How to Find The Stiff Side of An Arrow Easily: Everything you need to Know





  • Arrow stiffness, also known as the spine, is very important for good archery. Each arrow can bend, and how it bends affects how it flies. This can change how well an archer shoots.
  • There are tools like spine testers and charts that help archers know if their arrow is right for their bow and how they shoot.
  • If an arrow bends too much or too little, it won’t fly straight. So, archers should regularly check their arrows to shoot consistently.

In archery, your gear is key. The most important part-Your arrows. Arrows can be stiff or flexible. It’s vital to pick the right kind for your bow and how you shoot. But there’s more to it. Perhaps, there is a question in your mind: “How do we find the stiff side of an arrow?

How to Find The Stiff Side of An Arrow

Each arrow has a stiff side !!

Knowing this side can help you shoot better. Think of it like finding the best part of a ball to hit or hold. So, let’s talk about how to find the stiff side of an arrow. Knowing this can help every archer shoot their best.

In this article, I explore this question and provide a very valuable answer: you need to know how to find the stiff side of an arrow. Let’s have deep insights.

How To Find The Stiff Side Of An Arrow?

Finding the right arrow spine or stiffness is like finding the right pair of shoes for running. Just as you wouldn’t wear flip-flops for a marathon, you wouldn’t pick any random arrow for your bow. So, how do we find the correct arrow spine? Let’s break it down.

First, think of the arrow shaft, the long stick part of the arrow. This can be made from different materials: wooden arrows, carbon arrows, or aluminum arrows. Each material has its own feel and flex. 

Now, every arrow bends. Yes, it does! 

When you shoot it, the force from the bow makes it flex. This bending is what we call the dynamic spine. It’s how the arrow acts when it’s in flight. There’s also a static spine, which is how bendy the arrow is when it’s just sitting there, not flying.

Arrow companies, the folks who make these arrows, give each arrow a spine rating. It’s a number that tells you how stiff or bendy the arrow is. Experienced archers always look at this number. They know that the draw weight of their bow and whether they use a finger release or a mechanical release can change how the arrow flies.

Hunting arrows might be different from arrows you’d use just for target practice. A compound bow, with all its gears and pulleys, might need a different arrow spine compared to a simple traditional bow. The place where the arrow sits on the bow called the arrow rest, can also affect things.

So, how do you pick? Start by looking at charts from arrow manufacturers. These charts match your bow’s details to the right arrow. You can also ask other archers. Someone who’s been doing this for years can give great advice. Always remember, the goal is a consistent spine for consistent shots. If an arrow is too bendy (a weaker arrow spine) or too stiff (a stiffer spine), it won’t fly straight. It’s like throwing that flip-flop instead of a good running shoe. It won’t get you far!

 So, always aim for the correct spine and watch your arrows hit the mark!

A Guide To The Must-Have Tools For Arrow Spine Analysis

To determine the spine or stiffness of an arrow, there are certain tools and equipment that make the job precise. Let’s break it down into easy steps using the essential tools:

1. Arrow Spine Tester: This is the primary tool you’ll need. It measures the static spine, which is how much the arrow shaft bends when a specific weight is hung from its center.

A Guide To The Must-Have Tools For Arrow Spine Analysis

2. Scale: A digital or manual scale helps you find out the draw weight of your compound bow. Sometimes, the draw weight on your bow doesn’t match the actual force it delivers. Using a scale can ensure you get the correct draw weight.

3. Measuring Tape: Use this to measure the exact length of the arrow shaft. Remember, it’s not about the total length but the shaft alone, excluding the tip and nock.

4. Bow Setup: Have your compound bow, arrow rest, and finger release on hand. You’ll need them to simulate real shooting conditions and observe the arrow in flight.

5. Selection Charts: These come from arrow companies and arrow manufacturers. Once you gather your data, refer to these charts. They guide you on matching your setup to the correct arrow spine.

6. Broad heads or Tips: By testing different tip weights, you can see how they affect the dynamic spine – the arrow’s flex during flight.

Tips :-

  • If you’re working with wooden arrows, know they can differ from carbon arrows or aluminum arrows. Each material has a unique stiffness.
  • Experienced archers often advise testing with a few different arrows before settling on one. This helps ensure consistent and accurate shots.
  • Always prioritize safety. Make sure your testing area is secure, especially when observing the arrow in flight.

