[Updated 1 August 2022] What impact does arrow length have on a shot? Shorter arrows are often lighter and may be manufactured more rigid than long arrows. A lighter arrow will travel farther and more quickly than a heavier one. A shorter and rigid arrow will flex less as it flies through the air, allowing it to fly further and faster. Arrows come in various sizes and are measured in inches, with most ranging from 20 to 32 inches. Before ordering, you’ll need to know your arrow length exactly.
Arrow Length and Safety
You should also understand that a shorter and stiffer arrow is better for speed and accuracy. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is safety. If your arrow is too short, you might shoot yourself in the hand as you draw it back. If you pull the arrow back too far, it may fall off of the arrow rest and strike your hand at release, piercing you through the hand (to state the most obvious). This occurs; it may appear improbable at first, but if you have the courage to do so, simply search for “arrow through the hand.” The worst-case scenario is that a serious injury like this may be the end of your archery career as well as many other areas of your life, so don’t take the chance. If you are just getting started in the sport, make sure you have the correct arrow lengths. When drawn to full draw, the arrow must go past (if only slightly) the end of the riser on your bow, so this does not happen.
Arrow Length Measurement
You can simply add 1 or 2 inches to this calculation if you know your draw length.
Method 1 – Arm Measurement
Stand up and stretch your arms in front of you, palms together, fingers pointed out. If you’re measuring yourself, it’s important to start at the center of your chest and work your way up the length of each finger. Then add 1 inch to this measurement. If no one is available to measure for you, don’t worry. You may experiment by holding a broom handle between your outstretched palms and ensuring that the head of the broom is against your chest; when lowering the broom, write down where you were able to reach and measure this distance. This will provide you with your arrow length.
Method 2 – Ask a friend to measure your draw length
To measure arrow length, you’ll need a friend to help (and you’ll have to have a bow available that you can hold with good form, hold up, and fully draw), then get someone to count from the string or nock point all the way to the front of your bow’s riser and add half an inch. That distance will be the length of your arrow.
Method 3 – Draw Arrow
If you’re in a club or have a coach, or are simply wealthy enough to have lots of gear available, you can construct a “draw arrow.” This is simply a longer arrow with measurements etched along the side. You can keep your bow and draw this arrow, noting the measurement indicated just after the riser tip, which will be your arrow length.