Best Youth Bows for the Next Generation

By Brodie SwisherMay 11, 2018

Passing on the sport of archery and bowhunting to the next generation of hunters should be among our highest priorities these days, so it’s refreshing to see a number of companies meeting the need for better bows for our children and youth. Gone are the days when young men and women have to scrap up the leftovers and hand-me-down bows from mom or dad. There are ample options on the market today that were designed to fit children and youth of all ages. No more shooting equipment that is too big or too small. Now there is a bow to fit your child’s exact physical needs. So whether your child is simply wanting to fling arrows at targets, or hit the woods in search of big game, here’s a look at the best youth bows on the market today.

Bowtech Fuel ($499)

The Fuel is an incredibly adjustable bow perfect for archers of all ages, sizes and skill levels. The Fuel features a rock-solid riser for supreme durability with Bowtech’s Binary Cam System for maximum precision and arrow speed. Although it’s designed to fit any size shooter, don’t think for a second that it’s a watered down version of an adult bow. This thing is the real deal. It’s built into a very functional design capable of growing with your child.

It’s a great option for hunting or target shooting with specs including a draw length of 18-30″ and IBO speed of 320 FPS. The bow weighs in at 3.4 pounds and has an axle to axle length of 31.5″. It has a 7″ brace height and an incredible draw weight range of 14-70 pounds. The Fuel is also producing a Kinetic Energy of 79.6 ft-lbs. Finish options include Mossy Oak Break-Up Country and Black.

The Fuel comes in Bowtech’s R.A.K. accessory package that’ll have you on the paper at 20 yards right out of the box.


Diamond Edge SB-1 ($449)

Diamond Edge series bows are another youth bow that are among the most popular youth options ever created. I’d be willing to bet that more kids have had the Edge bow than any other youth bow out there. Diamond was at the front end of offering great options for our kids, and they’re still doing it today, better than ever. The new SB-1 was designed to be versatile and adjustable for the ultimate in ease of use. This bow was designed for kids at every level of the game. From beginning archer, to youth bowhunter, the SB-1 has your child covered, no doubt.

Adjustability and versatility are key, and the Diamond Edge SB-1 makes it really easy. The Edge SB-1 features 63 pounds of limb adjustment and the EZ Adjust pocket system makes setting it anywhere in between a snap. The adjustability doesn’t stop there, Rotating Modules allow for 15 inches of draw length adjustment, so it’s sure to fit almost every archer.

Powering the new Edge SB-1 is the Certified Bowtech Synchronized Binary Cam system, generating unmatched accuracy and blazing speeds up to 318 feet per second.

Other specs on the SB-1 include mass weight of 3.6 pounds, axle to axle length of 31″, brace height of 7 inches, draw weight range from 7-80 pounds, and 80% let-off.


Diamond Atomic ($220)

Don’t let this one fool you. Yes, it looks like toy, but this tiny little bow is a brute when it comes to sending arrows down range for kids. An all-aluminum riser and fully adjustable components sets this one apart from a lot of the flimsy bows you might be drawn to on the store shelf. This is not your scout camp special. The Atomic delivers all the engineering of an adult bow in a youth size.

Specs on the Atomic include a draw length of 12-24 inches, draw weight of 6-29 pounds, speed of 191 FPS, axle to axle length of 24″, 6″ brace height, and mass weight of just 1.9 pounds. This is one really cool little bow for your youngest shooter.


Mathews Stoke ($999)

The Mathews Stoke is without a doubt the most advanced youth bow ever created. It’s powered by the same highly efficient CROSSCENTRIC cam and AVS technology Mathews utilizes in their bows for adults. The result is unmatched performance and accuracy in a youth bow like never before. At just over 27 inches axle-to-axle with speeds up to 314 feet per second, this bow is compact, lightweight and offers young archers top-of-the-line craftsmanship. The Stoke is the highest priced bow of any of the bows in our list here, but again, this bow is the best of the best of Mathews bows built into a package designed specifically for youth shooters.

Specs on the Stoke include an axle to axle length of 27 1/4″, 80% let-off, and a physical weight of 3.78 pounds. It has an IBO rating of 314 FPS and draw weights of 40, 50 and 60 pounds. The brace height is 5 5/8″ and draw lengths are available from 21-27 inches.

Finish options include, Black, Lost Camo XD, Stone, and Yellow.


Mission Craze II ($299)

Powered by Mission’s F.I.T. (Focused Inertia Technology) Cam System, the Craze II is a great option for archers and bowhunters of all ages. This bow is one of the most popular youth bows on the market today. Whether your child wants to simply shoot targets, bowhunt, or hit the water for a bowfishing adventure, this bow will do it all. The Craze II  features an ergonomic grip and enhanced riser design that adds strength and stability while reducing overall mass weight.

Like several other bows on our list, the Craze II is incredibly adjustable with draw lengths of 19-30 inches and 13-70 pounds of draw weight adjustment, without the need of a bow press.

Other specs on the Craze II include an axle to axle length of 28″ and a physical weight of 3.4 pounds. It has a brace height of 7 1/4 inches, and let-off up to 80%. As mentioned previously, the draw weight range is 13-70 pounds and the draw length range is 19-30 inches.

The Craze II also has tons of finish options available. Ten to be exact. So there’s sure to be something that your child will love when it comes to picking out his or her first bow.

missioni- craze-2

Genesis Bow ($170-$300)

The Genesis bows have helped put archery back on the map, offering a simple bow that’s helped make archery fun again for countless shooters around the world. They are the official bow of the NASP program, and kids around the world have used this bow to launch their archery and bowhunting careers.

The Original Genesis bow continues to get a large share of the game time from this exciting series of bows. It has just one cam, eliminating tuning issues, much less recoil, more accurate shooting and less noise.

