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Which nocks should I shoot?

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

Outdoor season is upon us and I've made a ton of strings in the last month. Amongst those strings I've noticed a trend. Many archers are shooting skinny strings with GIANT nocks. Is it possible to get a good nock fit in such a scenario? Yes. Is it ideal? No. Here's why.

If the diameter of your string is significantly smaller than the nock groove, that space has to be taken up in some way to ensure a good (and safe) nock fit. There are 2 ways that can be accomplished.

  1. Use a larger diameter center serving

  2. Run extra strands of material under the center serving to take up space.

Using a larger diameter center serving only takes you so far. Once you get into the larger diameter center servings, they start to tear up an archer's face if they are anchoring under the chin (Olympic recurve). Usually the largest diameter I will do is .021 for this reason.

So then if there is still space to be taken up we are left with running additional strands of material under the center serving. If it's 1 or 2 it's not a big deal. But any more and we start to get into some issues.

  1. It's impossible to keep those strands evenly spaced around the bundle while serving. (see ideal vs. reality in diagram)

  2. It can be hard to keep those strands from roping (twisting around the string as the serving is applied. (see roping under the serving in diagram)

  3. Many padding strands can shift the center point of your nock askew from the center point of your actual string material. We spend so long making sure our limbs are aligned and everything is set just so with our bows. We don't want that being thrown off by center serving padding for extraneously large nocks.

All this to say ... if you are shooting 12 strands of 8125, large groove nocks may not be your best choice. Please consult your string maker when selecting nocks for best result.

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