How to choose the right Draw Weight?

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How to choose the right draw weight

There are lots of answers out there to this question. I will try to explain to you in the simplest way I can, so after reading this article you will know how to choose the right draw weight for you.

So let’s get into it.

The first thing you have to do is test the bow yourself. I am assuming that you already know that are lots of bows out there with different draw weights. That’s why you see a 30pound bow and another 50pound bow. When you go to an archery shop, or if you borrow a heavier bow to shoot, then try and hold the string back for at least 30 seconds.

How to choose the right draw weight

The best way to test the right draw weight for you:

  • Take the bow and pull the string back. Stay in that position for at least 30 seconds.
  • If you struggle to move the string back then is obvious that the draw weight is too heavy for you.
  • If you hold the string back for few seconds and starting to shake, then is too heavy for you.
  • If you hold the string back for at least 30 seconds without shaking, or you are feeling just right to hold it there, then that draw weight is the right for you. 

A tip here: I am not talking about compound bows, because they work differently.

I’m thinking that you are searching online for the answer on how to choose the right draw weight, to you know what bow to buy. I wanted to clear that up at the beginning of the article.

I easily get bored when I have to read 2000 words just for an answer, so I know the feeling. But if you want to know more about it and see why trying other methods may cause you to develop bad form and technique, then keep reading.

Charts based on age

You may find online, charts that some people recommend certain bow draw weight for certain people. For example, if you are a beginner male 26 years old then you should get a 30-pound bow. I would not recommend buying a bow based on those charts. You can use charts to find what bow length to buy. That is different because it has to do with the length of your arms. The length doesn’t change like the strength in humans. To understand more about this, if you take 5 young males 26 years old, it is not possible to have the same strength, stamina, etc. Someone may be an athlete and another unfit and weak. So it is wrong to compare it with age. Someone can get rotator cuff injuries and tendinitis if he practices with a heavy for him draw weight.

Charts based on body weight

Other charts are recommended body weight to find how to choose the right draw weight. This is more logical than age. But still is not the best way to choose your bow. For example, if you get 5 140pound females to shoot a 35pound bow, then some women may be athletes maybe lifting weights and some others may be too weak and unfit. It’s a logical way to compare but it’s not the smartest one for these reasons.

What will happen if you get a heavy draw weight?

As I said above, the risk of injury is higher, the technique will suffer. Remember that archery is something that is not shooting one arrow. Is something that you love to do and have fun with it. Even if you are doing it for sport or going hunting, practice is the most important aspect. When the bow is too heavy it will make you shake each time you draw the string back. Your shoulders muscles will get fatigued. Now you may ask ”what if I shoot that heavy bow every day and get stronger with it”. Yes, but your form will not be correct if you are starting out with a heavy for your bow. Practicing with a lighter draw weight can make your experience more fun and also your form will not diminish even if you shoot 100 arrows. A very important part of sports is muscle memory. When you practice a lot with a lighter bow and you have the right form, then even if you get a heavier bow, your body should know the right form to shoot.

Will you get stronger?

Yes! As you practice with your natural draw weight, then you can see yourself month by month to getting stronger. And when you get good at it, your technique (because it’s a muscle memory), will stay the same when you move to the heavier bow. It’s like going to the gym. If you do the same exercise over and over again each and every week, you will get stronger and lift more weights eventually. Eating well is an important factor also for muscle development.

How do practice, so you can draw that heavy bow?

Start practicing with the lighter bow 3-4 times per week. Your goal is to shoot around 80-120 arrows per day. Lift weights for the lower and upper back once a week. That will increase your strength dramatically. This could be row machines or free weights like one-arm-row exercises. Remember to listen to your body each week. If your shoulders are feeling tired, reduce the training. After a few months, you can try to pull and hold a heavier bow and you should see the difference in your strength.

Benefits of heavier draw weight

As you practice with different bows, you can see the difference between the stronger ones in distance shooting. You can hit a target at a further distance with a heavier draw weight than with a lightweight. Is just physics. Also if you plan to go hunting, you have to be able to handle a 40pound bow and higher. In some areas hunting with a bow lower than 40 pounds is prohibited. I want to know how to choose the right draw weight for hunting then I will say that the heavier the better. But you need to have the practice to be able to hold it easily and be accurate with it first. And when you are at that level, your archery practice will be more fun as you get stronger.

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