True Bow Draw Length
L.O.S.T. Arrow Archery
A proper draw length is so important to shooter form, comfort accuracy and consistency.
Recently I have some new shooters call in with a order for a bow at a certain draw length.
As some of the bows are cam and draw specific I asked how they knew their draw…
Over the years I have seen some strange draw lengths on a bow… the worst coming from box stores or bought used bows by the shooter, shooter drawn with string behind ear, or even on that was so short the shooter and would touch the knuckle of the thump to bottom jaw just to touch his face somehow…
String arm slap, Jerky anchors at draw, poor accuracy and consistency, uncomfortable draw and hold…list goes on all cases of the wrong draw…15 years ago over half the shooters had way too long of draw for them…
Now draws are mostly still too long if not right, most are closer.
Back in the day Draw Length was the distance from the nock point to the throat of the grip plus 1 3/4". Typically, this length was also about the same length of arrow needed by the compound archer with earlier bows.
The 1 3/4 was the standard to the front of the riser with the above measurement and shooters cut arrows past riser for broadhead clearance on riser and due to safety with the touchy rests of the day
Today at full draw from the Berger button [rest bolt insert in riser] or throat/valley of the grip is your draw, however one has to find that comfortable draw, that allows not only the best comfort but best accuracy and cosistancy, now how do we find that true draw for you, I myself prefer to have the shooter draw bows at the shop and with different draw lengths, when they feel the most comfortable at draw…we are close.
Now I can tell if a shooters draw is too long or too short by simply standing behind them and watching them draw, the draw arm will tell me instantly if too long or too short, one has to also figure height, weight, muscles, body shape into the factor, but that comes natural after a long time.
Here are the most popular methods of finding draw lengths..
Someone figured out somehow that your wingspan is your height, then someone else figured out a few formulas that get you close to a draw length…
To measure your draw length, stand with your back to a wall stretching your arms out against the wall. Measure the distance from the end of your middle finger to the end of your other middle finger, basically the length of both arms, hands and chest. This measurement, minus 15 then divided by 2, is your draw length.
Since your wingspan typically is the same as your height in inches, your height in inches minus 15 and then divided by 2 will be your draw length, or at least a very good starting point
The more modern method has been… Next, take your wingspan measurement and divide it by 2.5. This will give you an excellent starting point for finding your proper draw length. However, variations in D-Loop length and axle to axle bow length may require some small lengthening or shortening of your final draw length measurement.
I personally found that dividing your wingspan by 2.6 was actually closer
Resist the temptation to make your draw length longer than it should be, as this will affect your accuracy.
Yardstick wall draw
Personally I used yet another method if the shooter wasn’t present…simply Make a fist with your bow hand and touch it against a wall straight out to the side of your body as if you were shooting a bow. While you stand straight, in a good shooting posture, like looking down an arrow on bow, Use a yardstick against the wall to the right corner of your mouth or have someone measure the distance from the wall to the corner of your mouth. The length you come up should be close to your actual draw length… And this method was closer to many bow brands and their determined draw even today.
Will a string loop change my draw length?
Since the draw length is the distance from the nock point to the throat of the grip plus 1 3/4", adding a string loop cannot change the bow's draw length. BUT, it will change your anchor point moving it back 1/2" to 3/4". This will make it feel like your draw length is longer. If you want your same anchor point, then you will need to shorten the bow's draw length by about a 1/2" to move your anchor point back up to your preference.
DETERMINED WINGSPAN CHART
Wingspan Draw Length
64" 24 1/2"
66" 25 1/2"
68" 26 1/2"
70" 27 1/2"
72" 28 1/2"
74" 29 1/2"
76" 30 1/2"
On draw.. Holding steady sounds like it is something you do by consciously tensing or tightening up your holding muscles really tight so as not to let the bow or sight move.
Actually, holding steady is accomplished by using proper form and then relaxing as many muscles as possible. If your draw length is not correct you cannot use the required proper form and relax the muscles, hence the bow is uncomfortable.
When you shoot a draw length that is too long you have to make the distance from your bow hand to your release hand longer than normal so it fits the bow. This is done by pushing or extending your bow shoulder forward and/or anchoring farther back with your release hand. When you extend your bow shoulder you will be using muscles to hold that shoulder in that extended position. the use of these muscles will cause more bow movement than if they were relaxed…hence accuracy and consistency is affected.
And that is one reason you may want to shorten your draw length if it is more than about ½ inch longer than indicated from the Wing Span method of determining draw length.
Now nothing is more accurate than visiting a PRO shop with a certified coach/instructor and shooting a drawing an actual bow in different draw lengths, with assisted help on form and finding the most comfortable …than accurate draw.
You will find some of these methods will vary slightly from each other... but again this is to give you a "Close" determination.