It doesn’t take an expert archer to work out what the two most important pieces of equipment are for archery: bows and arrows. Recurve bows are one of the most popular kinds of bows in the world, coming in all shapes and sizes, and they can be used for a wide variety of archery situations.

However, while a lot of beginner archers spend ages thinking about what kind of bow they should use, less thought is often given to what kind of arrows they should use.

In general, carbon arrows are the most commonly used arrows when it comes to recurve bows. They offer the best balance of accuracy and durability. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at what kinds of arrows work best for different bows and situations in archery.

What Makes Carbon Arrows So Good?

There are plenty of reasons why so many archers all over the world reach straight for carbon arrows with their recurve bow. Primarily, the carbon material used for the majority of the arrow is very light but still extremely durable.

This allows the arrow to return to its original shape when bent. So, regardless of where you might be shooting, the best overall arrow to go for with a recurve bow is carbon. However, this doesn’t mean that carbon arrows are always the best for every situation…

How To Choose The Right Arrows For Archery

Ok, let’s go over all of the different factors that you could consider when deciding which arrows to go for.

Indoor Or Outdoor Archery?

The first thing to think about is whether you’ll be shooting indoors or outdoors. This is because the average distance you’ll need to cover with your shots will change based on this factor.

For example, shooting at static targets, indoors, won’t require as much range from your bow or arrow. Alternatively, when you´re outdoors and hunting you will often require greater range.

What this ultimately boils down to is how heavy your arrows should be (this plus other factors such as draw weight etc.). If you require a greater range for shooting outdoors, specialized arrows are recommended.



The next thing to think about is the kind of point you want to use at the tip of your arrow. This is the part of the arrow that penetrates the target.

If you are a beginner you commonly will use arrows with glue-in field points. You can not remove the point just like that but you will need to use pliers. If you are shooting in an archery range, this is not a problem since they will have the equipment you need.

However, if you are a bow hunter, you will most likely use broadheads. In case you are new to archery, those are the big, nasty-looking arrowheads that are designed to do as much damage as possible. After all, a professional bow hunter wants to make sure that he´s able to take down his prey with one shot, in the most ethical and clean way possible.


The final consideration to have about your arrows is the fletching. These are the fins that protrude from the rear of the arrow to help with aerodynamics. Again, the difference here is mainly whether you’ll be shooting indoors or outdoors.

Larger fletchings are better at getting the arrow to fly in a straight line almost as soon as it leaves the bow. However, this sheds the speed of the arrow during its flight.

Smaller fletchings, on the other hand, take a little longer to get the arrow centered but will allow it to carry more speed over the entire course of its flight. Therefore, outdoor archers tend to favor smaller fletchings.

Because they shoot over greater distances, outdoor archers need the arrow to maintain a high speed for longer.

Indoor archers don’t care as much about the arrow maintaining speed for a prolonged period but would rather have the arrow centered up promptly after leaving the string.

What Type Of Arrows Are Best For Other Kinds Of Bow?

Of course, recurve bows aren’t the only bows out there. Different kinds of bows are better suited to certain archery situations so why wouldn’t you use different arrows for them, too?

Compound Bows

Carbon arrows are probably the best overall choice for compound bows. Why? Because carbon arrows are durable, offer consistent straightness, and won´t bend. Carbon arrows are in most cases the best all-round arrow for a compound bow.

However, you could get away with using aluminum arrows, particularly if you’re hunting outdoors. Lately, more hunters are bringing up aluminum as their choice of an arrow.

Aluminum arrows tend to be better for penetrating a target than carbon arrows so it might be worth trying them out if you’re having issues with this.


Longbows differ a lot more from the compound and recurve bows in many ways. Most longbow archers use aluminum or wooden arrows. Cabron arrows are too stiff and will not give you the same shot as an aluminum or wooden arrow.

Longbows simply require a more flexible arrow so that it can “bend” around the bow when you shoot. If you are shooting a “real” longbow with no arrow shelf, you´re way off-center. You still may use carbon arrows but you definitely will need something like a 500 or 600 spine arrow!

Final Thoughts

Different types of bows require different types of arrows in order to achieve the best results. For example, carbon arrows are a good choice for compound and recurve bows, but an aluminum or wooden arrow may be better for longbows. It is important to consider all the factors involved when choosing the right type of arrow for your needs. Outdoor or indoor, hunting or target practice, different arrows will help you get the most out of your bow.

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