While an arm guard isn't a necessity in the sport of archery, it can be helpful for some archers, especially those new to shooting a bow. The best arm guard for you will be the one that fits properly and offers protection in the area where the bow string tends to hit you the most, suggests the Hamilton Angling and Hunting Association.
What it Does
Archery arm guards serve no other purpose but to protect your arm while you're shooting a bow. Some archers have trouble with their bow string rubbing against the arm they're holding the bow with, which can cause a painful skin rash and bruising. Wearing an arm guard covers that part of the arm so the bow string doesn't make contact with your skin.
Picking Your Type
There are two basic types of arm guards. A full length arm guard is recommended for a beginner, since it offers more protection and can also keep your sleeves from coming into contact with your arrow or bow string. Once you gain experience and learn how to rotate your elbow, you can move on to a standard arm guard that simply attaches to your forearm. It will help keep your arm out of reach of the bow string,
Making Your Own
As of 2013, archery arm guards range in price from around $7 up to $35, but it's possible to make your own for practically nothing. All you need is scissors, a plastic bottle, some elastic and a punch, according to World Archery. Cut out a piece of plastic approximately 7 cm wide by 15 cm long, which you can adjust to fit your size. Punch two holes through each end of the plastic, thread a piece of elastic through both sets of holes, then tie each piece of elastic off to make it tight enough to secure the plastic to your arm.
Additional Archery Accessories
Whether you're going out on a hunt or just doing some target practicing, there are some other accessories you may need for your safety. A shirt guard can hold your clothing tight against your body, eliminating the chance of your string getting caught on the fabric. Finger tabs can help protect your fingers and prevent blisters. Alternatively, you could try a mechanical handheld release or a wrist release.
- Archery-Supplies.org: Types of Archery Arm Guards
- Archery-Supplies.org: Archery Arm Guard and Shooting Accessories
- Discover Archery: What Other Things Do I Need to Start Shooting?
- Missouri Department of Conservation: Bowhunter Education
- NC State University A&T State University Cooperative Extension: Tools for Archers
- World Archery: How to Make Your Own Archery Equipment
- Hamilton Angling and Hunting Association: Choosing Your First Archery Equipment