You bought a few carbon arrows a couple of years ago and wondered if the arrows could eventually go bad. That’s a good question, and we’re going to cover it here.
Do carbon arrows go bad? After a while, you need to replace carbon arrows because ongoing hard impacts and continued use break down the fibers and the spine weakens. With heavy shooting, the estimated lasting time is about two years, but this depends on the brand.
If you’d like to learn more about carbon arrows and why they go bad, keep reading because we’re going to cover that.
How Carbon Arrows Go Bad
Unlike aluminum arrows, carbon arrows don’t warp or bend. You have one serious flaw with them, however. Rather than warping or bending, carbon arrows crack and split as they go bad. Never shoot a damaged arrow like this because it can endanger you or someone else. If you want to know what happens when a bow explodes, check out my article here. It’s similar to what happens when an arrow explodes but worse.
You may begin to see the arrows not fly as straight and wobble more. The biggest issue that you get with carbon arrows is that they lose their spine after a while, especially when you continually shoot arrows into hard targets. Friction heats up the arrow as it slams into its target. Slowly, the bond of the carbon fibers deteriorate.
Carbon Arrows: No In-Between
When it comes to carbon arrows, you don’t have a middle ground. The arrows will either be in proper condition, or they will be worn out, which means you have to replace them. With carbon arrows, it’s common that the nocks wear out on them. You should check the arrow for its resistance too.
You can re-fletch a carbon arrow, but in all honesty, whenever I’ve done that, it beats up the arrow as you scrape off the old fletching. I’d recommend that you just buy new carbon arrows. The Tiger Archery 30-Inch Carbon Arrow Practice Hunting Arrows work well for a low-pound bow, and for casual archery, it does the trick.
Shooting the Spine out of Carbons
The big problem with carbon arrows comes from how you can shoot the spine out of them. After a while of shooting, one of the first things to go is the spine. How long it lasts depends on the quality of the brand too. For example, Easton carbon arrows last a while, and they’re made in the USA. On the other hand, buying carbon arrows made from China tends to mean they don’t last as long because China doesn’t have as many quality check measures to keep the arrows in good condition.
Don’t Shoot an Arrow for Too Long
In truth, even the carbon arrows don’t cost that much. In comparison to what happens if you shoot it for too long, you’d be wishing you paid the extra $30 for a new set of arrows, rather than have it explode into your hand because you shot it for too long.
Think of it this way: Arrows don’t cost even a quarter as much as rehab, hospital bills and the time off work. With that in mind, hopefully, you make the right choice. Two to three years maximum of heavy shooting before you replace carbon arrows. I replace mine every two years because I shoot a lot.
In some cases, depending on the manufacturer, the spine can deteriorate in as little as one year with heavy shooting. It depends on a case-by-case basis. Watch the arrows for damage, rather than set guidelines.
Can Carbon Arrows Go Bad from Poor Weather?
Let’s say that you left your carbon arrows out in the snow for the whole winter. The snow melted in the spring, and you found them sitting next to the garage.
Can you use carbon arrows after encountering bad weather or have they gone bad? Because of the weight of the snow on the arrows, I would not advise using those arrows. New carbon arrows don’t cost that much in comparison to an emergency room visit and the following rehabilitation. Don’t risk it. At the least, the weight of the snow will impact the spine.
The continual freezing and thawing over the winter can have a negative impact on carbon arrows. It puts a lot of stress on the carbon fibers.
Some people don’t have a problem shooting an arrow that was left out in bad weather, but you should at least understand how you take a risk. Arrows turn brittle when left out. They can sustain damage that puts you at risk from shooting them.
Can Arrows Go Bad?
Along with carbon arrows going bad, you should know that all arrows can go bad. It doesn’t matter what material you use. The continual impact of arrows on their targets will eventually cause the arrow to go bad. If you’d like a good article on this, check out the piece I wrote on “How Many Times Can You Reuse an Arrow?”
Carbon is the most durable arrow, but it costs the most. Even still, they begin to deteriorate after two years of heavy shooting.
How to Keep Your Carbon Arrows in Good Condition
First, store them properly. You can cause a lot of damage from not storing them correctly. Watch the feathers because when damaged, it will hinder its flight. Beware of hard targets that could damage the arrow, such as rocks behind a target if the arrow misses. Hard impacts can wear out the carbon fibers sooner than their lifespan.
Every few shots, inspect the arrows for shaft damage. Never shoot an arrow that has damage to the shaft.
Here’s what can happen when you fire a damaged arrow:
As you can see, shooting a damaged arrow is nothing to sniffle over. You may get lucky once, but this video demonstrates the full picture of what can go wrong. Unless having an arrow shard go straight through your hand sounds attractive, you may want to replace those old carbon arrows, rather than risk it.
Carbon arrows can go bad. They have greater durability than other arrows, but if you shoot them for too long, it could expose you to dangers. You have people who lost their entire archery career because they shot a bad arrow or the bow exploded on them and it led to seriously injury. Another thing that you should never do is shoot too short of an arrow. Check out my article here to learn why.