Archery | Chest Guards
Articles Blog

Archery | Chest Guards

August 15, 2019

A lot of people ask me what this thing is used for. This is a chest guard. It guards the chest. That’s… Kind of it… The chest guard flattens the chest area, giving more clearance for the string. This is the reason you may see more women wearing a chest guard, as a larger chest can interfere with the draw. Regardless, it’s still popular with men as well, because it flattens clothing, and this is quite important. Generally, good archery clothing is a tight, comfortable fit. However, you may be wearing a shirt that is puffy. Or, you may be wearing extra layers. What can happen, is that when you are shooting, The string can become snagged on the fabric. If this happens, it can cause a huge loss of velocity, and effectively, your shot is ruined. This is actually really frustrating, because unless you can change your clothes, this will keep on happening, and you may as well stop shooting. Some people may not recognize that their clothing is getting in the way. If you hit your clothing and it scrapes across your shirt, across your jacket, you’ll probably see the arrow drop in flight, much shorter than your point of aim. If the effect isn’t as obvious as it is, you”ll still recognize it by the sound it makes. Normally, a bow makes a short [vibration] sound, a soft vibration. When hitting clothing, the string stops suddenly and then makes a short, sharp sound. What the chest guard does, apart from flattening clothing, is provide a smooth surface, that causes less interference if the string comes into contact with it. The string effectively slides across the chest guard, rather than getting snagged onto it, minimizing the effect it has on the shot. Chest guards normally cost around 30-40 USD, and most of them are very similar. They all consist of a half-vest protector, with an elastic band, that can be tightened or adjusted to the user’s fit. Chest guard come in small to large sizes, and can be adjusted from the shoulder and/or from the underarm position using buttons or Velcro. Chest guards are designed for left or right arm users, in this case, as a right-handed shooter, I’m wearing a right-handed chest guard which goes on the left shoulder. A left-handed chest guard will go on the other side. With that in mind, you may be asking: “Do I need one?” The short answer is actually no. Most people can probably get away and shoot fine without a chest guard. In fact, depending on your type of bow, you may not need one at all. This is true for smaller bows, and for compound bows, because the string angle doesn’t make contact with the chest. The reason why it’s popular on the shooting line, is because it removes a possible source of interference. This can cause shooting problems. Even if you only make contact with your shirt once, that can be enough to ruin your practice session or your competition score. You get that paranoia of hitting it again and again. Having a chest guard gives you peace of mind. You get used to wearing it after a while, and it feels weird when you don’t wear one. So if you’re a target recurve shooter, whether you’re male or female, this is probably something you should get. If you’re not a target recurve shooter, then you probably won’t need one of these. Anyway, this is NUSensei, thanks for watching, hope you found this helpful, and I’ll see you next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I've always wondered why people wear that since I've never even once have the string snagged on my tshirt… but then I realised most of my tshirts are form fitting.

    NUSensei, can you please do a short explanation video on that string you have on your bow hand/fingers? How important is it to have that piece of string? Can you use like a shoelace?

  2. Once a string of a hoodie came out from below my chest guard and the bow string snatched to it. The arrow penetrated a wooden support of the target. It was not easy to remove it from there.

  3. I call it a nipple protector. 
    A lot of archers I have spoken backed me in this and stated that even loose fitting clothing do not affect the shot at all: just as long as the string can freely fly off and that there are no barriers on its route. I have personally had more trouble with my sleeves being too thick than the clothes on my chest. 

  4. I've seen a lot of characters who are Archers on the Fire Emblem games (And Ike from fire embem path of radiance and fire emblem radiant dawn wears one even though he never uses anything that's not a sword or an axe) wear these and always wondered what their purpose was

  5. I appreciate the insight about shorter bows –> greater string angle –> less likelihood of hitting the clothing over the chest.  Sometimes its nice to have the obvious pointed out, so clearly.  Thanks!

  6. does chest guard helps with reducing bruises on the chest caused by the string slap? or do I need to change my form?

  7. NUSensei, can you recommend any chest guard brands, models or even sites for custom ordering when it comes to fairly large breast protection? Maybe even with extra compression? That could be adapted well to the chest form not making the guard wrinkle.

  8. I actually hurt myself in this area. I'm male but I have tits (muscle and fat), and after shooting a dozen or so of arrows recently I noticed I'm sore – just outside the nipple, on the part that projects out when you extend your arm. Probably just my posture sucks, or my bow is too long (I'm 1.80m high and use a 70" bow), but it got me thinking about ways to protect this area. I hope I'll be able to do without.

  9. Why do you give most of the prices in US dollars instead of Australian Dollars? There are BTW a few archery shops that I found, that are in Australia, that sell to Australians in Australian dollars,

  10. Oh…okay, so it's not protection from other archers targeting your heart? K, there goes my $5 bet. You win Jimmy.

  11. Another reason to use them is not just about the shot accuracy. If you ever have the string rake across your nipple at speed you will truly appreciate a guard

  12. The Amazons of Greek mythology (not South Americans) were said to remove their left breast to prevent it from interfering with their bow. Pit y they didn't know about chest protectors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *