If you are just now switching from a compound or "high wrist" style recurve, your draw length will be noticeably shorter with our traditionally styled longbow or recurve. There are three basic reasons for this shorter draw length. First, the amount of effort required to draw a traditional bow over a compound causes a tensioning of muscles and a hunched posture rather than an extended posture. Secondly, the handle style demands our longbows or recurves be shot with a "flat hand" or "broken wrist" rather than the "high wrist" form. Lastly, the depth of the bow handle thru the shelf area is about half of the normal compound or contemporary recurve, which means you just aren't pushing so much handle out in front of you.
These combined differences will cause the average shooter to have a traditional draw length from 2 to 3 inches shorter than a compound. The table below has proven to be very accurate in estimating draw lengths for Great Northern bows. Lean towards the long side for our Recurves and towards the short side for longbows and Bushbows.
After you determined your draw length, use the table below to choose the length of your bow.
NOTE: The above chart is just a guide - Keeping in mind these two factors, for any given bow length and draw length;
1. The shorter the bow, the greater the performance.
2. The longer the bow, the greater the stability.
Which is most important to you?