Can Compound Bows Shoot Wood Arrows?

Basit Ali Chaudhary

One question many people ask is whether a compound bow can shoot wood arrows. Many archers prefer to use wooden arrows because of their classic, timeless look, but shooting a wooden arrow from a compound bow is not advised due to the risk of the arrow shattering.

A typical compound bow generates an incredible amount of force at full draw and that power could easily shatter a wooden arrow, causing it to break apart suddenly or disintegrate mid-flight. Even if you successfully shoot with a wooden arrow from your powerful compound bow, be aware that the excessive force created could damage your bow and cause catastrophic failure. To protect yourself, your equipment and others nearby, stick with aluminum arrows when purchasing components for your compound bow setup.

Let’s explore why wood arrows may not be the best choice and what alternatives are out there.

What is Compound bow?

compound bow

A compound bow is a mechanical bow that has been designed to increase shooting accuracy. By utilizing pulleys and cables to pull on the ends of the bow, it increases rigidity of the limbs. This increased stiffness makes it less elastic and will help absorb external forces from the environment when shooting. That way, you’ll end up with a higher precision shot compared to other traditional bows. With a compound bow, you can improve all aspects of your archery skills – focus, aim velocity and power – for greater results at every competition.

Why wooden arrows are not compatible with compound bows?

Compound bows require a certain type of arrow for optimal performance; typically carbon or aluminum arrows are preferred over wood arrows. This is due to the fact that compound bows tend to be high-powered and have higher draw weights than traditional recurve or longbows. As such, they require an arrow with a stiffer spine and more durable construction in order to withstand the force of being shot from such a powerful bow. Wood arrows simply cannot handle the strain that comes with shooting from a compound bow without breaking upon release or deflecting too much after impact (leading to inaccurate shots).

Wood arrows have a higher tendency to splinter when fired from a compound bow due to the tremendous amount of force created by this equipment. Although it is possible to secure your arrow with utmost care, wood arrows can be more prone to sudden shattering.

Alternatives to Wooden Arrows

If you’re looking for a functional arrow that is different to the traditional wooden variety, Aluminum and carbon arrows are best options. Aluminum arrows are more affordable and ideal if you are just starting out. Carbon fiber arrows have even greater strength and accuracy than wood, making them perfect for longer distances when shooting targets. 

1- Aluminum Arrows

aluminum arrow

Aluminum arrows are a great option for those wanting to use both a recurve bow and compound bow. They offer consistent performance and durability, making them easier to shoot with less fatigue. Additionally, aluminum arrows are an ideal choice for beginners due to their affordability, with most models costing far less than other types of arrows. All in all, aluminum arrows offer some significant advantages over wooden arrows.

2- Carbon Arrows

Carbon fiber arrows have become extensively popular for modern archery due to their superior strength, durability and high energy output. Compared to wood, carbon fiber can easily handle the force that a compound bow projects – even with repeated use. Moreover, carbon fiber arrows are usually made up of a combination of carbon and plastic filler material in order to make them lighter and less prone to breaking. This ensures they fly straight and true over long distances while also allowing them to stand up to any punishment they may be exposed to making them perfect for hunting.

What Type of Bows are more suitable with Wooden Arrows?

When it comes to traditional bows such as longbows and recurve bows, wooden arrows remain the preferred choice for a truly authentic experience. After all, the beauty of traditional bows lies exactly in their simple mechanics working in harmony with your vision and draw strength. That said, modern forms of longbows and recurve bows still do work with wooden arrows – so if gazing at a shinier and more attractive example is your goal, you can still achieve that without sacrificing arrow quality. In conclusion, wooden arrows are an essential part of any traditional bow’s arsenal – whether it calls itself ‘classic’ or ‘modern’.

It is essential to be mindful that a wooden arrow, although aesthetically appealing, does not fare well under the pressures of modern compound bows. The traditional craftsmanship and materials put into making arrows for longbows and recurves cannot handle the strain exerted from a powerful compound bow on modern archery.

While some attempt to choose woods like pine which have high flex ratios, the arrow is ultimately designed to bend and flex when consistently experiencing such forces and will eventually weaken over time. Therefore, those engaging in target archery or hunting with a compound bow should consider investing in other types of arrows instead.

Sum Up

In summary, using wooden arrows with a compound bow is possible but not necessarily recommended due to the added risk of inaccuracy or injury associated with such an arrangement.


1- Can you shoot wooden arrows with recurve bow?

Absolutely! A recurve bow is the perfect tool for shooting wooden arrows. The combination of a recurve bow and wooden arrows creates an opportunity for archers to practice their accuracy and gain confidence in their abilities. Although wooden arrows may be lighter and more easily broken than carbon arrows, they still provide a reliable option for practicing.

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