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How To Measure Draw Length For Recurve Bow

Draw length is the most crucial thing for every archer to determine as accurately as possible. And it is the length of the distance from anchor point on the bow string to the pivot point on the bow grip. To be precise and go as per the ATA definition, bow length is the full distance between two points – the nocking point on string and the pivot point on the grip added by 1 ¾ inches.

Therefore, how to measure draw length for recurve bow is synonymous to determine how long is the archer’s full draw.

Mentionable that knowing the accurate draw length is not that arduous task to seek professional or expert help. Even a novice archer trying to master over archery can find it very interesting and not too tricky.

Below you have the draw length measurement process simplified and broken down into easy to get steps.

Archery being a sports or physical feat entails safety issues and efficiency. And you cannot go fully safe and efficient with your shooting without knowing your exact draw length. Let’s clarify why.

So far the safety issues involve, there are two things to consider that include danger of shooting just beyond the arrow rest or self and risk of overdrawing your bow. To begin with, if you do not know the exact draw length and pull the arrow less than the required full draw; your shooting of the arrow will end up just beyond the arrow rest or self. That can prove very dangerous and you can get injured badly.

Secondly, without knowing the draw length precisely; you may commit the blunder of overdrawing the arrow and going far beyond the full draw length. Yes, you have guessed right that you may have your bow limbs broken beyond repair. When you pull the bow string far beyond the anchor point the bow limbs will be pulled beyond their tolerance limit. And being bended more than they can put up with, the bow can break.

Moreover, the length of the arrow will determine the dynamics of the arrow and so you must find out your exact draw length. And you should not forget that your arrow length must be more than your draw length. Every bow has a specific draw length at which it performs the best and most efficiently. And you cannot determine the bow weight exactly without knowing the draw length.

Therefore, we hope you have been convinced fully well that how to determine your draw length for a recurve bow is an essential measurement to know. Now, we will show you how to figure out recurve draw length for a recurve bow close to the precision.

How To Measure The Recurve Bow Draw Length?

When it concerns a recurve bow draw length, you can do the job with precision with the help of a measuring arrow. Some arrows do have scaling marks along the shaft but you can do away with one without measuring marks on it. Let’s break the entire process down into steps for your better understanding. Here you go:

  • Take a piece of masking tape and put it on your bow just above the pivot of the bow grip. Do not forget to draw a vertical line on the tape.
  • Now nock the measuring arrow on your bow and draw the arrow back to your anchor point.
  • Tell the helper to read the mark on your arrow that meets the vertical line on the tap. Repeat the process several times so that you can find the appropriate length.

Having found the length in the arrow mark, you should now add 1 ¾ inches to it. That is, according to ATA, your draw length. However, you can determine your draw length even if you don’t have a bow and arrow with you. Read on how to do that.

how to figure out draw length for a recurve bow

How To Measure Recurve Bow Draw Length Without A Measuring Arrow?

Yes, you have heard it right that you can determine the draw length without a bow and measuring arrow or any arrow. That is how to do it:

  • Stretch your arms to both your sides to the max.
  • Now, measure your wingspan. To speak clearly, find the distance between the left middle finger tip and the right one. For many people, the wingspan length equals their height but you should not buy that because you need to be as precise as possible.
  • Finally, divide your wingspan length by 2.5. If you want to see it mathematically, it looks like;
Recurve Bow Draw Length Without A Measuring Arrow

Precautions Not To Ignore While Measuring Recurve Bow Draw length

As draw length is pretty crucial for shooting, you must take several precautions to measure it with precision. Whereas the veteran archers may know all and escape the issue that come in the way to find the precise measurement, the novice or starter may overwhelm. But the following precautions may save time and convenience.

  • Determine the anchor point precisely. While you can do it yourself without the help of anybody else, a camera recording focusing your finger pulling the bow string can go very wise. That will show you exactly where your pull stops - in the front of your jaw or behind your jaw bone.
  • Ensure the arrow is marked accurately whenever you don’t have a measuring arrow and you are turning a normal arrow into a measuring one by putting masking tape around it and then marking tit.
  • Get a friend or helper beside you to read the mark accurately and do the other tasks while you are engaged in drawing the arrow.
  • While following the wingspan method, take the measure from your back because the chest curve may interfere in getting the exact distance between the finger tips.
  • Get a recurve bow draw length chart that can help you figure out whether your measurement is going right or wrong.

The said precautions will guide you the right way how to determine draw length for a recurve bow.


So far the research of our expert team concerns, the measuring arrow method to know the recurve bow draw length is the advisable one. But the second method using the wingspan can give you approximate idea of your safe arrow length, compound draw length and more.

If you want to go precise and you have the tools around you, go with a measuring arrow and recurve bow. That is more not only one but more precise to measure draw length for recurve bow.

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