Archery | The 28-inch Draw
Articles Blog

Archery | The 28-inch Draw

August 16, 2019

So you’re looking at buying your first recurve
bow. You find a good-looking bow with a good price and you’re about to buy it, when suddenly you see that mythical figure the 28 inch draw length. And your draw length isn’t 28 inches. You see this 28 inch figure everywhere. Why is it so hard to find a bow that isn’t
meant for a 28 inch draw? I’m about to tell you something that is going
to make your search a lot easier. Ready? Recurve bows have no set draw lengths. Same goes with longbows. If you’ve been confused by this, you’re either
completely new to archery which is fair or you’re a compound shooter. Compound bows actually do have set draw lengths. Due to the way the bow is designed and calibrated it has to be set to that particular shooter’s
draw length. Otherwise you see under-draws, the peep sight
gets out of alignment it can get uncomfortable to use. So for a compound shooter, they need to know
their draw length and buy a bow which they can set to their
draw length. This isn’t the same for recurves. For other bow types, this limitation does
not exist. You can draw the bow as short or as long as
you need to. If your draw length is longer than 28 inches,
then you can draw it beyond 28 inches. If your draw length, like me, is shorter than
28 inches then you can draw to whatever your length
is and it’s completely fine. There are no adverse effects to drawing a
bow to a different length than 28 inches. The reason you see 28 inches on the product
page is because 28 inch is the industry standard
measurement. What happens is, when the bow has its draw
weight rated it’s done so at the standard draw length of
28 inches. That’s the average draw length for most people. If your draw length is different to 28 inches the draw weight will not be the same as what’s
printed on the limbs or the page. In this case, I shoot a 40 pound bow. My draw length is actually closer to 26.5
inch. I’m a pretty small guy. When I pull it back to my full draw, the actual
weight on my fingers is closer to around 38 pounds. Likewise, if I had a much longer draw length,
if I draw it to 29 inches It would be closer to 42 pounds. Because all limbs and bows perform slightly
differently it’s difficult to get an exact figure without
using a bow scale. Most people will use an estimate. While having a non-28 inch draw isn’t an indicator
of whether or not you should buy this bow it is important to consider when you choose
your draw weight. As I said before, all bows are rated at 28
inches. If you’re looking at getting a specific weight let’s say, you’re looking at bowhunting and
the requirement is a 40 pound bow you may have to choose a different draw weight because your actual draw weight is not the
same as what is printed on the limbs. If you have a short draw length, such as a
27 inch draw length and you need that stopping power to get a
clean ethical kill you may have to go for a higher poundage so instead of getting a 40 pound bow, you
may have to get a 42 or 45 pound bow to compensate for your
short draw length. This short draw length is also missing factor
in why some people may sometimes feel that their bow is underpowered. It may be you’re a small guy and you’re just
not drawing far enough. If you’re a tall person, this is actually
even more important to consider. Because you have naturally longer arms and
a longer draw length the bow you buy will actually be heavier than
what it says on the limbs or page. One of our club members had a problem where
his bow was a 30 pound recurve. That’s a very reasonable starting point except, because of his long arms he drew closer
to around 34 pound and he didn’t have the upper body strength
to handle that extra poundage while he was still learning basic form. He had a hard time anchoring and holding the
bow. What he had to do was go down and buy a 28
pound set of limbs. If you have longer arms, you have to remember
to compensate for that if you need to, by getting lighter limbs. To sum up, the 28 inch figure you see on the
page is not a size limitation. It’s actually a measuring benchmark. But if your draw length is not 28 inches,
then the draw weight is going to be different. Keep that in mind. This is NUSensei. Hope you found this helpful, and I’ll see
you next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hey Nusensei I was wondering what you opinion is of apex hunting they are a new bow seller based in Brisbane. They have mostly hunting related bows and accessories though so they may not be suitable for you. Though they do have high end bows such as my bowtech carbon knight I got for Christmas, they do have there own brand bows and accessories made in Taiwan, after doing reviews of there bows in the magazine archery action I can say that at least their "berserker" and "blizzard" compound bows are nice for a beginner archer.

    Anyway just seeing if I have an opinion, love the videos!

  2. great info SUBBED. May i ask is there any danger with string snapage on recurves?(like loss of eyeballz) we had 2 snap today or is it coz where buying the cheap strings ?

  3. The only effect of drawing a recurve "too far" is stacking. The weight on the fingers will increase more rapidly beyond a certain point without a corresponding increase in shot power. That's one reason why longer limbs are used for longer draw lengths. They tend to stack later.

