Best Compound Bows for Beginners

If you are a beginner archer or you have a hobby for compound bows, finding a good product is easier than you think. When you decide that you want to buy a compound bow, you should remind yourself that your gender, age, height and weight are major factors.

Also, what goals do you have? Do you have any experience with bows of any kind? Having a bow for hunting is a good idea but as a beginner, you must consider doing some target practice. In this article we will present you some of the best bows that are perfect for novices.

General Overview On Compound Bows

Being a modern bow, compounds use a levering system made of cables and pulleys that help to bend the limbs. The cam system gives the wielder a major advantage which makes the limbs much stiffer than those of a recurve bow or longbow. The rigidity makes it more efficient than other models as less energy is dissipated in arm movement. The accuracy is also improved as the bow’s sensitivity can be reduced to accommodate with weather and temperature.

As you may notice, the pulleys are eccentric rather than round, something that you won’t find on traditional bows. The radius changes as you rotate it, making it very efficient when you aim. There is an inner cam track which connects to the limbs. You can easily manipulate the shapes of the cam tracks, and different draw-stroke profiles can be created. Some compound bows have the draw-stops or draw-length modules removed, and self-lock at full draw will require professional equipment to unlock safely.

If you are wondering about how much you should invest in a budget for a compound bow, there is a chance that your first one won’t be perfect and the reality is you will most likely have to buy another one after a few years. I am sure that you want your first bow to be reliable, inexpensive, and easily adaptable as you gain archery experience.

The first bow must be easy to handle so that you can get started quickly. You might wonder how much should a beginner pay for a compound bow. The answer is that most of the best models can cost more than $500 while some bows cost less than $400. Understand that while they are cheap, the beginner bows are not a toy. They can become dangerous, even deadly, weapons.

What FPS (Speed) Should A Beginner Archer Go For?

Just like any other bows, the compound bows are driven by the fundamental laws of physics. You might find them fancy with their modern design and the technologies they use, but they are no different from a slingshot that has a somewhat more elaborate built. From all of these facts, you make the conclusion that there is a simple relationship to be aware of: The cams are becoming more aggressive as you shoot faster with your bow. Hence, it will be harder to draw.

There are compound bows that have an individual design which attempts to circumvent this fact, but they can’t be considered regular bows – they are seen as crossbows. If you are a novice archer, you can’t learn to shot accurately if the draw is too aggressive and challenging.

This is why we recommend that beginners stick to compound bows with an advertised IBO speed that is below 330FPS, even 320 FPS. This is more than enough speed for a novice. Don’t worry; you won’t need more to get used to hunting successfully. If you are familiar with kinetic energy, you understand how powerful modern compound bows are.

Brace Heights for Beginners

Brace height is simply the farthest distance between the pivot point of the bow and the string of the bow. The pivot point can be found at the grip of the compound bow while it is usually the mark where the grip and the arrow shaft come in contact with another during a full draw.

The brace height can affect the speed of an arrow upon release. It is well known that a shorter brace height is going to produce arrows at a faster rate than an arrow which was shot using a longer brace height. The thing you should understand is the fact that the distance between the grip and the string is going to determine the power stroke and how explosive the arrow is going to be upon the release of the string.

You can measure it by yourself if you lay down your bow in your front and position it in a parallel way. Just use a measuring tool and start at the pivot point of the grip.

We recommend that you choose a range for brace height that is between 6” and 8”. The range doesn’t matter actually. When compound bows were still new to the market, models with lower brace height were harder to handle. It was hard to hold the bow correctly while drawing and aiming were not easy either.

Back then, experts could recommend that novice archers should go for bows that had a 7” brace height or longer. Nowadays, however, this problem became irrelevant. Modern compound bows have designs that make the brace height pretty much irrelevant when it comes to the old comparison, “beginners vs. advanced”.

Beginner Compound Bow Let-Off and Draw Weight

Most new compounds will have a 75-80% let-off. Regardless of the fact that you are just start out or you are an advanced archer. Many competitive shooters prefer to have a bow with a let-off (like 60%), but this is something a beginner should not worry about at all. Most of the modern compound bows let you change the let-off settings slightly. You can reduce them from the value from maximum to the lowest. If you are a beginner, though, you must keep the let-off as high as possible because it is easier to hold the drawn bow for a longer period. This way, you will have more than enough time to aim and make sure your technique is on point correctly.

As for draw weight, some compound bows have a broad range of different draw weights you can choose from. Most of the compounds will need for you to decide on the peak draw weight before you make your purchase. You can choose a 50, 60 or a 70 lbs. model. The amount of draw weight one can choose depends on from individual. The strength and your body build are some of the most important factors. To answer your question, you should first consult with a professional. He will help you determine an approximate draw based on your body shape, strength and gender.

