Customize your bow grip
Although every brand new bow comes with some sort of grip, not every bowhunter has the same hand size, shape or grip preference. Proper grip or hand positioning is critical to executing an accurate shot and, thankfully, bow manufacturers have given archers the ability to find something that works best for them. Perhaps it’s the grip that is standard with the bow you bought, but in case it isn’t, there are many good options. In this article, we will explore several options that are available to help you get a grip.
Shooting off the riser
Most companies — Mathews included — have rounded the edges of the grip on the riser so that you can remove the grip if you would like to and shoot directly off the riser. This option gives the archer a thinner grip and often allows them to get up into the grip farther, especially on the shelf side of the bow. Many bowhunters like the feeling of this option and find that it’s more repeatable and that they induce less torque into the shot. If you want to give this option a try, it’s relatively easy. Most grips are either attached with a couple of screws or a few pieces of 3m tape and can be pried off with little effort.
Beyond that, most people that shoot off the riser like to add some sort of wrap or tape to give the grip some texture and feel. Personally, my favorite method is to wrap my grip with a wrap that is commonly used to wrap the handle of a tennis racket or a baseball bat. You can purchase tennis racket tape in most sporting good stores or online. There are several options from Wilson or Gamma. They vary in thickness, padding and feel. I have used and like two of these particularly. The Gamma Pro Control has some padding to it and a high tack performance surface that gives it some texture. The other wrap I like is the Gamma .60 mm thickness overgrip. This wrap often can be purchased in packs of three, they are thin and have a little bit of tack to them.
One final method is to wrap the grip with athletic tape that is commonly used for wrapping ankles or joints for sports. However, athletic tape can get a bit tacky in warm weather and it does have a certain smell to it. Regardless, many people like this option.
Wrapping the grip is relatively easy. I prefer to start at the top of the grip and overwrap slightly as I move down the riser. Use a piece of tape to secure the wrap at the bottom of the grip.
Aftermarket grip options
There are several really good aftermarket grips that can be bought to help you find the best fit for you. They range in price, materials, and features. We will cover the most popular models here.
HDA (High Demand Archery)
If you shoot a Mathews bow and are looking for an adjustable grip that allows you to fine-tune the angle of your grip, you might consider the HDA Pro Grip II, or III, or the Pro Hunter. All three grips easily install on your Mathews bow and the most intriguing feature is that, with a set screw, you can change the angle of the grip to suit your style. If you like a low wrist grip, move the base all the way in. If you like a high wrist grip, move the base all the way out to give you a more acute angle. Overall, you really can fine-tune this grip to meet your individual needs. The Pro II is 3/4” wide, the III is narrower at 5/8” wide and the Hunter is 15/16”. The HDA grip also has a narrow shelf, allowing the archer to get up into the grip, especially on the self side.
Ultraview is one of the newer archery companies on the market, producing scopes, grips and even a new hinge release in 2020. Just recently, they released a new addition to their grip: the BeeReal Mathews Grip. The new grip is composed of a carbon fiber composite, making it warm to the touch in cold weather. It also has some texture to give you just enough tack. The back of the grip is flat and it has a slight 5-degree angle. It also has a shelf that rises, giving bowhunters some protection and clearance from broadhead tipped arrows. Installation is easy and you can purchase them with a variety of accent colors. They work for all 2019 and later versions of Mathews bows. Ultraview also has other grips for Hoyts and older Mathews bows.
Rattler grips make custom grips for all the major bow manufacturers. If you own a bow and are looking for an aftermarket grip, they probably make one for it. Rattler produces grips from antler, wood, G10 and a polymer swirl that looks great. They also make replacement Mathews Engage grips in a variety of colors if you want to give your bow some pop. They offer a variety of shapes and side plates and will even do custom engravings with your name or logo.
Like Rattler Grips, Torqueless Grips have been making custom wooden grips for many years. They make grips for Elite, Mathews, Bowtech and Diamond bows. Their wooden grips look great and you can choose the color and shape (low wrist, medium wrist and high wrist). They also make side plates and can do custom inscription and design. The grip is a nice width in the hand, the shelf side is narrow and all the edges are smooth and feel great. Out of all of the grip options, the Torqueless are among the most attractive and you can likely find a color combo that suits you.
Mathews new hunting bows come with the Engage grip, which is a really nice grip in the hand. It’s designed for consistent hand placement and to reduce torque. The material is rubber and it has a bit of a rounded texture on the grip side to give you just enough friction. New for 2020, Mathews is also producing side plates that can easily replace the grip. The side plates are thin plastic pieces that inlay on both sides of the riser. They allow the bare riser to sit in your hand for a narrow grip feel, while still providing some structure. Specifically, this is a small shelf that sets your index finger slightly out away from the riser, protecting it from a broadhead and giving it a repeatable location for your index finger. Side plates, and the rounded edges or the riser grip allowing you to comfortably shoot off the riser. Both grips are nice and Mathews has given hunters three options this year with the addition of the Engage Grip.
Now is a great time to play with your bow grip and find something that is repeatable and accurate. It can also give your bow that one of kind look.