How to Choose the Right Archery Bow


To practice archery effectively, you need a bow that fits your body. The wrong bow will be too difficult to pull, or won't be able to generate the force needed to launch arrows correctly. To find the right archery bow, consider such factors as draw length, draw weight, handing and design.

  • Measure your draw length. Place a yard stick so that one end rests on your chest at the base of your neck. Extend your arms straight out in front of you and hold the yard stick between your palms. Check the measurement at the tips of your fingers and subtract one inch. Choose a bow with a matching draw length.

  • Choose the correct draw weight. Draw weight represents the amount of physical force you need to pull back the bow string. According to "Hunter's Friend," beginners should choose a draw weight between 35 and 40 pounds; advanced users should look for a draw weight of 45 pounds or more. Check the chart in the Resources section below for more help with draw weight.

  • Pick the best bow length based on your draw length. According to "Audcoar," those with a draw length shorter than 26 inches should look for a 64-inch bow. Buyers with a draw length between 26 and 28 inches should choose a 66-inch bow, while those with a draw length between 28 and 30 inches should look for a 68-inch bow. Users whose draw length is greater than 30 inches should choose a 70-inch bow or larger.

  • Determine whether you need a right or left-handed bow. This is based on your dominant eye, not your dominant hand. Use your fingers to create a circular viewing window. Bring your hands to your face and focus through the window you created. Your hands should naturally gravitate towards your dominant eye.

  • Compare directly drawn versus compound bows. Directly drawn bows require users to provide steady force to pull back and hold the string. Compound bows use a series of gears to assist with this task, and are even able to hold the string for an extended period while you aim, or as you wait for an animal to draw nearer while hunting. For archery and target practice, choose a directly drawn bow. Compound bows are typically used by hunters.

  • Visit a sporting goods store and try different bows. Test different models to find the best material and design for your body. Choose a bow that is comfortable to hold and fits your hand well.

Tips & Warnings

  • A true archery bow is not a toy. All users should take caution when using a bow, and children should always be well-supervised.


  • Photo Credit boy playing archery. symbol of success.leisure. image by L. Shat from
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