Can You Buy A Bow Online? Here’s What You Need To Know

Fact checked by Steven Lines, lifelong Hunter and OutdoorsmanOpens in a new tab..

Maybe you’ve seen your favorite superhero on the big screen slinging arrows in rapid-fire, or perhaps you’ve been watching competitive archers or bowhunters and want to get started in the sport of archery.

It is always good to have your gear for a game like archery because your practice will go farther when you are continually practicing with the gear.

Bows and all the associated archery equipment is readily available online. But, for new archers, buying equipment online can be a daunting task when you don’t know which parts are best for you.

So, can you buy a bow online? 

There are several e-commerce sites where you can pick up a quality bow online, and usually, you will spend less than buying it in a store. However, before you jump online to buy, there are a few things you are going to want to know. First, you need to know what kind of archery suits you.

Are you looking to start bowhunting/fishing, or are you more interested in target shooting and 3D archery? This will help you pick your style of bow. Next, you need to know your draw weight and length. Calculating draw lengthOpens in a new tab. is easy to do at home with a buddy and some measuring tape.

Now that you know about some of the considerations let’s take a more in-depth look to help you choose the right bow for you. 

The Body Training is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you. Learn moreOpens in a new tab.

Which Type of Bow to Choose 

There are several different types of bows, and they all function a little bit differently and have various applications. 

Compound bows

Southland Archery Supply SAS Outrage 70 Lbs 31'' ATA Compound Bow
Opens in a new tab.
342 Reviews
Southland Archery Supply SAS Outrage 70 Lbs 31'' ATA Compound Bow
  • ✅Do you want to give your shooters the best chance to develop their talents in archery? Then choose SAS Outrage Compound Bow and give shooters the right gear of high quality and durability.
  • ✅ SPECIFICS: Speed: IBO 275fps; Axle-to-Axle: 31"; Draw length: 25”-31” (adjustable without bow press); Brace height: 7.5”; Let-off: 75-80%;Draw Weight: 30 - 70 lbs
  • ✅MATERIAL: Aluminum Riser; CNC Machined Cams; Fiberglass Limb

Last update on 2022-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Compound bows are the most common for hunting because of all the technological advancements (strings, pulleys, and build materials) that help archers draw more weight.

This is the amount of pressure you have to use to pull the bow back. Higher numbers mean you have to pull more weight back. However, this translates to more power in the shot. 

These bows are compact, powerful, and excel in accuracy. They are excellent for hunting, but competitive archers also use them.  

As a beginner, you want to choose a compound bow that has a wide range of adjustable resistance. This will allow you to start with lower draw weights and then increase it as you strengthen your back and shoulder muscles. 

Compound bows are generally more expensive and are far more complicated to maintain than their simpler counterparts. 

Recurve bows

Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow …
Opens in a new tab.
2,742 Reviews
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow … Opens in a new tab.
  • This 62" Bow Includes: B-50 bow string and arrow rest
  • For future upgrades: pre-installed brass bushings for brass plunger, stabilizer, sight, and quiver, will fit Sammic Sage hunting kit
  • Design: Imported wood, limbs are hard Maple with black fiberglass; single tapered knob and metal limb pocket design; limbs can be purchased separately to increase or decrease weight as needed

Last update on 2022-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Recurve bows are a more traditional style bow. This type of bow is used in most competitions, including the Olympics. If you want to get into barebow, traditional, or Olympic style archery, this is the bow style you need.

You can use a recurve bow to hunt small game, but most bowhunters will choose the compound bow. 

Recurve bows have come a long way from the single piece of wood and string construction. 

They have three main components—the riser, which is the central shaft where you load the arrow and where you grip the bow. Coming off the top and bottom of the bow are the limbs, which are the part of the bow bend as you pull back on the string.  

Most modern recurves are takedown recurve bows, which means that the limbs detach from the riser allowing you to swap them out.

Keep in mind that there are several different attachment systems for limbs and riser, and when swapping them out, you need to make sure you get parts that use the same attachment system as what you currently have. 


