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How to String a Recurve Bow? – With or Without a Stringer

How to String A Recurve Bow
Written by Catherine Weeks
Last Update: January 9, 2023

Stringing a recurve bow is a crucial aspect of possessing and shooting one. Although simple, the process may appear difficult to inexperienced shooters.

If you have a bow that could be disassembled for storage, you should detach the string first.

You may learn how to appropriately detach and reattach your recurve bow without harming any pieces by visiting your nearby archery store.

But if you prefer to do it yourself, follow the instructions on how to string a recurve bow properly.

How to String A Recurve Bow (With A Stringer)

1. Get a Bow Stringer

This inexpensive item is required for stringing your recurve bow without harming the bow parts.

Choose one that is made for your recurve bow and is appropriate for the length and pull weight of your bow.

Check that the stringer’s ends slide tightly over the limb endings of your bow.

2. Wrap the String Around the Bow Tips

Slide the big loop of the string around the top limb of your bow, putting the string on the proper side of your bow.

Insert the small loop through the slot on the bottom limb, making sure it fits securely. Because the bow is in a loose position, the string will have a lot of slack.

The bottom limb is on the handle’s heavier end. The pull weight of a bow is generally indicated on the bottom limb.

3. Place the Stringer Pocket on the Bottom Limb End

If the stringer features two pockets, the bigger one should go over your bottom limb. It should enclose the tiny string loop and keep it firmly in place in the slot.

Put a rubber band across the string loop if it does not seem secure.

4. Attach the Saddle or Small Pocket to the Top Limb

Place the tiny pocket over the top limb end if the stringer contains two pockets.

Place the saddle from one end of the stringer around the upper limb and slightly beneath the string loop.

Place the saddle around 3 inches above the end, directly under the string loop. Certain saddles may be fixed across your bow, while others must be held in place by you.

5. Place the bow horizontally

Use your non-dominant arm to hold your bow grip. Hold it straight with your dominant arm near your top limb, securing the loosened string loop.

Place the bowstring and stringer beneath the bow, with both limb ends pointing upward.

6. Place Your Foot on the Bow Stringer

Lower the bow by bending at the waist before the stringer reaches the ground.

Put both of your feet on it. Use the heels of your feet instead of your arches to keep the string from slipping.

Use one arm to maintain the saddle in position if you use a bow stringer with a saddle. You can stand on one foot, but placing both feet provides more support.

That is especially beneficial for children and people who are shorter.

7. Draw up your Bow

Pick up the gap in the bow stringer and double-check your grip. Be ready to draw upward while bending your bow limbs backward toward the surface.

Pull up against the bow while sliding the loosened string loop upward until it slides into the slot at the top of the bow.

If you’re having difficulty with this, your stringer could be too large.

Make it shorter by tying knots at the lower pouch.

8. Verify if the String Is Safe

To make sure the string loop is firmly in the slot, slide your fingers over it.

Keep your fingers on the string for the whole procedure so you can slow down if it begins to fall off.

Lower your bow little by little until the stringer is loose again. Do not speed through this process, since a loose string may break apart and fling limbs in your face.

9. Double-Check the String

Turn your bow away from you as soon as possible. Inspect the string loops one more time.

If they’re not fixed, repeat the procedure standing on the stringer.

Pull your head away in case that string breaks. Do not direct the limbs towards someone close, as a mishap might result in an accident.

10. Detach the Bow Stringer

Remove also rubber bands that you may use. Tune your bow before shooting for the best performance.

Once you’re prepared to unstring your bow, reattach the bow stringer in the same manner as previously.

Step over the stringer, pull the bow upward, and then slip the top string loop off the slot and downward onto the bow limbs. Release the bow gradually.

How to String A Recurve Bow (Without A Stringer)

How to String A Recurve Bow Without A Stringer

1. Step-Through Technique of Stringing Your Recurve Bow

The step-through technique is among the most popular methods for stringing your recurve without using a stringer.

