Planning to take archery lessons? Maybe you’ve already started and want to learn how to optimize your archery experience? Well, know this now. You won’t be able to unless you know your physical limitations. You also need to identify your bow’s capabilities, starting with the bow draw length.

For many people, the archery weapon of choice is the recurve bow. This bow has curved tips at either end. These tips increase the speed of the bow and the smoothness of the release of the arrow. Recurve bows allowed in the competition during the Olympics.

A good rule of thumb is to choose a bow that’s shorter than the archer. But the bow’s draw weight and draw length make buying one a slightly more complex exercise.

What is the Recurve Bow Draw Length?

Draw length distance from the nock point to the throat of the grip, plus 1 and ¾ inches. This determines the length, as well as the size of the arrows and the size of the bow you use. Without taking this into consideration, there could be a diminished accuracy and comfort. One can even be injured.

How to Measure Draw Length for Recurve Bow

There are a lot of factors that could affect your draw length and have it end up shorter or longer.

  • Alignment – if your bow arm and shoulder tops aren’t in a straight line, or if your drawing elbow is behind your head, your alignment is poor.
  • Shoulder position – if your shoulder pops up.
  • Using a D-Loop.
  • Anchor point too far back.
  • Head position strains backwards.
  • Release Aids.
  • Poor posture.
  • Arched or strained drawing wrist.

Taking the above into consideration, here’s how you can measure your draw length.

  1. Find someone to assist you. It’s best if you can find an archery coach to help you out. But if none is available, anyone can actually assist in getting the measurements done.
  2. Procure a practice bow and measuring arrow. The measuring arrow is an uncut arrow with marks on it. It acts pretty much like a ruler.
  3. Stand at full draw. Bring the string back to your face. You have to stand at a full draw position. Otherwise, the measurement may not be accurate.

Can’t find a measuring shaft? Don’t worry. There’s another way of doing it.

  • Nock an arrow to your chest below the collarbone. Make sure the arrow points away from your body.
  • Reach your arms forward.
  • Put both palms against the arrow.
  • Measure the distance from the point where your middle fingers touch to the arrow nock.

Again, you might want to add 1 and 3/4”. This is a good starting point to get the arrows on the right length.

If you don’t know what the best length for you is, err on the side of caution and get the longer ones. They’re relatively safer than short ones. The bow draw length is very important in archery and finding the right one for you sets you up towards being a more efficient, and accurate, shooter.


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