Specs of the Original include a 35 ½” axle-to-axle length, 7 5/8” brace height, adjustable draw weight of 10-20 pounds, draw length from 15-30 inches and mass weight of 3.5 pounds.

For even smaller shooters, the Genesis Mini serves well with a shorter 29 1/2” axle-to-axle length, 6 1/8” brace height, draw weight range from 6-12 pounds, draw length range of 14-25 inches and weighs a light 2 pounds.

As your child grows and begins to lean towards their first hunting adventure, the Gen-X provides performance beefy enough to tackle big game. It’s powerful enough for hunting, yet simple enough for anyone to use. It has up to 40 pounds of draw weight to add velocity to your shot, so it’s perfect for stronger target archers and is approved for whitetail hunting in most states.


Bear Cruzer G2 ($399)

The Cruzer G2 was designed to be an incredibly versatile option to handle anything you can throw its way. No matter the size, no matter the adventure, the Cruzer G2 has your child covered. It’s perfectly suited for all ages and skill levels.

The limbs on the Cruzer G2 provide the ultimate in flexibility and rigidity and allow for maximum weight adjustability for a customized fit for any shooter. The unique shape of the limbs creates a reliable load distribution.

Specs on the Cruzer G2 include an axle to axle length of 30 inches, 5-70 pound draw weight range, draw length range from 12-30 inches, brace height of 6 1/2 inches, mass weight of 3 pounds and 70% let-off.


Bear Bullseye X Recurve ($89)

The Bear Bullseye X Recurve is a great starter bow for a child that thinks he or she may want to dabble with traditional gear. It’s a recurve that’ll look a lot like Dad’s. It features a take-down design with multi-laminate limbs. It includes a sight and arrow rest as well.

Its overall length is 48” and has a peak draw weight of 25 pounds.


Barnett Vortex ($169)

If you’re wanting to test the waters with your child to see if he or she might be interested in archery, without forking out a lot of cash, the Barnett Vortex bow might be an option to consider. It was designed with a lot of the same features you might find in larger compound bows, yet in a small package that the youngest shooters can handle. This is a starter bow. It’s not designed to grow with your child and be something they’ll hunt with later on. It’s a great option for someone wanting to help spark an interest for archery and shooting targets or maybe even small game. The bow includes adjustable draw modules for quick, easy changes without a bow press.

Specs on the Vortex include a draw weight up to 45 pounds, draw length of 21-27 inches, 5.75 inch brace height, 70% let-off, and a mass weight of 4 pounds. Unfortunately the Vortex is only available in a right hand option.

The Vortex package includes the bow, sight, 2-piece quiver, arrow rest and 3 arrows to make getting started quick and easy.

Finish options are available in Realtree, Kryptek, Black Muddy Girl and more.

Barnett Vortex

PSE Mini-Burner ($199)

Shooting your very first bow is a memory that will last a lifetime. And PSE is helping get those memories started  right with their Mini-Burner bow for the younger shooters. It features a highly adjustable draw length range of 16” to 26 ½” and an accessory package including a 3-pin sight, arrow rest, quiver, stabilizer, and three carbon arrows.

Specs on the Mini-Burner include a brace height of 6 5/8” and axle to axle length of 26”. It has a 65%  let-off and a mass weight of 2.7 pounds. As mentioned, it has a 16” to 26 ½” draw length range. The Mini-Burner has max draw weight options of 29# and 40#, is available in right and left hand models, and comes in Mossy Oak Country, Black, or Lime Green finish options.


PSE Fever ($279-$379)

Another great option from PSE that allows youth shooters to take their youth bowhunting to the next level is the new 2018 PSE Fever. The Fever features PSE’s advanced split limb and cam technologies. It’s a pretty zippy bow, flinging arrows at 304 FPS. Like many of the others, it’s a highly adjustable bow for growing hunters. The adjustability of this bow allows your child to shoot it for years to come, with a wide draw length range from 11” to 29” and the ability to switch from constant peak weight to adjustable draw weights. And the beauty of it is none of these bow adjustments require the use of a bow press.

The Fever comes in a ready to shoot package that includes a Gemini sight, Whisker Biscuit rest, quiver, and peep.

Specs on the Fever include an axle to axle length of 32” and a brace height of 6 3/8”. The bow weighs 3.6 pounds and has a let-off of 70%. It comes in peaks weights from 29#, 40#, 50# and 60#. It’s available in right and left handed options.


PSE Cody Recurve ($49.99)

If you’re looking to start your child out at very young age, you should consider the PSE Cody Recurve bow. It’s recommended for ages 5 and up, but younger shooters could certainly have their fair share of fun with this one.

The bow’s length is 48″ tip to tip and has draw weights of 10 pounds at 23″ draw and 15 pounds at 26″ draw. The kit includes a hunting quiver, arm guard, 2 fiberglass arrows, finger tab, pin sight, and arrow rest. This is a great little option to help spark an interest in archery and bowhunting in your child.


Hoyt Fireshot ($349)

Hoyt answers the demand for better bows for the younger generation with their Fireshot compound bow, a slick little bow that’s engineered and built in the USA. The Fireshot is packed with Hoyt technologies designed to maximize bow performance and shootability and help young archers and bowhunters maximize their shooting potential.

The Fireshot features the fast, smooth and versatile VersaFlex Cam & 1/2 Performance System for maximized performance and accuracy. The Fireshot is incredibly adjustable with 18-28 inches of draw length adjustment and either 14-41 pounds or 19-51 pounds, of draw weight adjustment, making it another great bow option that can grow with your child.

Other specs for the Fireshot include an axle to axle length of 29 inches and a brace height of 6 5/8 inches. It weighs just 3 pounds but can sling arrows up to 281 feet FPS.


Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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