Legend X Large Arm Guard
While bows are expensive and arrows need to be replaced at fairly regular intervals, well they do if you shoot field with wood shafts, out side of those two I think I have possibly spent more money on arm guards than anything else archery related and by some margin. The problem with arm guards is that there isn't one, or at least I haven't found one, which meets all my needs all of the time. For one thing shooting field means that invariably I'm out in all weathers and during the year that requires either a t-shirt or about 10 layers of winter clothing, in that scenario a bracer which is comfortable in the summer becomes restrictive in the winter and one which offers protection in the winter becomes much too large in the summer.
There are in effect two functions of an arm guard, firstly to protect the arm from the string slapping against it, for the more experienced archer this becomes less of a problem and I have on occasion shot with no problems without wearing one. However there will always be that one time when you don't wear one and suffer the consequence with a nice big bruise for a week or two. Teaching around 30 people a week to shoot you see a plenty of people hitting their arm and any protection you can give them is a very good thing indeed.
The second function of the arm guard and possibly more relevant to the seasoned archer is to keep clothing restricted so that it doesn't interfere with the path of the string. I certainly have suffered a t-shirt sleeve getting in the way and while over all it might only have a minor effect on the shot, that minor effect could be the different between gold and silver. During the colder parts of the year a shorter arm guard is fine as the longer sleeves are kept in place, but it's during the summer the t-shirt sleeves start to get in the way and that is why I prefer a longer arm guard which extends past the elbow.
The Legend X Large Arm Guard is such a thing, at 13 inches (33 cm in new money) in length the guard protects both the forearm from impact and keeps any clothing well out of the way. I used the arm guard for a weekend to see how I got on and I was very impressed, the construction as with most of the Legend range is very hard wearing ballistic nylon. I'm the inquisitive sort so I had to check out what exactly ballistic nylon was as so often materials have a name which suggests something it's not. However ballistic Nylon is is something worth while as it was developed by DuPont during the second world war to give more protection in flak jackets from flying shrapnel. The name suggests an association with fire arms but ballistics is actually the study of flying objects in general. History lesson over but the point being that the materials used will be hard wearing especially when used in the context of protecting the arm from a string.
The guard is in effect in two parts, the upper part and the lower part. Each has two central rods running down the centre which giver further protection to the arm. These rods are held in place by a decent amount and quality of stitching and this is important as on lower quality arm guards there is a tendency for the rods to wear away the material and protrude from the guard and ultimately cause the guard to be come unusable without injury. This is even more the case as the outer edge of the arm guard has a further layer of nylon to stop this happening. The body is very flexible and once fitted was very comfortable to wear.
There are four straps which keep the arm guard in place, these are a mix of nylon and elastic, two on the lower part and two on the upper. There is a lot of strap and I put that too the test as I had a number of layers of clothing which the arm guard needed to fit over. The clips are quick release rather than the more normal prong type, this had the advantage of laying flat when they were joined, however they did prove to be a little more difficult to join when putting the guard on, but that was complicated by the fact I was using the full length of the straps. The longer adjustable straps are nylon and the shorter ones with the buckles are elastic, this means that the buckles are in a consistent position when on the arm which I think works really well. As is the standard with Legend equipment the quality is excellent and I got the impression that it wasn't going to fall apart or the elastic give any time soon.
The arm guard is available in a four colours silver, black, navy and grey and has the obligatory Legend logo and red tab. I rather like the branding on Legend archery equipment, there are not that many manufacturers willing to get their name out there when it comes to the archery world and I think the bold style of Legend both looks good and gives us something to get behind.
The biggest compliment when it comes to archery equipment, outside of a bow and arrows, is that I didn't notice it when I was shooting. Arm guards are a constant source of frustration for me, I'm constantly adjusting them, moving them around and taking them off and putting them back on again. Once the Legend was in place it stayed there, out of the way doing it's job with aplomb, if indeed an arm guard can exhibit aplomb at all. I didn't have any problems with it getting in the way of a shot and clothing was not an issue.
Features & Design
Well built with long lasting materials, the straps perform really well, only thing I had some minor trouble with was the fast release buckles, yes they were fast release, but at the expense of being slow and a little difficult to put on, my fat fingers might not have helped.
Excellent kept everything it needed to keep out of the way, out of the way and protected the arm well.
Value for Money
The list price is 8 Euros, if you can find it for that it is excellent value for money as this will last you a very long time.
Well made and does the job very well indeed. Might be a little too large for the more experienced archer but brilliant because it does both the jobs of an arm guard really well.