Advanced Techniques2019-11-27T19:22:04+00:00
  • An Overview of Tonkin River Reed

  • How best to measure the static spine of a bamboo arrow

  • What is the “archer’s paradox” all about, and how an arrow maker use it for tight groups?

  • How Arrow Weight effects the dynamic spine of an arrow

  • How arrow length effects the dynamic spine of an arrow

  • The Archer’s Paradox Renamed

  • How the balance point of an arrow effects arrow flight

  • Why heavy arrows are a better choice for traditional archers.

  • Tuning arrows with heads of different weights

Understanding proper bamboo selection.

There are actually two ways to look at the spine of an arrow. The first is called static spine. This is simply how stiff an arrow shaft measures on a spine tester.

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Let’s Talk About Spine

There are actually two ways to look at the spine of an arrow. The first is called static spine. This is simply how stiff an arrow shaft measures on a spine tester.

How the weight of an arrow can effect the dynamic spine of an arrow.


The archer’s paradox is important knowledge because of what it implies to you as an arrow maker.

Critical Concept #1 – You really have to understand not only the archer’s paradox, but what it implies for an arrow maker. Below are two videos which present the same concept two different ways. They are outstanding…take a look.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel! The archer’s paradox is a concept which goes back to the middle ages. (the paradox of how an arrow can hit something when it is actually being pushed in another direction) There are many great videos which shows arrows bending when launched. These two videos are particularly important for understanding what this actually implies for you when selecting the spine of the arrows you want. Listen closely. The two English Gents are a bit slow paced, but they really know what they are talking about.


Many years ago, I read “Timeless Bowhunting” -by Roy S. Marlow (ISBN 0-9741078-0-8). I must tell you that this excellent book changed many of the incorrect notions that I had been told by people with good intentions, but were only repeating the same ignorance that they had been told. If you want data from arrows shot from shooting machines which is clear, I recommend you buy the book and read it. Frankly, the entire book is outstanding.

The information below is drawn from that book. It clearly reveals some interesting data which is counter to everything I had heard as a much younger man…by ignoramuses, and frankly…I still hear today by much younger ignoramuses.

Here is what you should grasp from the data below. It is simple, straightforward, and counter to what most people think. A heavier head DOES launch slower. BUT, it loses less energy and momentum in flight than a light arrow.

Here is what the data shows:

  • A heavy arrow will hit harder than a light arrow at ANY archery distance.
  • A heavy arrow will lose less momentum in flight, so it will fly with a FLATTER trajectory than a a light arrow. The parabola of flight will be less.
  • Because of the flatter trajectory of flight of a heavy arrow, it will be easier to put an arrow into a target at unknown distances. Think what it might be like to shoot along a frozen rope rather than a curve.
  • A heavy arrow will be less effected by winds, and at long distances this becomes a critical factor.
  • If a set of 500 grain arrows have a weight variation of 30 – 40 grains across the entire set, this is a much lower percentage by weight than a set of 250 – 300 grain arrows. For this reason, arrows with slightly different weights are less of a problem if you shoot heavy arrows.