Selecting arrows can be a bit confusing to first time buyers, and even experienced archers. This quick guide to arrow spine selection should help you when selecting your next dozen arrows.
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Arrow spine selection is easier than some archers believe.[/caption]
Ishi was the name of the last Native American documented to be living in a natural state. "The last wild Indian" to some historians. When Ishi finally appeared in our modern civilization there was a rush of people who wanted to learn from him. Many people were interested in his archery equipment. One piece of wisdom Ishi offered up about archery was "any old stick will do for a bow. Arrows kill deer."
It goes without saying Ishi thought a lot about arrows. Selecting the right arrow
for your bow or crossbow is extremely important. Choose the wrong arrow and you'll be inaccurate an unhappy with your performance. Luckily arrow selection today is much easier than in Ishi's time. One area sometimes confusing to archers is the concept of arrow spine.
Arrow spine is a reference to the stiffness of the arrow itself. Spine is tested by manufacturers when they develop new arrows. Most companies do this by laying a 29 inch arrow over a 28 inch gap. Once the arrow is suspended they hang a weight from center of the arrow. Next they and measure and record the bend of the arrow. Some arrows will bend more, and some will bend less. This measurement becomes the arrow spine.
Here is where it can get a bit confusing for consumers. Each arrow company has a different system for marking their arrow spine. Some companies such as Easton mark their arrows to correspond to the distance an arrow bent in their test. For example, a 400 spine arrow bent .4 inches during the arrow spine test.
Here is the Easton spine chart
. As a computer document this can be a bit confusing. The two pages are supposed to sit side by side. Once you determine your bow weight and tip weight you simply follow that row to the correct arrow length column. Again, imagine the two pages are sitting side by side and it become much easier. Once you find the right arrow group you can go below and figure out all of the different arrows that will work for your setup.
Companies like Carbon Express and PSE actually do the exact opposite of Easton. When marking the spine of their arrows the lower numbers have more bend. For example a Heritage 150 will bend more than a Heritage 350. Here is a link to the Carbon Express arrow spine selection chart
. Simply find the correct bow weight (compound on left and traditional on the right) and match it up with the correct column of arrow length. Where the correct row and column intersect there will be a group of arrows to choose from. Any of these possibilities will fit your needs.
Selecting the correct arrow spine is actually very simple. The difficult part is trying to find the spine chart for the company you are purchasing. It would be nice if some type of norm was established between companies. Anyhow, make good use of these charts and you will ensure you select the correct arrow for your setup.
NEXT: BUYING THE RIGHT ARCHERY RELEASE