New shooters! If you continually keep getting smacked on your arm with the bow string, then you are most definitely in need of an archery arm guard
. If you have been shooting for some time now and are still hitting your forearm, then you most likely need to work on your form. Whatever skill level you fall into, you should know that there is nothing wrong with using one, and the stigma that only beginners use an arm guard is complete bologna. If you do a quick search under the term "Olympic Archer
," you will see that mostly all of them use this type of protective archery gear. They are relatively inexpensive and they can help as you work on your form. The two main reasons that you may be hitting your arm are poor form, or you may have a draw length that is too long. Eighty percent of the time, the draw length will usually be the issue that is causing the "string slap". The reasoning for this is that when you have a draw length that is too long, the shooter will have a tendency to overextend their bow arm to a position where it is fully extended. You never want your form to be too rigid, because that will force most shooters to lock their elbow. Aside from the physical nature of the bow, you should also make sure that you are holding the bow correctly. This is more of an issue with new shooters, but it never hurts to do some fine tuning later on in your career. While you are going through the process of learning how to hold the bow, I always recommend getting an archery arm guard
. I recommend this because you are still learning the in's and out's of your particular bow.
A common way to check if you are holding the bow incorrectly is to analyze your the wrist on your shooting hand. If your wrist on your bow hand is bent outward with the palm of your hand facing your body, you will most likely be suffering from a few welts sooner or later. Being conscious of this can save you a great deal of minor pain. If you are more of a visual learner and are looking to correct your form, I would recommend that you have someone take video of how you shoot so that you can analyze it yourself.