How Do I Know My Draw Weight?

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Finding out your ideal draw weight is one surefire way of ensuring that you can take consistent and precise shots with your bow. A shooter’s draw weight is something that can be developed and built upon, so start small and build it up from there.

Several archers tend to suffer from ‘draw weight ego’ and pick a draw weight that is way too high when learning how to shoot. Not only will this prevent them from learning correctly but prevent them from shooting accurately, so they may lose interest soon enough.

Learning your ideal draw weight is essential, so read on to find out how to do it. 

Don’t Overestimate Your Draw Weight

How Do I Know My Draw Weight (1)

This should sound pretty obvious, yet some would-be archers go big with their draw weight straight from the off. This is a recipe for disaster as it leads to poor shooting and uses too much effort to draw the bow back.

If you are shaking while you aim, it will not end well and harbors any sense of enjoyment from target archery or hunting. Keep the draw weight at a comfortable level and if it becomes too easy, then increase it. 

Take your time to practice with certain draw weights, as you should know when the bow feels comfortable when drawing it back. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to draw your bow at least ten times without feeling exhausted.

Know Your Strength

Someone who can lift in the gym may be a formidable archer and bow hunter, yet not necessarily. Bows are designed to be inclusive, and while the body frame impacts the draw weight, you can continually improve your draw weight gradually.

Even if the archer is a weightlifter and considers themselves at the peak of their fitness, they should still start at between 30 and 35 lbs.

This is largely down to how archery uses muscles that are rarely exercised, such as those in the back like the trapezius and the rhomboids. 

If you are a beginner archer and know your strength to be somewhat limited, start at 15 to 25 lbs and go from there. The more you shoot, the more experience you will have and a better understanding of your ideal draw weight.

Children should start with a reduced draw weight of around 5 to 15 lbs though as they age and develop their shoulder muscles, the draw weight should increase.

All those numbers are only a guide, and the best way to find your ideal draw weight is by shooting at the range.

The Draw Length

“Draw length is the distance between a bow’s riser and the most distant part of a bow’s string when at full draw.”

How Do I Know My Draw Weight

The further a recurve or longbow is pulled, the heavier its draw weight becomes. A 28-inch draw length is the standard for determining their draw weight. Bows are marked with the pound sign (#) on their lower limbs, such as 35# or 28″. In other words, 35 pounds of draw weight at a 28-inch draw length equals 35 pounds.

Now if you do not draw the bow 28″, the draw weight will be less than 35 lbs. In order to find out your draw weight with certainty, you should have an archery shop measure it at your personal draw length.

There are some differences when shooting a compound bow. The draw weights are set. It doesn’t matter what draw length you use. So, no matter what draw length – 30 pounds will remain 30 pounds.

DIY Draw Length Measurement

One straightforward method to determine your draw length is the Wingspan measurement. You measure your armspan and divide the result by 2.5

Here is the link to our article about draw length measurements.

Sample The Range

Your first bow, or even a new one, should be a sizable investment in which you get a lot of value and enjoyment. With that in mind, you should take the time to find out what type of bow and draw weight feels comfortable.

Head to a range or archery shop, and try every bow that takes your fancy until you have a good idea of what feels good.

Once you think you have the right bow and the correct draw weight, stick with it for around half an hour to consistently shoot arrows and know that you can handle the draw weight.


Draw weight is an essential factor to consider when choosing a bow. You must find the right draw weight for your strength and shooting ability, as it will make or break your experience with archery.

Go and visit your local archery shop. They should be able to guide you on your journey. Or, if that’s not an option for you, start by using a chart to find a good starting point, and then gradually increase the draw weight as you become more comfortable shooting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Ideal Draw Weight Based For A Child?

The draw weight of a recurve bow for a child between 70 and 100 lbs (31 and 45 kg) should be between 5 and 15 lbs.

Even though the draw weight appears modest, it will increase as the youngster grows. With a stronger build and weighing between 100 and 130 pounds (45 and 59 kg), a kid could aim for higher draw weight.

How Difficult Should It Be To Draw A 50lb Bow?

Beginners may find 50 lbs of draw weight intimidating (or even impossible) when shooting a recurve bow. It will take time for the shoulder and back muscles to develop properly before reaching the draw weight of 50 lbs. And especially smaller framed people might never be able to shoot a 50 lbs recurve bow.

It should be fun to learn how to shoot an arrow accurately. If it proves strenuous and challenging, this may be down to excessive draw weight.

I am the founder and chief editor here at BowAddicted. I love my kids, archery, and the outdoors! It's been an amazing journey so far with some ups and downs, but it's worth it to spend time outside with friends and family.

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