This approach includes flexing the bow with your body as pressure, enabling optimal string placement.

It’s a simple and quick approach that doesn’t require the purchase of a bow stringer.

The first task is to reassemble your bow. Begin by inserting the lower string loop into the slot of your bow’s lower limb.

Then, position the bow out towards you and pass through your bow and string. This is how the technique got its name.

Put one leg over the bow, and the other leg across the bow. Place the bow over one of your legs’ fronts and the rear of the other leg’s thigh.

Move the bow’s upper limb closer to the string next. Move the limb end and string closer and attach them using your weight as leverage.

That’s the most difficult step for most novice archers since you must create an adequate force to connect your bow and string.

The next step is to examine the bow to confirm that both ends are securely attached.

2. Push-Pull Technique of Stringing Your Recurve Bow

Although it employs the same fundamental idea as the step-through technique, this is typically seen as an easier method to implement.

First, you must assemble your bow by mounting it and getting ready your string.

Begin stringing by inserting the lower loop of your string and ensuring that it is securely attached to the string slot.

Put the bow’s lower point on the ankle of your dominant leg. Take mindful not to walk on the bow or lay your body on it. You don’t want to ruin your bow’s tip.

Now, use your dominant arm to take your bow grip.

Put the loop around your thumb and fingers on the exterior of the limb with your other hand’s palm facing out. You may now begin stringing your bow.

Draw back your bow with your dominant arm and push away with your other arm. Move your thumb and fingers up and inside the string slot.

You may also put your right forearm on your hips to create a little extra leverage and force if you aren’t strong enough.

To get the upper string inside the string slot, you need to bend the bow with adequate power.

The next step, like with any other approach, is to examine the bow to confirm the string is firmly attached.

Which Method Should You Use for Stringing Your Bow?

With some training, all stringing techniques are straightforward to learn. If you have the opportunity, choose a bow stringer since it is the most effective method.

Although it does involve the use of extra equipment, it is far safer and will not harm your bow.

It will take several seconds more than the other techniques, but the increased protection and ease of mind are definitely worth the extra time.

If you don’t have a bow stringer, then the push-pull technique is your next closest choice. This approach keeps your bow straight and prevents it from twisting.

If you’re not physically capable of doing this approach, the step-through technique can be used instead.

Whatever approach you choose, be sure to practice a lot.


1. How Do I Determine the Correct String Length for a Recurve Bow?

Ans. Before purchasing a string, you should first determine the length of your bow. Measure the distance between the string grooves.

Once you’ve determined the length of your bow, then calculate the length of your bowstring.

When shooting a recurve bow, the string is generally 3 to 4 inches smaller than the length of the bow.

2. How Much Time Does It Take To Restring Recurve Bow?

Ans. Restringing a bow takes approximately 15 minutes.

If you’ve never strung a bow before, it may take a bit longer. Nevertheless, most archers would quickly master this in a matter of minutes.

3. Is Keeping a Bow Strung Bad?

Ans. After you’ve completed shooting, the recommended approach is to unstring your bow.

Newer recurve bows are manufactured from synthetic fibers and can be strung for almost three weeks before being stored, but they must be unstrung during long storage.

4. Do I Need to Twist a Bow String?

Ans. Adding twists to the string essentially shortens it, increasing the support height.

Removing twists will result in a longer string and, as a result, a lower support height.

About the author

Catherine Weeks

Cathy believes that hunting is not about downing an animal; rather, it’s about enjoying the purity of this challenge and making a connection with nature.

She loves country music, horses, shooting, and hunting; and spends her weekends in the great outdoors with her husband and two kids.

Though Cathy has hunted most of her life, it was not until her partner gave her a bow that she realized she had finally found her passion.

She is always determined to share her missed opportunities, dedication, emotions, and small details that people often forget to mention when they talk about their hunting experiences.

Cathy also works to promote wildlife preservation and protect natural resources. She thinks “patience” is the most important thing that can make a big difference.

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