientations. The height at which the arm of the rest is at affects you centre shot and your nocking points (most rests are never altered, as they are annoyingly small and hard to adjust). Metal rests also have a feature which allows the arrow as it is loosed to push the rest into the bow so that the fletches will not catch on it.

Reviews

Shibuya Ultima

This rest is used by most of the senior archers in the club. It has a simple mechanism using a grub screw, comes in 6 different colours (to suit your bow) and it’s very simple to get replaceable arms if your one breaks. All around, fairly decent. – David W

Fivics

I bought this rest last year for most of the novice bows that still had plastic rests. While it isn’t as adjustable as the Shibuya Ultima, it does the job effectively and as long as you put it on at a slight upwards angle, you should find the arrows not falling off. – David W

Seb Flute rest (comes with Forged Plus riser)

Again something simple and decent which does the job for a fraction of the price. It has a small amount of adjustability but not quite as much as the Shibuya one again. Better than the Fivics but at a similar price, so not bad once again from Seb Flute! – David W

Spigarelli Zero Tolerance (ZT) Magnetic Rest

The ZT is a wrap-around arrow rest designed specifically with barebow shooting in mind. Barebow archers that stringwalk using a stick-on rest (e.g. the Shibuya Ultima) can suffer from a higher rate of rest failure (due to the large downwards force the arrow imparts on the rest upon release). The ZT has a thick arm that is less prone to snapping when stringwalking, however this can lead to significant clearance issues if the bow isn’t tuned correctly. The ZT has decent position adjustability, however I would recommend cutting off the bend at the end in order to improve arrow flight. It’s also available in 3 different styles designed to fit different bows; make sure you check which you require for your riser before purchase. – Patrick C.

Sight

The sight is the part of most modern bows that are the main technological improvement to them from traditional bows. Old style bows (bare bows are also included in this generalisation), normally made out of wood, never had plastic or metal sights as the archers used experience and skill to guess where the arrow would land. Sights allow modern day archers to change where they are shooting to account for different distances and weather conditions. More expensive sights allow higher precision, less vibration and a more robust addition to many metal risers.

Reviews

Shibuya sights

There are a few Shibuya sights out there on the market, with the main difference being the build quality. I have the Carbon Ultima which is quite light, and I think an all around very good sight. However it will cost you.Below that is the Aluminium Ultima which is more of the same thing only heavier –  being made of aluminium – and a slightly different design where the sight attaches to the riser. However the sight block itself is the same, so if you don’t mind the extra weight on the bow, then you could save yourself a bit by getting this one.Finally there is the dual click which compromises on the sight block design making it less adjustable but it’s not too bad. If you want a Shibuya but are strapped for cash, then this is the one for you. – David W

Sure Loc sights

Built like a brick, and as adjustable as the Shibuyas, a few years ago I would have recommended one of these. However, I bought one for my compound and it shakes itself apart every time I shoot it! This isn’t just the case with the compound sights though, as I’ve heard of design flaws with the recurve ones (like putting non removable stickers in awkward places making the sight non reversible). They come in a bit more pricey than the Shibuya ones, so buck for buck, I wouldn’t recommend one of these I’m afraid. However, if you can get your hands on a Sure Loc from a few years ago, then you may be lucky and get one of the ones that don’t fall apart every five minutes! – David W

Decut

The design on this sight isn’t bad and neither is the price point. I believe Frodo and Ruth have one so he would be the person to ask about them, but they have the same sort of design as the Shibuya in terms of the dual click sight block, plus they seem to be of a fairly sturdy design too, so they won’t shake themselves apart. – David W

The Decut Sight was reccommended to me by clickers as it filled a gap in the market (before there was little available between £30 and £100) so it was better than the entry level sights without costing as much as a Shibuya or a Sure-Loc. It’s quite a heavy sight, but the adjustment mechanism is great and a lot more precise than what I had before (it’s similar to the click mechanism used in most more expensive sights). However, it does have a tendency to rattle, and although mine hasn’t been too bad (a bit of blu-tac seems to reduce it massively) I know others have had a lot worse. If it’s this bad though I would reccommend returning it to Clickers or at least saying something too them as they may be able to do something about it. I would say it’s a reasonable sight, just don’t expect a shibuya because that’s not what you’re paying for! – Ruth

Avalon Tec

So I like the design of this sight. It seems to hark back to the old days of Sure Loc sights, where the metal frame is stable. However, I’ve since seen the sight and it has the same problem a lot of sights these days have which is the advertising (in this case a stick on Avalon promo sticker) stops you having extra drilled holes in the sight. This makes it nigh on impossible to reverse, or even bring it back particularly far, which you may find problematic come the outdoor season. – David W

Sebastien Flute Elite Carbon Pro Sight

This sight came along when I started seeing problems with the Decut and Avalon listed above. I must admit I’m quite impressed with it. It is built to withstand vibrations from a compound, and that’s pretty much what you get in quality. It is strong and has good adjustability, plus I can’t seem to find faults with locking screws like the Avalon or much wobbling like the Decut. Not a bad sight at all, and well worth the extra money to buy one! – David W

Long Rod

The long rod is the simplest and first stabilization that a recurve archer gets to use to help their shooting. They come in many different lengths and different constructions, some are designed to provide as little resistance to the wind as possible by having an aero-foil formation.

