Archery | How To Choose the Right Draw Weight
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Archery | How To Choose the Right Draw Weight

August 13, 2019


[shhh-thunk] Hey guys, this is NUSensei. A lot of people who get into archery for
the first time and want to buy their first bow have faced the challenge of picking
the right draw weight. I’ve done videos on draw weight before,
but this is something I continually keep getting asked is “what draw weight
should I use for my first bow?” Something like 20 to 30 pounds is okay.
That’s a pretty general ballpark figure. Now to complicate things, you can find
charts online that recommend certain bow sizes and certain draw weights for certain
people, and, unfortunately, as easy as it is to find this information,
a lot of this is pure bollocks! I’m sorry to say this, but the
information is so generic and unhelpful it’s actually harmful to a new buyer
because a lot of people who look at this chart will see things like “if you are
this age and this body weight you should be using a 60 pound bow.” That’s crazy!
There’s no basis behind this recommendation. Now, for bow sizes it makes some sense because
if you’re using a full-size target bow or large longbow, a hunting bow, then yes there
are certain advantages to using a longer bow. You don’t have to follow the
recommendations, but draw weight? It’s ridiculous because a lot of these charts don’t factor
in what kind of bow you use. You might be using a recurve or a compound,
but these charts don’t distinguish. Above all your body weight doesn’t
really count for much. If anything, in archery, it doesn’t matter how much you weigh, you still can’t use a heavy bow if you don’t
have the strength, endurance, and stamina, and so on. So, you just have to be very careful when
reading these charts, and, if anything, ignore these charts. A lot of my
time spent on my Facebook page, on my channel, and on reddit is meant to be
pointing out to people: don’t follow these charts! *sigh* Anyway back on topic!
Now, the topic of draw weight is something which is brought up very often and for good reason. A lot of people feel that they are peer
pressured to use a heavier bow. “Anything less than 45 pounds is not manly enough.” Now again, I’ve done a video on draw
weight egos before, but let’s say you have the chance to try a bow in person, in store. Well, how can you tell what draw weight is right for you? Many people who go shopping for a bow in
person will have this kind of experience. They’ll find a nice looking bow, and they go “Oh yeah, 45 pounds. Yeah, I lift weights. I’m a
very fit guy. I do swimming and athletics and so on.” “So I should be able to handle a big bow.”
And the other common thing they do is they’ll pick a bow up and they’ll pull it back once and go “Oh yeah, that’s pretty easy. I can pull 45 pounds.” The thing to remember, however,
is that archery isn’t about doing one shot. This isn’t powerlifting where you’re trying to
do the heaviest weight possible. In archery you’ll spend hours shooting most days
if you’re really into it, and you have to be able to control the shot.
Archery is not a power sport. Strength helps. Strength can get you using heavier bows,
yes, and heavy bows do have certain advantages. Yes, but archery is not a power sport.
It’s a precision sport, and you have to balance out the weight of your bow versus
how much control you have over your shot. One easy test you can do is to hold
the bow at full draw for 30 seconds without significant shake. You will notice an absolutely huge
difference between what you perceived to be an easy weight which you can pull once, and
something which you can shoot multiple times over a long period of time, and this
is especially useful if you get the chance to use the bow in-store or you
get the chance to borrow someone’s bow at the club, for example. Again I’m bringing out my two bare
bow recurves. I’ve got my 45 pound Samick Sage and my
“wimpy” 25 pound OMP Adventure 2.0. What i’m going to do is the 30 second test,
which means for the next 30 seconds I’m going to stand here and hold my bow.
I’m going to show you a back view, and while I personally can handle a 45-pound bow, watch the amount of shake that starts to
kick in at around 10, 15, and 20 seconds. And maybe this will help! That actually wasn’t too bad.
Let’s try a whole minute. All right, so that worked better than I
thought again, but then again I have been shooting 40
pounds for years, so, holding a 45-pound bow at my draw length shouldn’t be
unexpected. I’ve completed the one minute barrier. I did feel that burn, so, if I was
choosing a bow, and I did this test for 30 seconds, then I’d be more confident that I
could control the shot process, assuming that I’ve learned the basics,
but let’s compare that to a 25-pound bow. Now that was about 45 seconds.
I stopped because I was feeling that cramp and burn coming in, but I did do the Sage for one and a
half minutes so that’s a big factor here. The big difference, I’m not sure if you could see it on
camera, was that there was absolutely no resistance that I could feel from a 25 pound bow.
The burn that I was feeling was just from muscle fatigue from having to stay expanded for more than
30 seconds, and that’s the thing you have to consider that you don’t want to fight
against the bow. If you are using a 45-pound bow, if you can confidently handle it then
fantastic, but if you can’t handle this weight, and remember I’ve just done long holds for
