This article is all about what draw weight you should choose if you are just starting out in archery. There are a few decisions you have to make that can impact a lot of things including your health, so I would recommend you read through those few paragraphs and gain some knowledge rather sooner than later 🙂
What Draw Weight Should A Beginner Choose
If you think about getting into archery, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is to choose the right draw weight for your current strength when buying a compound bow.
Now what does that mean? What is draw weight, after all? As you need to rely on your strength to pull back a bow string, you need to know how much weight you can pull back at all. This is measured in pounds. Therefore the draw weight is also called poundage.
So coming back to the question What draw weight should a beginner choose?, the answer seems to be pretty simple: Choose one that you can pull back. And I mean, that you can draw more than one time. It just makes no sense to buy a compound bow that you can pull only a few times and that’s it. Especially when you are starting out.
For learning how to shoot a compound bow endurance is more important than power. You won’t get much out of it if you are tired after five shots, so instead pick one that you can pull back easily for an hour or longer. Concentrate on proper form for getting repeatable, consistent results. Consistency is everything in archery. You need to be able to produce the same draw cycle over and over again. Only then can you work on certain problem areas like hooking, release or stance.
So the answer to ‘what draw weight should a beginner choose‘ depends a lot on his own physical abilities. Therefore I would recommend you to get a compound bow that is adjustable enough to grow with you for a few years. The Infinite Edge Pro for example has a poundage range from unbelievable 5-70 lbs!
Beginner Draw Weight Chart
As we are all individuals there won’t be the one right answer to this question, but to get you started I would recommend the following poundages for certain age groups:
|14 +||25 +|
|Adult Male||45 +|
|Adult Female||35 +|
But always remember that this is just a very rough guideline. If you are more on the strong side you definitely can buy a compound with a higher poundage. It needs to support you while learning. That’s all. Your motivation will suffer sooner rather than later when you have to struggle with pulling the string back all the time.
Apart from that you need to get your back tension right from the very beginning, so that your muscles will remember the movement so that you can shoot someday without having to think about it every time (muscle memory). With a compound bow that you can hardly pull that won’t be possible at all.
A bow with a poundage that is too high will also affect your accuracy a lot. When your muscles begin to tremble you won’t be able to keep consistent results while shooting. So it’s really not worth it to go overboard with your first compound bow. Start easy and the high poundages will follow along.
Another question is the real weight you have on your fingers. Now what does that mean again? If the poundage of your compound is set to 28″ and your personal draw length is 30″, you will pull more than the poundage advertised by the manufacturer on the bow’s box. As a rule of thumb you can add 1-2 pounds per inch that you pull longer than the compound’s draw length. To get an exact value you need to use a bow gauge.
One last warning: Men, especially, seem to underestimate the impact of starting out with a poundage that is way too much. Muscles will adapt relatively fast, but tendons and ligaments need a lot longer to get used to pulling something heavy for long periods of time. So don’t overstrain your body or you will end up with a damaged shoulder in the worst case. I know a few guys who had to reduce their poundages noticably due to ocurring shoulder problems. Now they regret that they’ve been always going for the big poundages.
What Draw Weight For Hunting
If you would ask yourself what draw weight for hunting you might need, I definitely would advise against thinking about hunting when just starting out with archery.
Why? Because first of all, what is more important for hunting is Kinetic Energy (KE). KE is related to the speed and the weight of the arrow. Speed comes from the poundage of the compound and the weight of the arrow. Lighter arrows are faster, heavier arrows have higher impact on the game. If you want to read more about Kinetic Energy and how you can calculate it, read my guide here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting
But what is way more important than Kinetic Energy, in my book, is to hit the right spot on the game – what I mean by that are the vital organs. One shot, one kill. So your ability to shoot well, your skills in estimating distances and your way of handling field conditions (weather, ground, environment etc.) will make sure that you can kill game in a humane way. Because without hitting the right spot, even Kinetic Energy can’t help you out.
That means the basics of shooting a compound are more important than insane poundages or KEs that would take down an elephant. Concentrate on proper form, back tension, target practicing and everything else will fall into place automatically.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!
Draw Weight Too Heavy
It makes no sense to use a compound with a poundage that’s way too much for you.