If you’re thinking of learning target archery, a proper understanding of the main tool, an arrow, is necessary before starting any practice. When you’re starting, Arrows can be incredibly confusing! It can be tricky to determine the best arrows. However, this article will explain how to do this simply. 


Parts Of An Arrow

To learn about Arrows, let’s start with its parts;


parts of an arrow



This is the end of the shaft, which penetrates first into the target. It is usually attached to the shaft’s front. Every arrowhead or point will have a different purpose.


The shaft is the length of an arrow which is measured in inches. They are made of different materials, such as aluminium, carbon, wood, or an aluminium-carbon mixture. Each material behaves differently and can be used for different purposes.


The length of an arrow’s spine and the angle it sits are important details to consider when choosing an arrow. While a long spine helps with accuracy, a short spine is more likely to bend at the slightest breeze. Most compound bows use cross-cut arrow rests, so the part below is especially helpful: How to pick an arrow rest for a recurve bow. This part helps you decide how much “give” the spine has and which kind of rests will fit it best.


Another important measurement of archery equipment is the straightness of the shaft. In compound bows, the length of the shaft is measured from the nock to the tip of the arrow. There are two measurements for straightness: A positive number means the shaft is straight, and a negative number means it is not straight.


The nock, a small bit of plastic that fits inside the shaft’s back, is located at the shaft’s end. Your bowstring will fit in the slotted bit at your ‘nocking points’ and hold the bowstring in place. Nocks are metal pieces attached to the end of the shaft with screws. They come in different types, including steel, brass, aluminum, carbon fiber, and more.


These are the three vanes located at the back of an arrow. They’re typically made of plastic or feathers. Two of the vanes will be one color, and the third one is another color. The “index vane,” a vane with a different hue, is what you call it.

Types of Arrows

The Oxford Dictionary definition of the arrow is “a slender stick, with a sharp edge at one end and a flexible flight path at the other that is fired by the archer.” As with swords and other weapons, the arrow has changed and developed over time and throughout the eras. There are a variety of best arrows available in the market with unique qualities.

Carbon Arrows

These arrows are well-known for their excellent archery shooting performance as well as their long shelf life. Carbon Arrows are lighter and have narrower shafts than wood, aluminium and other arrows. It is not unusual to see archers using these types of arrows regularly. This arrow has a unique aspect: it is the only patented and one of very few approved for international use. They have many spine options. Although carbon arrows can withstand a lot of abuse, they are very sturdy and can withstand a lot. The most expensive carbon arrows are usually the best. Carbon arrows are known as the best arrows for a compound bow.

Composite Arrows

One of the most popular types of carbon arrows available today is the long composite arrow. These arrows are the straightest and most uniformly spined. These arrows are made for accuracy over long distances and can be customized with various spine options, including diameter, specific sizes, and many other options.

Aluminium Arrows

These arrows are great for beginners but can also be used by more advanced archers. Aluminium arrows can be hollow and light in weight. They are bendable, lightweight, and usually more expensive than wooden arrows but usually less than carbon arrows. They are usually equipped with screw-in tips that allow you to switch between broadheads, field points, and bullet points. They are available in many sizes and can be used for hunting and target archery. 

Wooden Arrows

A wooden arrow is the most classic choice. The majority of traditional wooden arrows are long, lacquered, and have a tapered shape. These traditional wooden arrows are popular among many archers due to their durability and long shelf life. In addition, traditional wooden arrows are easy to shoot and can be used in a wide variety of gripping styles. There are many arrows available, with different prices depending on their quality. Wooden arrows are easily bent and repositioned. These arrows are the easiest to break.

Fiberglass Arrows

Fiberglass composite arrows are lightweight and have good accuracy. These arrows can be a great choice for target practice and are an attractive option. Unfortunately, they do not provide very much power and do not release an arrow very quickly. Fiberglass is strong and will have glue at the tip. They are quite sturdy, although they can be difficult to bend back. These arrows are not preferred by many due to their limited benefits. However, they are okay if you need to reduce the range. They are usually quite affordable.

Aluminium/Carbon Arrows

These arrows are versatile and have an aluminium center and carbon around it. They can be quite expensive, as you can imagine. These arrows have the same benefits as carbon arrows and are great for archers shooting at distant targets outdoors. They are lightweight, stiff, can withstand wind, and don’t require heavy fletchings. 

Factors To Consider

You now know different arrows and parts of your arrow, but you should know more about its features. Although it may be confusing, we will try to break them down for your clear understanding.


When looking for the right bow, one factor to consider is the arrow’s length. If the arrow is too heavy or too long, it will not be effective as a bow. Your draw length establishes the length of your arrow. Therefore, your draw length must be longer than your arrow.


The poundage of your bow affects the weight of the arrow. A lighter bow will produce a lighter arrow and vice versa. A lighter arrow bends faster and will fly further than the denser arrow with a straighter flight pattern. Denser tips have more surface area, which leads to faster oxidation and, therefore, more weight. A downside to using a heavy arrow is that it tends to rust easily.


The diameter of the arrow is also an important factor to consider when selecting arrows. The diameter directly affects the aerodynamic efficiency of the arrow. Denser arrows have a higher diameter and hence produce greater arrow flight. For example, stiff fiberglass would have a high density and thus produce lesser arrow flight. Conversely, if the material is aluminum, it would have a lower density but higher maximum arrow flight.


Factors to consider of an arrow’s spine vary depending on the archer’s shooting style. A straight spine is often used, but it can also be purchased if a more flexible spine is desired. A straight spine allows for a more consistent draw weight. A curve adds a point of balance that is useful for shots that require a lateral release. On the other hand, a stiff spine tends to shoot the arrow more powerfully in a windy condition.


Your arrows should be as straight as possible. Straightness is generally considered less important than spin. In “+/-” terms, manufacturers will offer you something called “straightness tolerance.” For example, an arrow with a straightness tolerance +/- 0.01 inches will be straighter than one with +/- 0.04 inches. However, most arrows today are produced pretty straight with 0.01 – 0.06 variance.


Beginners often use a standard tip in target archery. The amount of flex that the tip is affected by the weight. More flex leads to a straighter arrow shaft, which is ideal when shooting at longer ranges. A less flexible tip leads to a flatter flight path and greater handling stability, ideal for shooting under shorter distances.