|COMPOUND BOW SELECTION GUIDE|
|The Big Read for Prospective Bow Buyers (Page 7)|
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
COMPOUND BOW FITMENT
PEOPLE DRAW LENGTHS...
MEASURE YOURSELF FOR DRAW LENGTH: To measure your personal draw length, determine the length of your arm-span in inches. Stand with your arms out and palms facing forward. Don't stretch when measuring. Just stand naturally. Have someone else help you, and measure from the tip of one middle finger to the other. Then simply divide that number by 2.5. The quotient is your proper draw length (in inches) for your body size. The majority of compound bow owners set their bows for too much draw length, which results in poor shooting form - inaccuracy - and painful string slap on the forearm. You will better enjoy - and be more successful with your new bow when it is fitted properly to your body. And REMEMBER! If in doubt, choose a little LESS draw length rather than a little more. If you are still unsure, or plan to shoot with a string loop, you may benefit from reading our Additional Discussion on Draw Length.
A NATURAL CORRELATION: If you are a person of average proportions, your arm-span will be roughly equal to your height (in inches). So there is often a direct correlation between a person's height and their draw length. But if you are particularly lankly, stocky, etc., the arm-span/2.5 method will correct for your uniqueness and yield the most reliable estimate. Even so, once you have computed your draw length using the method above, you can double-check yourself by using the scale below - to see if your numbers are in the ballpark.
A FINAL THOUGHT ON DRAW LENGTH: If you're new to the sport, don't get too carried away dissecting yourself down to the micron. You'll have better luck if you just play the averages and choose an initial draw length that's similar to others of your same size and stature. Fortunately, on most bows, making a minor draw length change is pretty simple. So it's not quite a life or death decision to start. However, as you become more immersed in the sport and begin to "fine-tune" your game, you may wish to experiment a little with your draw length.
COMPOUND BOW DRAW WEIGHTS
COMFORT RULES: There are several factors to consider here, beyond just brute strength. First and foremost, we strongly recommend that you choose a draw weight that is COMFORTABLE for you and suitable for your particular purpose. Particularly for the purposes of recreational archery, a bow with too much draw weight will simply make you less successful and the sport less enjoyable. A good rule-of-thumb is to choose a draw weight that requires about 75% of your "maximum" strength. If your bow is too heavy to draw back, and you can only shoot a few times before you're fatigued, then you'll be reluctant to practice and improve your game. But you also want your bow to shoot with as much speed and power as possible, so you shouldn't choose too little weight either. Again, the right balance between comfort and performance will probably be at your "75%" mark.
HEAVY DRAW WEIGHTS
HAIL THE MACHO MAN: We bowhunters tend to be tough-guys - and some of us just can't resist choosing heavyweight bows. Unfortunately, a heavyweight bow choice usually turns out to be a mistake. Even if you can beat-up the neighbor and you just finished your P90X DVD set, that doesn't mean you possess the back and upper-body strength to comfortably manage an 80# Insanity CPX or Freak-Max. Unless you've been shooting hundreds upon hundreds of arrows per week, and have been specifically training-up to a heavyweight bow ... don't do it. It will likely just ruin your experience.
ALL THINGS IN MODERATION
DON'T GO TOO SOFT EITHER: Not to sound hypocritical, but you may not want to choose an excessively light draw weight either (being "under-bowed"). Heavier draw weights will undoubtedly yield better kinetic energy (penetration) and quicker arrow velocities with less parabolic arc in flight (up to a point - depending on proportional arrow mass). More importantly, some states require a compound bow to meet certain draw weight minimums (usually around 40#) in order to hunt large game like Whitetail Deer. Check with your state's governing agencies, and always observe the rules and regulations for legally harvesting game in your state.
PUMP SOME BOW: If you still don't feel good about your level of bowhunting buff-ness, don't worry. The "archery muscles" used to draw a bow are primarily large muscle groups in your upper back (the same muscles you use to row a boat or pull-start a lawn mower). Most people don't specifically work to exercise these muscles. So you will probably find that once you do put them to work, your "archery muscles" will gain strength quickly and drawing your bow will become easier over time. Fortunately, most bows come with at least 10 lbs. of draw weight adjustment. So if you are a new shooter, you may wish to begin with your bow set at a lower draw weight - and gradually "crank-up" the draw weight as you become more conditioned.
|Very Small Child (55-70 lbs.)||10-15 lbs.|
|Small Child (70-100 lbs.)||15-25 lbs.|
|Larger Child (100-130 lbs.)||25-35 lbs.|
|Small Frame Women (100-130 lbs.)||25-35 lbs.|
|Medium Frame Women (130-160 lbs.)||30-40 lbs.|
|Athletic Older Child (Boys 130-150 lbs.)||40-50 lbs.|
|Small Frame Men (120-150 lbs.)||45-55 lbs.|
|Large Frame Women (160+ lbs.)||45-55 lbs.|
|Medium Frame Men (150-180 lbs.)||55-65 lbs.|
|Large Frame Men (180+ lbs.)||65-75 lbs.|
Please call 877-410-7811 or email us if you have other questions regarding draw weight or length. We will be glad to assist you in any way we can.
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