nearly two minutes, if I want to do it again, I don’t want to feel like I can’t
hold this for 30 seconds, but this is the thing, you don’t want to
fight against the bow. The bow is meant to be an extension of you and your shot
process. So, if the bow is too strong for you, it will completely ruin your archery
experience. Not only do you not shoot well because you can’t control it, you risk serious injury if you’re not
built up to do what I just did, and I’m not a fit guy, but I’ve been doing archery for 5 years now. If you can’t do this for 30 seconds at
your chosen draw weight then you may be seriously over bowed. It’s much better to
shoot a lower draw weight and control it for longer, than have to fight against
the bow. And it really depends on what you need your bow for.
If all you’re doing is this: then you don’t need to go for a very high
draw weight. If you just want some fun casual backyard shooting then you can
do that frequently and comfortably with a lighter draw weight, and you just have
to get over the fact that having a high weight doesn’t mean everything. People don’t need to shoot heavier than they need to. People who go hunting, for example, have a need.
People who shoot competitive outdoor target archery have a need, but for the average
archer, if you don’t need to extend your range or have the best velocity, you just
want to have some recreational fun, then you don’t need to push yourself to
go for a heavier draw weight. Now yes, there is a certain satisfaction
that comes with shooting higher draw weights. It feels nice. It zips straight.
It comes off the fingers nicely. Yes, that’s something which can be a
mid-term or long term goal. You don’t have to
push yourself so hard and so soon. And yes, some people do archery
for the physical challenge. I get that. I think that is a very fair
reason to do archery, but again, archery is primarily a
precision sport not a power sport, and you shouldn’t try to confuse the two or
do both at the same time. Learn the form and finesse first, and then, as you increase your
strength and endurance, then work seriously towards heavier bows. There’s also another bit of advice which gets
passed around, and that is “you can grow into your bow.” Most people can grow into a 45-pound bow
or 50 or 60 pound bow after a few months of shooting.
To some extent this is true. Shooting itself is an exercise, and if you do it frequently
enough, you will, over time, gain the strength and endurance needed to shoot
the bow comfortably, assuming all else is OK. Form and finesse and precision and so
on. But you can physically work up to most draw weights. That is an acceptable fact.
I can understand that, but at the same time it makes assumptions about people. It assumes that you are active.
It assumes that you are going to shoot regularly. It assumes that you want to shoot a higher draw weight.
If you are guilting people to shoot a higher draw weight
just because they can, then that could ruin their archery
career because they might never reach that stage. Again, the average person
might be someone like me! I’m just, you know, a professional high school teacher
who sits at a desk and plays computer games half the time. I don’t have that natural
ability. I’m not an athlete. So I can’t expect someone like me to go super
saiyan and suddenly use heavier bows because someone told me to. That said, if you do want to use a higher draw weight
for hunting or competition, then it is something you must set to achieve.
You have to make this a goal. It’s not much different from going to
the gym and lifting weights or doing bodybuilding or doing powerlifting.
You have to set reasonable goals. You have to work towards it, and that
means you may have to go to the gym to do weight training to increase your strength. You might have to use your bow.
The same exercises I demonstrated, trying to test the bow for 30 seconds or a minute, those same exercises can be used to
increase your strength and endurance. So, yes, you can work up to it,
but the key is it something you must work up to. You aren’t naturally gifted with the strength
and endurance to use most bows. Now, yes, some people do have that physical
ability, but the average person must work towards it. So, if you are keen to use heavier bows, and
you’re not at the stage where you can comfortably use one, don’t let it stop you, but you must
actually work towards it. That means shooting frequently.
That means, often, doing extra training when you’re not shooting, and only then can
you comfortably handle higher draw weights. It isn’t a natural process. Every person is different. Some will
grow more than others, but the average person needs to consider these things when
picking draw weight. As usual, it’s better to start low then go high, once you feel comfortable, but if you go high then just understand there are certain things
you must do to maintain your fitness and endurance to shoot well. Anyway, this is NUSensei.
I hope you found this helpful. Thank you for watching,
and I’ll see you next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Honestly if you can't handle a 60# recurve, you're just not strong enough for actual archery. Yes, most people can't handle more than 40# draw weights, but the fact that people let compound bows compensate for their lack of muscles just goes to show how dumbed down archery has gotten over the past few centuries.

