How To Choose: Arrows

If you’re getting into archery you need one bow but you need more arrows. Different set ups will demand different things of your arrows. There are a couple of things to keep in mind before picking out the arrows you will use.


Length is a determining factor when selecting your arrows. An arrow that is too short can be dangerous, while an arrow that is too long can make you lose precision. The ideal length for your arrows depends on your draw length. To find out your draw length, you’ll need to test out a bow. There’s likely to be an archery range not too far from your home or work. Take the bow in your hands and then, without using an arrow, standing in the shooting position. The distance between the string (where you would place the nock of your arrow) and the clicker (just beside the arrow rest) is your draw length. Ease the string back into its original position, without releasing it, in order not to damage the bow.

The ideal length of your arrow is your draw length plus 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 4cm). Decathlon recommends you do not choose arrows that are too short if there is a risk of your draw length increasing. The draw length of an archer who is still growing or developing can often increase rapidly.



Shafts vary in thickness and diameter: these differ depending on the archer’s draw length and draw weight. There are four types of shaft:

Aluminium shafts

These are ideal for short and medium distances. They are a little heavy for long distances. Aluminium shafts have a long lifespan. Aluminium arrows are ideal for beginners and their weight reduces the effects of a bad release or a mistake with the bow arm.

Carbon shafts

These are very well suited to long distances. They are solid and keep their shape, are lighter than aluminium arrows, and also hit the target better than aluminium arrow.

Aluminium and Carbon shafts

These shafts are the best, but also the most expensive. With a layer each of aluminium and carbon, they have the best of both: they are light, suited to all distances, solid, etc…

Wooden arrows

Wooden arrows are rarely used. They are mainly used for archery using a longbow.


After you’ve made your decision on which arrows you’d prefer, don’t forget to kit yourself out with a quiver, a finger tab, an arm guard, a sight and an arrow rest. These are the basic minimum components of an archer’s equipment.

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