Understanding the spine or stiffness of an arrow requires specific tools and a systematic approach. By using the right equipment and maintaining consistency in your tests, you’re on track to optimize your shooting accuracy!

How to Tell if an Arrow Spine is Too Weak or Too Stiff

Understanding the arrow spine is vital for archers who aim for precision in every shot. The arrow spine tells you about the arrow’s stiffness. Let’s break down how to figure out if the spine of an arrow is too weak or too stiff.

When you think of an arrow’s dynamic spine, imagine the arrow shaft bending. If an arrow spine is too weak, the arrow over-flexes. It’s like a bendy straw; it wiggles too much. This affects its speed and accuracy. How can you tell? If you see the arrow flying “nock left,” it’s a sign of a weak spine. Experienced archers sometimes use video to check this. Another method is paper tuning. A “nock left” tear in the paper also points to a weaker arrow spine. In extreme cases, if your arrow gets stuck in the target with its nock to the left, it’s another sign. Did you know arrow spine weakness depends on the choice of arrow point? To get more information to check my  guidelines.

Now, what if the arrow spine is too stiff? A stiff arrow doesn’t bend enough. Imagine a wooden stick that barely bends. When shot, the arrow won’t fly straight. Instead, it’ll go diagonal. The nock won’t trail behind the arrow tip but will fly next to it. This hurts both speed and accuracy. To check for a stiff spine, video the arrow again. If it’s traveling “nock right,” you have a clue. Paper tuning can help, too. A “nock right” tear means a stiffer spine. And if the arrow sticks in the target, “nock right”? That’s another clue.

Watch The Tutorial

How to Tell if an Arrow Spine is Too Weak or Too Stiff !

How to Tell if an Arrow Spine is Too Weak or Too Stiff

Both wooden arrows and aluminum arrows can face these spine issues. Carbon arrows, often used as hunting arrows, can too. Whether you use a compound bow or a traditional one, checking the spine is essential. Why? Because the draw weight, finger release, and arrow rest all affect how the arrow flies.

So, why do we see spine issues? Arrow manufacturers design arrows with specific spine ratings. But not all arrows have a consistent spine. It’s essential to pick the correct spine for your bow and shooting style. Arrow companies offer charts to help choose, but nothing beats actual testing. Traditional arrow shafts might need a different spine rating than modern ones.

In conclusion, understanding arrow stiffness is a must. Be it static spine or dynamic, both are crucial. Whether using stiffer arrows or those with a weaker spine, knowing their behavior helps in making every shot count.

Measuring Arrow Stiffness [Explained]

Arrow stiffness, or arrow spine, is important in archery. When arrow companies make arrows, they give them a number. This number tells you about the arrow’s spine or how bendy it is. But not all arrow makers use the same numbers. This can be confusing.

Many big arrow companies, like those that make hunting arrows or carbon arrows, want to help. They make charts and tools for archers to pick the right arrow. Some charts are simple, but others are tricky. A website called has some of these charts.

Measuring Arrow Stiffness

Now, what about different types of arrows, like wooden arrows or aluminum arrows? Each type might bend differently in flight. There are two main ways to look at this bendiness: static spine and dynamic spine. Static is how it bends when you push on it, and dynamic is how it bends when you shoot it from a bow, like a compound bow.

Because picking the right arrow can be tough, some companies even made computer programs for it! You tell the program about your bow arrow shaft draw weight, and it tells you which arrow to use. With the right tools and info, finding an arrow with the correct spine becomes easier.

Anyway, do you have a lighted nock arrow and you are worried about whether lighted nocks affect arrow flight? Lighted nocks typically have minimal impact on arrow flight, as they are designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic.

Why It Is Important !?

Picking the right arrow spine, or stiffness is super important in archery. Why? Because the arrow’s bendiness affects how straight it flies. What happens if your arrows are too lightly or heavily spined for your bow? If you choose an arrow with the wrong spine, it won’t fly right. Sometimes it is depend on arrow sizes, how long arrows or short .However Imagine an arrow that’s too bendy or too stiff for your bow. It won’t hit where you aim! 

