Like supermodels, modern arrows keep getting lighter, stronger, faster, thinner–and more complicated. Scott Andress, the owner of Pike County Archery in Illinois, and a man obsessed with arrows, walked us through the components that make up the ultimate arrow.

1. Nock
Andress recommends changing nocks, which can wear, every year–and every one at the same time.

2. Fletching
Short 2-inch vanes are stiff and tough and have nearly replaced 4-inch vanes. Most factory arrows have straight or offset fletching, but helical fletching gets an arrow spinning more quickly for better stability.

3. Arrow Wraps
These help hunters follow the flight of small-diameter arrows.

4. Shaft
Micro-diameter arrows have smaller shafts of stiffer materials that can lead to better penetration. Arrows with varying spine ratings along the same shaft seek to tame the flex that occurs when the enormous load of energy is applied at the release of the bowstring. Stiffer back sections take up the force, while the lighter middle and forward sections contain most of the flex.

5. Broadhead
Mechanical broadheads create wicked wound channels. And they’re getting ever larger, with cutting diameters over 2 inches.