While there are plenty of female archers and bow hunters, it’s still a sport that can seem dominated by testosterone. Because of this it’s not always clear the best place for a beginning female archer to start. When I was researching bows for my daughter I realized there was a lack of female specific suggestions. So I used what I’ve learned along with my experience as an archer in order to help you choose the best bow if you’re a female beginner.
The best bow for a female beginner is one that fits properly. That means it is both the correct draw weight and draw length. These two things are arguably the most important considerations when choosing a compound bow.
To learn how to properly determine these things and see my top suggestions, keep reading!
You can also head right over to my Recommended Gear section for suggestions.
My TOP pick for the Best Compound bow for a Female Beginner:
Bear Archery Cruzer G2
What I like about this bow:
- Made by a reputable manufacturer that has lots of experience in the archery business
- Adjustable draw length from 12″ to 30″
- Adjustable draw weight from 5 to 70 lbs.
- Adjustments can be made to the bow without the use of a bow press
- Available as a package with sight, rest, stabilizer and more so it’s ready to shoot.
This is a great entry level bow and the reason I like it especially for female archers is because of it’s adjustability. You can set the draw weight down low to build up your shooting muscles and the bow grows with you. Not only that, but even kids as young as 10 or 12 should have no problem getting this bow to fit them.
The bow has a number of color options and if you’re into the girly look, there’s even a pink camo version. You will not be disappointed with this bow and it sets you up for success right from the beginning.
Keep reading to learn more about how to be sure you’re choosing the right bow and also for more compound bow suggestions. For a quick look at my top bow recommendations head over here.
How to choose a proper Draw Weight
The first thing you should know is that you don’t want to over reach when choosing a draw weight. You might be concerned that you’re going to outgrow the bow too fast but getting a bow that pulls harder than you can handle will result in learning some really bad habits and poor form.
Here’s some starting suggestions for draw weight. If you’re really unsure or are shopping for a bow without much adjustment you might want to visit a pro shop to see what you can comfortably pull. This will get you in the ballpark though:
- Young girls (Aged 8-12) – 10 to 18 pounds
- Young Teens (Aged 12-14) – 16 to 26 pounds
- Older Teens (Aged 15-18) – 24 to 35 pounds
- Young or Petite Women – 28 to 40 pounds
- Stronger Women – 35 to 45 pounds
I probably wouldn’t recommend any beginner, Male or Female, go much above 45-50 lbs. It’s better to get your form down and build your shooting muscles first.
The good news is that most compound bows are adjustable in draw weight by at least a 10 pound swing. So this means if you should be starting at say 20 pounds or so, you can find a bow that adjusts 20-30 lbs and it gives you some room to grow.
There is newer technology on the market that allows some compound bows to adjust in a very wide range of weight without having to change out the limbs. You can find bows that adjust from 5 to 70 lbs which means almost anyone can use it.
What about Draw Length?
So what is draw length anyway? Draw length for a compound bow is a measurement used to identify how far you pull the string back. Now with traditional archery there is no let off so the further you pull it, the harder it gets. However with a compound bow, once you reach full draw you are in “the valley” and you’re holding a smaller percentage of the weight.
Great, but now you’re wondering how you know what draw length to get right? I’ll be honest, the best answer is to go try some bows at a shop that can help you in person. That being said, there are ways to get close and if you choose a bow that adjusts at least an inch or two in each direction then you should be fine. Here’s a little trick that’s surprisingly accurate:
- Grab a friend and measure your arm span from fingertip to fingertip
- Divide by 2.5
It would look like this for somebody my size:
My arm span = 76″
So the math would be 76/2.5 = 30.4″ Draw Length
In my case this formula works great as my Parker compound bow is set at 30.5″ draw length and is quite comfortable for me. You may have to go a little longer or a little shorter depending on the type of release you use, whether or not you use a string loop, and some other factors that are a bit beyond the scope of this article.
Be sure to check out my article on learning archery at home for more useful info.
More Great Bows for New Female Archers
Diamond Archery Prism
This compound bow is made by Diamond, a company owned by Bowtech which is a reputable manufacturer. This one usually comes in a bit less expensive than the Bear model I recommended at the top of this article.
What I like about this bow:
- Adjustable Draw Length from 18″ to 30″
- Adjustable Draw Weight from 5 to 55 pounds
- No bow press required for draw length adjustment
Overall this is a great bow for any beginner with a wide range of adjust-ability so the bow grows with you. Diamond is a reputable manufacturer that makes good entry level bows. This is a good value and you won’t be disappointed. Also it comes in Purple!
Bear Archery Warrior Youth bow
Here’s a bow that’s geared towards the 10 and older crowd. This is a great little youth bow to get started shooting without breaking the bank. There’s an even smaller version of this that Bear makes called the Brave for smaller kids.
What I like about this bow:
- The Price Tag – has a low entry cost
- Draw Length adjustable from 19″ to 25″
- RTS kit with a sight,rest,quiver, and even 2 arrows
While I would recommend this bow to a young beginning female archer, I would caution that they’re likely to grow out of it quickly and want something nicer. That being said, the price tag makes this attractive especially if you’re unsure how serious the archer is.
I’m also not crazy about the small weight adjustment range of 24-29 pounds, but as long as the shooter can draw the bow comfortably it won’t be an issue.
Other things to Consider for Bow Selection
With the two biggest factors out of the way, draw length and draw weight, you can start to narrow down your choices with a few more considerations. Some of this will be budget driven as you can easily spend upwards of $1000 if you want to, but you don’t have to.
Deciding which brand of compound bow to go with can be a daunting task. Don’t stress over it too much, just try to stick to name brands and pick one that fits right and appeals to you. Stay away from the cheap no name brands at all costs, they might seem OK for a little bit but they will break down on you and will be incredibly hard to tune properly.
Compound Bow Length
When we talk about bow length on a compound bow we’re talking about the length from axle to axle. So what the heck is an axle? It’s basically the little pin that holds the “wheels” or Cams on the bow. The general rule of thumb is that a longer bow will be more forgiving. This is the reason you’ll find that most finger shooters use a relatively long bow.
As a beginner I wouldn’t worry to much about this but maybe stay away from the ultra small tree stand bows with axle to axle lengths much under 30″ for an adult. Youth bows will be shorter by design as they are intended for smaller people.
Style, Weight, and everything else
There are so many things to consider when buying a compound bow, just like anything else. The things I’ve covered above are your most important considerations but as you start to narrow down your choices you can begin to look at things such as the weight of the bow. Maybe you’re torn between two models but one is lighter, that means less shooting fatigue.
Of course there’s style and aesthetics with a bow that will either appeal to you or turn you off. Don’t let this be a major driving factor at first, but there’s no reason you can’t use it to help narrow down your choices.
Last but not least, if you go to a pro shop or other retail store where a salesman will be helping you, don’t let them talk you into something you don’t want or doesn’t fit you. Getting the wrong bow can cause some bad habit forming that could take years to correct. Now get out there and have fun!!