Five Compound Bows for Beginners

We are going to introduce you to, what we think, are some of the best compounds for a novice archer.

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Crosman Elkhorn Jr. Compound Bow

You can’t go wrong with this one. It has the design and feel of Dad’s bow. This product comes equipped with heavyweight composite limbs. It also has an integrated composite center shot riser with large sight window. It is perfect if you want a superior shooting performance, adding the fact that the composite cam system is sustained by heavy duty strings that resist to all type of weather.

The item was designed to be the starting compound bow for a beginner as it has a 17-21 lb. draw weight which is ideal for a novice. It can be used even by kids from the ages of 12 and up. The effectiveness can’t be questioned as it comes with a 8” brace height, an exceptional design for everyone. This bow has a right-hand grip integrated design which allows for optimum hand placement, making the 1lb. 12 oz. mass weigh versatile for your balance. Also, the 65% let off wheel can provide you an outstanding shooting performance.

This compound bow comes with two composite arrows, a two-piece quiver, an arm guard, finger tab, sights and an arrow rest. It can last for many years as The Elkhorn has an exceptional design, made by professionals. Perfect for youngsters but can still be ideal for adults. The draw provides a great tension for a child that wants to start a career in archery. It is way stronger than you would think. If you consider buying it, make sure it is safely used. Some cons would be that it has a bow cable and not a bow string. This means arrows do not ‘nock’ well into position but is sturdy and does not fray with use. Bow pin sight could be better; you have to work it the first time you shot to get used to this model. Eventually, you will find the sweet spots.

Genesis Original Kit

Genesis is known to be the company that has their bows designed to eliminate let-off and specific draw length requirements. This is what makes this compound the perfect choice for novices and intermediate archers of all sizes, ages and athletic abilities.  There are bad habits cause by an ill-fitting bow that are being developed when using a bad bow. This is not the case for this product which is an excellent introduction to the sport of archery. The bow has zero let-off design and a light draw weight that comes standard at 20 lbs. It can also be safely lowered to 10 pounds.

This one covers all standard draw lengths which range from 15” to 30”. It has a machined aluminum riser, aluminum cam and idler wheel, which makes it, even more, lighter. The kit comes with a belt tube quiver, an adjustable arm guard, five aluminum arrows and a 3/16” hex wrench.

Interestingly, this is the official bow of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). If you want to start a new hobby, this is the ideal compound. Kids can’t outgrow this bow as it has no specific draw length requirement. All the equipment is made in the USA. There are no tuning issues,  less recoil and less noise that adds to accurate shooting. One recommendation is not to misplace the hex wrench because you’ll need it as soon as you are going to shoot. The bow is fully torqued and needs adjustment if you don’t have a great strength.

Well made, fun to shoot and we recommend it to any young person and even elderly who are interested in learning archery without a need for the huge investment up front. If you truly enjoy it (we don’t have any doubts you won’t) then you can use it for hunting or competitions.

Genesis Mini Kit

Here comes another masterpiece from Genesis. Youngsters and elders that have not touched a bow before might find it as the best starter compound bow. You will get into this fast-growing sport like you never imagined before. It is of a smaller size than the one above, and it has a simple operation. This makes Genesis Mini the ideal product for first-timers and archers of all physical abilities. The item has zero let-off design (just like its predecessor), a light draw weight which comes as standard at 12 lbs and can be lowered to 6 pounds. Another one with an aluminum riser, aluminum cam, and idler wheel, it also has composite limbs and a cable guard. Its riser is drilled and tapped for standard accessories.

As we mentioned before, the let-off is 0%, and the kit will include a belt tube quiver, an adjustable arm guard, five aluminum arrows and a 3/16” Hex Wrench. The draw weight comes set at max, so we suggest giving the limb screws a turn or two counter-clockwise before getting started. It’s all about making it fun. Well constructed, it’s just the right size and draw weight for your toddler or for yourself if you want to get involved in archery. This bow fits all requirements for a starter.

The zero let-off feature is going to help you when you are pulling the string from the fingers upon release. Shooting arrows is now easier than it was before. You have to profit from this opportunity.

Bear Archery Brave Bow Set

This one comes from America’s number one brand in youth and institutional archery, Bear Archery has, for over 80 years which introduced more people to this sport than any other company. The design is so distinctive that it fits the needs of intermediate shooters. Bear Archery helped many young shooters to test their skills and develop them in the archery traditions. The set includes two safety glass arrows, an armguard, two-piece arrow quiver, finger tab, Whisker Biscuit arrow rest, one pin sight and a temporary tattoo (you know, what Archer comes to the battlefield without having a cool tattoo?).