    It used to be, if you wanted to do any sort of long-distance shooting, it was mandatory to have a 60-120# bow and be buff as shit. Anything less, and you'd be expected to learn how to do short range "trick-shots" or you'd be practically worthless as a solitary archer.

    You're completely right though Nu, but don't beat around the bush. "Most archers" only need a toy. They don't need a tool.

  2. Could you buy a take-down bow and purchase different weight limbs? Like have a 25, 35, and a 45 pound draw limbs that you can swap out?

  3. the only store which has bowes in my city had a junior one and a 65 lb one.
    uhm ya, u can prob tell what i did spend my money on.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Kill me pls

  4. So , what if I am planning on hunting and presently I could only handle say 25# Is there certain exercises I could do to increase my draw weight? Or is it simply time shooting with one draw weight and slowly moving up? Thanks

  5. Thanks a lot. You showed me how little I actually knew about being an archer. I'm glad I know I can still practice/exercise my archery in my room, even when it's too dark outside.

  6. 3:50 This is the answer that all of you clicked on this video for.

    And NUSensei I must say that is a great piece of advice. Thanks.

  7. what are good exercises to build the back muscles to help with this , I did 30lbs for a few months before trying a higher draw weight and I couldnt do it and it was 10lbs heavier . I was very weak

  8. Is it alright if I just start with a hundred eighty pound warbow, xd jk 30lb is probably good for me.
    45 and 50 probs would wear me out, maybe I could handle them

  9. Did you see the young guy who can draw a 100# bow. Then he asked his mom to try and draw the bow and she couldn’t then he stopped her from trying or she would get hurt. That was so shocking but the guy made it look easy. He did look like he was doing weights. This just tells you that traditional archery requires an amount of physical fitness not just some nerds who watch lord of the rings.

  10. Hi, I'm looking to do mounted (horseback) archery! Would you be able to help suggest what draw weight should be appropriate for that? I hope you can respond. Thank you!

  11. I'm a newbie, but I purchased a cheap Samick Sage breakdown recurve with multiple sets of limbs with different draw weights. If you're going for long practice sessions focusing on form then go light, and if you want to build strength and power then step it up. Also like to add that hunting regulations usually have a minimum draw weight (my state requires #50) which might be a deciding factor on where a person wants to end up being, but I don't recommend starting off with a #50 draw weight! Great videos, they are really helping me out!

  12. I haven’t drawn my bow in MANY MANY years , it sits at 55 pound , technically 60 pound was the minimum, at the time of trying to figure out my draw strength , I was able to pull 60 , but by the time I got around to picking up a bow , my strength had went down ..

    Now back to being many years later and not shooting my bow .. yeah I couldn’t even draw it back at 55 pound .. since I just don’t use / work out those muscle.

  13. Hello, Love your channel. I'm wanting to buy a flatbow. I have a 28.8 draw length, 25-30 draw weight. Can you recommend a good bow for a beginner? I'm wanting it for shooting targets on my land. Thanks!

