Best gear for barebow archery

Everything you need for ‘the true path‘.

We compiled a ‘best of the best’ a few issues ago for recurve and compound. Needless to say, for our barebow issue (number 151), you can probably guess what we’re going to tackle. Several of these have been reviewed in previous Bows; so dig out your back issues for more. All prices were correct at time of going to press. 

Gillo GT Riser

The current barebow market leader added new striking colours to the 2021 GT series and, in addition to the ILF, now offer Formula compatible risers.

The game-changing aspect is in the revolutionary technology of the limb pocket: 30% poundage adjustment range, instead of the traditional 10%.

With the 30lb limb you can go down to 24lbs and up to 36lbs. The goal is that you will change limbs less frequently, be able to return to archery starting “light”, as well as adjust to the increased training demands – all with the same set up.

Price: ILF from £467, Formula from £559.97

SPIGARELLI – REV² Recurve Riser 

An updated, futuristic Spiga is back and looking more sophisticated. It combines the best from the Revolution and the Revolution B.B. risers: structurally, the core of the riser remains the same, the back is more weighted for better balance, more weight can be added to the front.

In addition to the new stock grip, the riser can be configured for both recurve and barebow shooting. Central layer is now black instead of the silver; colour palette consists of five colours. This ILF is more affordable and will make the heads turn no less than its predecessor did. Distinctive — and a little divisive.

Price: from £266.90


One of the major talking points of this last year was Hoyt challenging the barebow market with the XCEED. This elite recurve riser can be easily transformed into a very solid barebow set-up and is already receiving some great reviews from many top shooters.

Hoyt weight kits are sold separately and consist of customisable plates, with aluminium and stainless steel options, ranging from 15oz – 32oz (900+ grams!). Top choice for a Hoyt fan, an archer looking for a high-end and heavy set-up – or even an elite recurve archer transitioning to barebow. 

Price: HOYT XCEED Riser: £697.50

Hoyt Barebow Weight System Xceed Kit Aluminium: £57.60

Hoyt Barebow Weight System Xceed Kit Steel: £87.11

Kinetic Vygo Riser  

This 25” aluminium, entry level ILF is available for both RH and LH archers. According to the reviews, it performs great for a low budget item.

It would work great for a novice archer, recreational-occasional shooter, or a developing intermediate junior, who is working on increasing their physical stamina.

The riser comes in 5 popular colours, with a natural wooden grip and a six-weight kit to experiment with (2 x 50g, 4 x 100g) – a pleasant surprise at such a small price. 

Price: £149.95

Gillo C88 Carbon Foam Limbs

Perhaps the most anticipated development in the barebow world: Gillo limbs. These were developed to match the GT riser but are compatible with all other ILF risers. The limb profile has an advance curve for maximum speed and smooth performance, and, it is said, that the limb ‘feels’ smoother for stringwalkers, especially during aiming. C88s come in three lengths: short, medium, long; in 4lb increments: 30, 34, 38, 42. Considering the GT’s limb adjustment versatility it makes total sense that increments are at 4lbs at a time.

Price: £489

Uuukha SX50 limbs 

A classic match to any barebow riser, Uukha’s most popular Ex1 Evo2 have been replaced with their 4th generation, SX50 model. These have a new, deeper S-curve profile and are 50% carbon, 50% glass, double the content of carbon than in the Evo2. Uukha say that the limb weight reduction will increase the speed and allow archers to shoot longer distances at lower poundage. Quality improves, but the price stays the same; it’s difficult to go wrong with this classic limb choice.  

Price: £331.79

Fivics Vellator Carbon/Foam Recurve Limbs (2019)

These mid-range ILF limbs are still a favourite with the intermediate archers. If you are venturing outdoors for the first time, this Vellator set will be a good upgrade to help you reach 50m. These foam core, carbon fibre glass pair have good speed, are light, durable and reliable. Poundage range: 22-38lbs. 

The model is also available with a wooden core, if you prefer a more stable
‘feel’. Clean design to match any riser: ‘blue’ detail for foam and ‘orange’ for wood core. 

