reply to post by Dionisius
Perhaps I can help. I've been shooting an Olympic-style recurve bow for about four years. Over the past year, I decided to get trained and certified
as a Basic Archery Instructor under USA Archery and the National Field Archery Association. I've had the pleasure of instructing kids in scouting and
church-sponsored functions. Archery, particularly target archery, is a blast and can be carried over to hunting (if you're into that) or as a
survival skill. Below are my inputs, some of which may have been covered somewhat by other posters.
Since you've been looking into recurve bows, you have probably seen that they come either as a 1-piece unit or a 3-piece "takedown" type that is
preferred since you can store the bow in a smaller case. Of the takedown recurves, removable upper and lower bow limbs can be tailored to your needed
AMO length and draw weight (AMO - - Archery Manufacturer and Merchants Organization, now the ATA, i.e. Archery Trade Association). Of this type, there
are target and hunting recurves with bolt-on limbs. Other, more expensive takedown recurves used in Olympic target archery, have removable limbs
featuring standardized International Limb Fittings (ILFs) that are compatible across different ILF recurve bow makers. Right now, you probably want to
start with at lower-priced takedown recurve with bolt-on limbs.
You mentioned the need to find a long enough recurve to match your long draw length, being a tall guy. My recommendation is for you to consider
getting a takedown recurve that is no shorter than 68" AMO length, preferrably 70" AMO length (AMO length, I understand, is not actual recurve
length, but rather the bowstring length minus 3"-4"). The longer bow length is not only to avoid bow poundage stacking, but more importantly to
minimize "finger pinch" at the arrow drawing hand due to the bowstring angle being too acute, given shorter bows. Finger pinch can become painful
after a few hours of shooting, but it also prevents one from achieving a clean arrow release, which in turn adversely affects shooting accuracy. Even
three fingers below the arrow nock, and a leather finger tab or shooting glove, don't really help against finger pinch. A 70" AMO length recurve is
what you need.
I have found decent 70" AMO length takedown recurves for you by the manufacturer Ragim (bought out by G&H Outdoors?) called the Matrix and the Matrix
Custom. If archery/bowhunting pro-shops are in your area, it is good for beginners to go check out these places for a bow. However, as an alternative,
you can find/buy good bows online from reputable dealers. Look up "Ye Olde Archery Shoppe" at yeoldearcheryshoppe.com. In the Traditional Bows
section is listed the Ragin Matrix and Matrix Custom (I like the Matrix Custom's lighter-stained handle riser). Please ignor all of the other pretty
recurves; they are really too short for your needs.
The next topic to consider is the bow draw weight. When first starting archery with a recurve bow, whether it is for target or even hunting, learning
the correct shooting technique is paramount. Sometimes, beginning archers get outfitted with a bow that is too difficult for them to comfortably draw
(get "overbowed"), and thus they pick up improper shooting postures that can result in injuries and/or really turn them off from archery. While I
don't really know how muscular you are, in general my advice is for you to consider getting 30# to 35# limbs for a 70" AMO length Ragin Matrix or
Custom Matrix. As you may know, 30# limbs are rated for a standardized 28" arrow draw length. So, with your extended draw length, the actual poundage
could be near 35#, and 35# limbs @ 28" for you could actually be near 40#, which is powerful enough for now. Given lighter poundage limbs, you need
to be capable of comfortably drawing back to your cheek or jawbone and anchoring there for at least 2 seconds to set/aim before releasing. My gut-feel
advice for you is to start with 30#-rated limbs to first develop your shooting form, and then later (or when you buy the bow) also purchase a pair of
35# to 40# limbs to swap out as your form is established and strength grows. If you start with higher poundage limbs above 40#, I am afraid that you
will be overbowed and become very disappointed.
You'll also need to be outfitted with proper length arrows per your extended draw length, with arrow shaft spine per your actual bow poundage.
You'll need to take the bow into an archery pro-shop for this, remembering that if/when you change to heavier limbs, you will need upgraded arrows.
Websites listed have armguards and finger tabs. You'll also need a nock point crimped onto your bowstring, aligned with an arrow.
Another highly recommended archery supply dealer:
Lancaster Archery --> lancasterarchery.com (Lancaster, PA; have actual brick & morter store)