SAS Pioneer 68' Longbow Traditional Wood Long Bow - Both Right Hand and Left Hand - Archery Target Hunting
Opens in a new tab.
194 Reviews
SAS Pioneer 68" Longbow Traditional Wood Long Bow - Both Right Hand and Left Hand - Archery Target Hunting
  • Riser is made of Makore Wood and Cassia Siamea
  • Strong fiberglass limb Made of Maple laminations
  • Great Shape and Stablity

Last update on 2022-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

LongbowsOpens in a new tab. are what most of us picture when we think of Robinhood. This classic bow style is longer than the recurve, which can be more forgiving for beginners as there is less chance of sideways movement in the string upon shot release.

These bows have straight limbs as opposed to the curve in the recurve. This means that they produce less power than a recurve.  

These bows are used almost exclusively for target shooting. 

Takedown longbows are available, but they are not nearly as universal as takedown recurves. Due to their length and inability to be taken apart, they can be harder to transport and store than a recurve. 

If you are not sure what to choose, you can take a trip to your local shop to give them a try. You could also visit a local archery club or take an introductory lesson that lets you try different bow styles. 

Draw Weight 

Draw weight is the amount of force needed to pull back the bowstring to full draw. It is measured in pounds, and the higher the poundage, the more power you will need to exert to draw the string back. Choice of draw weight is a personal matter and depends on your body and level of fitness. 

For beginners, you want to start low and work your way up as you practice and train your muscles. 

Side note: drawing and releasing a shot on a bow requires coordination of muscle groups that you do not use in day-to-day life. As such, when you are starting your archery adventure, you want to start with lower draw weights and work your way up to avoid injury even if you are physically fit.

This is true, no matter what type of bow you choose. If you want to get a head start on training, check out our article on building your strength and conditioning for archery. 

You can always go into a shop and try different draw weights to see what is most comfortable. Remember, you will have to draw several times over a single archery session, so pulling a full draw should be relatively easy. 

Here is a quick guide to drawing weights assuming average strength for age and sex: 

  • Adult male: 22–28 lbs for recurve bows, or 40–50 lbs for compound bowsOpens in a new tab.
  • Adult female: 16–26 lbs for recurve bows, or 30–40 lbs for compound bows. 
  • Teens (13–18): 12–16 lbs for recurve bows, or 14-22 lbs for compound bows. 
  • Kids (8–12): 10–14 lbs recurve bows, or 10–22 lbs compound bows. 

Compound bowsOpens in a new tab. are higher weights because the series of pulleys help the archer pull and hold the draw weight. Thus, you will find you can pull a heftier load on a compound bow. 

Proper Draw Length 

Even if you plan to buy your bow online, you will likely want to take a trip to a pro shop. When you go, an expert salesperson can talk you through all these same decisions we discussed here to feel confident you are purchasing the right type of bow. 

Although our draw length calculatorOpens in a new tab. will be accurate to 1/4 – 1/2 an inch, they can precisely measure your draw length for you so you can begin shooting more comfortably.

You will also be able to try the different types of bows and see which one sparks joy in your archer’s heart. 


Now that you’ve got the bow, you are going to need some accessories. Each of these is worthy of their own post, and we have many great articles on these topics. But here are a few pieces of equipment to keep in mind when getting started: 

Final Considerations 

There is one critical piece of information you might not yet be aware of regarding bow warranties. Almost all of the prominent manufacturers offer warranties on their bows, including Mathews, Hoyt, Bowtech, and PSE Pro Series. However, virtually all of those same companies require that you purchase the bow from an authorized retailer and be the original bow owner. 

These requirements mean that if you buy a second-hand bow, the warranty will be void. Also, most e-commerce sites are not authorized retailers, and as such, if you are purchasing a bow online, you will likely be passing up the chance for a manufacturer warranty on your bow. 

Buying a bow online can be a great option, especially if you are on a tight budgetOpens in a new tab.. Decide on your bow type and then figure out your draw weight and draw length. Order your bow and any accessories you need, then get to practice with your new kit! 

How Dangerous Is Archery? [Not Much If You Follow This Guide]Opens in a new tab.

Steven Lines hunter pic 1

Steven Lines is a hunter and outdoorsman from Safford, Arizona, USA. Since he was a child, he has been hunting and fishing and has over 20 years of experience in the outdoors. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channelOpens in a new tab. dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.

Was this article helpful?


Hi, I'm Sam! I used to work as a caregiver, and now I'm in medical school. My blog is about helping people get healthier through fun activities like archery, hunting, and powerlifting. If you like one of my articles, please share it with your friends and family so they can be healthy too!

Recent Posts