Experienced archers know the value of the correct spine. Let’s break it down. When you pull back on your bow, there’s a lot of force. This force makes the arrow bend. If the arrow shaft is too bendy (a weaker arrow spine), it might wobble too much in flight. If it’s too stiff, it might not bend enough.

Arrow companies measure this bendiness in two main ways. One is the static spine – that’s how bendy the arrow is when you just push on it. The other is the dynamic spine. This shows how the arrow bends when you shoot it, like when you use a compound bow or a traditional bow.

Whether it’s wooden arrows, carbon arrows, or aluminum arrows, each has its own stiffness. Arrow manufacturers rate this with a spine rating number. By checking this number and using tools from arrow companies, you can find the perfect arrow for your bow and style!

What Are The Benefits Of The Stiff Side Of Arrows

Stiff arrows fly straighter and don’t wobble much. This helps archers because even if they make small mistakes, the arrow still goes where they want. Stiff arrows also hit targets harder. When hunting, they go through better and don’t bend as much. This makes them good for catching animals. These arrows are strong, so they don’t break easily, even on hard targets. Many archers like how they feel when shooting stiff arrows. They can learn and get better with them. So, many people prefer stiff arrows because they are trustworthy, straight-shooting, and help them get better.

What Are The Benefits Of The Stiff Side Of Arrows

Frequently Asked Question

Do Stiff Arrows Go Left Or Right?

Slightly left. Using arrows with the wrong stiffness affects your accuracy. Arrows that aren’t stiff enough drift to the right, while overly stiff ones lean left. It’s vital to choose the right arrow stiffness for consistent shots.

Are There Visual Cues That Can Help Me Identify The Stiff Side Of An Arrow?

Yes, the grain pattern on wooden arrows often indicates the stiff side. Typically, the side with tighter or straighter grain lines is stiffer. Always check this when aligning the arrow on your bow.

Can I Use The Spine Rating To Determine The Stiff Side Of An Arrow?

The spine rating shows how stiff an arrow is. In Easton arrows, a lower number means a stiffer arrow. So, a smaller number indicates a more rigid shaft.

Is It Necessary To Locate The Stiff Side Of Each Arrow In My Quiver?

Finding the stiff side of each arrow in your quiver ensures consistent flight and accuracy. Without this, arrows might fly differently. It’s vital for precision in shooting.

What Happens If I Shoot An Arrow With The Wrong Side Facing Forward?

If you shoot an arrow with the wrong side facing forward, it may fly inconsistently. This can reduce your accuracy and predictability. Always ensure the arrow is aligned correctly for the best results.

Are There Differences In Arrow Stiffness For Various Types Of Bows?

Bow draw weight, arrow length, and arrow point weight all influence the arrow spine. Bows pulling harder need stiffer arrows, while shorter arrows are weaker in the spine. Heavier arrow tips also demand stiffer arrow shafts.

Can I Adjust The Arrow’s Stiffness To Better Suit My Shooting Style?

If your arrow is too stiff, tuning can help, but the nocks may point left and hit right. For the best shooting experience, ensure your arrows have the correct spine, and your bow is well-tuned.

Yes, using arrows with the wrong stiffness can be unsafe. If an arrow is too weak for your bow, it might break when shot. Always match your arrow’s stiffness to your bow’s strength to avoid accidents.

What Happens If Your Arrows Are Too Lightly Or Heavily Spined For Your Bow?

If your arrows are too lightly spine for your bow, they can flex too much, leading to inconsistent shots. On the other hand, if they are too heavily spine, they won’t flex enough, which can also throw off your accuracy. It’s crucial to match the arrow spine to your bow for the best performance.


Choosing the right arrow stiffness is essential for every archer aiming for accuracy. Just as shoes matter for a runner, an arrow’s stiffness is crucial for hitting the mark. This article breaks down how to find the stiff side of an arrow and why it’s vital. There are tools to measure arrow stiffness, and expert archers often rely on manufacturer charts and real testing to ensure consistency in shots. For safety and precision, it’s key to always match the arrow’s stiffness with the bow’s strength.

Bob Magic

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Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

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