Should You Wrap Your Bow Grip?


The age-old question. Should you wrap your bow grip or not? I’ve shot both with and without grips on my bows and even incorporated a little flare to mine which I haven’t seen many other people do. So stick around and let’s talk about it. 

Should you wrap your bow grip? Absolutely! I can’t see any downsides to wrapping your bow in grip tape. It allows you to have a much more consistent grip even in bad conditions 

Here are some reasons why you should wrap your bow grip 

  • More consistent hand grip 
  • Defends you from weather conditions 
  • Reference points 
  • Comfort 

More consistent hand grip 

Without wrapping your hand grip all you’re holding onto is a clump of metal, and yes that can work but with grip tape, it can work even better.

To have a good consistent handgrip your hand must remain at the same angle from start to finish if every single shot. When you have grip tape on your bow it’ll do the simple stuff everyone already knows, stop your hand from sliding, putting it in the grip the same way at the same position every time. But what some might not know is that over time shooting with the same grip tape, the tape will have almost slightly molded to the shape of your hand in the bow. Not drastically obviously but just enough that when you put your hand on your bow, it feels just a little more natural. 

Comparing that to no grip tape at all well, it’s just your hand on metal. Even after years of shooting the same bow, you will never put a groove into your riser by just using it. 

Defends you from weather conditions 

Heat 

Our hands are naturally oily as it is, if you combine that with sweat from the heat suddenly you’ve got a big problem with getting your grip consistent. When I first got my Supra Focus XL I didn’t put grip tape on it, and my groups weren’t as tight as I would have liked.

That’s because even if it’s not super hot your hand is still sliding around enough for you to scratch your head down at the target. It was only until a really hot day and my hands were sweaty that I could clearly feel my hand sliding on the riser. When I put some grip tape onto it the issue was fixed and my groups were tighter than they had ever been. 

Rain 

I’m sure you can see where this is going. So yes grip tape does also help in the rain. If your hands get wet they are prone to slipping. Having hand-to-grip tape contact as opposed to hand-to-metal contact is going to be beneficial all around.

The point I would like to touch in is if it’s raining it’s more than likely going to be cold. If it’s cold that means your hands are going to be cold as well and then in time your hands will be numb. As archers, this is the worst thing that could happen. Your feeling is gone, you don’t know if you’re executing your process correctly or not. 

Now I’m not a huge science guy but what I do know from shooting is, when your hands are cold and your grab something metal (ie your riser) it’s going to be very cold as well. Leaving your hands a lot colder than they have to be. 

If you remove that metal-to-skin contact with grip tape you’ll find that it is a lot less cold than it would be without the grip tape. In archery we look for any little edge we can possibly find, trust me when I say. This is one of them.

Reference points 

Ok so earlier on I mentioned my own little flare that I add to my grips. First I wrap my grip with tennis grip tape. But then what I do on top of that is on the upper half of my grip I will wrap in kinesiology tape or a less fancy way of saying that is medical tape. The reason I do this is that it ensures my hand is far up enough on the bow that it remains consistent.

Meaning I can feel anything other than medical tape on the palm of my hand. I know it’s in the incorrect position. It also helps with the placement of my fingers. I know my index wraps around and down the shelf of the bow, my middle finger comes round the front of the grip. But my ring and pinky finger sits on the side of the grip. I should be able to feel normal tape, not medical tape.

That’s how I ensure my hand is at the correct angle that those two fingers can come down far enough. If this is something you’re going to try out, trust me it takes a lot of thinking, trying, and testing. But eventually, you will find your own reference points. It’ll be beneficial all-around when you do. 

Comfort 

This may seem like a no-brainer but if we’re talking about why you should put grip tape on, this is one of them.

Personally and I believe a lot of people would agree with me that with grip tape on, the bow genuinely feels nicer to handle. It feels better in the hand than just your metal riser. Your bow arm is the only point of contact between you and the bow. So it’s pretty important.

The more comfortable you can be in a shot chance are the more relaxed you’ll be on a shot. If you can be relaxed throughout all of your shots I will bet you’ll end up with a pretty big score. 

Every moment when you’re at full draw is vital in making sure you make a clean shot, so don’t make more work for yourself. 

Related questions

Are shot trainers good? Shot trainers are good for practicing the execution of your shot but sometimes since it’s not the same pressure as a bow the timing of your shot can be different. 

You may find the following posts helpful:

How to grip compound bow?

How to be good at field archery?

How to keep bow arm steady?

Rogan Cunningham

Rogan Cunningham is an archer and writer for shootingcabin.com. He's a proud member of the National Archery Squad. He writes about his archery training, archery shooting, travelling with the national archery team, he also reviews all kinds of archery kit. He only writes about archery, what can I tell you?..... He's an Archer!

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