With so many options available to you when picking out arrows, where do you start? Let's begin with choosing the arrow material. The most popular materials tend to be carbon, wood, and aluminum. Each has their own place in the archery world, but I will explain the advantages and disadvantages to each of them below:
Carbon arrows are very lightweight and have the least amount of stiffness between the three. Unlike wooden arrows, these will not break as easily, but be careful because they may splinter. The biggest advantage of carbon is their high tolerance and consistency. Their toughness comes from their carbon composite, which allows it to take a little more of a beating. Buying carbon arrows in the future becomes easier to create consistency when you find the proper set up of spine, length, and weight. If you are looking for an arrow with more penetration to bring down larger game, there are heavier carbon shafts on the market.
Aluminum arrows are slightly heavier than carbon arrows. They are less susceptible to break and they do not splinter. Aluminum arrows have been around for a long time and offer a great affordable option for a sturdy deep penetrating arrow. They are easier to cut to size than carbon, allowing you to fine tune your arrows for a pure arrow flight. One downside to Aluminum is that they are more apt to bend and in most cases you cannot rescue a bent arrow.
The earliest version of archery arrows belong to the wooden arrows. I don't know about you, but when I think about wood arrows, my mind immediately goes to Robbin Hood. They are the traditional archery arrow that has been used since the beginning with long bows and recurve bows. Out of the three different types of arrows, wood is the cheapest, because they are less durable and need more attention than the other options. Any shot that hits the ground or glances of an object or targets can cause it to bend or break. Another difference with wood arrows is that they use feather flights instead of plastic veins, which once again makes them less durable. Their weight is determined by the type of wood their shaft is crafted out of.
Now it is up to you to determine which of these arrows will be best suited for your situation. If you are using them for target shooting, you will generally want a lighter arrow that will provide you with distance and a flatter trajectory. If you are preparing for a hunt, a heavier arrow will provide more power into your broadhead and a deeper penetration. Either way, taking your time to find and fine tune your arrows will have a big impact on your success. Head on over to your local archery shop and have some fun!