Foam pair £225.56
Wood pair £213.55

Sanlida Athletics 7 Limbs

These affordable entry level cross carbon/foam limbs are a great match to any developing, entry level archer.  A great choice for those who haven’t shot for a very long time, during lockdown, for example: you can get your stamina back and pass these limbs to your club or give to a friend who struggles with heavy poundage. You will not feel bad about the accidental scratches either. The limbs come at 20-42lb range, in three popular lengths: 66, 68, 70. 

Price: from £147.22

Fairweather Pro Barebow Tab Set + Ring 

This ambidextrous tab has a unique adjustment system: rubber ring travels up and down and is fixed to the individual hand. The plate is made from strong nylon, edges smoothed and rounded, with small and large sizes available. Rings are sold separately and come in a range of ring sizes of 15-27, in different stiffness. The set includes a travel case, three pieces of kangaroo leather and one piece of suede. Durable, comfortable tab; stringwalkers will need to do their own gap marking.

Price: Barebow Pro Plate Set from £35.62
Barebow Tab Ring (2X)    £16.78

Black Mamba: Traditional 2 Tab

Renewed design for this multi-finger tab – no more will the barebow archer have to fight with the inconveniently positioned buckle. This patented buckle is buried low into the plate, allowing for the strap to be fastened in two directions: up or down the plate. This deep positioning creates tighter fastening, ensuring the tab does not open. It comes with the premium Horween cordovan leather, split or no split face. Anodised aluminium plate is laser marked at 1/16. Great quality tab for barebow and traditional archers. 

Price: £56.24

Zniper Barebow Tab 

Developed by Germany’s Michael Meyer, the Zniper tab is perhaps most versatile WA rule accredited tab on the market today. It is a two-layer tab: main cordovan face, and a lower face of kangaroo leather. Among other things, you can install anchor plates, a finger spacer, fix and adjust the gap markings. To change the markers, you need to unscrew the plate and place the metal markers onto the scale underneath, marked at 1mm interval. A high-end tab for experienced Pro shooters who know what they are doing on the line.  (We reviewed this tab in Bow issue 140.) 

Price: £88.53 (with two anchor plates included) 

Astra Shot Trainer

This device teaches the archer to release the bowstring while maintaining shot strength and direction, and may also be used for bow drills and reversals.

Essential for barebow archers (and many would argue, all archers), a Formaster-type device like this is the key to unlocking real back strength. Also essential for keeping up strength over periods when it may not be possible to shoot a full distance at a club, and makes a great gift, too. Make sure you follow the sizing advice. 

Price: from £54

Beiter Pressure Button

A trusted and reliable favourite for the best performers out there. Though it can make a dent in your budget, it is a case of buying something durable and good once. Production trouble with cheaper pressure buttons is that the wear is often hidden and happens on the inside of the device – not with Beiter. Easy to install, tune and adjust on the spot; comes with the tools and spares, in a wide range of colours and lengths to suit any arrow rest.

Price: from £85 

Gas Pro Barebow Weight

A popular choice of barebow archers who shoot risers other than those created by the market’s top manufacturers. The 5/16″-24, thread is compatible with all risers that have an insert for the front stabiliser, which is where most would mount their main balancing weight. These 40mm diameter stainless steel weights are well manufactured, affordable and come at three popular weights: 200, 250 and 350 grammes. Sleek in design and pleasant to handle because of their smooth and glossy finish. 

Price: 200gr – £10.67; 250gr – £11.56; 350gr – £12.44

Zniper Drop Away Arrow Rest

This arrow rest remains a top choice for indoor and outdoor barebow archers. Praise and positive reviews regarding its reliability and arrow clearance keep coming in.

The reason why clearance is much better when compared to other rigid and wraparound rests, is because the rest drops away upon the release, exerting minimal impact on the arrow shaft and minimising its upward ‘bounce’: the arrow stays in the desired trajectory. Easy to adjust and tune, spare parts are not costly and easy to obtain – a worthy investment.

Price: £70

SVL Broadband Recurve Dampeners (USA)

Loud set-up even after you have reached the optimal tune? Or is it the stringwalking that has made your bow sound exceptionally loud? A pair of dampeners will help. LimbSaver’s patented, state of the art, NOVCOM technology offers superior vibration and sound dampening.

Lightweight, weather-resistant dampeners come in a pair and will help you reduce the stress exerted on your limbs, resulting in a smoother and quieter shot. Black is the standard colour, but many more damper band colour options are available.

Price: from £9.74 (for a pair) 

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