Wear and tear on fingers

There was a recent blog post (Charles’ Archery Blog) on finger injuries and finger tabs, here’s a  Link to it
For that reason I thought I would post this observation about my own shooting and finger damage. I know it may not look much but believe me it hurts lots and I’ve found I can only shoot about 20 arrows before it becomes a serious problem.
finger wear and tear

Finger wear and tear

As you can see a callous has developed on the tip with the skin being very rough with it splitting and bruising developed.
I’ve avoided shooting for a couple of weeks to give it more time to heal, with the photo above showing what it was like after a week.

So what is causing it?

I think this was  something that developed after the Lyme valley shoot (Shoot report) where most people got soaked. This resulted in my hand got very wet and the skin cracking on the ring finger. The dye from my tab leached into the skin and it looked more like an open wound then cracked skin.

The effect of this on my draw is in an uneven draw and bruising on the ring finger and pain in the fingertip on the draw up and release. I’ve tried applying tape to the finger tip for protection but this doesn’t help.
I have found that Savlon intensive healing skin cream has helped the healing process too and is now an addition to my kit.
I think part of the problem is I’ve developed bad form in my draw which results in an uneven distribution of pressure across the three fingers. I think I’m going to have to work on my consistency of draw to ensure even draw weight on all fingers.
In addition, rather than going for a deep anchor into the first joint of the finger I’ve overtime let it slip to the finger tips. 
I’m also going to spend some time looking at my tab and wear patterns. I might look at adding another layer to it.
So guess it will be coach coach thy self. Hope this helps
Thanks for reading.

Pulling Arrows a few tips and thoughts

Ok so it sounds easy, grab hold of the end not in the target and pull.

Well yes you can do that but you run the risk of bending the arrow or worse snapping it, resulting in a broken arrow and possible injury to yourself. I must admit to cringing sometimes when I see archers pull arrows from a boss or 3D target.

I’ve seen carbon arrows snap resulting in the archer slicing his finger open. (I’ve had to patch them up too when this has happened) or wooden arrows bending into a banana as someone is a little over zealous when drawing them.

So I thought I would write an entry on what I see is a safer ways of drawing arrows. It was something that was stressed at the NFAS coaching course I did, but it still amazes me that not everyone does it safely.

Please remember these are my views and personal advice.

Before I go any further I would say it is worth investing in an arrow puller or grip as this gives you greater grip on to the arrow. In the case of carbon arrows it also reduces the risk of getting carbon splinters.

Drawing the arrow – dos and don’ts explained

First off its important that all archers get to  see where their shots have landed in the target. In a competition you shouldn’t touch any arrows until the scores have been taken and agreed.

Always ask if its ok to draw other archers arrows, some people will want to draw their own arrows.

Always check behind you before you draw. Never stand directly in front of boss or target,  as the person drawing may not see you and poke you with arrow they are drawing.

As with everything there is a right way and several wrong ways to do things, this is the same as with pulling arrows.

Drawing arrows badly

Drawing arrows badly

Never grab from the end as this will result in bending or snapping the arrow. The method shown in the picture above will result in bent or broken arrow. Always hold at base of arrow never the end

Never use your thumb on top as this can lead to bending arrow

The method shown in the picture below with the thumb on top of arrow will result in force being applied downwards and this can cause it to bend.

gripping arrow

Gripping arrow using your thumb

Always put palm on the boss and pull with other hand

The method shown in the picture below is what I advise as the correct way, grasping arrow with fingers (not using the thumb)  and other hand on target. By holding the target with the other hand you can judge how stable it is.

I’ve seen archers pull and arrow and the boss or 3D target fall on them as it wasn’t well secured or stable.

Drawing arrows

Drawing arrows with one hand on the boss to steady it

Last piece of advice would be to put your bow down somewhere safe before you start drawing arrows. Avoiding putting them on top of the target as they can easily fall and become damaged.

Hope  you find this of use, and please add any comments or feedback.

As always thanks for reading.