Changing the Game
When the Samick Sage, the low-price, high quality, korean-based bow hit the target archery scene, it disrupted the archery market in a huge way. At just over $100 at the time ($140 as of this writing), the price point couldn’t be touched when comparing recurve bows of similar quality. Bows known for quality were made in the states, and statesmen craftsmanship came with a price. Bows made overseas were plastic and gimmicky. When the Sage hit the local archery ranges, people were more than happy that bows weren’t delaminating or exploding in their hands. Not only were they staying together, they were remarkably impressive.
Cheap (but Good!) Adult Recurve Bows
In 2016, archery picked up some steam and introduced many new players to the new-archer price-point. Martin Archery, a 64-year-old iconic American brand, had gotten a facelift. While they did run in to some trouble in 2016 with a stateside factory fire, the business was able to also outsource their line of wooden takedown recurve bows. The Martin Archery Poplar currently comes in at $130 and 64″ AMO-length, offering a longer tip-to-tip length than the Sage’s 62″. The Martin Archery Willow bow comes in at the same length as the Sage’s 62″ at $167. The nice thing about a big-brand in the states offering outsourced product is that the warranty department is on Pacific Standard time.
Should you want to live life a bit more dangerously and either rely on Amazon’s return policy or offshore returns departments, Samick is likely the best recommendation even though their prices have started to climb. However, there are similar products that don’t have the brand that Samick has created that offer similar products for less money. The Courage Takedown Recurve bow comes in at a still-forgiving 60″ AMO for the price of $110 and the SAS Spirit Takedown Recurve just under that, at $100. $100!!!!!
Youth-Sized Recurve Bows:
One of the things that was missing a few years ago was nicely made youth-sized takedowns, even after the age of Samick.
In 2015, rather than try and compete with the full-sized Samick, Martin snuck in a fun-sized 54″ ATA in the form of the Martin Archery Alder 54″. At this length and price ($130), the bow is geared more towards the serious young archer. It has a nice palm-swelled wooden riser with laminated limbs, tools-free assembly, and swag. Since, a few other options have entered the youth-archer space with bows like SAS Snake in 48″ at the $80 mark and the SAS Spirit Beginner in 54″ at $78.
Youth Recurve Bows vs Children’s Toys
There are a few key features that make these aforementioned bows highly competitive in the new to intermediate market for archers, as compared to say, the Bear Titan child’s bow or a child’s compound bow like daddy’s such as Barnett Outdoor’s Lil Banshee.
The bows that you’ll find for over $60 are generally made of wooden risers that were shaped by some human touch. They’re made for bringing youth archers into the world of target-archery using shapes and materials resembling archery icons like Merida from Brave, Katniss from Hunger Games, or for you old-folks, Robinhood. There’s something warm about the feeling of wood in the palm.