Source: Stick & String Adventures Podcast – Episode 28 – Archers Roundtable
The Continuing Conversation between
Ned Miller – What about arm Guards? Do you guys use them and do you have any stories related to that?
Nick Viau – Actually I’ll take this one first, too. I’ve struggled with that for a long time too. Since I started shooting a longbow and I’ve gotten use to shooting it, I have not used an arm guard since. The reason being is that shooting stick bows like I do, if you are hitting your arm guard then something is wrong. So to me, if I get whacked in the forearm then I deserve it and it’s going to tell me why.
The reason that I am like that is because when I first started shooting a longbow I had an arm guard on and my string was really taking a beating. I was shooting really awful for about a month. I couldn’t figure out why. I had to keep re-serving my string and I wondering what was going on. Somebody watched me shoot and they said, “Why do you shoot back foot back?” Like I said, I am a fairly big guy and I’ve got long arms and a bit of a barrel chest. One of the things that happened was that by kicking my back foot back I opened myself up so I was hitting my arm guard every single time. The grommets in my arm guard were cutting my string. That’s one of the things that was causing everything to go so wacky. I didn’t even think about that. So, I took the arm guard off. I hit my arm a few times. I straitened myself out and I was fixed that fast. So from here on out I never shoot with an arm guard on unless I’m at a show.
I really like the arm guard that Jason recently made me for “Life & Longbows.” I love that. I will wear that for shows and things like that, but when I am actually going to shoot all day and go into the woods and stuff, I won’t use an arm guard.
Now, when I’m in the woods and I have to keep a coat sleeve held back, what I try to do is wear tighter fitting cloths so I don’t have to worry about that. One of the things I got from one of Fred Eichler’s articles… He was selling rubber bands and I was like, “Why is Fred Eichler selling Signature Series Rubber Bands? Has it really gotten that bad?” I was really laughing about it the other day. I’ll be danged if I didn’t take a bunch of rubber bands into the woods with me one day. I was thinking, “Man to hold back my coat, I’ll bet you this would really work.” I put a couple on my coat and I wont use an arm guard ever again. Get a thick rubber band and put it around your coat and your good to go.
Ned Miller – That’s a great point.
“Color me sissified, but the far and few inbetween that I do hit my arm, that really hurts.”
Jason Albert – I’m the opposite. Color me sissified, but the far and few inbetween that I do hit my arm, that really hurts.
Nick Viau – No pain, no gain, Jason.
Jason Albert – It makes me so angry when I do it because it hurts so bad. So I do wear an arm guard. I don’t hit it very often, but when I do I am so thankful for that arm guard. But you have to remember, I’m shooting sixty-five pound recurves and seventy-three pound reflex-deflex bows. So I really got the weight on there and it’s just smacking the crap out of me. I’ll cry. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’ll cry like a little girl… No, I’m just kidding. I’m a real man, dang it.
“I have actually seen people draw blood from not wearing an arm guard”
So especially for a beginner, if you’re just starting off, I think that is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can buy because you are going to smack your arm. It is going to hurt and it will make you not want to shoot if you just keep smacking it. I have actually seen people draw blood from not wearing an arm guard.
Nick Viau – Oh Yeah, I was bruised from chest to wrist. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing when I first started shooting.
Ned Miller – Yeah, I think that’s a great point, especially for a new archer. They definitely have to have that just because we know that they are going to hit their arm. I’m with both of you. I use an arm guard when I am just practicing if I think about it. Unless I forget, then I smack my arm, and then I think about it.
When I’m hunting I don’t use one at all. Whatever I’m wearing is what I have. I don’t hold back my sleeves. That’s a good idea. I’ve never tried that with the rubber bands. I just go with whatever I have on. The misses that I’ve had weren’t clothing related , but I think that’s a good idea.