How do I know what length arrows to buy?
Posted: Feb 09, 2019
Now it’s time to learn how to determine what length arrows you should buy. Making this selection is simple if you follow my instructions below, but know this: proper arrow length for any beginning archer is one of the most important pieces of safety information you can have. If your arrows are too short or too long, you put yourself and everyone around you in serious danger.
Drawing an arrow that is too short for your draw length might result in the arrow falling off the rest. You could end up shooting your arrow into the back of your hand.
If you don’t believe this can happen, simply Google "archery arrow hand;" but make sure you have the stomach for the images you’ll see. Another potential hazard is what’s called an "obstructed path shot," which results in the arrow buckling or snapping upon release. When this happens, you can get shards of carbon or aluminum embedded in your bow hand or arm.
Now that I’ve scared you, let’s talk turkey. The first thing you need to realize is that there is a difference between the size or your arrows and the length of your arrows.
Say what? Size and length are different in arrows?
Yes, you heard me right. In archery terms, the size of an arrow refers to the diameter of the arrow’s shaft, the wall thickness of it and the distance that it will flex before it bends or breaks. We’ll talk about arrow size in another guide.
So how do I prevent an accident like that from happening to me?
The most important thing you can do is to start off with arrows that are a little too long until you’ve got your anchor position and drawing technique down. Most of the time, the arrow hand injury happens because of over-drawing the bow. Once you have your form solidified into your muscle memory, it’s much less likely to happen to you.
How do I determine what arrow length I need?
First, you need to determine your draw length. You can refer to our guide on determining this number [link this up] for more information. Some archers believe that the proper arrow length should be equal to the draw distance, but keep reading. This is often a dangerously wrong rule-of-thumb. You’ll see in the image below of a quick and dirty method of determining proper arrow length that the assistant is marking a distance well beyond the arm span of the archer.
The truth is, you want your arrow to extend at least one or two inches beyond your draw length. Basically, it’s best for the arrow to extend a ways past the front of the bow. That’s why we say to add an inch or two to your draw length.
What’s that quick and dirty method you mentioned?
It’s not really recommended, but it isn’t terribly dangerous either. Another means of determining your draw and arrow length is to carefully place the nock of an arrow on your chest just below your collar bone. Make sure the arrow is pointing straight out away from your body, parallel to the ground. Reach your arms forward, and put both palms against the arrow. You measure the distance from that point to the arrow nock, and then add two inches for safety..
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