3 Reasons Why Your Arrows Keep Falling Off The Rest

by | Feb 20, 2023

A harmless, yet frustrating aspect of starting out in archery is when your arrows keep falling off the rest. Thankfully, the solution to get your arrows to stay put is really simple.

The number one cause of the arrow coming off the rest is the movement of the fingers. To stop this from happening, keep the back of your draw hand flat as you draw. If you allow the wrist to bend you will add a twisting motion to the string which will lift the arrow off the rest.

The solution for keeping your arrow in place as you draw all comes down to the correct form. In this article, we’ll look at the 3 main reasons your arrows could be lifting off the rest and a quick fix you can do for each one to solve the problem.

3 Reasons Why Your Arrows Keep Falling Off The Rest

Here are the 3 main reasons why your arrows keep flicking off the rest, and some quick fixes that you draw back.

We’ll also include some of the fixes that you should avoid, and why!

1. You’re Twisting The Bowstring

When you draw the bowstring back to your anchor point, it’s easy to forget that you need to pull in a straight line.

String twisting or torquing occurs when you’re pulling back on the string and inadvertently curl your fingers. This changes the path of the string and lifts the arrow off the rest.

Anxiety can also play a part here.

To correct this, try to keep a straight line from your elbow to the knuckle of your index finger and avoid squeezing your fingers as you draw back.

Tip: Keep the back of your hand flat and avoid showing any knuckles

Drawing a Recurve Bow

2. You’re Pinching The Nock

If you are keeping the back of the hand flat and the arrow is still flicking off the rest, then it could be because you are pinching the nock as you draw back.

Movement of the arrow comes from the fingers, so separating your fingers out allows the nock to breathe without actually touching it.

Tip: Until the moment of release, think of Your fingers as an immovable hook, rather than actively squeezing them together

3. Nocking Point Is Too Low

When you release an arrow from a bow, you need downward pressure on the rest to control the arrow’s trajectory.

If your nocking point is set too low, then this won’t happen and can lead to your arrows lifting off the rest. For a recurve bow, the ideal nock height is 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch in height.

Measure the nocking point by using a bow square. If you’re not comfortable doing this, head to your local pro shop!

And What You Shouldn’t Do To Keep Your Arrow On The Rest

1. Put Your Finger On The Arrow

This one seems a little obvious but here it is anyway.

Some people are of the impression that putting the index finger of the bow hand against the arrow to stop it from falling off is a good idea. Here’s why it isn’t.

If you take the bow to full draw with your finger pressed against the arrow and you accidentally draw back a little too far, you’re going to end up with the tip of that finger halfway between your bow and the target.

Putting any kind of pressure on the arrow shaft could also cause a deflection.

You wouldn’t fancy putting your finger over the end of a gun and firing it, right?

2. Canting Your Bow

While it may look cool in the movies and has some merit for the bow hunters out there, canting your bow to keep your arrow on the rest is impractical at best, and a little silly at worst.

Canting your bow won’t solve the issue as to why your arrow is flicking off the bow in the first place.

Go back to your fundamentals and practice good technique. Forearm and wrist straight, don’t pinch the nock, and don’t twist the string!

The Best Way To Keep Your Arrows On The Rest

Getting good instruction from the very start is by far the best way to stop the arrow lift.

Practice is one thing, but if you haven’t been shown what you’re doing wrong in the first place, then you won’t know if what you’re practising is the right thing or the wrong thing!

The best technique tip to stop your arrows from falling off the rest is simply to keep the back of your hand flat.

By doing that, you’re basically solving all of the other problems.

Archery Instruction

If the back of your hand is flat, you can still pinch the nock without your arrow coming off the rest. Even if you separate your fingers to avoid the nock but curl the fingers, the arrow will still lift.

You can also cant the bow without the arrow coming off, as long as the back of your hand is flat.

You could even keep your finger on the arrow and it still won’t come off. (I mean the arrow. No guarantee about the tip of your finger).


if your arrows are lifting off the rest it can be frustrating as well as embarrassing, especially if it’s your first day on the range.

If you’ve tried all of the above, and the lift is still happening, then don’t up. It’s one of those things that seems like an impossible thing, but with one simple tweak of your technique, you’ll eradicate the problem before you know it.

Ask a coach, or ask a friend with some experience behind them. Remember, practice is one thing, but if you’re practising bad technique, you’ll make very little progress.

If you try all of the above solutions and your arrows are still coming off the rest, then you probably need to ask a friend to film you as you shoot. Try different camera angles to see if you can capture how your forearm and wrist look as you draw.