Protecting yourself and others is something you should do right from the start.
The bow is a dangerous weapon which must not be underestimated. There are certain areas of your body that have a higher chance of injuries if you don’t protect them.
Those are your fingers, your arm, and your chest (if you are a woman).
So before you even think of starting with archery make sure you get/rent all the following protective archery gear to spare yourself some bruises.
The arm guard will be your best friend of your protective archery gear when you get started. Without it, you will experience nasty bruises on the lower part of the arm that is holding the bow.
It is natural for the string to connect with your arm when you release it.
Additionally to this, a beginner might do a common mistake and won’t rotate his arm out of harm’s way. This way the string will connect much stronger and on a bigger area with your arm.
At first, you will not even notice what happened, as the string is moving so fast that
your body will ignore the pain.
After a little time, you will notice that something is wrong with your arm and when you examine it you will discover an “awesome surprise”. A bruise that might stretch across your whole lower arm that will remind your for a while why you should have listened to my advice.
Please listen to me and get an arm guard before you start shooting.
Plastic arm guards are cheap and differ in their style and sizes. If you are more the traditional type of archer, then there are very nice leather arm guards available, but those are a bit pricey.
Believe me! You will thank me for this one! Right after the arm guard, this is what you need next. Have you ever tried archery on a fun fair or maybe borrowed and tried a bow from a friend?
If you have you will have noticed that your finger tips started hurting after only a few arrows. This can even go so far that your fingers start bleeding if you demand too much from them as a beginner.
There are a few things you can do about it.
First, suck it up and grow calluses on your fingertips. 😉
This will take some time, of course, but it’s the same as with guitar players. After some time you will not feel the pain anymore and your fingers will be protected naturally and you don’t have to worry about any protective archery gear regarding your finger tips.
As you can see on the picture above, it is a piece of leather or cloth that only covers the fingertips that have contact with the string. This is a very effective way of protecting your fingers. At the same time, you don’t have to spend much money on this equipment and the tabs are small and therefore easy to carry around with you.
The chest guard has two important functions.
On the one hand, it protects a woman’s chest from severe injuries. Remember that the string of the bow stores a lot of energy. When you release the string it will jump forward with incredible speed and the energy will be transferred to the arrow to make it fly towards the target. But this power is still in the string when it shoots forward passing by your body. If the string hits your chest in this process you can get badly injured.
So please protect yourself if you are a female archer by wearing a chest guard. It can’t hurt to use a chest guard as a male archer, of course. Better safe than sorry!
On the other hand, the chest guard has another function. Archery is mainly an outdoor sport and, as you know, it can be very windy out there.
Stormy conditions make it already harder to hit a target at longer distances, so you don’t want to have to struggle with your clothes out there.
The chest guard will keep your clothes under control so that they don’t get in the way of your string.
This functionality of the chest guard is very useful for all archers.
To cut a long story short: if you ever have the feeling that something might be in the way of the string (body part or clothes), try a chest guard to improve your archery experience.
All that’s left to say is: stay safe!
Be responsible and protect yourself at any time. There is nothing worse than getting hurt while doing what you love.
If you have questions about protective archery gear let me know in the comments.