Learning how to measure bow draw length isn’t a hard task, but it’s definatley a critical one, especially when it comes to compound bows.
Have you ever shot a mates bow and your draw length is no where near his, and then you wonder why you couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, I have. Actually, I spent a fair while shooting my own bow with out the correct draw length and let me tell you, it can result in all sorts bad stuff.
Incorrect draw length leads to poor habits in technique. Things like inconsistent anchor points, over stretching, bending your bow arm, and the favorite, string slapping your arm. All of which are not good things to have happen and result in poor shooting.
Of course, there is a level of your own personal preference that comes into play here to, as their are some bow hunters out there who may like to shoot 1/2″ over their draw length, to squeeze out a little bit more speed from their bows, others might like to run their just a little shorter then their true draw length.
If your starting out though I would recommend to start with your true draw length, and as you gain experience, then decide if you’d like to further refine your draw length.
3 Methods on How to Measure Bow Draw Length
Now, you could just go straight to your local Archery shop and get the guys to measure you up and you’ll be on your way in matter of seconds, but the problem here is that most bow shops do the old, close enough is near enough trick, and might jib you short on a half inch either way. Might not seem like a big deal, but when you want consistent comfortable natural shots that 1/2 inch can mean a lot.
So, lets check out the three main methods of finding out your draw length. The first two you will need a assistant. The last one though, is my special bonus way that only requires you.
This is the most commonly used method with in the industry by far. Its a quick hassle free way to give a pretty bang on measurement to your draw length.
- Stand up straight as you possibly can (back against a wall preferably)
- Stretch your arms out naturally, without forcing yourself and over stretching. Your arms should be in line with each other and at shoulder height.
- While your in that position have someone measure from the tip of on middle finger, to the tip of the other.
- Once you have that result, you then divide it by 2.5, what ever that answer is is your draw length.
2) Widespread Variation
This isn’t such a common method, but is just a variation and ultimately results in the same thing.
- Just repeat all the same steps as above, but instead of dividing by 2.5, take away 15 from your initial measurement, and now divide that answer by 2.
- This is answer is now your draw length.
3) No assistant, No problem
But what about if I dont have someone to help measure my draw length? Well, inevitably that probably will happen at some stage, so this one is my personal favorite.
- First things first, you’ll need a marker or a little bit of paint or anything really that will serve as a marker.
- Paint both middle fingers as much as possible.
- Find a wall or somewhere where these marks will stand out.
- Now stand face against the wall with your arms out wide the same as you would in the first widespread method.
- press your finger hard onto the wall so as to be sure they leave the mark.
- Once you have those marks, measure them and out, and divide by 2.5.
- Voila, there you have it, No assistant, No problem.
Is there a right way?
No, definatley not, and actually if you measure all three you’ll find that you’ll probably end up with slightly different results each time. This where I think you should decide on one, measure it a few times, and then pick the average of that group.
There are also a 100 different ways out there to measure draw length.
The methods I have wrote about here are just the most common and user friendly ways to get the correct draw length.
People have all sorts of fancy formulas for finding draw length, but the truth is, sometimes simple is just better. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). The quicker you get measured up, the quicker you’ll be out there shooting and getting the experience where it really counts.
Wrapping things up…
So there you have it folks, that’s how to measure bow draw length in a nutshell. Some quick and easy methods to get you going. If your a beginner and have stumbled across this page, then check out our recommendations for beginner bows here, and budget bows here. If you’re unsure on anything feel free to get in touch and fire your questions away.
Till next Time,
Keep on huntin’,