Wrapping Things Up
Archery is a very personal experience. You chose your bow and other kit, to a greater or lessor extent, on their looks and colour. When it comes to arrows, your fletch scheme and nock is usually an extension of your kit colours but it really should be something that helps you score on a busy target. Problem is .. there are only so many colour combinations and many are kinda similar. How to make your arrows unique and stand out?
Well archery, as usual, has you covered. What we have is arrow wraps. These are rectangles of self-adhesive vinyl that wrap around the rear of the arrow. This covers the shaft in a plastic sleeve and while many people use these simply to personalise their arrows, there’s much more to them. Lets take a look at their uses:
The primary function of wraps are to provide a surface that you can stick fletches to. So not actually to make your arrows pretty, that’s just an added bonus. Arrow shafts by their very nature (polished) and material (aluminium and carbon) are difficult to stick fletches to. The vinyl of a wrap makes for a great surface for the glue to get a grip of. This is especially useful if you prefer to use the superglue type of fletching glue. If you have to remove a damaged fletch or decide to refletch the entire arrow .. you don’t need to spend a week scraping rock hard superglue off your easily damaged shafts. Just strip the entire sleeve off and start with a bare shaft.
Next up Visibility. Fletches are small and not always visible in the target at distance even if your eye sight is perfect. Scopes and binoculars are helpful but they still have limits especially if there are similar colour schemes in the boss. Brightly coloured wraps will literally scream “HERE I AM” in a scope. Also helpful when scoring with lots of arrows in a boss. Non green wraps can be helpful when looking for arrows in the grass. But while your Robin Hood’s Lincoln green theme might be easily seen in the target, in the grass not so much so take care choosing colour combinations depending on your likely situations.
Finally we get to the bit you care about. Personalizing those arrows! The possibilities are vast – from just your name to flames to leopard skin spots to dayglow colours and everything in between. One of the good things about wraps is you can design your own and get them printed. For a small sample of whats possible, here are the wraps at Arrowsocks and the ones at Wraptorwrap. We think Wraptor do custom work but there are more.
So if you’ve been in archery long enough .. you know there are always down sides. Everything in archery is a trade off. Well, we touched on one earlier. Its about refletching. It can be very difficult to get the remains of just one fletch off the vinyl. People quite often strip the whole sleeve off and start refletching and wrap from the beginning which is obviously a pain if you just need to replace one fletch.
Note: the sleeve can be very difficult to get off. The only effective tool is your nails and once the wrap has been picked off, the shaft will require to be cleaned of adhesive using surgical spirit.
In addition, some people say that wraps are relatively easy to apply and instructions are always included. However, it can be fiddly and you are likely to ruin a few getting it right at the beginning so buy a couple of packs if you’re all fingers and thumbs in the arts and crafts department. Spares are always good. Some brands can also be a little on the steep side on price so worth experimenting on some cheaper ones first.
So there you are. Another way to express your personality, dodgy taste and/or colour blindness on your club mates and the wider archery community. Get it right and there will be jealousy. Get it wrong and there will be mockery. But that’s just another day at the field! ;o)
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