Archery has been a primordial sport since ancient times. It has given birth to various essential survival skills. The use of archery arrows and bows comes hand in hand with all its complexity. The arrows have a distinct style and variation depending on the usage. Apart from archery, the longer shafted arrows are used for single uses in various survival activities and struggles. The arrows are made from a single shaft on which the tip, fletching and nocks are present. The balancing of any arrow plays a crucial role in its activity and thus should meet all the prescribed aerodynamic parameters.
The arrows have a primary fin-like projection with a sharp tip, fletching and a nock. It is composed of the following parts -
Shaft - It is the fundamental basal part of the arrow made from wood or non-metals such as aluminium, plastic, carbon fibre or their altogether combination. All other components are attached on the shaft only. Its spine analyzes the rigidity of the shaft. It detects the degree of shaft’s bending and compression. The weight of the shaft is measured in GPI (Grains per inch) unit. For example, if you have an arrow that is 32 inches long and has a GPI of 10, it means that your shaft is 320 grains or, in other words, about 20 grams.
Arrowhead - It is the tip of the arrow, also regarded as the projectile point, which is the first part to hit the surface. Hence, it is the most crucial part of the shaft which determines the usage. The tip or points of arrowheads are of various types which determines its function -
Fletchings - Fletchings are found in the back of the shaft, which provides additional stability and force for a smooth flight of the arrow while focusing. They keep the arrow stiffed and held the arrow pointed while targeting. In modern time, the fletchings are made from plastic which increases stability. In some specific competitions such as flight archery, the fletchings are made from metals. There are usually three fletchings placed in the shaft - one is referred to as nock feather to which the cock feather is attached at the right angle. Sometimes arrow with four feathers is also used.
Wraps - These are the plastic and vinyl material usually used to wrap the nock end of an arrow. Wraps with various bright color aids in easy detection of the arrows in grasses. Wraps help in easy removal of the vanes and the fletchings.
Nocks - It is found at the end of an arrow. The self nocks are located in the arrow’s back with various slot pieces. The nocks provide additional friction to the arrow so that they can be prevented from slip off. Nocks also provide extra strength to the arrows by increasing its velocity.
The oldest evidence of arrows being shot by a bow was found 10,000 years ago in Ahrensburg valley of Hamburg. People also have other theories based on history but most believe that arrow shafts were primarily made from wood, bamboos or reeds in ancient times. The traditionally preferred woods were obtained from Port Orford Cedar. The traditional bows lack any specific centre shooting skill, and thus the arrows usually deviate from the path. In oldest times the fletching was manufactured with natural sources such as feather obtained from turkey and goose. The traditional arrows were heavy to use and were easily broken down while aiming. They usually have a length of 45 cm to 150 cm.
The modern arrows have undergone multiple changes and modifications. These are usually made from fibre and non-metals to increase its durability. The shafts are sharpened to provide additional strength to the arrow. The new age arrows have a length from 75 cm to 96 cm. These are light weighted than the ancient form and have a higher degree of compression.