A common question I often hear from new bow hunters coming onto the scene is What size Compound Bow do I need?
Funnily enough the answer is no where near as hard or complicated as some people might tell you.
When it comes to shooting a recurve bow the size of the bow is much more important, but with compound bows there are many other pressing issues that need to be addressed rather then the size of the bow.
The real answer, and the most straight forward one is that size of a compound bow doesn’t matter a great deal. The bow should feel comfortable to you, and if your stomping around the hills with an overly short bow, but it’s comfortable and you shoot well with it, then that’s all that matters at the end of the day.
Of course you probably didn’t come here to here that answer though, and your probably looking for something a little more in depth, so I’ve broken down what you should be focusing on in order to get the right bow for you.
Does Size Matter?
Pun intended. As stated earlier, not as much as what some would have you believe. However, you need to use a little common sense here.
Let’s take youth bows for example. (You can check out our reviews of youth bows here)
Generally a youth bow is going to have a much shorter axel to axel height then other bow on the market, obviously because children are much shorter, therefore trying to stomp through the bush with a full sized heavy bow would not be achievable for a child.
Same goes for some specifically designed women’s bows. Some will run a shorter axel to axel height to allow for smaller ladies.
See what im getting at here, size matters but in a common sense way.
It comes down more to what you want do with your bow, and how tall you might be, but their is no hard and fast rule on what size compound bow a person requires.
Because Recurve bows generate energy through their limbs, generally it means the larger the person, then the larger the recurve they will be able to operate, which in tun translates to larger limbs, meaning more power. You can see the question is much more relevant to recurve bow shooters.
Because compound bows operate via a cam & pulley system which helps to generate the power, you can have bows with extremely short axel to axel heights still capable of 20-70lbs draw weights.
So, the real questions you want to be asking your self is……
What will I use my bow for?
If your going to hunt with your bow, then you will want consider a few things.
One will be what type of terrain your going to hunt in. If your going to be in thick heavy terrain, then a shorter bow may be a better option, as it will allow you to maneuver better, and not have as much hassle getting caught on trees and thick bush.
If your hunting open country and hills, then length may not matter as much and you might be more concerned about the weight of your bow and it’s ability to launch arrows at sizzling speeds.
Or maybe you just want punch paper with your bow, then the length of the bow will differ again greatly.
How comfortable does the bow feel?
By now you’ve probably noticed a trend that I keep coming back to the feel of the bow rather then the size, and that’s because that’s what really matters. It’s no use having a bow that you think suits your height and size, but not feeling comfortable with bow.
An archer with a bow that feels comfortable to him will out shoot a person who’s got all the gear and no idea any day of the week.
You dont want to go out hunting thinking you’ve got the right size bow for your body type, and realise that after 2 days of stomping around the bows starting to get really uncomfortable. You should feel comfortable right from the get go.
If you can naturally hold the bow, bring it to the shooting position, and put arrows on paper then thats half the battle won.
What about weight, does that matter?
Ahhhhh, now we’re talking!
This is a more important question to ask rather then size.
Weight is one of the bigger factors you need to worry about. If your going to be out bush for a while and running a fly camp set up then your not going to want a bow that’s super heavy. Your going to want a bow that you can carry all day, for several days, and shoot consistently without any dramas.
When your looking at purchasing a bow, ask your self that same question, “what’s my intended use for my bow”, and that will help make your purchase that little bit easier.
Wrapping things up….
So their you have it folks, if you thought that you needed some fancy table to find out what size compound bow you need, then think again.
As I said, feeling comfortable is a much better approach then the size of the compound bow, and because their compound bows, their is no rule per say to tell you what size you need.
Just remember to first figure out what it is you want to do, and base you choice of that. Weight, intended use, energy output, and comfortability are all much better questions, and will yield a much better result then the latter.
So, ’til next time folks,