So, you’re after a leather armguard which probably means that either:
a) You’re holding your Recurve bow the wrong way and need something to alleviate the pain of string slap; or
b) You’re holding a longbow and string-slap is just part of the deal.
For the purposes of this piece, we’ll assume you have a longbow.
So what do you need to know about an arm-guard
Firstly, the thicker the armguard the better and if but it’s not as simple as this because two pieces of leather of 3mm thick are worse than a single piece of leather 3mm thick. The exception of this is the twin leather armguards with Poron TM inserts between the leather (more below).
Suede is a brushed leather with very weak tanning and if you doubt this, then raid any teen’s wardrobe and feel the difference between their suede leather jacket and their traditional leather jacket. Not only is the traditional leather less resistant to movement, but it’s clearly less protective. This is why motorbike racing leathers aren’t made of suede – if you come off a bike at 60mph, you want the best protection you can get and that means proper tanning of the leather.
3.5mm is best.
The best armguards will be those that are 3.5mm thick. This is about as thick as leather gets and although you’ll see 3.7mm, they’re rare and unless you’re buying elephant hide, 3.5m is about your limit and it’ll almost certainly be cow-hide. Years of working with horses and leather there teaches you that saddle flaps are some of the best materials that