Ultimate Gear: Recurve

The very best of all things recurve, available right now

If money were no object – or if you only accept the very best – then Bow has lovingly compiled a list of the finest gear available, for recurve, compound and all bows. We weighed up the market technology, took new feedback from top archers and, as always, praised exceptional workmanship and innovation to compile these lists. If you like the best, read on. 

Hoyt Formula XD 2023

This riser is packed with new and improved features and developments for 2023 as a result of “unprecedented advancement and innovation in recurve archery”. It features micro-adjustable limb pockets to allow the archer to essentially make the limb feel longer or shorter, changing the resulting string tension.

It also features a new damper system branded as “an all-axes vibration killer” to improve the shot feel. This riser really does sound like something from science fiction, and we’re looking forward to seeing it on the circuit in 2023. As discussed in Bow issue 164. Available in frost white, slate, liquid blue, pink champagne, championship red or black ink.

Price: £860
Website: www.walesarchery.com

Win & Win WIAWIS MXT-XP Limbs

The newest limbs in the WIAWIS MXT series, these limbs were developed after research studying the correlation between stability and speed according to the distribution of strain on the limbs. They have been designed to optimise stability and speed while minimizing stress on the limbs and maintaining a more consistent power over time at full draw.

Another remarkable feature of these limbs is a brand-new infrared blocking coat of paint on the surface to reduce the temperature effect on limbs in changing weather conditions. Available in wood or foam core; short, medium or long; and 28 to 48lb in 2lb increments.

Price: £815
Website: www.clickersarchery.co.uk


New for 2023, this riser maintains the well-known and well-loved geometry of the WIAWIS ATF but with the addition of Matthews EHS Harmonic dampers, previously only available on the Meta-DX, to minimise vibration and improve shot feet of the bow.

The arrow rest can be adjusted to four levels to cater to different arrows and tuning requirements, and the grip is designed to produce a ‘positive sensory feeling’, increasing stability. 

This riser is available in an astonishing 15 colours, including the thrillingly named dynamic yellow and turkey green.

Price: £790
Website: www.thearcheryshop.com

MK Korea Limbs Formula Zest Carbon/Wood

These limbs are lighter and more elastic than any previous MK limb, thanks to their latest innovation in ultra-high-density carbon-processing technology. Due to the increased elasticity and reduced weight, they can produce the fastest arrow speed ever seen in MK limbs.

They go through a rigorous testing procedure that includes dry firing, high humidity environments and testing the stability of draw weight up to 100%. A lot of technology and research has gone into these limbs and MK looks like it has created an amazing product. Available in Formula or ILF; foam or wood core; short, medium or long; and 32 to 48lb in 2lb increments.

Price: £744 (ILF) or £777 (Formula)
Website: www.alternativess.com

Easton X10

Yes, it’s still there. No dream kit list would be complete without the arrow that has won more world and Olympic titles than any other archery product since it appeared on the market. Almost every single Olympic medal since 1996 has been won using x10s, so it is safe to say that the X10 is the best arrow in the world, for the 70m distance at least.

The price does reflect this, but with the high-precision engineering, testing and quality assurance of the carbon and aluminium alloys that go into each arrow, it’s easy to understand why these high-end arrows come with a high-end price tag.

Price: Around £400 per dozen
Available from most archery shops

Hoyt Limbs Formula Carbon Axia 2023

New for 2023, these limbs claim to be “the lightest, fastest limbs in Hoyt history”. While that sounds like a wild claim, they certainly look like they could meet the mark. A resin-infused core is at the heart of these limbs to produce unmatched strength while maintaining the flexibility required for a stable and smooth shot.

A key selling point of these limbs is the optimised torsional rigidity designed to achieve maximum forgiveness in the archer’s release variability, as humans are, unfortunately, not perfect shooting machines. These limbs come in short, medium and long from 22 to 50lb in 2lb increments. 

Price: £890
Website: www.thearcheryshop.co.uk

Kinetic Invinso

The best at a less-elevated price point, the Kinetic Invinso is a precision designed CNC recurve riser made out of a solid block of 6061-T651 aluminum. The geometry and weight balance are designed to minimize vibration while maintaining a stable and dynamic feel during shooting, with a simple and precise limb adjustment system.

The ergonomic and non-slip double injection molded grip gives a great feel. There are also optional barebow weights available in aluminum (290grams)  & brass (830grams), and it comes in 11 vibrant anodized colours.

