Adrian Tippins reveals the tell tale signs that your arrows are approaching retirement
Q. How do I know when to retire a set of arrows?
A. The lifespan of a set of arrows depends on how carefully they are used and how often. Most importantly, check the condition of your arrows before shooting. If an arrow shows any sign of damage it should be safely discarded, never shoot a damaged arrow. Manufacturers have usage guidelines on their websites which are always worth a read. A normal club archer might shoot around 7500 shots a year. An elite archer might shoot 40,000 or more. Needless to say, the more use an arrow has seen, the quicker it will fatigue. As an arrow fatigues it tends to go out of spine, getting weaker. This is why elite shooters change arrows almost every year.
The only real way to know if arrows are fatigued and internally ‘tired’ is to have them tested on a properly calibrated digital spine tester. If the readings show the arrows to be out of spine you may want to consider retiring them before they become potentially dangerous and prone to structural failure.