Of all the many aspects of archery, the ability to increase arrow speed is often one of the most popular topics among shooters. From hunters to competition archers, speed is an attribute that many wish to increase. So how do you increase your arrow speed? And why would you want to increase it anyways?
Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced archer, arrow speed can play an important role in your shooting. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of arrow speeds, and how you can increase your arrow speed with a few simple tweaks to your bow. Let’s get started!
Why More Arrow Speed
Before we talk about how to increase arrow speed, let’s cover why you may want more speed in the first place. There are actually quite a few benefits, some that you might not have ever considered. But the biggest benefit by far is that a faster arrow means a flatter trajectory. This means your arrow flies straighter and reduces the effects of gravity and wind resistance. In turn, this can drastically improve your accuracy when precision matters.
A flatter flight path not only improves your odds of hitting your intended target, but your arrow gets there much quicker. This can be super beneficial in hunting scenarios when hunting fast or skittish game animals. Your arrow will also hit harder and have better penetration the faster it is traveling through the air.
Ways to Increase Arrow Speed
There are quite a few ways to increase your arrow speed, some of which are extremely simple and easy to do. Here are some of the best ways to increase your arrow speed:
1. Increase Draw Weight
The quickest and easiest way to increase your arrow speed is simply to increase your draw weight. The heavier the draw weight, the faster your bow will propel your arrow when shot. The more draw weight you pull, the more energy the limbs of the bow can produce. Just make sure you can safely and comfortably handle the higher draw weight! If not, more arrow speed can’t help improper form or lack of confidence that can come with too high of draw weight.
2. Shoot Lighter Arrows
Many archers will choose to shoot very lightweight arrows in order to achieve faster speeds. The lighter weight will fly through the air much faster and reduce the effect of gravity. These arrows also require less energy from the bow in order to fly faster, but make sure you have a sufficient spine in relation to your bow’s energy. But even a slightly lighter arrow can have a pretty big impact on your arrow speeds, and can even work better with your bow and other archery accessories.
3. Increase Draw Length
Sometimes lengthening your draw length can help improve arrow speeds as well if it’s too short. Think of it this way: the longer the arrow is on the string, the more energy the bow can transfer into the arrow. The more energy, the more speed. A longer draw length can help achieve this. Just make sure your draw length isn’t too long. Too long and your form will suffer, also negatively impacting your accuracy and consistency.
4. Upgrade Your Cams
For a more drastic change in arrow speeds, you can upgrade the cams on your bow. This can mean buying a new bow entirely that has speed-focused cams, or some bows allow you to swap out your cams in order to get some that are more aggressive. Some cams do a better job of transferring energy and can significantly improve speeds. Radical cam designs, however, can require more tuning and skill in order to effectively use them. Bows using these cams can also be a little more difficult to shoot and might need some more practice.
5. Manage String Weight
There are multiple accessories that you can place on your bowstring, and while these can have some benefits, they will typically slow down your arrow. As the string moves through the air, the additional weight and space slow the string down. In addition to the weight, the accessories create drag as they move through the air. But by removing unnecessary weights, you can improve your string’s speed which, in turn, will improve your arrow speeds.
6. Add Speed Bumps
Another easy way of increasing arrow speed is to add “speed bumps” to your archery setup. These are any accessories or gear items that will help to increase speeds, but are most often referred to as small amounts of weight that are added on the string. These are essentially nocks that are placed near the cam to increase speed. You may need a chronograph to test the actual placement, but many archers can see anywhere from a 5 to 10 fps increase in arrow speeds.
7. Spec Your Bow
Your bow should always be tuned and ready to go, but it should go without saying that a badly tuned bow won’t perform as intended. A perfectly tuned bow will, however, shoot your arrow as fast as it possibly can. Even if your bow isn’t necessarily meant for high speeds, it will still shoot much faster when everything is working in conjunction with each other. Make sure the timing and everything is properly tuned so that you can get the most speed possible out of the bow itself.
Speed and Arrow Spine
Although we briefly touched on it earlier, it’s important to note the relationship between the speed of your arrows and the arrow spine. Doing things such as shooting a lighter arrow, increasing draw weight, and increasing draw length can all increase speeds, but it also has a direct effect on the spine.
Arrow spine is the stiffness of the shaft of the arrow and its ability to flex when shot. If this is not properly balanced in relation to things like your draw weight and arrow weight, it can lead to inaccurate and inconsistent shots. In order to achieve the best possible results from your arrows, keep in mind the spine as you begin to tweak your bow as you may need to also adjust the spine of the arrows that you are shooting.
Arrow speed is one of those topics that is always being talked about in the archery world. From bowhunters chasing skittish deer to precision competition shooters, speed is an important consideration when trying to get maximum accuracy and efficiency. And from increasing draw weight or shooting lighter arrows to upgrading the cams on your bow, there are many ways to get a little more speed out of your current setup.
By being aware of your velocity, you can ensure you’re taking full advantage of the flatter trajectories and reduced flight times that increasing arrow speed provides. So what are you waiting for? Try making a few of these subtle changes and see how your arrow speed increases. You might be surprised at just how fast you can get it.