Author Topic: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight  (Read 964 times)

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Offline Lorenzo

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Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« on: November 14, 2021, 06:57:33 am »
Provided that my friend:

- lives abroad
- has no access to any bows to get an idea of different drawweights
- asked me to make a longbow for him

I'd like to make him a bow that draws just right for him (not too light, not too heavy).

What kind of instructions could I give him in order for him to test his drawweight?

I was thinking about something involving gym equipment, even just a dumbbell.

Thanks for the advice!


Offline Pat B

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2021, 08:43:55 am »
Drawing a bow uses specific muscles and drawing a bow is the best way to determine what is a good weight. How old is your friend and what shape is he in? 40# to 45# would be a good weight for an average adult. Even if it is a little heavy for him he can grow inti it.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Marc St Louis

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2021, 09:06:16 am »
If no bow is available then he could use a pre-determined weight and place it on the ground then have him bend over and pull the weight up to his ear and hold it there for a few seconds.  Wouldn't be exact but it would get him close
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Offline stuckinthemud

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2021, 09:14:48 am »
If he can get luggage scales and an exercise band he can get a good idea quite easily by "drawing" the band with the scale (in the arrow hand ) pulled back to his ear.

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2021, 09:15:42 am »
I think that is the first time this question has been asked here and it is a good one. Like Pat said; height weight, physical fitness and draw length come into play.

Start with draw length; Have your friend put a yardstick (I don't know what the metric equivalent is called) on his sternum, have him reach out with both arms without stretching and see were the tips of his fingers touch the yard stick. This will give you a close approximation of his draw length.

Height and fitness would be next; if he is a small guy and doesn't work out, 30 to 35# at his draw length would be OK, for and average guy and larger 40 to 45# at his draw length would be the best.

I suspect this bow would be for targets only, all of us shoot targets better with a little less poundage than we use for our hunting bows.

Nothing ruins a persons ability to shoot a bow well quicker than to be overbowed.

Offline RyanY

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2021, 01:34:21 pm »
30-35# is very reasonable for a new user who has never shot a bow. Even if he could draw heavier weights, it wouldn’t be good for developing his shooting form.

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2021, 02:25:56 am »
As an archery instructor and "outfitter", all of the above will work.  35-45# range will likely be where he fits.
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Offline bownarra

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2021, 03:15:48 am »
35# and make it safe to 30". A first bow should be easy to draw and have room to be drawn a bit further than you might think. Also include the info that nobody else should be allowed to shoot it. When people don't know about wooden bows and their limitations ....things can easily be broken.

Offline Eric Krewson

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2021, 09:03:53 am »
A good point on the draw length, here is what I have found; when I made bows for people, one thing I noticed is it is a normal reaction for a person looking at a bow you handed to them is to immediately jerk the string back like they are shooting the bow, it is a guy thing. This is OK for a glass lam bow but can be the death of a self bow, particularly if the person person pulling the string back is a knuckle dragger.

If you send a bow to a non archer it will be something they will want to show to their friends who in turn will draw the bow before you can blink an eye.

Adding a degree of durability to the bow by tillering the bow to 30" wouldn't be a bad idea.

I replaced a number of the bows that I sent out when they failed, bows I could have shot for 10 years without a problem, I always wondered how they were treated after they left my shop but I had a no questions asked replacement policy.

I started sending out a care and feeding instruction sheet with bows to let the owner know that their bow was custom made for them and them alone and only people with a similar draw length or less could draw the bow.

I have also posted a thread or two about selfbow etiquette on other sites and found that 95% of the trad guys out the had no idea about the dangers of overdrawing a selfbow. I put in my thread to state your draw length and ask permission to draw a selfbow from the owner before you did.

Offline bradsmith2010

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Re: Accurate way to determine someone's drawweight
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2021, 04:40:46 pm »
35 sounds good