Can You Do Archery in the Rain? & How to Prepare

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Rain is one of the biggest problems that many sportsmen face, but as an archer do you also need to worry about rain? Will rain damage your archery equipment? Can You really do archery in rain, This article has answered these questions.

We all have heard it since we were kids – rain, rain go away, come again another day, little Johnny wants to play! Well, if only mother rain was that considerate and ready to listen to us.

As much as we love the sweet smell of soil and the cool shower, the rain does put a damper on our moods, especially if you are into sports.

One of the sports that faces the outburst of this weather is the age-old game of archery. Archery is an art that requires practice and skill. After all, there is more to this game than just shooting arrows through the bow.

While you can play sports like football in light showers, the big question arises, can you do archery when it rains? Well, to answer your question –

You can do Archery in rain, however, it does have an impact on your performance. You need to be extra careful and keep yourself and your equipment dry and functioning. Rain complicates the whole process of archery so you’ll need to shoot with more consistency and better focus than normal.

First and foremost, what you need to understand is that archery while it is pouring isn’t the same as it is in the sun. So stay tuned till the end if you actually want to practice archery in rain.

Can Archery Equipment Get Wet?

One question that almost everyone of you would be thinking whether you need to worry about the archery equipment or not. So, here’s my opinion.

Rain and Moisture will not affect your archery equipment. Modern bows will not get damaged in the water as they have a protective covering which makes them waterproof while old bows may see some problems. Also, you’ll need to properly dry your bow before storing else it can be damaged.

All Modern bows have some kind of laminate or layer made op Mayer, aluminium, carbon, etc. which protects the bow.

Make sure you wipe it down after you get back there shouldn’t be any long-term damage of course. If you soak the middle parts in water it will eventually rust and that sort of thing but a puff of that your bows are designed not to be affected by moisture.

Traditional bows same thing, they stick up outside the rain shoot for a bit come back and there’s no damage.

Most of these bows have some kind of protective coating so you wouldn’t expect these bows to be exposed to moisture or be damping and then not work anymore so you’re fine.

If you have a handmade bow that doesn’t have a protective coat then leaving moisture for a long time in can definitely damage your bow but most commercial bows that you get will have a layer of fiberglass or otherwise some kind of protective varnish.

Strings of the bow are made of polyethylene (plastic) hence they are also waterproof.

Problems You’ll Face While Doing Archery in Rain

We are used to seeing our arrows flying in a certain way when we take a shot from a particular angle and stance, however, when the arrow gets wet – it’s a whole different story!

Archery Bows Get Slippery in Rain

When you are doing archery in rain, your bow will get wet, while it will chemically not damage your bow but it will get slippery which can make it harder for you to shoot properly.

A small slip on the bow can destroy your shot and make the arrow hit at the wrong target. So, while doing archery in rain you’ll need to make sure you’re holding the bow tightly. Archery glubs may help you to grip your bow much better.

You can also pluck your string 2-3 times before taking the shot, this will make the droplets fall off the string and make the bow less slippery. This will not be considered dry firing, pull the cord only by 3-4 inches.

Arrows Getting Heavier in Rain

If the arrow gets wet then the arrow will become heavier and therefore it will require more energy to reach the target. So, make sure you pull the string with a little extra power.

Blurry Targets & Aim Precisition

When rain occurs, everything becomes unclear. Seeing the target is the most important thing in archery but it can get much harder in rain. It will get harder to aim precisely because of blurry targets, even raindrops can change the natural path of your arrow.

Archery glasses may help but mainly it depends on your mind and your perception of how you take the shots. To properly do archery in rain you’ll need to first practice some time, after taking 4-5 shots, you’ll understand the right way to take shots.

Wind Speed Causing Arrows to Drift

Wind affects the track of the arrow by altering the arrow’s speed. High wind speed and rain at the same time can make it even harder. To prevent this you’ll need to shoot the arrow with more velocity and maintain that speed throughout it is in the air. This will minimize the effect of wind & raindrops.

How to Do Archery in Rain

We are used to seeing our arrows flying in a certain way when we take a shot from a particular angle and stance, however, when the arrow gets wet – it’s a whole different story!

Different things act differently when they are wet – here, for example, when the arrows get wet due to the rain, they will get heavier and a heavier arrow will obviously, take more energy from your end to release with the same speed as compared to when it is shot dry.

