Why Does It Require Adjustments in Recurve Bow? [ Brace Height Calculator] 

Adjustments in a recurve bow are necessary to optimize its performance and achieve consistent accuracy. Factors such as draw weight, brace height, tiller, and arrow spine need to be fine-tuned to suit the archer’s shooting style, strength, and arrow specifications.

These adjustments ensure that the bow is properly aligned, minimizing hand shock, reducing noise, and maximizing arrow speed and trajectory. By understanding and implementing these adjustments, archers can enhance their shooting experience and improve their overall performance on the range or in competitions.

In this article, we’ll go over what the brace height is, why it requires adjustments, and how to make those adjustments using a brace height chart.

Brace Height: What is It?

The brace height of a recurve bow is the distance between the bowstring and the bow handle when the bow is at rest. It’s measured from the deepest part of the handle to the string, usually in inches.

The brace height plays a crucial role in determining the bow’s performance and handling.

A shorter brace height generally results in faster arrow speeds and a longer brace height leads to slower arrow speeds.

The brace height also affects the amount of energy that is stored in the bow when you draw the string back. A shorter brace height means more energy is stored, which can lead to a harder, more jarring release and potentially decreased accuracy.

On the other hand, a longer brace height can result in a smoother release and better accuracy, but with less power behind the arrow.

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To measure the brace height of your bow, you’ll need a ruler or a tape measure. Simply place the ruler against the handle of the bow and measure the distance to the string.

It’s important to measure the deepest part of the handle to get an accurate reading.

Why Adjustments are Necessary

Several factors can affect the brace height of your bow and require adjustments to be made. One common factor is string wear.

As you use your bow over time, the string will naturally stretch and wear down, which can cause the brace height to increase.

This can lead to decreased accuracy and power, so it’s important to regularly check the brace height and make adjustments as needed.

Another factor to consider is changes in draw length. If you adjust the length of your bowstring to accommodate a different draw length, the brace height will also be affected.

For example, if you shorten the string to fit a shorter draw length, the brace height will increase. Similarly, if you lengthen the string for a longer draw length, the brace height will decrease.

Temperature fluctuations can also impact the brace height. As the temperature changes, the string and limbs of the bow will expand or contract, which can cause the brace height to shift.

This is particularly important to consider if you’re shooting in a location with wide temperature variations, such as from hot to cold or humid to dry.

An incorrect brace height can hurt your shooting experience. If the brace height is too short, you may experience increased hand shock and a harder release, leading to decreased accuracy and comfort.

On the other hand, if the brace height is too long, you may have a smoother release but less power behind your shots. It’s important to find the right balance for your specific bow and shooting style.

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Adjusting the Brace Height

So, how do you go about adjusting the brace height of your recurve bow? The process will vary slightly depending on the specific bow model you have, but here are some general steps to follow:

  • Gather your tools: You’ll need a bow square, a set of Allen wrenches, and a string serving kit.
  • Remove the string: First, you’ll need to remove the string from the bow. This can be done by simply pulling it off the bow and making sure it’s properly seated in the nocks.
  • Measure the current brace height: Use a ruler or tape measure to find the current distance between the string and the handle at the deepest point.
  • Determine the desired brace height: Consult a brace height chart or refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations to find the ideal range for your specific bow model.
  • Adjust the string: To decrease the brace height, you’ll need to shorten the string. This can be done by serving the string or using a string jig to adjust the length. To increase the brace height, you’ll need to lengthen the string. This can be done by adding a serving to the string or using a string jig to stretch it out.
  • Re-install the string: Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments to the string, you’ll need to re-install it onto the bow. Make sure the string is properly seated in the nocks and that the string is aligned with the limb tips.
  • Recheck the brace height: After re-installing the string, double-check the brace height to make sure it’s within the desired range. If it’s not, you may need to make additional adjustments to the string.

Tips for achieving the ideal brace height:

Start with a longer brace height and work your way down: It’s generally easier to start with a longer brace height and gradually decrease it until you find the ideal setting. This will allow you to get a feel for how the brace height affects the performance of your bow.

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Experiment with different settings: Don’t be afraid to try out different brace height settings to see what works best for you. Some archers may prefer a shorter brace height for faster arrow speeds, while others may prefer a longer brace height for better accuracy.

Pay attention to your shooting form: Proper shooting form can help mitigate the impact of an incorrect brace height. Make sure you’re holding the bow correctly and releasing the string smoothly to get the most out of your bow.

Brace Height Chart

A brace height chart can be a useful tool for finding the optimal setting for your recurve bow.

These charts provide a range of recommended brace heights for specific bow models, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations or industry standards.

To use a brace height chart, simply find your specific bow model and refer to the recommended range. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines and you may need to experiment with different settings to find what works best for you.

Brace Height Chart Maintaining With Bow Model And Recommended Brace Height Range

Bow ModelRecommended Brace Height Range (in inches)
Bear Archery Grizzly6.5-7.5
Martin Jaguar7-8
Hoyt Buffalo7.5-8.5
Samick Sage6.75-7.75
Pse Evoke7-8
Diamond Infinite Edge7-8
Win & Win Black Wolf7-8
Hoyt Pro Defiant7.5-8.5
Bows by Sam7.5-8.5
Archery Warehouse Plastic Youth6-7

Here is another chart for Bow Length Relation With Brace Height Range.

Bow Length (AMO)Brace Height Range (in inches)
56″7.25 inches
58″7.25 to 7.75 inches
60″7.5 to 8.25 inches
62″7.75- to 8.5 inches
64″8 to 8.75 inches
66″8.25 to 9 inches
68″8.5 to 9.25 inches
70″8.25 to 9.5 inches


In conclusion, the brace height of a recurve bow plays a crucial role in its performance and handling. Properly adjusting the brace height can lead to increased accuracy and comfort while shooting.

Have a good shooting experience.