Choosing bow & arrows


Select your own Bow

The choice between getting a Recurve Bow or a Compound Bow is up to you. I suggest that you try both types of bows, if possible, before making a decision. Using a Recurve Bow is more ‘traditional’. Its main advantage is less moving parts to adjust, easier to tune and maintain. Its main disadvantage is draw weight. The full strength of the bow must be held at full draw by the fingers, so more strength training will be required to control the draw weight.

Using a Compound Bow is more ‘modern’. Its main advantage is the ‘let-off’ at full draw, allowing the use of a stronger bow with less effort to hold at full draw and the use of a mechanical trigger. Its main disadvantage is more moving parts to setup, tune and maintain.

There are two main factors that effect the choice of size and strength of the bow:-

1.    Draw Length

2.    Draw Weight

Draw Length should be measured from the inside of the nock to the front edge of the riser at full draw. ( For a basic guide to Draw Length relative to Recurve Bow lengths, see “The Basic Recurve Bow”. )

Draw Length for a Compound Bow should be measured the same, except to check that the full draw position is in the centre of the ‘valley’ of the draw.

Draw Weight for a Recurve Bow is usually marked on the bottom limb, at a standard draw length of 28 inches ( 711mm ). If your draw length is more than 28 inches, then add 2-3 pounds per inch, if less, then subtract 2-3 pounds per inch.

The Draw Weight you choose, should be comfortable to use at full draw. Remember that you will have to draw the bow back at least 90 times in a competition. Draw Weight for a Compound Bow is usually marked on the bottom limb stating the minimum and maximum weight range, ( usually 15 pound range ), and the draw length ( which is adjustable one inch longer or shorter ). Remember that you may be able to hold comfortably at full draw, but still have to draw past the bow’s peak weight.

Select your own Arrows

To get the correct arrow length, use a long arrow and draw the bow to full draw. Have someone mark the arrow where it contacts the arrow rest. Draw the bow a few more times to make sure the marked position is correct. Your correct arrow length is measured from the inside of the nock groove to the marked position, then add one inch ( 25mm ) for safety.

If measuring for a beginners first set of arrows, then add another 1/2 to 1 inch to allow for changes in draw length and to make sure that the arrows don’t become too short to use safely. ( It’s not recommended to add length to an arrow once it has been cut, although it is possible to add approx. 1 inch if necessary. )

To select the correct size of arrow to suit you, refer to the “Easton Arrow Selection Chart” and follow the instructions carefully. Take note of the variables to determine the calculated bow weight.

‘Easton’ has produced two computer software programs to help match arrow size to bow setup. “Easton Arrow Flight Simulator” and “Easton Shaft Selector Plus“. I prefer to use the first program as it allows the input of more variables to the bow and arrow setup; e.g. I can input the number of strands in the bowstring or change the fletch size to see what effect that will have on the size of arrow.