  14. thank you for making this vid!im thinking of buying a recurve bow and ive lifted heavy stuff my whole life but am not a big man although tall.i dont want a wimpy draw weight because im "skinny" Im kinda worried about being "fitted" for a bow..thanks again

  15. I'm new to archery, and I'm about to buy my first recurve bow. I'm interested in target shooting and hunting, what draw weight should I start with?

  16. I think it would be hard to learn with a heavy pull bow while at the same time working on your form. Putting your body in positions that may not feel all that natural while under heavy weights isn't a good idea.

  17. So like most exercise / endurance sport based things in life, start light and build up from there when and if you can…

  18. For whatever reason we have our style , we have them, no need to change unless it causes problems, especially if it becomes a signature style, and yours is a signature style!

  19. The power! I used 34# limbs in the past. Thought about going a little higher, but that probably would have required stiffer arrows. After a long break, I reduced to 30#. Nice, easy weight for training technique again. One tip: Draw weight tends to feel heavier when you have no intention of releasing the string. The body knows. haha

  20. That is good information for the user to know and I know that for me to get bow with the pull weight of 50 pounds would be too much for me and I am looking at an average of 40 pounds pull weight. I could hold the arrow for 30 seconds before releasing it, but one minute is probably too long. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  21. Here's a question I'm getting into archery with a recurve bow particularly a samick sage. I will be hunting and in spare time practice in my garden. I've been advised for hunting do not get any less than a 55 lb recurve bow. Is this correct assumption?

  22. When I was 18 years old I could and shoot a 75# longbow and hunted with it. I'm 62 years old now and I shoot a 38 # Win Win. I also have 32# limbs but the 38# limbs seem to work better with the generic carbon arrows.

  23. So, I definitely know the kinda bow I want. It’s called Elven Saint Self Bow. But, I don’t know if they have that in an Archery shop, so do you know any bows that are definitely common in Archery shops that I can try to get a feel for what pull weight I need?

  24. Ego and peer pressure, don't let someone force you into a high pound bow, just out shoot your competition with what you have ! 😁

  25. He held the bow both times for more than 30 seconds at a 25 pound draw weight then said it was 45 pounds don’t lie to use were are not stupid and also hevy draw weight is easy for people that is 200 pounds plus they will be able to pull and hold a 70 pound draw bow for 10 to 15 seconds and also if your suck a bad archer you have to hold a bow at full draw just to aim you suck at archery I pull and hold 70 pound draw weight with eaz okay it’s not hard to be accurate if you use your brain and I know why your whining Cause your prolly 5 foot 4 with less then novice strength so yah 25 pounds to 35 is prolly your best weight and don’t put limits for everyone cause your weak and feel that every one else must be cause your ego is so huge keep in mind people one mans standards aren’t another mans standards be the wolf not the sheep like this guy

  26. #30 draw weight, 29" carbon arrows are for my target practice. I do not hunt. I do not like to kill animals. Thanks for your videos sir.

  27. If your goal is to get good at archery, I'm sure it makes sense to start with something lighter, but I just want to have a higher draw weight for the exercise, entertainment, historical connection, etc.

  28. I had a friend who can do like 30 pushups, and is bigger in body size than me. He can't even pull a 32 lbs bow. I can barely do 10 and i can pull 38lbs. Think again before selecting bow weight people

  29. Thank you for putting out clear, concise, logical, and poignant information on archery. I am going to be buying a new bow very soon, probably tomorrow. I think it is silly and unsafe for people to have an ego about the draw weight. Kudos and cheers!

  30. I am 78 years old I use a recurve bow 45lb, left hand bow, I weigh 147 pounds USA Tennessee prepper smoky mountains Tennessee. And I love it,🇺🇸👍, it has plenty of power, to kill about anything.

  31. Just to be playing around I use a 35 pound recurve bow left handed USA Tennessee prepper smoky mountains Tennessee

  32. Wait, did he say prospective Olympians should expect to go to the gym as part of their training? What heresy is this!

