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Before practicing or hunting, an archer must examine each arrow to make certain that there are no cracks or breaks in the shaft and that the nock is in good condition. A cracked or broken nock can be replaced, but a shaft that is bent or has cracks or breaks should be discarded.

Never use a cracked arrow. The shaft may shatter on release and be driven into the shooter's wrist or arm. Some common types of damage to look for are:

  • Cracks and splinters in wood arrows
  • Creases, dents, or cracks in aluminum arrows
  • Crushed sidewalls on fiberglass or graphite arrows
Arrows in a covered quiver