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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm keen to purchase my first bow and it seems I have a 30.5 inch draw length. I'm only 5'10" but I have long arms. Anyway I got that measurement by stretching out when I took my measurement and it come in at about 76.38inches but if I do it relaxed (as I've now seen in some instruction videos), and I get more like 74.80 inches. Using the "armspam/2.5", this puts me about 30-30.5 inches I think.

I'm asking because so many bows state they max out at 30 inches. In looking, I've had some shops suggest old stock higher-level bows (prime, hoyt, bowtech) that are 30inches only and they've said "they might be ok". I'm pretty happy to get in there and try them out, but I'd like to know what I'm looking for. Since I'm a beginner, I don't know if my form is going to be great and it'd be good to know if there are things I need to look for, or should I believe the proshop?

I'm planning on shooting a tension release like an evolution or a silverback, or possibly a thumb release like a stan, but I've read the best way to learn is to do backtension only with good form from the start. I know I might be better off with a longer release like a whippersnapper or something though but I thought to mention it.

Looking forward to the advice.

Thanks!
 

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I believe 30 in. will work out perfectly with correct form and anchor. I HIGHLY doubt it would be too short.
And it will, as you alluded to, free you up on your bow choices. Keep in mind that most manufacturers run about 1/2 in. long on draw length anyway and it's always easier, in my opinion, to add some draw length if needed by giving the cables a couple of twists.
 

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(aka lug nut)
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Hi all,

I'm keen to purchase my first bow and it seems I have a 30.5 inch draw length. I'm only 5'10" but I have long arms. Anyway I got that measurement by stretching out when I took my measurement and it come in at about 76.38inches but if I do it relaxed (as I've now seen in some instruction videos), and I get more like 74.80 inches. Using the "armspam/2.5", this puts me about 30-30.5 inches I think.

I'm asking because so many bows state they max out at 30 inches. In looking, I've had some shops suggest old stock higher-level bows (prime, hoyt, bowtech) that are 30inches only and they've said "they might be ok". I'm pretty happy to get in there and try them out, but I'd like to know what I'm looking for. Since I'm a beginner, I don't know if my form is going to be great and it'd be good to know if there are things I need to look for, or should I believe the proshop?

I'm planning on shooting a tension release like an evolution or a silverback, or possibly a thumb release like a stan, but I've read the best way to learn is to do backtension only with good form from the start. I know I might be better off with a longer release like a whippersnapper or something though but I thought to mention it.

Looking forward to the advice.

Thanks!
If I REALLY stretch, I can get 76.75-inches for armspan. So, if I do the formula (armspan/2.5), I CAN get up to a 30.7-inch draw length.
If I relax, I can get 74.50-inches for armspan. So, if I do the formula (armspan/2.5), I get 29.8-inch draw length.
If I do the Coach Bernie method, measuring from center of chest (button on shirt) to the end of my wrist, I get 29-inches of draw length.
If I do the John Dudley method, make a fist, touch knuckles to the wall, and measure to the corner of my mouth, I get 30-inches of draw length.

So, with all these methods, I can FORCE a formula to show that I can shoot a 30.7-inch draw length. When you FORCE a stretch for armspan, I guarantee you, it won't work. When I do the relaxed armspan, I get 29.8-inches. I have the greatest respect for John Dudley. Give the Dudley method a try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG0nb01SGMA


You DO NOT have a 30.5-inch draw length. You can try and purchase a 30.5-inch draw length bow. The label will SAY that the draw length is 30.5-inches and in the real world, it will deliver 31-inches of draw length. Since you are a beginner, get a compound bow where the draw length is adjustable on the bow, so you can try a variety of draw lengths. The best draw length is not what a formula tells you. The best draw length is the draw length size, that allows you to shoot amazing groups (really tight groups).
 

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(aka lug nut)
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Hi all,

I'm keen to purchase my first bow and it seems I have a 30.5 inch draw length. I'm only 5'10" but I have long arms. Anyway I got that measurement by stretching out when I took my measurement and it come in at about 76.38inches but if I do it relaxed (as I've now seen in some instruction videos), and I get more like 74.80 inches. Using the "armspam/2.5", this puts me about 30-30.5 inches I think.

I'm asking because so many bows state they max out at 30 inches. In looking, I've had some shops suggest old stock higher-level bows (prime, hoyt, bowtech) that are 30inches only and they've said "they might be ok". I'm pretty happy to get in there and try them out, but I'd like to know what I'm looking for. Since I'm a beginner, I don't know if my form is going to be great and it'd be good to know if there are things I need to look for, or should I believe the proshop?

I'm planning on shooting a tension release like an evolution or a silverback, or possibly a thumb release like a stan, but I've read the best way to learn is to do backtension only with good form from the start. I know I might be better off with a longer release like a whippersnapper or something though but I thought to mention it.

Looking forward to the advice.

Thanks!
The problem with armspan formulas, is that really really LONG fingers, will increase your armspan measurment. Have you noticed that finger LENGTH has zero effect on what size of bow fits you?



Notice how the fingers are curled up, when you hold a compound bow? So, short fingers, medium length fingers, and really really LONG fingers, have zero effect on the bow draw length that "fits" you. So, toss the armspan formulas and try other things.



This is how you hold a compound bow. Notice that the length of the fingers has ZERO to do with bow draw length.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies!

