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One of the most important pieces of equipment for an archer is the arm guard. Archery arm guards are designed to protect the inside of the forearm from the string's slap upon release, which can cause pain, bruises, and welts.
There are two main types of arm guards for archery: traditional and modern.
Traditional arm guards are made from leather and wrap around the inside of the forearm, protecting it from the string's slap. These arm guards are commonly used by traditional archers and come in different shapes and sizes to fit different arm sizes. The traditional arm guard typically consists of a leather strap that wraps around the arm and a padded leather panel that covers the inside of the forearm. Some traditional arm guards also feature an adjustable strap to ensure a snug fit.
Modern arm guards are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, neoprene, and silicone, and come in a variety of styles, including wrist-mounted and bracer-style. These arm guards are designed to be lightweight and flexible, offering protection without impeding movement. Modern arm guards often feature adjustable straps for a secure fit and come in a range of colors and designs.
The primary purpose of arm guards is to protect the inside of the forearm from the string's slap upon release. A string slap occurs when the bowstring hits the arm upon release, causing a painful sting and potential bruises and welts. These injuries can be distracting and impair an archer's performance. An arm guard helps to absorb the shock of the string's slap and prevent injury.
Archery arm guards can also provide comfort and improve an archer's shooting experience. They help to reduce the shock and vibration felt upon release, making it easier for archers to shoot for longer periods without experiencing discomfort. This is especially important for archers who participate in long tournaments or extended shooting sessions.
Wearing an arm guard can also help improve an archer's technique. The added protection can give archers the confidence to shoot with proper form, allowing for improved accuracy and consistency. Archery arm guards can also help prevent the development of bad habits, such as flinching or tensing the arm, that can negatively affect an archer's performance.
When choosing an arm guard, it is important to consider the following factors:
Archery arm guards come in different sizes, so it is important to choose one that fits properly. An arm guard that is too large may slide down the arm, while one that is too small may not provide adequate protection. To ensure the best fit, measure the circumference of your forearm just below the elbow and choose an arm guard that matches the measurement.
The material of the arm guard is also an important consideration. Some materials, such as leather and neoprene, are more durable and provide better protection, while others, such as plastic and silicone, are lighter and more flexible. Consider the type of archery you will be participating in and the conditions in which you will be shooting when choosing the material of your arm guard.
There are several different styles of archery arm guards available, including wrist-mounted and bracer-style. Wrist-mounted arm guards attach to the wrist and protect the entire forearm, while bracer-style arm guards wrap around the arm and cover the inside of the forearm. Consider your personal preferences and shooting style when choosing the style of arm guard that is best for you.
Many arm guards come with adjustable straps, making it easy to achieve a snug, secure fit. Consider arm guards with adjustable straps to ensure a comfortable fit, even if your arm size changes over time.
Archery arm guards range in price from budget-friendly options to high-end models. Consider your budget when choosing an arm guard, and keep in mind that investing in a high-quality arm guard can provide better protection and improve your shooting experience.