How to String a Recurve Bow

How to String a Recurve Bow?

To a beginner or someone with less experience using a recurve bow, stringing or unstringing the bow is a very daunting task. And I understand because I used to feel the same starting off and got hurt a couple of times in the process.

While I must admit, it hurts a lot when the bowstring snaps and hits you, but there are many ways you can avoid it from happening, and I mostly learned them from my mistakes.

With that being said, I have discussed below the methods on how to string a recurve bow and things you should do to avoid and avoid doing things from getting hurt.

Methods to String a Recurve Bow


There are two ways for stringing a recurve bow. The first method is using a recurve stringer, and the other is doing it yourself, without using any such equipment. I will let you know how to string a bow using both methods in the safest way.

Method One: Using A Bowstringer


How to String a Recurve Bow?

Stringing a recurve bow with a stringer is the most common and granted the safest way to string your bowstring. If you are a beginner or have no experience stringing a recurve bow, I recommend trying this method.

These stringers come in very cheap, typically under 20 dollars, and sometimes they also come free with your recurve bow. Now onto how you can string your bow using it:

  • Firstly take your bowstring and insert the wider loop of the string through the top end of the recurve bow. Insert it till it is tightly in place on the bow so it doesn’t snap back when you insert the other loop.
  • Take the other loop of the bowstring and insert it through the bottom end of the bow and fix it properly on the groove of the bow.
  • Now take your recurve stringer and place the pocket end of the stringer on one end of the bow and the saddle end through the other end of the bow.
How to String a Recurve Bow?
  • Holding your bow perpendicular to the ground in the middle, and place your foot on the recurve stringer’s string.
  • Now gently lift your recurve bow while pressing on the stringer. Lift it till you feel the bowstring loosen up, and when that happens, stay in that position.
  • You can now slide the wider loop of the bowstring and insert it into the groove of the bow. Take the recurve stringer off, and you are done! You can do the same when you unstring or restring a recurve bow.

Method Two: Doing It Yourself


How to String a Recurve Bow?
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This method is for when you are stringing a recurve bow without a stringer. It can be a bit dangerous if you are not careful and follow the steps properly. Plus, it requires a lot of physical strength as well, which makes it quite difficult for the average person to do it.

However, once you get the hang of it, it is a very quick method and can take you less than 30 seconds to do so. Here is how you do it:

  1. Start by doing the same as the first step of the previous method, that is, insert both loops of the bowstring on either side of the bow.
  2. Place your recurve bow vertically on the ground with the bowstring end you need to place in the groove facing up.
  3. If you choose the bow to be on your left side, insert your left leg through the middle of the bow and bowstring. And place your other leg on the ground near the bow for support.
  4. Now bring the bow close to your body, near your side, to make it easy to string the bow. You still need a lot of physical strength, but this way, it is safer. Don’t bring the bow too close to your face, or else you could get injured.    
  5. Using your left hand or palm, push the back of the bow to loosen up the string like before. In the process, lift the string and insert it into the groove properly.


Frequently Asked Questions


Is it OK to keep a recurve bow strung?

Bowstrings of any other material other than fiberglass will start to deteriorate under compression if you keep it always strung on a recurve bow. So no, it is not ideal to keep it strung unless you use recurve bowstrings made of fiberglass.

Do you twist a recurve bowstring?

If your bowstring doesn’t fit tightly on the recurve bow, then twists in a recurve bowstring while stringing can help to get the correct fitting. However, if your bowstring fits tightly enough on the recurve bow already, then you don’t need to twist it.

How often should bowstrings be replaced?

It depends. If your bowstring looks dry, worn down, or is damaged in any way, then you need to replace it as soon as possible. Other than that, it is recommended to replace them every two to three years.

Final Words


And that is how to string a recurve bow! With either method, you need to know your way around using a recurve bow a little bit, so that is something you want to keep in mind before trying it for the first time by yourself.

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