How To Measure The Draw Length For Archery?

How To Measure The Draw Length For Archery?

A recurve bow in full draw.

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Have you ever wondered how to measure the draw length for archery?
You probably read “draw length” all the time when you are reading about archery.

But what is it exactly, why is it important and how can I find out my own draw length?

Keep reading to get the answers to all those questions:

What Is The Draw Length?

Draw Length Of A Bow

A bow in full draw and anchored.

Your draw length will determine how big your bow has to be to release its full potential.
It means how far you will draw the bowstring back to find your anchor and then shoot the arrow.

If the draw length of the bow is too small, you can never be successful with it. You won’t be able to anchor the bow because you can’t reach your face when drawing it.
That means that you would have to release your arrow without having full control over the shot.

On the other hand, if the draw length of the bow is too big, you can’t use the full power of the bow, because you can’t draw it fully.
Your anchor would not be good either.

This is why knowing your draw length is so important.
It is ok to shoot a bow that has the wrong size if you just want to try it out.
But if you want to get serious with archery and want to become really good, you need to get a bow that has the right draw length for you.

How To Measure The Draw Length

While there are a few different methods, I want to show you the easiest one.
It has been used for many years and works very well. It is also very quick.

Here is what you need:

  • tape measure
  • assistant
  • calculator

First, spread your arms as if you would want to fly and stand in a T-shape.
Second, let your assistant measure the length of your arm span, from one fingertip to the other fingertip.
When doing this, try to stand as relaxed as possible, don’t stretch yourself, just stand there normally.
Third, divide your arm span by 2.5 and round up to the nearest half-inch.

An example:

The measured arm span is 72″.
Divide this by 2.5 and you get 28.8″.
Round up to the next half inch and you get your draw length of 29″.

Now that you know your draw length you can choose the right bow the next time you buy one.

What If The Bow I Like Doesn’t Display Its Draw Length?

Even though you know your draw length, you might get a problem if the seller doesn’t know or show the draw length of the bow you want to buy.
This happens quite often in online shops.
The seller either doesn’t know the draw length or forgot to add it to the description.

Here is how you can choose the correct bow if it only displays the bow length, but not the draw length:
(The numbers on the left are the draw lengths measured the way I described above. The numbers on the right are the bow lengths from one tip to the other.)

14″ to 16″ = 48″ bow
17″ to 20″ = 54″ bow
20″ to 22″ = 58″ bow
22″ to 24″ = 62″ bow
24″ to 26″ = 64″ to 66″ bow
26″ to 28″ = 66″ to 68″ bow
28″ to 30″ = 68″ to 70″ bow
31″ and longer = 70″ to 72″ bow

Why Is The Draw Length So Important?

I already mentioned this above, but I want to emphasize it again:

When you want to become really good at archery and want to learn the proper archery techniques, you need to choose a bow that fits your draw length.
You can’t shoot a bow accurately that is too small, and a bow that is too big will cause you problems, too.

So, go and measure your draw length and choose a bow that is perfect for you.
Use the small chart above to get it right the first time.

What Else Is Important To Know?

Profile-ImageIt is also vital to know the correct draw weight!
Many archery beginners I see use bows that are simply too big and strong for them.
That way they just can’t become a good archer! They can even hurt themselves when using a bow that is too strong!
Don’t be one of those guys and read my article about the draw weight.

Did you already know how to measure the draw length for archery?
Are you using another way to do that?

Let me know in the comments below and I might add your way to my article, too.

Have a great day and see you soon!

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