Price: From £400
Website: merlinarchery.co.uk

Fivics Five X Carbon

These arrows catch your attention with their clever marketing slogan of: “Five-X arrows will score five X’s for you. The last one is up to you.” These arrows were developed with the Korean national team over more than five years and make use of a new carbon material that allows for flexibility while reinforcing durability. They have been appearing more on the international scene in recent years, and we think these are the best available at a lower price point than the almighty X10s.

Price: £268
Website: www.merlinarchery.co.uk

Fairweather Tab

This tab has been gaining popularity in recent years, especially at the top level, and with the new cachet of being the choice of Olympic champion Mete Gazoz. The tab face is made from kangaroo leather, which is much lighter and thinner than cordovan while maintaining the same level of durability and weather resistance.

The tab body is available in ultra-light urethane rubber, or in metal for those who light a bit more mass in the hand, with a single screw holding the body and leather together. The spacer is available in various sizes to get the perfect fit for each individual archer. 

Price: £57
Website: www.cbarchery.co.uk

Beiter Button

This pressure button has been a dominant favourite among recurve archers for many years; it was the first of its kind to introduce rapid fine adjustment to the extreme level of precision that Beiter is known for. Reliable and accurate, with a secure system for locking the settings, this button is all you could ask for when it comes to fine-tuning your bow.

It’s more expensive than other buttons on the market, but not many others come with the level of precision that the top archers around the world require, and Beiter fits the bill. Another favourite feature of this button is the range of colours it comes in: six standard colours and four slight more expensive custom colours. There are challengers, but not many.

Price: £89 (standard colour) or £104 (custom colour)
Website: www.merlinarchery.co.uk

Shrewd Flex Recurve Scope Sight Pin

There is some debate among recurve archers whether a scope is preferable over a plain sight pin. Whichever side of the debate you fall on, it’s hard to deny how impressive this particular sight pin is.

It comes with a Clarus lens with anti-glare coating, various aperture rings to change the view of the target to suit the individual and a choice of green or orange fibre. There is even the option of a sunshade that is compliant with current recurve regulations. On top of all this, this pin comes in a choice of black, red, blue or purple.

Price: £90
Website: www.merlinarchery.co.uk

Shibuya Magnetic Rest Ultima

Retaining its position as one of the most popular recurve arrow rests, the Shibuya Ultima has kept a simple design over the years, with CNC machine components for high-precision manufacturing. A coating of amorphous carbon (diamond-like carbon, or DLC) guarantees hardness of the rest and reduces friction with contact on the arrow to ensure minimal energy loss during the shot.

The rest features a magnetic return design that moves the arm back into position after the shot ever time. This rest comes in right-handed as standard, but can be converted to the left-handed configuration by flipping the arm upside down. Comes in a range of colours to match any set-up.

Price: £32
Website: www.merlinarchery.co.uk

Win & Win Wiawis ACS-EL Stabilisers

This stabiliser uses high-tech materials such as graphene to improve stiffness and stability of the rod to reduce the impact of vibration of the bow during the shot. Win & Win has always been on the ball with its stabiliser set-ups, and this one is no exception.

With a sleek design and impressive specifications, these stabilisers are going to be seen in some big competitions in 2023. Long rod available in 26/28/30in lengths; short rod available in 10/12/14/15in lengths; extender in 2/3/4/5/6in lengths. Various colour options are available, including black/gold, black/red, white, blue or red.

Price: £322
Website: www.merlinarchery.co.uk

R-Core Grip

There are so many options for custom grips available with RCore; there’s one to suit every archer’s own personal style and preference. You can buy a simple grip from their ‘core range’ or create your own custom grip based on standard shapes designed by Olympic archers and coaches from around the world. You can add extras such as anti-slip palm patterns and lifeline ridges, not to mention choosing from an immense colour palette with mat, shiny, fluorescent or even sparkly finishes.

Prices start from £30 for the standard, with additional features costing extra
Website: www.rcore.co/grips

Axcel Achieve XP

This remains in our ultimate line-up despite a strong challenge from Shibuya’s RC Pro. The XP stands for “xtra performance”, and it crams in an impressive amount of engineering and design features. It has an
ultra-high modulus carbon bar and a bracket mount that claims to be stronger than any other on the market.

With huge windage adjustment, zero backlash, a slimmed-down sight track, heavy-duty knobs and multiple other features major and minor, it is an amazing piece of precision machinery for such a straightforward job. Axcel are also bringing new models to the recurve market in 2023.

In the eternal fight between the big beasts of recurve sights, Axcel and Shibuya, Axcel still has the edge – for now. Available in blue, black, red, orange, green, gold, silver or purple.

Price: From £400
Website: www.merlinarchery.co.uk

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