Bow string:Why does it keep hitting my arm?

Latest posts by Isaac (see all)

There is nothing that is as sore as string slaps and hurts like hell. The accident is one of the regular archery injuries that happen to beginner archers.

Your arm swells up and makes it difficult to use your bow again as it causes an archery injury. You are left with bruises, muscle strains, and loads of pain.

Your day will be ruined just because of the string slap injury. That is why you should use an arm guard or forearm guard when doing this particular sport.

But why does this happen, and how do you prevent string slap? First off, a bowstring hitting your arm can be from poor archery form, improper handgrip, wrong archery stance, and wrong bow arm positioning.

Reasons For a String Slap Archery Injury

  • The grip is too tight or not positioned correctly
  • You may have your elbow rotation wrong
  • The draw length is way too long
  • Or the brace height is too low


bow slap injury

How Do You Prevent a Bow String Hit as a Beginner

One way to avoid getting hurt by a compound bow or a recurve bow is using the correct grip by nestling the bow handle into your lifeline on your palm in your hand in the V-shape created by your index finger and thumb. It should be like an okay sign using your index finger and thumb. Rotate your knuckles naturally clockwise from a vertical position.

Other Archer Preventative Measures for Bow String Hitting Arm

Make sure your bow arms rotated in such a way that your elbows point perpendicular away from the bow while the crease of your elbow faces towards it. As a novice archer, you might rotate your elbow too much, pushing your arm too far into the string’s path.

Following the right steps can prevent something as severe as a bow slap injury from happening again. Another crucial thing is to check the draw weight and draw length that it is not too long. Your back muscles need to have some common archery C curve form, and the anchor point must not be too far back, making a backward muscles C-shape.

Doing this makes the string in line with the forearm. Lastly! The distance between the deepest part of the bow handle to the string needs to have the correct brace height. You get a longer power stroke with a low brace height that brings the line closer to your wrist.

This is easily adjusted with the compound bow compared to a recurve bow with a shorter string or twisting the line available.

Make Use of an Armguard or Forearm Protector

If you are a traditional bow shooter using an armguard is essential to prevent a painful slap and bruise of the bowstring on your hand or bow arm.

There is nothing sadder than a string slapping you on the arm, ruining the day. For this reason, even the shooter with experience wears one causing few injuries when making a shot.

When you improve your form, it makes an excellent reason for the bow string not hitting you on the arm.

Always use a perfect archery form from your shoulder joint, fingers to your feet with proper shooting technique and gear yourself with a forearm protector at all times.


I'm Isaac Murphy and at the moment I am a student. I took up archery as a hobby about 3 years ago and built this blog to share some of the things I have learned and to help those starting out in this sport. Check out my bio here

Leave a Reply

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

Recent Posts