The long rod’s main job as part of your whole bow set up is to move the center of mass away from the bow, thus when an arrow is loosed and the bow falls, it will fall faster and more controlled. End weights will make the movement faster and even more stable. You can go into the physics of it all, but simply put a long rod makes the bow fall forward and not towards you.

Reviews

Easton A/C/E

I liked these as my first set of stabilisers, but as I moved up poundage I found them quite whippy to shoot with. – David W

Doinker Elite Supreme

I bought this second hand for use with my compound originally, but I found it was so stiff that it replaced my previous long rod in time. The only problem is that the suppressor mount (see the Extenders section) is fixed to the long rod which is a bit of a problem if you want to put your vbars in between them. – David W

Sebastien Flute Carbon Blade

The SF carbon blade stabilizer setup is a mimic of the fuse blade setup, but appears to give the add vibration suppression with built in rubber dampers. They are able to setup up so the blades setup up parallel to the ground. The blade shape does give small amount of suppression from cross winds whilst at full draw compared to bulkier stabilizers, however your arm and the bow itself will always catch the wind.

W&W HMC Pluses

These were the first very popular stabilisers that W&W ever made in my opinion, and with good reason too! They’re excellent for recurve archers as they are stiff enough and they also come in a wide range of colours to match your bow.

W&W HMC22

These are bigger in diameter than the Pluses, but they are so lovely and stiff. They look excellent on Izzy’s RCX-100 bow too! – David W

Short Rods

Short rods are about a third the length of a long rod normally, thus they are “short”. Their main function is to provide more weight on the bow, the reason for this is to make it harder for the archer to move/twitch the bow whilst holding it at full draw. The extra weight should increase the inertia of the bow and make it harder to move however it sometimes exacerbates unwanted movement. Doinkers (layered plastic balls) are used to dampen the movement by using the end weights to counter the movement by providing an opposed movement to the archer’s twitching, and thus stabilizing the whole bow.

As short rods have weight on them they move the center of mass back towards the bow, and thus making the bow not fall away as fast. To counter this you either put more weight on the end of the long rod, but not too much so the bow is horrendously heavy. Or you have a longer long rod, which will mean you don’t need as much weight, you can also use an extender which fits into the riser and then the long rod fits into this with the v-bars between the LR and extender.

Extender

An extender is designed to move the center of mass back away from the bow after short rods are part of the stabilization set-up.

Reviews

Easton A/C/E

Oh dear. Just oh dear. Easton seem to have started using a different glue in the last year or so which isn’t very good in humid and hot conditions. I had my first extender blow (ie the carbon separated from the aluminium) at the Bournemouth Indoors after owning it for 6 months or so. The replacement blew 2 weeks later at the club H2H. I didn’t shoot with my stabilisers a huge amount after this as I turned to compound, so I gave them to Andy. The third one went on one of the hottest days outdoors. To be honest I’ve given up on these as although the older members of the club (like Simon and Theo) have never had a problem, the new stuff they’re producing doesn’t seem to work properly! – David W

Doinker Suppressor Mount

This, is an excellent extender in my opinion. It really helps remove vibrations from the bow, but it is very heavy as it has a steel bar running through it. You need to buy it separately from your other stabiliser stuff, but if you do, you won’t be disappointed. – David W

V-Bars

V-bars are used to attach short rods to the long rod which is attached to the riser through the v-bars. The v-bars come in several varieties: 0°(ie flat), 17°(angled) or adjustable, normally at least. The 17° version means that the short rods are angled downwards (as well as out) so that the centre of mass is now not along the axis of the long rod but below it, where it is depends on the length of the rods and the weights on them.

Reviews

AGF

A favourite of SUAC. It’s fully adjustable and slots together really easily. Most archers in the club are gradually moving to these V bars as and when they can afford them because of the adjustability of them. Unfortunately, they’re no longer being made – David W

Saves you time setting up/down the bow, since you don’t have to screw the side-rods in every time. – Andrew

PSE Gorilla bar

I saw one of these at my club in London,  and it’s one of those bits of equipment that when you realise the price of it, you think that it’s not a bad piece of kit at all. It’s got a very simple but strong locking mechanism so it allows all the freedom of movement for stabilisers like the AGF, but is £10 cheaper. – David W

Weights

End weights are used to provide more weight on the end of the rods on your bow.  Barebow archers don’t have the luxury of all these rods and so often add large, compact weights to the front of their risers to try and emulate a long rod.  Also specific barebow risers often contain integrated weights to try and lower the centre of mass of the bow.  The addition of weights to a barebow tries to make the bow fall forward after the arrow is fired (rather than falling backward, causing the archer to be hit in the head by their limb).

Barebow Weights

Gillo G1 Disk Weight Kit

These are circular 30g weights designed to fit inside the Gillo G1 Gold Medal Riser to compensate for cant and balance. There are 6 weights that can be fitted; 3 on each side, however the majority of right handed archers will only fit them on the left side of the riser (in order to offset the sight window). These are basically the crude barebow legal equivalent of adding weight to side rods. – Patrick C.

Gillo G1 Barebow Weight Cover

This is literally a triangular-ish-shaped lump of metal that fits the front of the Gillo G1 Gold Medal Riser. It’s intended for barebow use and is currently available in 3 different sizes (though more are in development). The gold cover weighs 270g, the silver cover weighs 790g and the black cover weighs 830g. Its asymmetric shape also means that it can be mounted upside down, which changes the shot reaction and feeling. – Patrick C.