How to Calculate your Draw Length

Why is knowing your draw length so important?

Your draw length is the information of how far you pull the string back. The draw length is used to work out your required arrow length and provides information on the draw weight of your bow.
Generally the draw length is expressed in INCH and written down with quote marks e.g. 28″ means 28 Inch.

 

Draw Length Calculator

Use this tool for an approximate calculation of your draw length. You need to know your wingspan from fingertip to fingertip in CM in order to use the calculator. Then read on below for more information on your draw length.

Enter your Wingspan in CM:
is your approximate draw length in INCH

 

Useful things you can do once you know your Draw Length

Calculate Your Required Arrow Length

Arrows must never be too short! You could pull them off the arrow rest and shoot into your own hand. The recommended arrow length is 1″ to 2″ longer than your draw length. Beginners are still finding their consistent draw length and develop their form – this can increase their draw weight over time. Beginners should therefore start with a long arrow.
As a minimum the arrow point should

 

Calculate Your Actual Draw Weight

Draw weight is the force in pound you need to draw your bow back and is generally written down with a hash e.g. 45# means 45 pounds. The agreed standard is to measure a bows draw weight at a draw length of 28″. A typical example might read like this: 45#@28″ – this means that this bow measures 45# draw weight when drawn back to 28″. Each extra inch adds about 2# draw weight, so the same bow at 29″ would already have around #47. And if ths bow is drawn to 26″ it would reduce to #43.

 

Ways of measuring your draw length?

There are several ways of measuring your draw length.

 

1. Calculate your approximate draw length

You can use our calculator above for this.

  1. Spread your arms out level in front of a wall
  2. Get someone to mark the location of your fingertips e.g. with a post it note
  3. Measure the distance to get your wingspan in CM or INCH
  4. If you measured in CM you need to convert this to INCH by multiplying the length in cm with 2.54
  5. The formula is: Draw Length = (Wingspan in INCH – 15) / 2

2. Use a Measuring Arrow

You can use a measuring arrow with a peg attached to it. Pull the bow to your anchor point which will slide the peg forward. Then read the distance. This is an accurate method if you have a consistent anchor point.

3. Use the ATA/AMO Draw Length

The ATA or AMO is the global archery trade association and develops standards for archery. This draw length standard is mentioned here for completeness but in traditional archery isn’t the best indicator. To measure your ATA draw length draw the bow to your anchor point (they assume you have 100% consistency or may be using a draw length aid like a clicker)  and have someone else measure from your nocking point to the pivot point of your handle in inch. Then add 1-3/4 inches to that distance.