How to Select the Right Bow Size

A lot of people have found themselves frustrated and wasting a lot of precious time when it comes to learning archery just because they did not conduct any research prior to purchasing their first bow. The thing is that knowing how to select the right bow size for you is very vital when it comes to learning how to shoot an arrow. It will also not take you the whole day to determine if a particular bow is suitable for you. The same goes if you are trying to educate your child or someone else when it comes to choosing a bow.

Unless you want to undergo a painful and costly experience, picking the right size of a bow should be your priority. However, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind when it comes to picking the right bow size for you such as:

Height Is Equal to Arm Span?

Bow size charts that are based on height implies that a person’s arm-span or arm’s length is equal to a person’s height therefore a person’s arm’s length should be the basis for picking a bow’s size. Contrary to popular belief, the Journals of Human Kinetics does not support this claim. The fact of the matter is that picking a bow based on a chart that uses height as a basis is not reliable. On the other hand, manually choosing a bow size based on height is more advisable.

Age as a Basis?

Picking the size of a bow based on arm’s length is far better than choosing a bow’s size based on a person’s age. People are not born having the same body built or height and using a chart based on age is not recommended. In addition, there is no scientific claim that states that arm’s length is proportionate to age.

Proper Size Bow

How to Select the Right Bow Size by Measuring the Draw Length and Draw Weight

It is important that you know your calculated draw weight or actual draw length before you pick a bow size. Being able to determine these factors is paramount if you want to have an enjoyable and successful experience learning archery. When it comes to learning archery, it is impossible for an aspiring archer to learn how to properly shoot an arrow if the draw length and bow size are too small and this applies to both compound and recurve archers.

At the same time, if the bow is too large in comparison to the archer’s height and body built, then the archer would lose the opportunity to be able to optimize the strength that the bow can offer. In addition, the compound archer will not be able to anchor him or herself at all because the nock of the arrow will be positioned far behind the face of the archer.

There are two reliable methods of figuring out your calculated draw length which works for both recurve and compound archers. The first is to measure your arm length and then divide it by 2.5. The main idea is to stand up with your both your arms stretched outward as if you are forming a letter “T” shape. Make sure that your palms are wide open and that your shoulders are not stiff or the chest is overextended. Make sure that someone is helping you take note of measurements

Once you are done, you should match your calculated draw length to the appropriate bow size based on this chart:

Draw Length:Bow Length:
14″ – 16″48″
17″ – 20″54″
20″ – 22″58″
22″ – 24″62″
24″ – 26″64″ – 66″
26″ – 28″66″ – 68″
28″ – 30″68″ – 70″
31″ and longer70″ – 72″
Draw length to Bow Size Chart

A final note when it comes to picking the right bow size for you: Be wary of sales clerks that can be very pushy when it comes to selling their products. Though there are, of course, honest sales employees who will make an effort in helping you figure out which bow is best suited for you.

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