How to String a Recurve Bow

A Guide on How to String a Recurve BowYou’ve spent ages priming yourself up for some archery lessons.  And you finally got yourself a bow. Now you just need to learn how to string a recurve bow and you’re all set. But how do you do that?

There are a number of ways to do this and it’s important that you pay attention and do it right. Incorrect stringing methods could damage your bow. Limbs could twist or even split. But more than that, incorrectly stringing a bow has been known to cause injury. And you don’t want to be injured when you’ve barely begun, do you?

Here are some of the methods you can use to string your recurve bow properly.

Use of a Bow Stringer

Many equipment manufacturers actually prefer using a bow stringer. They usually come in either a double pocket or saddle type design. But regardless of the type, the same strong nylon cord is used. The double pocket type machine has the end of the cord has a larger leather or rubber pocket. This fits over the bottom of the limb tip.

In the case of a saddle type, the smaller rubber pocket has a dimpled rubber surface.

Let’s take a look at the steps on how to string a recurve bow using a bow stringer:

  1. Slide the top loop over the upper limb of the bow.
  2. Slide the large pocket of the stringer over the bow tip and string loop.
  3. Hold the bow horizontally and place the string underneath. Now place the small pocket of the bow stringer over the top bow tip.
  4. If using a saddle type: place the dimpled saddle over the upper limb below the bowstring loop. The dimpled saddle must then be slid along the upper limb of the bow and must be located directly behind the upper string loop.
  5. Hold the bow by the handle with one hand. Position the dimpled saddle with the other hand.
  6. The cord of the stringer must touch the ground. You may then place the ball of your feet on the cord.
  7. Use your free thumb and index finger to take up the slack.
  8. Draw up using the hand holding the bow. The limbs should bend downwards. While this is happening, slide the string up the limb with your other hand until the string nock engages.
  9. Use your finger to check that the string is seated correctly in the bow nock.
  10. Now you can step off the bow. At arm’s length, rotate it. Make sure the limbs are pointing away but are vertical to the ground. This way, if an accident happens, the string won’t hit your body.

You may now remove the bow stringer. The lower string loop shouldn’t move when you do this. It must remain seated correctly.

How to String a Recurve Bow Video

No Bow Stringer? No Problem!

No bow stringer around? There is another way to do it. But first, here’s what you must know. You can string a bow without a bow stringer. BUT it’s not safe for you OR your bow.

If the bow slips, IT WILL HURT. A lot. Also, you may not be able to calculate how much pressure you need, and too much could possibly snap the limbs. Plus the heavier your bow is, the harder this is to do without a bow stringer. So continue at your own risk. Continue reading to find out how to string a recurve bow without a stringer.

The Step Through Method

Still willing to risk it? Well, here goes. This is called the step-through method.

The recurve string is about 4” shorter than the bow from nock to nock. And you’ll be stringing it backwards. Before anything else, check that the string isn’t damaged. It should have no torn parts and it should be looped at the bottom correctly. The bottom string loop should be in the notch and the top string loop is over the bow but under the notch.

Ready to start stringing? Alright then.

  1. Start with the bow curve facing away from your limbs. The string goes on the side near you.
  2. Put your leg through the string. The bottom of the bow should prop against your opposite foot creating tension.
  3. Put your hand on top and pull the bow towards you.
  4. Slide the string up and loop through the bow.

Step Through Method Video

t may sound really easy but take note that you may end up with the string being longer than the bow. That means you have the wrong string and it just won’t work. You won’t be the first one to make that mistake.

In Conclusion

Again, it must be reiterated that using a bow stringer is still the best way to do it, but hey, every self-respecting archer must at least know how it’s done in the days of old, right? Hopefully, this guide on how to string a recurve bow will help you to kick start you archery journey. Just be careful and good luck stringing!

Scott Man

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