  4. Thanks for the video, it WAS helpful.  I guess since my draw length is longer than 28", even though my bow is suppose to be 25 lb pull, for me it is probably 29 lb or 30 lb.  Which makes me feel better because, I was thinking I am such a wimp to have to use a 25 lb bow 🙂

  5. I would add a couple of things on this. 

    1)  If you are tall, like me, you want to make sure that the bow is long enough to prevent your fingers getting pinched from the more severe angles of the string.  I have an old 60" Bear Kodiak Hunter, and, while it's a great bow, at my 31.5" or so draw length, it makes my fingers sore and even numb much faster than a 72"+ longbow would.  I'm working on an 80" longbow, and probably flung 150 arrows today and my fingers don't notice it.  While I haven't measured it, the bear is 55lbs at my draw length, and this one feels maybe 5# or 10# .  My fingers would be numb from shooting the bear. 

    2) With selfbows (all one peice of wood) and even board bows that are backed, you really should be careful if you have a gorilla draw length.  Their method of manufacture is a bit more back to basics, and if they haven't been tillered out to very long draw lengths, you should not pull them back to those long draw lengths.  At best, you'll change the characteristics of the bow, making the owner of the bow, should it not be you, kind of pissy.  You could also blow the bow up too. The shorter the bow, the more important this is. 

  6. Hey sensei,

    Did you ever measure your wingspan to get your drawlength? You mentioned it was around 26inches.

    I hear when you measure your wingspan and divide by 2.5, you have to add 1.75 inches to your final result as the Draw length is actually calculated from the first berger hole.

    What is the actual difference between your wingspan calculation compared to your actual arrow length/drawlength.

    Thanks! ^_^

  7. lol..if they only show 28 inch draw all it means is they have poor stock avail. and sorry but ther is a draw length required for all bows. im almost 7 foot tall and if I tried a short bow no way I can use it as I should. theirs no set draw for those to be in the valley of a compounds cams is the diff. it doent have to be each, but their is always a draw length no matter the bow. if you want some ort of proper form anyways

  8. My drawlength is about 26.5" and I have a 45# longbow. Would you know how much power I lose to my shorter drawlength?

  9. You do need to be careful with english longbows as they tend to be tillered to an exact draw-length, more than this can cause the bow to fail!

  10. I was thinking of getting into archery and there is a fairly cheap bow i was looking at had 46" Length does the length matter? Because ive been told to get a 60" but they are much more expensive i could link the bow if you want

  11. I'm sort of tall: 6'3" and a 77" arm span. I've got avg. strength in my back/shoulder muscles. So…if I get a class, traditional hickory flatbow or war bow and it has a min.draw wt. of 25-30# I should be ok, right?

    And if I have the choice between a 64" hickory flatbow and a 70" flatbow, I would be better served with the longer bow, right?

    So if I read a bow has a 28 draw length , but it could be drawn to 31" should I be concerned? And do they even make arrow that are 31" or 32" long? Thanks.

  12. I'm quite a tall guy, 6'5" and a draw length of over 31". Is it safe for me and possible to use 19" short riser hunting bow with long limbs which makes an 64" bow? Can this combination be used for a draw length of over 31" without danger of overdrawing the bow or stacking?

  13. on the inno cxt riser limbs will get a bit heavier to draw ( cant explain it in english only in swedish) my limbs for indoor is 68/30 ( i started shoot again last month after 3 years away so wanted to started easy) but wit my drawlenght at 28,5 " i draw 33 pounds on my fingers…. the same limbs in my old riser i draw 31,5 on a 28,5 inch drawlength…

  14. My bow is rated at 40#, but I measured the weight at my draw (32") and it was over 60#. It's only 63" long, and it stacks like crazy.

  15. Hello! When I draw my hand she goes after my chin and not bellow it. If my arm stops bellow my chin then my draw is not at full. What can I do ?

  16. great video! thanks for the valuable info! I'm new to archery and am looking to get a recurve bowand in my research i found some text saying that over-drawing or under-drawing is a bad thing. is that totally false?

  17. I have heard/read the term "stacking". If you reach this point on a bow, is it simply a dramatic increase in draw weight or at the EXTREMES of human body mechanics is there actually a limit to how far a bow can be pulled ?

    Can you spend some time explaining stacking?
    Very helpful video, as always.



  18. Thanks for this video. Now I know I don't really have to fret over draw length while searching for a new bow. I measure 26.5" draw (armspan calculated) vs. 31" (true draw) and I was getting differing opinions on which to use, or to average. I imagine this discrepancy is due to variation in chest width vs arm length that the calculated method can only approximate, but I'll just go for the weight I need.

  19. I'm not an expert in archery equipment, but wouldn't recurve or longbows have a maximum draw length? Theoretically at least, the limbs should only be able to bend so far before being deformed or damaged.

  20. A 28" "draw" is not a 28" pull. IOW the bow to the final distance minus the brace height is the actual "draw length". Assume a brace height of 6"; the 28" "draw" length is really 22". The string travels 22" when the arrow is shot. At 6" the arrow leaves the string. I believe the term "draw to length" is a more complete description..

  21. This is the second video of yours that I have watched. Thanks. Your insights and experience are understandably articulated and helpful.

