Liliana Corpuz, February – As to be expected, one of the most vital parts of the archery process is the release. Each archer will have their own personal preference in what feels best for them when it comes to their method and form of release. There is a wide variety of release equipment that is available, however there are three that are most common in the NASP® world. These three are a finger glove, a finger tab, and bare fingers.
Finger gloves are a great method to use to help with many things, but the top reason that many young archers will begin using a glove is to help with the pain that can be experienced due to the draw weight of their bow. Gloves are often made of a leather or faux leather material that creates a boundary between the drawstring and the archer’s fingers. This helps lighten the weight put on an archers fingers by distributing it into the glove. However, the added layer between the fingers and string can cause a variation in different parts of an archer’s shooting process because of the potential inconsistency in “draw hand set” and “anchor point”. While some archers may be able to adapt to using a glove in order to shoot consistently, others are unable to and should consider other options.
A finger tab is another great piece of equipment that can be used to aid in the release step. While this may seem similar to a glove, with the intention of having something to cover up your fingers, there are a few key differences that will be noticed. Not only does it help with the pain of drawstring to finger contact, but with the shaping of the tab and the corners of it, you are able to create a more definitive anchor point which can help with consistency of score and form.
After shooting with both a finger glove and finger tab, shooting bare has become my standard way to shoot. Although the pain was still there in my fingers when I first switched over to shooting bare, the calluses eventually built up and there was no more pain after a few weeks of consistent shooting. Shooting without any form of release aid makes it to where you can feel the string and movement of the string everytime you pull back because there is no barrier between your skin and the bow. It helps with both awareness and consistency in a shooters routine.
All of this said, equipment is designed to help archers on an individual level and there is no correct answer for what you should choose to help with release. Everything is based upon personal preference, and it may be best to test out different methods yourself (as I did) because finding what is right for you is a process that only you can complete.