Compound Bow Selection Guide
Measuring Your Draw Length
Unlike a traditional recurve bow that can be drawn back to virtually any length, a compound bow will draw back only a specific distance before it stops (the wall). Compound bows are designed to be shot from the full-draw position. If a compound bow is set for a 29" draw length, it should always be shot from the full 29" draw position. But the bow cannot be over-drawn, say to 30" or 31", without modifying the setup on the bow. So the draw length on your compound bow must be set to match your particular size. When we setup your bow, we will adjust the bow for your precise draw length.
To measure your 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.
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 as well. 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 number is within the expected range.
Recommended Draw Weight Ranges (Modern Compound Bows)
Here are some general guidelines for choosing an appropriate draw weight. Of course, each individual is different. You should apply your common sense here and interpret this chart with due respect to your own age, general physical condition, and Body Mass Index (BMI).
Very Small Child (25-32 kg)—-10-15 lb Bow
Small Child (32-45 kg)—-15-25 lb Bow
Larger Child (45-60 kg)—-25-35 lb Bow
Small Frame Women (45-60 kg)—-25-35 lb Bow
Medium Frame Women (60-73 kg)—-30-40 lb Bow
Athletic Older Child (Boys 60-70 kg)—-40-50 lb Bow
Small Frame Men (55-70 kg)—-45-55 lb Bow
Large Frame Women (75+ kg)—-45-55 lb Bow
Medium Frame Men (70-80 kg)—-55-65 lb Bow
Large Frame Men (80+ kg)—-65-75 lb Bow