Hey guys, this is NuSensei. Today I want to cover a very frequently asked question about arrows, and that is: “How long should your arrows be?” There is a very short and straightforward answer. The rule of thumb is that you take your draw-length and you add one to two inches, or one and a half inches longer than your draw length. It’s that easy! However, you probably want to know why, and, in fact, getting it exactly right doesn’t actually matter that much, and depends on what you need that length for. Let’s go through why length is important. Now here I’ve got three different arrows of three different lengths. I have my Easton A/C/Es, which are cut at around 26 inches. I have my Easton X10s where are around 27.5 inches, and I have my Gold Tip Traditionals which are uncut and are currently at 30 inches. Now all these arrows I can shoot just fine, so what’s the deal with the length? The most obvious reason is safety. I’ll explain why very easily. Now if your arrow is shorter than your draw-length, then what will happen is that the arrow will come off the rest, and that is really bad! If the arrow comes off the rest at full draw then it won’t shoot safely, you may shoot yourself in the hand. That is obviously not desirable. So you want to make sure that the arrows are long enough so that you can pull back without fear of the arrow coming off. If you do end up with arrows that are too short, and that may be the case if you are doing a session at a club for example. Then you still can shoot short arrows, but you have to change your form. For example this might be shooting at a half draw or a nearly full draw. or maybe bending your arm and pulling back to your anchor point, but these things are less than desirable. It can be done if you have to shoot a short arrow, but if you can choose your arrows, You want an arrow that you can pull at full draw without the arrow slipping off the rest. It is simply a safety issue. Now here I’ve got my Gold Tip Traditionals and as you can see, these arrows will not come off the rest any time soon. You can see it’s quite a long way from the edge of the riser. and you might think “well that looks really silly”, and it kind of does, but the reality is, these arrows work just fine. and that’s the thing about length. While there is a rule of thumb of adding one and a half inches to your draw length, unless you need the length for a specific reason, you don’t have to follow it strictly. These arrows will fly fine. I’ve used these arrows with my Samik Sage, as well as the Bear Minuteman, and they come out really well. So I don’t really have much reason to cut them down, but other people might. One of the main reasons is if you are shooting Olympic-freestyle. Now with the Olympic-freestyle classification you can use a clicker. The clicker is a strip which goes over the arrow and it acts as a draw-length indicator. So when the archer pulls back, they know exactly the right length to let go. It clicks, and you release. So getting the length right is very important because if the arrow is too long you can’t use the clicker. There are ways to use an extra-long arrow, you can get sight mounted clickers, or clicker extenders, but for the most part within practical reason, you need to get the length within this distance so you can use the clicker properly. With a traditional bare-bow you obviously don’t have a clicker so this isn’t as important. However there’s a more advanced factor in determining arrow length, and that’s your “tune”. The length of the arrow will affect the arrow’s “spine”. What happens is that if you cut an arrow shorter, the spine becomes stiffer. You can see here that there are two very different arrows, I’ve got the Easton A/C/E 720s and the gold-tipped traditionals 500 spine. Now the length is already a huge difference, but what you might find is that this particular arrow, the Easton 720 A/C/E, has a certain amount of flex, that’s your “spine”. Now if I do the same thing for the longer gold-tips, the 500 is meant to be a stiffer spine, but because this is an uncut 30 inch arrow you might find that this is actually softer. So these shorter arrows may come out of my bow better than these arrows depending on my draw-weight. So if you need to tune your bow, or tune your arrows, then cutting down the arrows will make them stiffer. Do bear in mind that if you cut an arrow, you can’t uncut it. so you have to be mindful of chopping off too much. That is in fact what I’m currently doing with my Easton X10s. We’re chopping off about a centimetre each time, or half and inch each time, and trying to tune and get it right because, if we stuff up and we cut too much, we’ve wasted a very expensive arrow. So that’s one of the reasons why length matters, If you do some fine tuning and you need to get both the length right for your clicker and your draw length, then these things do matter as well. Otherwise, for some people, you might be very specific on your arrow balance or “front of centre”, so having an arrow too long may upset the flight of your arrow and the tuning of your bow, so these things will also be factors in your arrow length. That said, getting the tune and your arrow length correct is partly trial, error, and experience. For the most part, if you are an absolute beginner, you don’t need to get arrow length specifically correct. You can just follow the draw-length plus one and a half inches. Now this doesn’t mean your arrows will be perfect, it does mean that they will work for you. They will be shot safely from your bow without falling off, and you have the length to work with. You don’t necessarily have a perfect tune, and that might mean cutting the arrows further, or, going to the extra step and buying different arrows. What may happen, especially if you are training with a coach, the coach might suggest that you buy new arrows but leave them uncut. This is because you can cut the arrows to match your tune, but you can’t change an arrow that is too short. By the way, because people will likely ask… You can order arrows pre-cut, the store will do it for you for a fee, some might do it for free if it’s a big order, otherwise if you are doing by yourself you will need to use an arrow saw. Some people have asked about using hack-saws. It’s not the best idea, using a high-speed arrow saw will get a cleaner cut. Bear in mind you are cutting through aluminium and carbon fibre, so having an arrow saw is the easiest and safest option. You might not be able to buy one, but if you are working with a club, then you might be able to use their arrow saw. Anyway, this is NuSensei, hope this answers a few questions. Thanks for watching, I’ll see you next time.