  22. Thanks for sharing another informative video. I'm at the longer end of the spectrum for draw length at 29 1/2 on a recurve and I'm concerned about stacking… Is a 60" bow suitable or should I consider a 62 – 64 inch bow set-up…?

  23. So for me basically my "calculated" draw length is 29.5 so a 28lb bow is [email protected]" so at my full draw it would be more like say 32lb at full draw. was trying to explain this to a buddy ^^

  24. Can anyone help me please 🙁 . Im looking into buying the samick sage for its price range and other variables , and these arrow charts are spinning me out !!!! . 28 " draw ( done with tape measure with the archer holding the invisible bow pose ) 25# limbs . What arrow length / spine rating should i consider buying for it , as always if anyone can help me out , would make a world of difference to me , and i would really appreciate it .

  25. tats a very informative videos……thank you so much nu sensei…….and I have a question… recurve bow poundage is actually 38 pounds…..and my draw length​ is 31 inch… wat is the approximate poundage that im drawing now…..

  26. i measure 29" Draw length ….what if i want 58" traditional recurve bow (slick stick from bodnik) for me ? BTW u a doing great job, awesome Channel !

  27. I want to get a beginner recurve bow and it says the max draw length is 25" but my draw length is 26" should i go over 25"

  28. ok I'm a beginner. Sorry if my question sounds stupid but Iif I were to choose a bow and it says R.H. (right hand) only. Does this mean hold the brace with my right hand or pull the string with my right.

  29. Can you over strech a bow?

    I got a simple recurve bow a few years ago. Sadly I havent been using it for quite a long time.

    Back then i was quit a bit smaller (then ~1.70m now ~1.90m).
    Iam a little bit worried about drawing my bow to far due to my increased.

    From what i have heard this shouldnt be a problem, is that true?

  30. Hi Sensei, i want to buy a 62” samick sage because it says for up to 28 draw and my draw is 27, but i now use a 68" cartel sirius plus (because according to the chart that 27 draw uses 68" limbs). Will there be any problems..?

  31. Very helpful information esp for compound shooters interested in recurve. I'm somewhat tall and my wingspan is an inch more than my height. I'll be sure to err on the low side when I eventually get a recurve.

  32. I bought a 66 inch recurve at 28 pounds and my draw length is around I'm probably pulling at 30 pounds right? I'm bow shoulder is sore like tendencies..but goes away after a day..hopefully it doesn't keep coming back.

  33. This goes to show why takedown recurves are convenient in case you end up getting the wrong draw weight and need new limbs

  34. I know with every inch of draw you gain draw weight and draw length. My question is what is the effect of pure draw length meaning a 45# bow at 27 inches as opposed to 45# at 29 inches. Lets take draw weight difference out of the equation. My question is what is the gain per just draw length increase if the draw weight is same for recurve? That extra 10 fps per inch is partly because you increase the draw weight.

  35. I kinda like products with pamphlets where they specify/recommend limbs, draw weight, draw length, brace height, everything. You know, graphs, math, curves, things which you can use as excuse later by picking different "better bow" 🙂

  36. so question: If i have a recurve, rated at 50lbs at 28", which should be about a 500 spine arrow, and my draw is only 25", does that mean that i'm roughly only drawing 42.5lbs and should get about 750 spine?

  37. Love your videos! Have a quick question – I've measured my draw length at about 28", from groove in nock to the deepest part of grip at the throat, as per the usual way of measuring. Is that my draw weight that I can use to gauge how much weight I'm pulling on my fingers? So in this case I'd be pulling approximately the weight specified on the limbs – ie. I'd be pulling 30lbs on the fingers for a pair of limbs marked 30# ? I've read on various websites that I should add another 1.75" to the initial measurement of 28", so that would give me a draw length of 29.75", so I'd be pulling more than 30lbs and probably nearer to 33/34lb on 30# limbs. So my question is – is my draw length 28" or 29.75", as this measurement has a drastic effect on when I'm choosing the weight of limbs to buy? I'm looking at Winners & Win & Win limbs just for example as I know manufacturers use different measurements for their limb weights. Thanks for any clarification on this. I'm sure this confuses a lot of people so would be good to know what's the correct measurement.

  38. Good to know! I kept being a bit worried that with the draw length I have I might damage a bow. I haven't had it measured, but I shot my friend's bow and it was possible for me to pull his 31" arrows off the rest if my arm was too straight.

  39. I have a 58” Samick Sage one piece recurve. I am 5.10” with a 29 inch draw. So, you are saying that this bow, only being 58” long is set for a 28” draw? Most charts I read say that it should be used for a 22” or a 24” draw because of its short length. When I learned that I should be using a 63” to a 66” inch bow I thought I was damaging the 58” one. So, are you saying I am not doing any damage to it?

  40. thanks for clearing this up. i have just bought a 55lb bow and my draw length is closer to 30-31" and i am worried about drawing it back that extra length as I feel the bow make break, is this likely to happen?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *