Customizing your bow grip

“Man, I love this bow, but I just can’t get comfortable with this grip!”

Ever found yourself in this situation?

You’re not alone. And no, you don’t just “have to get used to it.”

If you find a bow that you like, but it’s got a grip that doesn’t suit you, there are lots of potential fixes on the market for both compound and recurve bows.

REMOVE THE GRIP

Perhaps the simplest fix is to remove the grip and shoot off the bare riser. This is going to be more for compound archers than recurve, but it’s a simple move that many target archers do when a grip doesn’t feel right.

Often times, the riser underneath a grip is flat and smooth and has a nice angle that fits how you like to position your wrist. Understand that when you remove a grip, you’re going to extend your draw length a bit.

AFTERMARKET GRIPS

There are many companies that make grips for different bows. Usually, these aftermarket grips are made to correct common complaints archers have about the stock grip on a particular bow. Too wide, too thin, too much angle, not enough angle, soft edge, hard edge. These are all issues that aftermarket grip manufacturers try to alleviate with their grips, and they might have just what you’re looking to put on your bow.

You will find many of these grips offered in low, medium and high varieties. These refer to the wrist position, with a low grip requiring the most bend in your wrist and the high grip requiring the least bend. The medium, is in between the two. Viewed from the side, a low grip will be the most vertical, while the high grip will have the greatest angle away from vertical, and the medium will be in the middle.

If you want a grip that fits your hand specifically, there are manufacturers who will make custom grips. These are popular among Olympic recurve and barebow recurve archers.

TAPE

Sometimes a grip issue can be fixed simply with grip tape. The most common tape is similar to what you’d find wrapped around a tennis racket or the handle of a baseball bat. It’s soft, warm and keeps your hand from sliding. Grip tape is what many archers put on their bows after they remove a grip to shoot off the riser.

Another common tape is traction tape, which has a gritty feel, kind of like sandpaper. This tape usually comes in strips, so you can put a single strip on the face of a grip, where your hand sits. It’s great for keeping your hand from sliding when it’s wet or hot and humid, but without the bulk that can be added by using the wrap-around grip tape mentioned previously.

MOLDABLE PRODUCTS

One way to customize any grip you have is to use moldable putty, rubber or glue. You can add this material to your grip to build it up in specific areas to fit your hand. Usually, the material is pliable when you apply it, then cures into the shape you want after some period.

For a full list of products that can help you get the grip you want, click here.

Bowhunting Tech Tip: Proper Bow Grip

Positioning your hand properly on the bow grip is arguably the most important aspect of shooting accurately. Yet – pardon the pun – it’s something many archers don’t have a proper grip on.

In this video, LAS TechXpert P.J. Reilly demonstrates the proper way to grip a bow. This applies to target archers and bowhunters alike. Establishing a proper grip will help eliminate problems with bow torque – twisting the riser as an arrow is released. If you’re having issues with arrows occasionally hitting the target left or right of where you’re aiming, and you can’t figure out why that’s happening, bow torque caused by squeezing the bow grip could be the reason.

Reilly also talks about a product that’s designed specifically to encourage proper hand placement on a bow. It could be just what you need to cure your bow grip problems.

Sugru Self-Setting rubber

Lancaster Archery TechXPert Dan Schuller talks about the archery applications of Sugru. Sugru is a glue that turns into rubber after it cures. It’s flexible like play-dough when you pull it out of the pack, so you can mold it to fit the shape you want. Let it sit exposed to air for 24 hours, and it will stick wherever you put it. It also will retain the shape you set, but will feel soft like rubber.

As Schuller explains, Sugru is perfect for customizing your bow grip. No two hands are the same, so no mass-produced bow grip is going to fit everyone the same. With Sugru, you can build up sections of the grip to fit your hand.