- Feathers : Used in particular on Wooden Arrows for Longbow, Field, and Traditional Archery, and on other arrows for short distances and Indoor Archery. Feathers provide strong steerage and some drag but are also forgiving of mistakes when making the shot as they can fold flat as the arrow passes the bow handle rather than divert the arrow form its course
- Plastic Vanes : Very widely used on arrows for most forms of archery. Made of soft plastic and used in particular on Target and Field Arrows in Aluminium and Carbon. Plastic Vanes provide less drag than feathers and make for faster arrows. Plastic Vanes come in a range of sizes and colours. There are smaller for shorter or faster arrows, larger if you want more steerage. If you choose too small a vane then the arrow will run out of steerage as it reaches the other end of its flight. This can be seen when the arrow goes from a smooth flight to suddenly starting to spiral about. If this happens you may need a larger size of vane.
- Spin Vanes : Very Lightweight usually in thin Mylar material. Used for increased arrow speed and rotation stability; and to alter balance point of the arrow as Spin Vanes are much lighter than Plastic Vanes. Mainly used on the top end Carbon Arrows for Target and Field Archery. Arrows using Spin Vanes may need some maintaining whist in use as these vanes can get damaged more easily than Plastic Vanes. Spin Vanes can easily be set at angles on the shaft to alter drag characteristics and arrow spin rates and so tune the stability of you arrows. If you watch video of competition shooting you will see the archers checking their arrow fletchings for damage after each shot, and especially so for spin vanes. Happily Spin Vanes are very easily removed and replaced when shooting.