Many archers don’t know that there is a top and bottom of a wood arrow shaft, and care must be taken when building arrows to take this fact into account. If you look at the shaft you will notice a slight feathering on opposite sides. This is called the rift of the grain and is the weakest part of the shaft. It also designates the top and bottom of the arrow shaft. You will notice that the rift runs one way on one side of the shaft and in the opposite direction on the other side.

You will want to place the rift that is pointing toward the broadhead end of the arrow on top, or at the 12 o’clock position when nocked, and the rift that points toward the nock end on the bottom, or six o’clock position when nocked. The reason for this is that if the arrow does come apart when shot, the broken rear section will break up and away from your bow arm, thereby preventing the shaft from becoming imbedded into your arm or hand.