Equipment Reviews – Finger protectors

We recently ran a couple of sessions introducing archery at a local school and wanted to make things as easy as possible for ourselves and the archers,  so we bought some finger protectors to go on the junior bows rather than worrying about issuing out finger tabs.
For those not familiar these devices, let me give you a quick description of what they are. There purpose is to protect the archers fingers when drawing back and releasing the string. Anyone who has shot a bow several times with no finger protection knows full well how sore your fingers can become, even if only using a bow with a light poundage draw weight.
These protectors remove the need for the archer to use a tab or shooting glove. This makes them great for taster sessions or have-a-go events. They fit over the bow string serving at the nocking point.
Whilst they are a great addition, they are a pain to fit on the string so I thought I would offer these thoughts as a review.
Since they have to slide over the string, getting them over the string loop isn’t an easy task. Trying to thread the bow string through the small hole in the protectors is near impossible. I tried using thin thread, even wire to help give me purchasse to pull the string through as you can’t push it through the hole.

Wire on string loop.

You have to be particularly careful not to damage the bow string by using wire or other thin string, as you run the chance of damaging or worse cutting the bow string threads. In the above image you can see the serving thread opening up.
I also found that thin wire snapped easily. I ended up using a cable tie I normally use for my mobile charging cable.

Threading wire through

Make sure you are working from one end of the string so you get the two pieces in the right spot.
I found once i had threaded the wire through, I could use a pair of pliers to grip the wire and pull the bow string.

Pulling string through

We have noticed they do move a little on the string when being used,, so you might want to monitor this. You could add a loop of spare serving at the bottom of the protectors on the string to stop it moving.
Warming in cup

Warming the plastic in a cup of hot water.

Top tip –  I found dropping the protectors into hot water prior to fitting them on the string made them slightly more malleable. This was a trick I picked up when fighting to fit different attachments to garden hoses. I found warming the hose made it more flexible so I tried it with the protectors and it worked.

Where did we get them?

They are available from most archery shops and we bought ours from Merlin Archery.
N.B. There are two types, one solid one large enough for those shooting three fingers under and a type which comes in two parts for those wanting to set up for splint finger or Med lose.

How much do they cost?

The ones we bought were £2.36 for a pack of 4. There are others available from different manufacturers.
Nusensei has a great YouTube on fitting these if you are thinking of using them.
Overall I think they work really well for have-a-go sessions or for junior bows. Since they are a pain to fit we bought spare strings and fitted them to these. This meant for each of our junior bows we have two strings, one with, one without.
One last point about doing this. Take your time. I rushed doing this as had four to do. This resulted in me fitting one set perfectly, but to the wrong string!
Thanks for reading and stay safe.
bows of Selection

Turning the lockdown into an opportunity

With many of us in isolation, lockdown or simply finding more time on our hands due to COVID-19, it might be easy to go a little stir crazy.
So why not use this time productively in some way, you could improve your knowledge or fix up your archery gear, maybe make some new arrows. The thing is the possibilities are endless and it can help your mental health too.
With this in mind I thought I might post a list of different things you could do based on some articles I’ve written over the years.
Catch up on your reading
The other week I posted a list of books I have reviewed and wanted to share, not all archery related, but I think are worth a read Home isolation opportunities
P.S. John Hudson has just put out a book as a free download on how to survive a pandemic. Don’t worry its not a survival guide more about simple advice like don’t get hung up on every news report. (https://www.johnhudsonsurvival.com/)
Arrow making and repairs

If you have somewhere safe to be able to shoot, I’ve included a couple of links to some simple tips on range based exercises.

This is a tough time for many of us, largely because we are both social creatures and enjoy spending time outdoors enjoying our chosen hobby.

One thing I have found has helped me is unplugging from social media or rather the constant updates, news reports etc. I’ve taken to switching the phone off for a few hours and going to do some digging in the garden, reading a book or doing some online learning / research on topics that interest me. I feel better for doing this and having some down time.

Sure I’m still using Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends and family. I’ve even got my 77 year old Mam on WhatsApp! The important thing is I’m not letting the constant deluge of stories fill my new found free time.

Stay safe and thanks for reading.