It is easy to be overwhelmed by the number of archery accessories such as a finger tab, arm guard, and many more. However, it is necessary to use them since they protect you and your equipment.
One of the most important pieces of archery equipment is the finger tab and today, I'll be sharing with you the important information you need to know about this small accessory. What exactly is it? How do you use it? And what is it made of?
Let's get started.
What is a finger tab?
A finger tab is a piece of protective archery equipment that is made of leather or synthetic material. It protects your fingers and prevents any injuries while pulling the string. And it also ensures a smooth, consistent release of the string from your fingers.
Besides that, a good tab also gives you a consistent anchor point. Consistency is the key in archery and using one will help you with that.
Olympic recurve tabs usually have an indent between the middle finger and index finger for the nock. Meanwhile, barebow finger tabs are a single slab of leather with no slit in the middle.
You may use a recurve finger tab for barebow shooting. However, you cannot use a barebow tab when shooting Olympic recurve since the technique is quite different and the tab won’t have space for the nock to fit between your middle and index finger.
How to use a finger tab?
Here are the simple steps to use one.
- Insert your middle finger into the elastic string or loop.
- Tighten the loop and make sure that the tab does not slide out.
- Continue with your shot process by nocking the arrow and starting your shot.
- Pull the string. Ensure that your finger hook is not too deep or too shallow.
- Set your anchor – depending on your tab, an anchor shelf will help you achieve a more consistent shot.
- Continue with the shot process and the string should simply slide off your finger tab as you release the string.
For first-time users, it will feel awkward at first since your fingers are still adjusting to the feel of the leather in front of it. For learning the release, there are some great release drills you can do.
Take your time shooting as much as you can so your finger tab will break in. It will then follow the natural shape of your fingers.
Our in-depth hand position guide will help you utilize and use your finger tab by hooking correctly on the string and positioning your hand correctly.
There are varying finger tab sizes. It is important to choose the right size to be able to shoot properly and comfortably. The right tab size is like a good pair of shoes, you will know it by the feel. It is best to visit your local archery store and test out different sizes before making a purchase, or try tabs from fellow archers at your club.
If you are unsure, there are sizing guides available online such as this one
It is also better to go for a smaller size than a larger one since the excess leather of a larger tab will make you shoot worse. And a tab that’s too large will force your hand into an unnatural position. Using an ill-fitted tab affects comfort and the overall anchor too.
Ultimately, the leather should not go past your ring finger. The same goes for the top leather – it should not go past your index finger. A straight line should be formed when your finger is curled.