Full Draw

Why your Draw length is not the same as arrow length?

Here is a quick post following a question I’ve had asked of me “Why your Draw length is not the same as arrow length?
Before I start though, some of the more regular readers may have noticed I’m not doing many shoot reports and instead focusing on coaching articles. This is intentional as I’ve written loads of shoot reports over the years and currently I’m not getting out to many shoots. So I’m trying to produce some archery resources or publish material that all archers will find useful.
So if you have any questions let me know. I’m working on something about target panic and hope to put that out shortly but it’s taking a while to write and get it right, or should I say useful.
So back to the question on draw length and arrow length. First things first, here is a definition or two.
Draw length – Put simply your draw length is how far you draw back the bow string to your anchor point. This is measured in inches so mine is a just under 28 inches 27 1/2 if you want to be exact.
Arrow length – Your arrow length is how long your arrow is. This is normally measured from the bottom of the groove in the arrow nock to the tip of the arrow shaft behind the point.
Your arrow length should be longer than your draw length to allow the arrow to clear the bow or arrow rest and more importantly not to come off your rest if you over draw slightly as this could be dangerous. I have to say I cringe when I see some archers draw back and their arrows come within millimetres of coming off their rest. Yes it can demonstrate very good draw consistency but it doesn’t take much to go from great consistency to accident. Especially in wet conditions or when they are at full draw and sudden a bug decides to have a munch on their arm. I’ve seen both and neither ended well.
So, if your draw is 28 inches your arrows should be over 28 inches. I’m going to offer a couple of what I hope are useful tips. Let me know what you think.
Useful tip #1 – For beginners who are still developing a sound draw and static anchor point or junior archers who are still growing, I tend to recommend them having the arrow length a couple of inches longer so if your draw length is 24 inches your arrows should be 26 inches. When the archers settle or stop growing the arrow length can be reduced.
For those of you who shoot wooden arrows.
Useful tip #2 – When I started shooting wooden arrows, all those years ago. I always made them slightly longer than needed so if the arrow snapped just behind the pile, the arrow would still be long enough to use. I could simply fit a new point to the slightly shorter arrow.
I still do as you can see in the photo below.
Rob Shooting

Rob Shooting

Measuring draw length is really easy and you can either use a measuring stick or use a mathematical  based approach. Height in inches divided by 2•5
I’m 5 feet 8 inches  so that is 68 / 2•5 = 27•2.  This provides a rough guide as in my case my draw is slightly under 28 inches.
Full Draw

Full Draw

 You can buy draw length gauges from most archery stores or alternatively I made a measuring stick from an arrow shaft, marking it up in inch bands of green and red.
Measuring Arrow

Homemade Measuring Arrow

I hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading.
Rob Shooting

Why fighting to recover a bad shot is a big mistake in the long run

I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there at some point in our archery journey. We might be at a competition, maybe on our clubs practice range or sat in a tree stand hunting.

We have nocked the arrow on the string, set ourselves up, starting our draw and got to anchor but something feels wrong. The alarm bells are going off in your head or your gut is telling you it’s not right.
Rather than coming down and starting again as we know we should, we push on with the shot believing we can make it happen. Willing it to work in our attempt to recover or force it.
What’s the result?
Well if we are honest with ourselves then yes sometimes it will work and we make the shot. Other times it fails, leaving us feeling and thinking why did we push it?
The problem is we are fooling ourselves each time we force the shot and it works.
It also lays down memories and processes in the brain that this is the right thing to do. IT’S NOT!! Plain and simple.
This can be very hazardous as there well maybe times you force it and it’s dangerous to do so.
It’s even more important for newbies to learn to reset and not push it.
I was coaching a family group last weekend, a couple of them had shot a little before so knew some basics. Like all newbies who draw a bow to anchor point and then try to aim, they can sometimes hold at full draw too long.
I tried to explain that its better to come down and start again rather than holding at full draw. This is both less tiring and it helps to condition your brain into knowing that drawing up doesn’t mean you have to shoot and it’s okay to come down. A fact that any experienced archers struggle with.
Thanks for reading.