What can you do in this situation? You would need to shoot quickly in rain to avoid the arrow to get wet. This means you would have to go through your archery form more quickly.

Shoot with more power to counterattack the effect of rain on the arrow. Try to go through your archery more quickly to prevent the arrow go wet.

This will mean the arrows will get lesser time to become wet and thus heavier. It might also affect and hamper the flight of your arrow. To avoid that, you can Adjust your aim point and hit slightly higher when you shoot to avoid the arrow falling due to rain. Avoid the heaviness of the rain.

Another big trouble while doing archery in rain is obstruction of the target due to the raindrops. Besides affecting your ability to see, the raindrops can often form a mirror image on the sight ring which can make you miss your target.

Again, the best way to avoid this by shooting quickly and avoiding the heaviness of the rain as much as possible.

Protecting Archery Equipment From Rain

One thing that you need to be especially mindful of while shooting in the rain to protect your equipment to the best you can! Cover your kit with a cloth or towel or use a plastic bag to cover up your entire kit.

As for your bow, most recurve and compound bows are usually made of either aluminium or plastic – making them almost rainproof as the water won’t affect the performance of these materials.

In the case of longbows or wooden recurve bows, they are usually oiled or waxed to increase its durability, ensuring the bows are waterproof in this case as well.

The strings are also waxed, which means your bows are significantly waterproof and the rain hardly impacts the performance of the bow. Just pluck the string two or three times before shooting and you would get rid of all the excess water.

What to Wear While Doing Archery in Rain?

You will get wet while you are on the field, obviously, but you can gear up to avoid getting soaked as we can totally understand that getting wet is something that will just hamper your concentration and the heaviness of the cloth will only weigh you down.

You need to choose the right raincoat – a jacket that doesn’t have strings or the likes to add to your already mounting rain woes. To clear your eyes and face of any water and avoid any obstructions, you can choose either an umbrella or a hat.

Some good boots can also be helpful as they’d help avoid any slipping and make sure to give you a good stance. Also, to get a better grip on your bow and avoid any slippage due to water, you can always turn to archery gloves.

An occasionally wipe from your towel on your equipment is bound to do the deed, so keep as many as possible!

Storing Archery Equipment After Using it in Rain

Before storing your archery equipment, wipe out the bow with a cloth, and make sure it is dry. If you just put the bow inside the kit, then it may damage the bow.

Will Archery Competitions Stop If it Rains?

Most archery events and competitions will continue to run even if it is raining, the major events may be scheduled to run in summer months so there’s less likelihood of rain but if there is rain it will still continue unless these circumstances are so horrific and dangerous like a typhoon.

So you should be prepared and know the right way to do archery in the rain so that if suddenly it rains in between, you are already prepared.

Rainy-Day Archery Hacks

  • Take care of yourself by wearing warm clothes, raincoats, and suitable shoes to stay comfortable and avoid getting sick in the rain.
  • Understand the rain and how it may affect your archery. Arrows can be affected by rain, so be prepared to focus more during wet conditions.
  • Some archers prefer shooting quickly in the rain to prevent arrows from getting heavier and falling off target.
  • Protect your equipment from rain, like using a small towel to cover the peep sight and ensuring your release and aiming point are secure.
  • Stay mentally strong and don’t let the rain affect your performance.
  • Shooting in the rain can still be enjoyable with the right clothing and attitude, so have fun with it.

All Equipment You’ll Need to do Archery in Rain

The first and foremost thing you’ll need is your bow, and then you’ll need archery gloves for better grip, archery glasses, a raincoat, or a simple jacket and rain pants.

Below are links to products you’ll need.


Most importantly, practice makes a man perfect, so just like when you’re practicing archery under any other condition, you should practice repeatedly in the rain in order to get comfortable with the whole situation.

After all, you won’t wish your first time shooting arrows in the rain to be at a competition! So, try practicing in adverse conditions too – it’s both good practice and a fun, new experience.

So, there is nothing stopping you from going out and taking a shot in the rain, you just need to be prepared. Keep your equipment protected and safe at all times, it is a player’s biggest asset at the end of the day!

Make sure your kits are covered and waterproofed and bows are either oiled or waxed (your strings too!). It also goes without saying that your playing style needs to modify with the rain too.

You need to be quicker. Quick while taking a shot to avoid the arrow from getting wetter and thus heavier. A little extra gear also helps – so, go ahead and shop for some good rain jackets, hats, boots, and archery gloves.

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