Archery Annoyances | Clothing Choices

(music playing) Here’s something that happens often it’s a bit chilly in the morning so you grab a jacket, you out it on, and head down the range. Pretty harmless right? This can be the single most annoying thing that can happen to you. This can be especially true for the colder months when you need to put warm clothing on. Many people tend to put on layers of thick padded coats. And while it is important to keep warm, it’s also important to understand what kind of clothing is suited for archery. The reason why something like this becomes a problem is because it can interfere with the string as it comes through. The string comes very close to your chest and your arms so it can catch onto something quite easily. When then happens, the shot loses quite a bit of energy sSo the shot becomes fouled. Than means you will probably go off target. It’s hard enough hitting the target as it is and you really don’t want something like this getting in the way. In fact this parka has caused a lot of problems for me. The weight of it made it hard for me to come to a full draw and I had a lot of trouble coming in and expanding to complete the shot process. There are few other hassles. Unzipped jackets have a high chance getting caught. A lot of hoodies have loose strings that can flick into your face. And women tend to be bit more fashionable when they can wear shawls or loose flowy tops. And that can get in the way as well, especially on a windy day. Point being, if you go to try to do archery there is such a thing as appropriate clothing. So what is appropriate clothing? Generally you should wear comfortable tight fit tops. Baggy T-shirts might be okay on a calm day, but on a windy day, the extra material becomes quite fiddly. This is actually a problem with some sport polo tops. This one is from Archery Australia. It has a nice smooth glossy fabric for hot days. But unfortunately the sleeve is too wide. The problem is how on a windy day this can blow across and hit the string on the way out. And trust me – I’ve done it more than a few times. If you are concerned about feeling cold, make sure you wear loads of tight clothing. Fleece jackets and vests are also popular. Wearing a long sleeve shirt as an underlayer is also common. And some shooters go with compression wear. Using a chest guard helps trmendously with flattening clothing and provides a smooth surface if the string does make contact. Avoid bunching up sleeves. Use the armguard to keep long sleeves in place. Generally speaking avoid anything that is too large. While we’re at it let’s talk about headwear. Caps are quite popular, however for a few shooters, especially for recurve archers, the peak of the cap can get in the way of the string. The bucket hat is a popular alternative. But really anything with a soft or flexible brim is a good choice. For footwear anything with flat soles makes it bit easier to sense how are you balancing. But really most footwear is fine, whether it’s runners or boots. I would suggest that you avoid anything with significant heels, I mean it really doesn’t make a huge difference if you’re only doing archery as a one off thing. But if you’re training regularly, remember archery is an outdoor sport, so having the right footwear can make the difference. Anyway, clothing can be a simple choice, but being careless can lead to a lot of frustration. Hope this was helpful, and I’ll see you next time.

24 thoughts on “Archery Annoyances | Clothing Choices

  1. Nothing a chest guard won't fix if you're wearing lots of layers or loose flowing clothing. Even when it's cold, I usually just wear the club 'jersey' with long sleeve compression gear.

  2. Japanese "single unsleeved bow arm" is what I use (in combination of arm guard, chest protector, long sleeve conforming under shirt.

    The left arm (my bow hand) sleeve is tucked into a belt loop behind my back.

  3. On cold days trouser lengh thermal underwear makes all the difference. Keep your legs warm and you can wear fewer upper body layers. I usually have a cotton & nylon turtle neck (cheap cycling gear from Aldi) and perhaps a thin shell, fleece or sweater. With the thermals I've been happy and relaxed down to 9 or 10 celcius with ice in the ground (caveat: a good breakfast or lunch is a must, preferably something sloppy and warm, like porridge, as this lines your gut and keeps you satisfied for longer – it's to do with the surface area to volume ratio of semi liquid food to particulate food).

  4. I've got a simple, yet complicated (LOL) question: what about shooting barefoot? I found, that I feel more comfortable at shooting this way, just as I do with working out in the gym. Only problem, if it actually bothers anyone, would be the stares that people make at you 😉

  5. The whole point is moot really.  "Shooting a bow", while an efficient way of communicating the action, isn't really what we do.  We are archers, we launch arrows, the bow is a part of that.  We are one, and there should be nothing to obstruct the flow of energy between me and my bow.  This is why I only shoot in the nude, and so should everyone who wants to master archery. 

    At first, my club was hesitant to allow me to even enter the property, but after some explanation they acquiesced.  Eventually some of the other members even started to join me after seeing the results, now the majority of us shoot this way. 
    If you're going to wear clothes at all, you're already raising a barrier distinguishing you from the bow.  I see little point in worrying about a little bit of loose fabric hitting the string, your form as an archer is already irrevocably damaged.

  6. You didn't mention the importance of having footwear that fully encloses the foot.

    Scenario:- Hot Day, you decide to wear flip flops (I know!..Bare with me) and after shooting your arrows you walk forward to retrieve them but one has fallen short and you're not sure exactly where it is due to long grass! you then feel a searing pain as your un-protected foot finds the nock end of the arrow as it enters your foot between your toes and you're on your way to the emergency room.
    I don't know about the rules governing archery in Aus, but here in the UK, Archery GB rules of shooting which must be applied at every target archery club, specifically prohibit the use of footwear that does not completely enclose the foot for this reason. This includes sandals, flip flops, Crocks, (they have holes) and basically any kind of shoe with an open toe or sides and DEFINITELY NO BARE FEET!

  7. We should create some sort of double breasted archers jacket or suit that has build in features needed by archers like chest guard, arm bracer, shoulder bracer etc. Look at air rifle shooter. They got special suit and it looks cool.

  8. I'm obese, so I normally shoot in the nude. My thick bologna breasts don't usually give me much problem, other than the occasional string induced shredded nipple and frequent patches of thatched chest hair being ripped from my chest, like a hungry robin yanking a helpless worm from the ground.

  9. i dont know what i would do without my bucket hat. Also I mentally freak out everytime I have a jacket on and im shooting, I can't shoot with one on unless its skin tight

  10. I really like Under Armour Cold Gear. The UA 3.0 base layer is very close-fitting, and is very warm, especially if you put another layer like a shooting jersey or snug-fitting vest on top.

  11. Managed to cut strands on a new string in only 1 week that got caught in a zipper of a jacket, that sucked

  12. Probably already mentioned but carry some bulldog clips to cinch down baggy sleeves.

  13. I remember a long time ago, archers would wear a specific type of hat – it looked a bit like a three- corner hat, if memory serves. Just like bicyclists used to wear a type poo f hat before they came out with bike helmets.

  14. Can you talk about hunting camo outfits, and what they do to overcome the string interference issues?

  15. SO TRUE! I had to shoot like Squirrel the Silly Samurai with my rain jacket half off at teh last shoot. Boffd 3 shots off my raincoat.

  16. I wear tight fitting shirts, but then my 40" DDs get in the way. And I'm a guy…

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