Archery can be a surprisingly painful sport if you don’t have all the protective equipment in place. If you’re new to the sport, you may have noticed that other archers use something called a finger guard or finger tab when they draw back the string. You may be wondering what exactly is the point of a finger tab, and do you need a finger guard for archery?
The short answer is yes, you do need a finger guard for archery.
Some people try to shoot without a finger guard, but this can often be a painful experience. Remember you are having to hold back that poundage with your sensitive fingers. The skin will be put under a lot of pressure, especially if you’re shooting for long periods of time.
It will be much more comfortable for you to shoot using a finger guard. This works to protect your fingers so that you can shoot for hours at a time. If you were to shoot without a finger guard, you would likely have to pack away your equipment after 20 minutes because your hands would be too sore to continue.
Do you need a finger tab?
Yes, you do need a finger tab. A finger tab and a finger guard are the same things; these are just different terms for the same piece of protective equipment.
A finger tab makes it much easier to draw back the string, as you won’t have the string cutting into your skin. This also means you can hold the string back at full draw for longer, giving you longer to aim and take your shot. This time will be essential for getting consistency with your arrows, and allow you to achieve better grouping.
It won’t harm you to try shooting without a finger tab, but we’re sure that you will quickly see why this protective equipment is necessary.
How do you wear a finger guard for archery?
It couldn’t be simpler to use a finger guard for archery. All you need to do is slot your first two forefingers through the holes of the guard so that the leather rests against them when you pull back the string.
Other designs will feature an elasticated loop you attach to another finger on your hand. The most important thing is that you place it on your hand so that you can use that leather to comfortably draw back your string.
Some archers don’t like the fiddly nature of a smaller finger tab, so will instead opt for a shooting glove. This is a glove that you can comfortably wear on your dominant hand. You won’t have to worry about taking it off at any points during the shooting session as you might have to with a finger tab.
However, the vast majority of archers prefer to use a finger tab or finger guard. This is a fairly inexpensive piece of equipment that will help to improve your archery skills.
Are archery gloves needed?
While some archers do prefer to use shooting gloves, they’re not necessarily needed. These archers find them easier to use than finger tabs as you wear them just like a glove.
However, a finger guard will be more than enough for a beginner to get used to shooting. These are also much cheaper than shooting gloves, and will suit every archer.
With gloves, you may have to find a certain size to fit your particular hand. Finger guards and tabs are fairly cheap pieces of equipment, so you won’t have to pay a premium price for them like you would have to with shooting gloves.
No matter whether you prefer shooting gloves or finger guards, you will need to choose one or the other for shooting. This is so that your fingers will have the proper protection they need when shooting for long periods of time.
What finger guards do Olympic archers use?
Olympic archers will be more likely to use a finger guard for shooting rather than a glove. This is because they find it to be a more universal piece of equipment that can suit a variety of shooting styles. Some archers may even use an upgraded finger guard style that comes with a spacer.
These professional athletes use a finger tab because it gives them more sensitivity when pulling back the arrow, so they can be more in tune with their bow than if they used a shooting glove.
A finger guard will also give the Olympic archers a much smoother release thanks to the lower friction surface. Some designs such as the shelf tab have even been designed to prevent the archer from pinching the arrow, so that you don’t negatively influence their flight.
What protective gear do you need for archery?
The most important protective gear you will need for archery will be a quality finger guard and an arm guard. The arm guard is worn on the arm that holds the bow, and it will protect your limbs from the string when you release. If you don’t wear an arm guard it will really hurt, and leave you with a nasty bruise.
So there you have it! You now know that yes, a finger guard is necessary for archery. This is because it works to protect your fingers while you’re shooting, and means you can shoot for even longer.
It is possible to shoot without a finger guard, however, you likely wouldn’t be able to do so for long. This is because a lot of force is being put on your skin as you pull back. This can potentially cause things like blisters, nerve damage, and numbness. You also won’t be able to hold your bow at full draw for long because you will be in too much pain to do so.
You will find it much easier to shoot using a finger tab. Some archers prefer to use a shooting glove, however, a finger tab or finger guard is a more universal piece of equipment. These are also fairly cheap, so you won’t be breaking the bank by investing in a quality finger guard.