Recurve bows are characterized by tips of the limbs curving back toward the bow. Originally designed for instinctive shooting, recurve bows have advanced with technology, design and lightweight materials. Two of the major bow manufacturers responsible for the advancement of recurve bows are Hoyt and PSE. Both companies produce a variety of recurve bows for target shooters and bow hunters.
What's Your Sport?
Hoyt produces two basic types of recurve bows -- hunting and competition. Each type has a special design and features that make it ideal for that type of shooting. PSE offers traditional recurve bows, youth bows and bow fishing recurve bows. Hoyt and PSE offer different models within each category.
From Wood to Carbon
Unlike the traditional recurve bows made from wood, Hoyt and PSE use lightweight materials to construct their bows. PSE, for example, employs a stainless steel stabilizer bushing on the X-Appeal recurve bow and a machined aluminum riser on the Coyote model. Hoyt uses carbon limb laminates and foam core materials for the competition recurve bows. Both brands feature wood grips for comfortable shooting.
Handle to String
Recurve bows, by nature, have a long axle-to-axle measurement. The lengths of the competition and hunting bows from both companies measure more than 60 inches in length, with the PSE X-Appeal measuring 66 inches in length. Youth models, however, will measure about 56 inches. Brace height measurements -- the measurement from the handle to the string -- on both brands is approximately 8 inches and is dependent on the overall length of the bow. Hoyt bows are slightly lighter than PSE bows weighing about 2 1/2 pounds as opposed to the 3 pounds from PSE.
Flash And Finesse
Competition bows will feature flashy and colorful paint schemes, and hunting and bow fishing bows will feature a camouflage finish. Most of the bows don’t come with accessories, but PSE offers a bow fishing package with the Kingfisher model that features a reel, bow fishing arrow and bow fishing tip. PSE and Hoyt both offer accessories such as competition limbs that easily can be installed onto the recurve. Other features include custom bow strings and travel bow cases.
What You'll Pay
As a general rule, recurve bows from Hoyt and PSE don’t cost as much as the compound bows. Entry-level bows from PSE such as the Mustang model can be purchased for about $209. The PSE flagship bow, however, will sell for just under $600, and the Kingfisher bow fishing recurve sells for about $119 as of 2014. Hoyt competition recurves will commonly sell for more than $600 and the entry-level bows can be purchased for around $100 to $200 as of 2014.