  33. 2 years on from major Heart surgery I'm finding in difficult to use my 50' dw CB, love to find out how I can dial it down?

  34. If it is better to have a lower draw weight that you can handle then why is it that when I watched the lanchester indoor tournament a lot of the recurve archers (especially in the Womens category) start shaking quite a lot. Why would they, as professional archers, use a bow that they barely can handly in a competition with several thousands of dollars on the line? There must be some serious advantages with a higher draw weight bow right?

  35. Respectfully, a proper strength training regime will get you where you want to go. Committment to a goal with time and persistence are vital. Personally, 45# works for me.

  36. At least in the state of Washington you need minimum of 45lbs to legally hunt. If hunting is your goal then start their. If just for fun doesn't matter but higher the poundage the flatter the arrow will fly.

  37. 178 centimetres of height, around 80 kilograms heavy, and 15 years old. What draw weight would be the closest to ideal for me? I'm fairly strong for my age, I'll add.

  38. I found this video very entertaining. I use heavier limbs, but I also hunt large prey and am a rather large fellow to start with, and I think that a certain amount of personal feel needs to be factored in to figuring out what's not only best for the archer, but what they hope to accomplish.

  39. From my experience, there isn't much reason to go above 40# for target shooting. I have a 35#, 40#, and 50#. I almost never use the 50. I'll swap between the 35 and 40 depending on my mood, but I'd say 35# is the dominant choice. Just because you have no difficulty drawing the bow doesn't mean you need a higher weight.

    I doubt there are any shots I can make with the 50# that I can't with the 35#. Only difference is going to be the type of arrow I'm shooting and the piercing power behind it. Which again, doesn't really make any difference in target shooting.

    So if you're hunting and need to rely on your arrow being able to kill your target, choose 45# and up.
    If you're target shooting and have no intention of hunting, get a bow between 35-40 (30 would be fine too if you're a person with a much smaller frame).

    You are going to shoot a lot more arrows target shooting than hunting, so it also helps to have a lesser weight to prevent your fingers from getting tired/sore.

  40. I just reported the Q&A results mentioning this bullshit on Google using the feedback button. Could I get a few more people to do this? The site spreading this shit is an Amazon affiliate review money site. The person who made it has probably never even touched a bow.

  41. Hai nusensei…i am from india..is it possible to purchase adventure 2.0 in huntingbow website from india..pls help me out

  42. What is all this pound weight stuff

    I have a bow I don't know the name or all that
    It has a string and flat wooden thingy

  43. If you match the arrow weight to the drawweight, the arrows should all go the same speed. A 200 grain arrow from a 40 lb bow will go around 300 fps, a 125 grain arrow from a 25 lb bow will also go around 300 fps.

  44. I love the little bit of nerd-ism in there. DBz FTW!! haha. You should do that more often. Thank you for the pointers.

  45. even though you felt that you were feeling the fatigue from the minute-and-a-half at 45 lbs at 25 lb I noticed significant differences the most significant is that the Bowden why were you are able to maintain your line of sight without the bow slowly tilting towards the floor

  46. How do you transition compound bow To a recurve so while I was using 75 lb Polaris for hunting and the field as you well know you don't Target shoot with that at all it's exhausting how do you translate down in the weight class from there from a heavy compound bow to a recreational Target recurve bow

  47. My last recurve was 45#, it was easy to draw. But, got hard to hold for too long. My 65# compound now was easier to hold at full draw. After ten years since I last shot a bow. I am not as strong as I was. I decided to buy a #40 Martin recurve.

  48. I bought my first bow in a bow store. I was able to shoot 25 lbs, which felt easy, and I shot 30 lbs which i felt was a little bit more of a challenge. The store guy and my coach who came with told me then to go for 30 lbs, since otherwise I could go and buy a new bow again in 6 months because 25 would be too easy. Now 3 months later I love my draw weight. I have grown into it without ever feeling like it was too much. I am talking btw about a traditional longbow for mostly 3D shooting.

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