Why do you need to crest your arrows?
There are two main reasons why people crest their arrows: to mark the different arrows in their collection and to add an aesthetic touch to them as well.
First off, cresting an arrow makes it easy to differentiate between certain arrows. Experienced archers will be able to tell the difference between different types of arrows, but they will only be able to do so when they spend time and effort to closely scrutinize the arrow. Bright colors and distinctive marks will make the task a whole lot easier, which is always a good thing for you. Spending a little extra time to crest your arrows will pay off, especially when you are out hunting and have little time to pick out your arrows one by one.
And the other reason people crest their arrows is because it makes them look so cool. Cresting arrows is an art form in itself, and is a great outlet for the avid archer to let loose his artistic side. With a lot of materials and colors at your disposal, it will be easy to come up with your own unique patterns.
How do you crest arrows?
There are many ways arrow cresting can be done, from arrow wraps to templates to plain old brush works.
However, one common factor is the utilization of a cresting machine. Such machines are designed basically to firmly hold an arrow while steadily rotating it. Just dip a small brush with paint, hold the tip to one part of the spinning arrow shaft and press lightly. The steady rotation of the arrow will allow you to evenly coat the shaft of the arrow with paint, making the job relatively easy and actually quite fun.
Of course, this is only the most basic method of cresting an arrow. You can use a wrap around an arrow’s shaft, allowing you to quickly slap on bold and unique designs, or you can wrap a template around the shaft of the arrow before spinning it in the cresting machine. The latter form of cresting will allow you to paint intricate patterns on the arrow to give it even more life.
A word of caution
If you are going to bring your arrows to the hunt or are going to participate in archery tournaments, be careful with your arrow cresting.
First off, certain patterns can draw the attention of the game you are hunting. This is especially true if you are hunting animals that are particularly twitchy, like mule deer. On the other hand, the very structure of the arrow can get affected by poor cresting. The weight and aerodynamic properties of the arrow could be altered, especially if too much paint was absorbed in the wood.
Nonetheless, arrow cresting is an essential step to add character to your arrows. Learn how to do it right, and you’ll have a set of arrows all your own!