Ultimate Guide to Drawing a Bow in 10 Steps
Whether you’re just starting lessons or are preparing for another competition, sharpening your archery skills is never a bad idea. One of the key aspects to hitting that target each time is understanding how to draw and bow and arrow. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide so mastering the process can be simple.
What is the Draw?
The draw is the process of pulling your bowstring back. Sounds simple enough, but it can get a bit tricky when you’re first practicing. Learning to draw a bow is essential in order to follow through with shooting your arrow.
There are a few things that must happen before you can start drawing the bow and arrow. First, you must assure your stance is settled. Then, nock the arrow, grasp that bowstring, ready the bow hand, and raise your bow arm. If you need some more info on how to perfect these procedures, check out some of our other archery talk articles.
The draw itself is easy, but the challenge comes within its details. You’ll essentially be taking the bow string backward toward the side of your face. Now that you understand the basics, we’ll dive into each step.
How to Draw a Bow
Keep your head straight.
It may seem like a small detail, but the best archers stay tall and strong from head to toe. It’s common for archers to bring the head back away from the bowstring, or even lean into it sometimes. However, you shouldn’t look at the archery target; keep your head straight up while drawing the string closer to your face instead.
Relax your shoulders.
Moving down the body, it’s important to keep your shoulders relaxed. The less tense they are, the better your form will be. Try to keep them as low as possible without slouching, especially in competitive archery.
Use your back for support.
The best archers keep their entire body in check and aligned through the entire shot. A solid draw utilizes your back and arm muscles. When you’re close to being at full draw, squeeze both of your shoulder blades together to make the full reach.
Be sure to complete this step gently rather than jerking your muscles together. Keep in mind that everything is supposed to happen in one fluid motion. Speak to a professional at an archery shop after an “archery near me” search for more information about how to use your back when shooting.
Keep your wrists flat.
Some archers have a tendency to bend their wrist while drawing and shooting. However, you want your wrist on the drawing hand to be as straight as possible. There should ideally be a straight line all the way from your wrist to elbow when you’re at full draw.
Keep the string centered.
Once your body is in check, it’s time to focus on the bow string. As you draw, keep the bow string lined up with the center of your bow. Make sure you’re not pulling left or right rather than straight when practicing at the archery shop near me.
Check yourself at full draw.
Before you can master drawing a bow, let’s go over where your body should be. Your chest should be facing perpendicular to the target. The index finger should be near the corner of your mouth.
Make sure the elbow on your draw arm is directly behind the arrow. If it’s sticking in the air, try bringing it down a bit so it’s almost parallel with the arrow. This final stance check with your archery equipment will assure your shot is solid.
Keep things smooth.
When preparing to follow through, try to keep your movements relaxed and smooth. You should be attempting to make the draw in one continuous motion. Take a sleek pull-back from the at-rest position of the bow to full draw.
This all may seem like a lot to keep in mind, so relaxing can be a struggle at first. Some archers take years mastering the perfect draw! Some things will come to you naturally, while you can practice others over time with archery equipment.
Be mindful of your grip.
Throughout the entire archery target shooting process, we must reiterate the importance of relaxing your grip hand. Many people gave a perfect grip during pre-draw stages, but the death grip arrives upon drawing. Try to avoid this issue once and for all.
You should be holding the bow with enough force so it doesn’t sway or move around, but you want to remain calm so the grip stays right. Not only does the death grip mess up your shots, it can leave some pretty intense welts on your arm. Some archers tend to lift upward rather than gripping too hard when finding an archery shop near me.
If this happens to be your issue, aim at your archery target and keep the bow pointed there throughout your entire draw. Firing your bow upward can be very dangerous. Those who can’t draw without tilting the bow up may need to lower their draw weight.
We’ll briefly go over draw weight and how to determine whether yours is too light or heavy. For those unfamiliar, draw weight is the amount of force needed to draw a bow string. Choosing an amount that’s too low or high for your body can result in overdrawing and slower shooting arrows.
Pay attention to your bow arm and elbow.
We’ve discussed the hands, shoulders, and head, but don’t forget about your arm! On the draw, it’s archer’s choice whether to lock your arms. It’s one of those highly debated topics in archery talk.
If you’re new to archery, though, it could be best to lock your bow arm. However, those who are double-jointed should be sure not to hyperextend. In the case that you do, it will be very painful.
Finally, it’s time to follow through! Just like baseball players and golf stars don’t stop their swing upon contact with the ball, archers shouldn’t stop moving once they release the arrow.
Chat with your coach or professionals at the local archery shops for more advice on how to master drawing the bow. With these tips, you should be able to get a pretty good head start! If you’re looking to become the next Olympic archer or additional info about archery near me, check out more from Crow Survival.