I've gotten mixed results with Dudley's method because I don't have anyone here at the moment that can make sure I'm standing how he instructs but the average is coming in just a tiny bit over 30 inches.

I did figure finger length was a pretty big contributing factor.

So, building on that... if I go try out some bows with 30inch draw... is there a thing to look for that feels right/wrong? Elbow bending, knuckles at lip etc... I know (thanks to the NockOn videos) that fletching touching face = bad, but that's if it's too long... any suggestions on what might show up if it's too short?

Thanks again, really helpful info.
 

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Back Yard Champion
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Also consider the release. They are not created equal. Some hook up longer than others.

There's .330" difference in length from short to long.
 

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In short most people new guess their draw length way too long. That number is a "ballpark" number. Bottom line you fit a bow to the person not a preconcieved number.
No need for long winded, picture laiden posts to say something so simple.
 

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I think both methods are also a good starting point. With the wingspan method I come in at 30.5” with Dudley’s method I’m a 32” draw.

In reality I shoot a 29.5.
 

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I am actually just starting out as well. Just bought my first bow yesterday after a lot of research. The draw is not measured correctly at most shops. the best way to get it correctly is with a draw board. As said before by the time you add a release you probably are a 30. First and foremost shoot a lot of bows you you can find the one that feels most comfortable. Hope that helps.
 

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I am actually just starting out as well. Just bought my first bow yesterday after a lot of research. The draw is not measured correctly at most shops. the best way to get it correctly is with a draw board. As said before by the time you add a release you probably are a 30. First and foremost shoot a lot of bows you you can find the one that feels most comfortable. Hope that helps.
If you use a draw board to set your draw length then in my opinion your doing it wrong. Your setting the bow to a number and not the person.
 

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Shootin and Cussin
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Rule #1. Don't believe videos.

Keep your bow arm locked out and elbow rotated downward. Bow shoulder down and locked. You want a "barrel of the gun" from your back shoulder to your bow hand.
 

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Elbow for right handed shooter pointed at 7-8 o'clock position. Left-handed shooter 5-4 o'clock position. Elbow should not point to floor. Bow arm should be straight but relaxed , don't lock or hyperextend your bow e look bow. Whatever release you use, end of arrow nock should be under corner of eye. String at corner of your mouth and arrow should run in middle between your bottom lip and bottom of chin. Most times if you draw a line from bottom of your ear lobe around to chin just be close for arrow.
 

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(aka lug nut)
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John Dudley at full draw. Example of solid form, example of draw length that fits.





Dudley explaining and demonstrating T-form...excellent starting place for full draw posture, for a newbie shooter.



Example of the draw length stupid too long. Not in the ball park, not even close.



Example of a RH shooter, with elbow way down at 7-8 o'clock. This is bad. Example of draw length too long, way way too long, not even close, not in the ballpark.
 

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In short most people new guess their draw length way too long. That number is a "ballpark" number. Bottom line you fit a bow to the person not a preconcieved number.
I agree with Dale...the wingspan calculations are rough estimates. Everyone's body is different. They are a good starting point but to me; the best thing to do given that you are new archer would be to get into a good shop and have them let you shoot some bows.
As mentioned above some manufacturer's draw lengths run long, some may not. By shooting several bows you can not only find a bow you like, you can make sure it fits you at the same time (2 birds, 1 stone). 30" is the max DL for many of the popular bows out there; I think it would be a mistake to buy one then realize its 1/2" short on DL. Ask for recommendations on a good shop near you...I'm sure you will get all the info you need.
 

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You can go buy an Evolve 35 and you are covered, it would be a fantastic first bow and the draw can be changed easily in seconds without buying any parts!
 

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Snafu
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I do not argue with anyone here. Dale knows his stuff. Nuts&Bolts is very knowledgeable.
I would add this:
Start with the correct form. Do not allow a shop to sell you on something and tell you it will be ok.

You have a picture above of John Dudley that shows nearly perfect form. ( I wish that I was as solid)
Start with that form. It is easier to start there than to try to change everything later to make it right.

Have someone take pictures of you and compare to that picture. Make sure that you have the form you want before you leave the shop with a bow that is not quite right but will work OK!
 

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When you get finicky... or good...Lord... Just messed with my back up bow. Didn't think, but wanted to use another release. Dang, the draw length felt short, way short. I adjusted the draw stop, actually took .025" movement, so a full 85% let off. And it was too long! Went back and reset the draw stop a loose .010". Bang, I was on. .015" on the stops making a world of difference. Hard to believe, but........
 

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Also if you ever feel like you have to reach way back to hit the back wall/stops, your way to long. Don't go there
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There's a bunch of really good advice there, thanks all.

I guess it's pretty easy to get something that can go to the higher range (>30") it's just that it puts you into this "special" category where there are fewer options.

I have been practicing the stance already (minus the bow obviously) but the photo idea is great.

Micro adjustments (I mean less than a half-inch) doesn't seem too possible on most of the bows I'd be looking at I think.. I think they seem to mostly be module based which I believe means they won't adjust in anything other than 1/2" increments?

I did shoot some with what I was told was 30.5" and used a thumb trigger making a point of trying to follow Dudley's direction on back-tension release.. I didn't feel like I was extending too far back... But I don't know what that same setup would feel like at 30" so I'll go try some of those out.
 
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