Alright, so I’ve covered some basics on the bow, but what about the arrow? What do you need to know? Sure you can just go out and buy whatever is recommended by your bow manufacturer, the local sporting goods store, or a friend. But, the more you know, the better! Because the better the arrow, the better your accuracy! You spent a lot of money on your bow, didn’t you? So, why wouldn’t you want the best arrows to go with it?
Determining Arrow Length
So, first, determine your arrow length. You will need a partner and a tape measure for this step. Now using one of the arrows you currently have, place the arrow in your nock and pull the bow back. Have your partner measure the arrow from where it sits in the nock to the point where it just clears the riser. You will want to add 1” – 2” to this number for proper arrow length.
Peak Draw Weight
Another factor to take into consideration is your peak draw weight. Using a bow scale, pull back until you reach your peak draw weight. You may need to repeat this step several times to make sure your number is accurate. If you don’t have a scale, don’t worry. Just visit your archery pro shop; they can help you with this step.
Now that you have determined your arrow length and peak draw weight, you are ready to go buy your arrows, right? Well, there is one more thing you need to consider. Yes, I’m talking about arrow spine; this is without a doubt the most important factor in choosing your arrow! But, just what is arrow spine, and why does it matter so much?
First up is static spine. This is the simply the stiffness of the arrow. You will find this number printed on the side of your arrow. It is important to note, though, that different arrow manufacturers use different spine grading systems. Therefore, the spine number for one manufacturer can vary greatly from the spine number of another. Static spine is determined by suspending a 29” arrow from 2 points which must be 28” apart. Then a 1.94# weight is suspended from the center of these 2 points. How much the arrow bends or deflects is then measured in thousandths of an inch; this is the static spine of the arrow. The smaller the number, the stiffer the arrow.
Now, let’s talk dynamic spine. Dynamic spine is the reaction of the arrow, or how much it bends when it is shot from the bow. In other words, it is how forgiving your arrow is. While the static spine of your arrow remains the same at all times, the dynamic spine is influenced by several factors. Something as simple as switching to a new broadhead can have a huge impact on your dynamic spine. Other factors to consider include changing your draw weight or draw length as these two things can dramatically change how your arrow reacts when leaving the bow.
Don’t worry if you are still a little confused about choosing the right arrow! Once you have your arrow length and draw weight determined, you can refer to an arrow selection chart. Remember that each manufacturer has its’ own spine grading system. So, if your spine # is 150 in one brand, it may be 500 for another manufacturer. And, as always, I recommend using the guidance of an archery pro if you have one close by!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Remember, you spent good money on your bow, so don’t skimp on your arrows! It’s kind of like going out to a 5-star restaurant and then ordering the chicken nuggets. It just doesn’t make sense! The quality of the arrow really does make a difference. The better the arrow, the better your shot! Still not convinced? Get out there and practice with those cheap arrows you already have and then shoot the new high-quality arrows you just bought. Can you see a difference?
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