A thumb ring is a piece of necessary equipment designed to protect the thumb that every thumb drawer should have.
There are many different types of thumb rings made of different kinds of materials — leather, metal, stone, horn, antler, wood, bone, ceramic, plastic, glass — with different styles of cuts and shapes.
The Turkish and the Korean thumb rings are the most common thumb rings that most archers are familiar with in today’s modern archery.
Regardless of which types of thumb ring that you will use, you need to remember to shoot wearing only a correctly sized thumb ring as shooting with an incorrectly fitted thumb ring can cause severe pain and injury to the thumb.
In this post, we are going to learn how to measure a custom-made and off the shelf thumb ring correctly.
Fitting a Custom-Made Thumb Ring
Ideally, you want to get a custom-made thumb ring. The easiest way to measure your thumb is either with a slide caliper (if you go to archery shop) or with a sheet of paper (if you do it yourself) at home.
To determine your size with a sheet of paper, follow the following steps:
- Cut a 4-inch long thin strip of paper.
- Measure the paper around the base of your thumb.
- Move your paper up and over your thumb knuckle to check whether the wrapped paper can be slid off easily or not.
- Adjust the paper according to the level of resistance that you get -[em dash] tighten or loosen the wrapper paper until it can slide on your thumb comfortably.
- Take a pen and mark the area where the two ends overlap.
- Take a ruler and measure the length of the wrapped paper that fits comfortably around your thumb. That’s your ring size!
Some extra tips:
For optimal result, the measurement should be done at the end of the day when your thumb is at the largest in a room with room temperature.
The cold temperature will cause your thumb to shrink while the heat that is too hot will cause your thumb to expand rendering the measurement obsolete.
Alternatively, you can also measure your size with a printable ring sizer here.
Fitting an Off The Shelf Thumb Ring
For off the shelf thumb ring use the size that we got from the previous steps as a base of measurement. Try out the thumb ring by drawing your bow lightly. Does the light load hurt you? If not, increase the draw weight gradually.
Try to put the ring on, then turn it sideways and slide it over the thumb knuckle. The ring should be snugged nicely across your thumb but not too tight.
Once fitted, the ring should not be able to slide over your thumb knuckle, but it is okay for it to rotate forward or backward slightly.
Turn the ring sideways and slide it off the knuckle, the ring should not be too difficult to remove.
Bear in mind that your thumb usually somewhat swells when shooting with a thumb ring. This must be factored in when you measure your thumb ring as the ring that is too difficult to remove could end up getting stuck in your thumb later on.
How to Draw a Bow with Thumb Ring?
Once you find a nicely snugged thumb ring to wear, the next step is to learn how to draw a bow with the thumb ring.
You may want to read my previous post here: How to Thumb Draw a Bow. In that post, you’ll learn how to thumb draw with a Turkish and Korean style thumb ring.
How Much is The Price of Thumb Ring?
The price of thumb ring ranges anywhere from $6.88 to $80 depending on the materials used and the complexity in the ring making process
($80 is the price for a custom-made thumb ring made from bone) .
In most cases, a leather thumb ring is sufficed. It’s cheap and allows for a smooth release; you can get a leather thumb ring from $9.88 (check out my recommendation here).