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There are 4 common styles of arrow shaft. These are; Wood, aluminium, carbon, and an aluminium/carbon composite.
Almost all production arrow shafts are made from these materials.
The only exception is fibreglass. Fibreglass is used in some leisure arrows, but usually only as a prefabricated arrow. It is not typical to buy a fibreglass arrow shafts separately as it would not be a natural choice if you were making your own arrows.
You may also note that some of the more expensive arrow shafts are sold only in dozens. This is not so we can sell more arrows! This is due to the extremely tight tolerances required for such arrows. It is not possible to manufacturer every single shaft to the same exact tolerance of spine and weight, so each production batch is separated further into matched sets.
Before the first carbon arrow shafts came to market around 20 years ago, aluminium arrows ruled.
Today, they are still held in high regard. Some of the best archers in the world still use aluminium arrows for indoor archery. The best aluminium arrows offer exceptional accuracy. But for long distance shooting the thinner carbon arrows have the advantage.
With the exception of indoor archery (where there is no wind), the aluminium arrow is ideal for beginner level to intermediate level archers.
They are often recommended by clubs for novice archers because they are easier to find with a metal detector, and overall still offer a great price/quality ratio.
If you make your own arrows you might appreciate that smell of cedar more than most.
It’s a common sight in our shop to see customers sniffing their newly purchased shafts.
You will save a lot of money making wooden arrows yourself as the component costs are relatively cheap.
It takes time to build a nice wooden arrow, and plenty of practice.
There will be a few curses along the way. Like the curse that slips out when the last feather sticks to the clamp. Or the curse that slips out after losing a fresh arrow first time out in the field.
But it doesn’t matter. The rewards are worth it. Wooden arrow making is a hobby in its own right! Done well, they are works of art.
Wooden arrow maker – we salute you!
Pure carbon shafts have always been popular because of their un-bendable nature and light mass weight.
The super wide diameter shafts have stamped their mark at the highest level of indoor archery and some lower cost, pure carbon shafts are now a viable choice for novice archers.
A popular variation of the carbon arrow is the ‘Aluminium/Carbon Composite’ Shafts
These have a thin internal aluminium core with a bonded carbon outer. But this is not the rule! There are some other shafts with a carbon inner core and aluminium outer.
Whether one is back to front or inside out doesn’t matter. Both types are a bonded hybrid composite. A very popular and very diverse arrow type.
You club may have rules disallowing the use of pure carbon arrows if they use a shared field, so always best to check before buying.