Section 1 What You Need to Know Before Ordering

What You Need to Know Before Ordering

There are a few very important details to decide before placing your order and before deciding on the exact bow for you needs! In this guide, we will cover 3 of the very most important things that determine what you need to make your archery Better before the first arrow is even drawn to be fired!

Table of Contents:

1. Eye Dominance & Dexterity

2. Draw Length

3. Draw Weight

Eye Dominance & Dexterity 

One of the very most important details to have a properly fitted bow is the correct dexterity bow (i.e. left or right hand). With a right hand bow, you hold the bow with your left hand so you draw with your right hand and with a left hand bow you hold the bow with your right hand so you draw with your left hand.

To determine this, you first will determine your eye dominance. We recommend to go with the side that your dominate eye is on. So if you are right eye dominant, you will want to go with a right hand bow so that the eye you see through the peep is on your right side. Vice verse for left hand.

What if I am right handed but left eye dominant?

This occurrence is far more common than you think! In 99% of cases we recommend to go to the dominant eye side unless injury prevents this. With the large draw weight range that nearly all of the bows we carry offer, you can start at a much lower poundage if needed. You will be more accurate with your dominant eye than you will by just being able to draw more weight which all results in more success and fun! 

Eye Dominance Test

To determine eye dominance, there is a very simple method that works 99% of the time! 

1. Extend your arms out in front of you at eye level with your palms facing away.

2. Bring your hands together forming a small "V" shaped" hole or view window by overlapping your thumbs and fingers.

3. Select a small object at least 10 feet in front of you and look at it with both eyes through the hole in your hands.

4. While remaining focused on the object close one eye and take note of what happens then open the eye.

5. Now slowly draw your hand closer to you. When you have drawn your hands back to your face the view window will be placed over one eye or the other. This is your dominate eye.

Now that we have found our eye dominance, this will guide the dexterity we will choose for our new bow.

Lets say we are right handed and left eye dominant so we will be going with a left hand PSE Stinger X.

Now, we must determine what draw length we are. 

Draw Length

Next on the list is draw length. This is the distance the string is drawn from start to finish. Bows are measured from the pivot point of the grip to the center of the string plus 1 3/4", this is known as AMO draw length. Most all bows we offer are adjusted for draw length in the cam. All packages we sell are adjusted to the draw length you specify so that you have the best performance from day one!

Why It Matters

Draw length matters greatly as this is where your form comes from. Without the proper draw length you will suffer from accuracy issues, form flaws, create bad shooting habits. and the dreaded arm slap by the string. By having the proper draw length, you will improve your form, accuracy, tuning and fun! Another benefit is you will not be tired out by your bow nearly as easy! 

So How Do I Measure for Draw Length?

To determine your draw length, first get a friend or family member to help as well as a tape measure.

1. Stand up straight, extend your arms out straight to your sides. We will be measuring your wingspan. 

2. Have your help take the tape measure and measure from middle finger to middle finger.

Lets say for example we come out with 70 inches. 

3. Now we will divide the wingspan number by 2.5.

70 divided by 2.5, this brings us to 28in draw length.

We need to start shooting with a 28in draw length. 

While this method works well, it is not the be all, end all method. We have found this to get the shooter within a half inch long or short of the exact draw length they need. With PSE, their cams are very simple to adjust without a bow press and at home by the user if it needs adjusted after the purchase.  Our After the Sale Guide shows all about adjusting your draw length at home with just one wrench!

So we are now looking at needing a left hand bow with a 28in draw length.

Draw Weight

Draw weight is the amount of weight it takes to draw the string back. In the past, bows have been set at truly crazy weights such as 80 and 90 pounds! Thankfully technology and market trends have shifted that scale significantly. Today's modern compound bows have enough energy at as low as 35lbs to take down even larger game so stacking arrows in the back yard doesn't have to be a struggle! 

Starting Out

We recommend starting at the lowest possible draw weight especially for the novice archer so that you will be building on good form and shot execution without any struggle. The great thing about modern bows is many drop 20lbs from their limbs peak weight! This allows you to start low and work up to a higher weight over time. Another great benefit is adjusting the weight up on your new bow is very simple using just a wrench. Our After The Sale Guide shows you all about it!

Recommended Draw Weights

A general rule of thumb is start as low as possible to promote proper form and shot process.The worst thing in archery is to be over bowed which is followed by having too much draw length. We recommend the following as guide lines:

Shooter Size Recommend Draw Weights

 Shooter Size Recommended Draw Weight Range
Very Small Child (40-70lbs) 5-10lbs
Small Child (70-100lbs) 10-20lbs
Large Child (100-130lbs) 20-35lbs
Small Frame Woman (80-100lbs) 20-30lbs
Medium Frame Woman/Teenage Female (100-140lbs) 30-40lbs
Large Frame Woman (140+lbs) 40-50lbs
Small Frame Man (100-140lbs) 35-50lbs
Medium Frame Man (150-200) 45-55lbs
Large Frame Man (190+lbs) 60-70lbs


Now we determine which weight range we fall into. Lets say we are a medium frame male. So we need to order a 25-60lb Left Hand Stinger X set to a 28in draw length and 50lbs of draw weight. To increase draw weight, there are a variety of safe and easy to do exercises!

A Final Note

In the end, draw length and draw weight both dictate how much speed your setup will produce. We go into this in further detail in the Basic Parts and Terminology section of our Complete Guide to Compound Archery.