How to Determine Draw Length for a Compound Bow

Two Methods for Determining Draw Length

Before you buy your first compound bow, make sure you know your draw length.

This is simply how far you should have your bow set to pull back so that at full draw you’re in the most comfortable position. If you don’t get this right, your accuracy will suffer. But don’t worry, determining your draw length is extremely simple.

We’ll walk through two easy ways to determine your draw length and have a video demonstrating both techniques as well.

After going through this article you’ll know exactly how to get your optimal draw length for your compound bow.

Let’s get started!

Method 1 – Arm span divided by 2.5

For the first method all you need to do is:

  • Stand straight and stretch your arms out to the sides. Don’t overstretch, just comfortably raise your arms out to the sides at shoulder height.
  • Have someone measure from the tip of one middle finger to the tip of the other middle finger.
  • Take the measurement and divide by 2.5.
  • That’s it, this should give you a very good idea of your draw length.

Method 2 – Fist to Wall

For this method:

  • Stand nice and tall, make a fist, and put your closed fist on a wall. If you’re right handed, use your left arm against the wall. If you’re left handed, the right fist should be on the wall.
  • Have someone measure from the wall to the corner of your mouth, opposite the arm against the wall. So for a right handed person with their left fist on the wall, you would measure to the right corner of the mouth.
  • The distance measured is your draw length.

I like this method since it mimics actually drawing a bow to the desire length.

Use Both Methods

I recommend using both methods and making sure they are close. You can use an average of the two or the one you feel is most accurate.

Also, don’t worry too much if you’re off a little bit. Most modern bows can be adjusted at home. We’ll cover how to adjust your draw length in a later post.



Be sure to also check out How to Determine Draw Weight for Compound Bow

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