Equipment You Need to Practice Archery Competitively

An archer needs three things to shoot – a bow, arrows and fletchings, and bowstring. There are a few other things you may need to practice archery safely and competitively. Continue reading our article to find out what those things are.

Release Aids

Release aids are mechanical devices, which people designed to give the arrows a sharp and precise release from the compound bow. You release the string via a trigger mechanism (like shooting a gun) attached to your wrist. Another type of release is the so-called back-tension, which automatically releases when you pull it to a pre-determined tension.

Protective Equipment

Protection of the inside of the bow arm – Bracer

Almost all modern archers use bracers. They protect the inside of the bow arm, so the string doesn’t hit you, and also prevent your clothing from catching and ruining your shot. Another name for the bracers is an arm-guard. Bracers are most often made from plastic, leather, or stone. There are certain situations when you may not need to use a bracer, but we recommend you use one for safety reasons at most.

Protection of the chest – Chestguard

Chestguards or other protections for the chest are used by female archers mostly. They are also called plastrons, and they ensure that the bowstring doesn’t hurt your chest area. In ancient times the Amazons were believed to have resolved this problem not by wearing a chestguard of any kind, but they cut off one breast.

Protection of the drawing digits – Finger Tab, Thumb Ring, Glove

These equipment types protected the archer’s fingers by providing leather protection on the fingers, or the thumb. The tabs or rings are way more comfortable than the glove, especially during the summer because the material is thick. They are also easier to choose when it comes to sizes and less expensive. The thumb ring can be made from other materials besides leather, such as stone, wood, horn, bone, ivory, plastic, ceramics, metal, or glass. Archers use thumb rings when they use the thumb draw method.


Stabilizers get installed on different places on the bow itself. They help with tuning the bow’s balance, and they help the archer with the aiming. Different types of stabilizers, like rests, quivers, sights, and the riser’s design, make one side of the bow heavier than the other. Other stabilizers compensate for the forces. Stabilizers also reduce vibration and noise thanks to the materials with which the stabilizers are built – gels, powders, viscoelastic polymers, and others. Another thing stabilizers are used for is to increase the inertia of the bow so the movement during the shooting process can be minimized. We recommend using carbon ones with weighted ends because they don’t add too much weight, and they successfully improve the inertia.


Quivers are the containers used to store your arrows, bolts, darts, or spears. You can carry it on your body, the ground, or on the bow itself, depending on your personal preference. In the past, people made quivers from leather, fur, or other natural materials, but nowadays they are made from leather or plastic.