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How to Determine Your Draw Length for Archery

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Archery is a practice that has been with us for many years. Many see it as a sport, while others use for hunting. In order to become a master of archery, there are many things that you need to learn first. Among those things is finding out how to determine your draw length for archery.

In this guide, we will provide you with four easy methods that you can do to know your draw length. In addition to that, we are also going to share with you other key knowledge that you need to know in order to begin your archery practice.

What Is Draw Length?

If you are fond of using compound bows, then you should know that they are designed to be drawn back only so far. This distance is known as the draw length. A shooter and his bow need to have the same draw length in order to ensure safety and accuracy.

How to Determine Your Draw Length for Archery

There are a number of ways with which you can measure your draw length. Each one has been used by many archers for many years. However, it is not certain which one of these methods is indeed the most accurate. In the end, it is up to you and your preferences. Here are the four methods:

Method 1: Armspan ÷ 2.5

The Wingspan/2.5 is the method that is most commonly used all throughout the archery world. It is very easy to do and delivers reliable results in just a few minutes. This is how you do it:

  1. Stand up straight and stretch your arms out to the side, making sure that they are at shoulder height
  2. Have someone measure the distance between the tip of your middle finger on your right hand and the tip of the middle finger on your left hand
  3. Take note of the final measurement and divide that number by 2.5

Method 2: (Armspan – 15) ÷ 2

This is a bit similar to the first method. The only difference is that instead of dividing the result by 2.5, you subtract 15 and divide the difference by 2.

Method 3: Buttons to Base

The third method you can try to determine your draw length also requires the help of a friend. These are the steps to do it:

  1. Stand up straight and stretch one arm out, making sure that it is at shoulder level. It doesn’t matter which arm you extend
  2. Have someone measure the distance between the center of your chest (where you would button-up a shirt) and the end of your wrist (just below your palm)

Method 4: Fist to Mouth

The last and final method actually makes the most sense. However, it can be a bit of a challenge to make accurate draw length measurements this way, especially since beginner archers are not quite accustomed to using proper form and posture yet. Nevertheless, here is how it is done:

  1. Near a wall, stand with a full-draw and make a fist with the hand that is holding the imaginary bow
  2. Never losing your full-draw form, stand closer and closer to the wall until your fist touches it
  3. Have a friend measure the distance between the top of your fist and the corner of your lips

And, that’s it! Now it is up to you to decide which method you will use. However, seasoned archers suggest doing all methods and then finding out the average between all the four measurements. In this way, you can be sure that you have the right draw length.

What Is Draw Weight?

Aside from draw length, among the very first things that you should also determine is your draw weight. This is the pulling force required to draw the bowstring back. Unlike draw length, though, there aren’t any concrete measurement technique that you can do to measure your draw weight. It all comes down to your comfort levels.

In order to know your draw weight, look for a bow that requires about 75% of your maximum draw strength. In this way, you can be sure to make many accurate shots before getting fatigued. On the other hand, a bow with too little draw weight won’t be able to provide you with a powerful shot, which is crucial when hunting.


Learning how to determine your draw length for archery is only the first step in knowing which bow is perfect for you. There are several other factors, such as draw weight, that you need to take into consideration.

For this, we recommend that more than doing your research online, take the time to visit the nearest archery shop in your area. More often than not, the people there know what they are talking about and can guide you in your journey.

About the Author Pink Crossbow

Jen loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring a wide-range of activities. A mother of 3 whose seen far too many friends suffer from cancer, she believes Pink Crossbow reflects a sport for LIFE. It's a reminder that archery belongs to everyone regardless of age, size, or gender...and real enthusiasts aren't afraid to wear pink!

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