Choosing the proper arrows for any type of bow is an important skill to know. It’s not just important for the shooting of the bow and arrow, but also for safety.
Buying the right size arrows for your recurve bow is simple if you follow the 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” for more proof.
Just make sure you have the stomach for the images you’ll see because some of them are graphic. 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 of 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 thing happens because the archer over-drew 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. 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.
The truth is, you want your arrow to extend at least one or two inches beyond your draw length. Generally speaking, it’s best for the arrow to extend past the front of the bow. That’s why we say to add an inch or two to your draw length.
What’s the quick and dirty method?
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.
Choosing the correct arrow length is crucial to your safety and to your effective learning of the sport of archery. Follow our guidelines, and you’ll have the best chance of getting the most enjoyment out of your purchase and time spent on the range. Here is an Amazon link to some arrows.
Also check out our guide on how to choose a draw weight for your recurve bow.