How do I calculate length of atlatl?

galvinisirish.e
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galvinisirish.e
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Joined: 10:04 PM - Mar 12, 2006

3:04 PM - Mar 12, 2006 #1

I was planning to make my own atlatl.

I am 6foot three. How long should the tool be from hook to where I will grip it with my hand???

thank you
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fieldwalker
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fieldwalker
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Joined: 8:12 AM - Jul 01, 2003

3:58 PM - Mar 12, 2006 #2

galvinisirish, since your going to make your own atlatl, why not make a couple different lengths? Make the first as long as your index finger to your elbow in length. Maybe about 21 inches. Make one longer and one shorter. Test them. You'll fine what's best for you as well as have a couple extra for friends to use. I recently made a new atlatl that's 22 inches from spur to rest. 1 inch longer than I was using. So far I'm glad I did. Longer atlatls seems more accurate. Jack
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the warrior yeti
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the warrior yeti
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9:03 PM - Mar 12, 2006 #3

I agree Jack. I'm also 6'3" and I use a 24 inch atlatl (three inches longer than elbow to index). It seems like I get more power out of the longer throwers, and maybe more control. I can really feel it when my wrist is engaging properly.

Irish, you might pick an easy model starting off, like the Ozark Bluff Dweller style. That way you can make a few trial lengths before putting in too much effort on a fancy thrower. -Devin
In farewell, and yet not in farewell, the Master handed me his best bow. "When you shoot with this bow you will feel the spirit of the Master near you. Give it not into the hands of the curious! And when you have passed beyond it, do not lay it up in remembrance! Destroy it, so that nothing remains but a heap of ashes."

Basketmakeratlatl.com
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galvinisirish.e
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galvinisirish.e
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Joined: 10:04 PM - Mar 12, 2006

4:11 PM - Mar 15, 2006 #4

thanks for the input.

I've taken what you said to heart. . . . . cranked out a couple of versions. . . .
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ohioatlatl
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ohioatlatl
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Joined: 8:41 PM - Jan 28, 2010

6:38 AM - Jan 30, 2010 #5

Hi, Ray Strischek here. The atlatls I make for myself are 22 1/2 inches in full length. My darts are 7 feet, 10 inches long. I am 5 feet 10 inches tall. I am sure someone will or already has come up with a formula for calculating atlatl length but to be of any use it must also correspond to dart length. Maybe someone should survey the top 20 ISAC men and women, ask them how long their atlatls and darts are, how tall they are, and see if their is any trend.

I only know this from experience:

Shorter atlatls are more accurate/easier to control (but generate less momentum/force of throw/distance).

Longer atlatls are less accurate (harder to control) but provide more momentum/force of throw/distance).

Longer darts are more accurate (6 to 7 feet versus 4 to 5 feet) (perhaps because you are closer to the target with them). However, longer darts are heavier and require a steeper throwing angle to go the same distance as a shorter dart which can be thrown on a flat trajectory at say, 20 meters. Really long darts suck as bad as pathetically short darts. However, them people in Australia use 11 to 13 foot unfletched darts with no trouble at all, and those people in the Pacific Islands who hunt little birds with 5 foot darts actually hit what they aim at, so go figure.

River Cane darts are more forgiving than bamboo, wood, ****, carbon, or aluminum darts. Non river cane darts have more kinetic energy and react more aggressively with minor changes in the force of throw than do river cane darts. River cane darts are user friendly. Bamboo is almost as user friendly, the others are not user friendly at all/require more of that extra special touch and oneness with the universe. However, ****, aluminum, and carbon darts last a long long time. River Cane and Bamboo wear out after a couple of years.

An atlatl with an atlatl weight (2 ounces) is easier to control/more accurate (via the centrifugal force gained by attaching a weight to the atlatl) than an atlatl without an atlatl weight. Heavier weights however will eventually give you a case of atlatl elbow and/or shoulder bone problems.

Ray Strischek
ohioatlatl@hotmail.com
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Diver Dan
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Diver Dan
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Joined: 11:19 PM - Nov 27, 2010

8:49 AM - Jan 08, 2011 #6

Ray,
Where are you placing the weight on your atlatl? You don't happen to have a photo you could post do you?
Thanks, Dan 
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