With a 65% let-off and a 15lb to 25lb peak draw weight, it is one of the greatest in this list. The draw length averages from 13.5” to 19”, making it possible for anyone to try their skills at shooting. The suggested ages are from 8 years old and up. This makes you think that the specific bow was made for youngsters only, right? Wrong. This one is truly unique as it includes every safety measures you have to take (including the fact that comes with safe glass arrows) in order for you to be secured. As a beginner, you need to know that safety comes first. Develop your hobby with this amazing compound bow and who knows, maybe one day you will become an experienced hunter.

This item has only five pounds in weight. Just think about it: How light such a dangerous weapon can weight. The accuracy is unquestionable, and the drawback is not hard at all. You will also love the extras which come with this bow. Having a great price is also a big plus which adds to the fact that it can be kept for many years. The material is very durable, so you don’t have to worry that you might need an upgrade later. It is the perfect gift for your son/daughter. Make family’s trips to the forest a special adventure!

Crosman Upland Compound Bow and Start-Up Kit

The last but not the least, Crosman Upland Compound Bow is one special compound. From the amazing price to the fact that it is so easy to draw and hold the arrows, this product comes in need for anyone, even for experienced archers that want to have some fun. With an ambidextrous grip design and the low draw weight, this is one of the best products for beginner archers. The kit includes two-26 inch composite arrows, an arm guard, finger tab, belt quiver and even a target to practice your shooting!

What is so special about this item? Well, you can choose the range of draw length and weight. The low price will remain even for the most sophisticated version. The bow is ideal for this cost and the design reminds you of Hunger Games. The arrow heads are metal, but they are rounded, so it decreases the risk of maiming individuals around your training ground. The only drawback so far is that it shoots much better than you would think it would. Yes, the drawback is an actual benefit. Cheap and effective, what more could you ask from a training compound bow? It was a right choice to finish the list with this product. Don’t hesitate and make your choice by buying this bow. You will not regret the decision.

Compound Bow Accessories to Consider

After you decide which bow you want, getting the proper gear and equipment is the next step.

Peep Sights

This equipment is mounted on the riser of your compound bow. It is used as an aim helper, giving a guide to where your arrow is pointed. Even though you can use your bow without a bow sight, it is highly recommended that you use one, especially if you want to aim at long ranges.

With the help of a bow sight, even if you are a beginner, you will realize how helpful it is to use one.

Peep sights have a very simple principle; it is just like a pinhole, where an index card acts like a magnifying glass. It will help your eye to focus on the pins of your site, lowering a number of light rays that affect your eye. To understand this, you can take a simple test:

Make a circle with your thumb and index figure then look at an object that is far away from you. Now you understand the importance of a peep sight?

Bow Strings

People always ask the benefits of a good set of bow string and cables. There is no denying that some brands of bows come with better factory bow strings than others. A bow string is a major part of your compound bow, so you have to take care of it. You might want to consider replacing it after a while because it can deteriorate as time passes.

If you ever had the chance to shoot from a bow, you should know that within a week or a month after using it, the shooting isn’t the same. All of a sudden your peep isn’t lining up, or your arrows might don’t seem to have pop that they did when the bow was new. Having a pair of bow strings at your hand whenever you need them is not a bad investment. Consider buying some for your bow.

Bow Cases

So you want to take archery seriously? Then respect yourself and get a proper bow case for your item. There are cases made for all types of compounds and cases made for any recurves. Everything is at your hand; you just have to choose accordingly. Ask a professional before you make this investment.

Why do you need a case? Think about where you’re going to take your bow and how you’ll transport it. Is it enough now? No?

Then what if I tell you that your bow can get deteriorated by rain and weather? Think twice about this fact and consider buying a case that will hold your bow and your equipment.


I hope that the article was helpful for you and now you have at least a general idea of how bows work and why you should consider getting involved in archery. It is indeed a great sport for any gender, age, and budget.

If you want to buy the product for hunting purposes, then make sure that you will have a case to carry the bow around the field. If you want it for shooting purposes and training, a longer bow is going to provide a better stability and less vibration, hence improving your aim.

Now you know how to find the product that will fit you. Remember that no matter which bow you choose, have fun! It is considered a skill to handle a compound bow and compound archery can reward you in many ways.

Make sure to take good care of your new item and treat it as a weapon even if it might not look like one. Don’t hesitate to ask professionals for advice and look for training exercises. Get involved in local competitions and evolve as an archer.

Don’t get too frustrated if you find it difficult at first, no one was born a skilled archer. Constant training and practice are the reasons you are going master bull’s-eye. We hope that you will find pleasure and fun in your new hobby.



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