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How to measure my draw length

When choosing arrows, your draw length is one of the key things to look at. Simply said, your draw length is the distance you pull back the bow, plus a little more.

What is your draw length?

To check what your draw length is we use a couple different methods. We’ll explain the most used ones below.

Method 1 – Calculating your draw length

This is the easiest way to get an indication of your draw length at home. It is easiest to have someone help you with the measuring. With this calculating method you go by wingspan. Measuring your wingspan is quite easy. Stand up straight and stretch out your arms. Now have your friend measure the distance between your two tips of the middle fingers. Make sure you are not overstretching and keep your shoulders low and relaxed.

If you measured in centimeters, divide the measured distance by 2,54, since draw lengths in archery are measured in inches. Now divide by 2,5 to get a rough estimate of your draw length.
(Example: 180cm divided by 2,54 is 70,9, divide that by 2,5 and you will get to roughly 28,3 inches.)

The outcome of this is often quite accurate, but there are circumstances in which the actual draw length can deviate from what you calculate with this method.

Method 2 – Measured draw length – Actual draw length.
Your actual draw length can be measured with your bow in hand. How far do you actually pull back your bow. If you have a proper and consistent technique, this is by far the best and easiest method. There can be a slight difference between a calculated draw length and the real draw length. This can have different reasons, like your build or shooting technique.

When measuring your draw length (ATA) you will need to measure from the base of the nock to the plunger hole in your bow (deepest part of the grip if you don’t have a plunger hole) and add 1,75 inches.

In our store we use a measuring arrow. This is a shaft with marks on in at different lengths so it’s easier to see and you don’t have to mess around with measuring tapes. We pretty much always go by the measured draw length because it is more precise and reliable. We can also check if the form of an archer is reasonable or if the archer in question will need room to grow when picking out arrows.