Archery Tips : How to Build an Archery Target Backing


Did you know that most people think they can
use anything they want to stop a target arrow? Well, there’s some things that you can use
and some things you can’t. My name is Joe and we’re going to show you some of the things
that you can do to build your own or make your own target backing. One of the things
that you can do, probably the most cost effective, is dock foam. Dock foam is simply that, you
find them on lakes, it will cost you no more than the time to go down and pick it up if
its floating in the lake and its disconnected from wherever it once was. This works pretty
good for practice points and hunting points and its been used for decades and decades,
probably the most used target ever. One of the other things that you can use is layered
foam that would be used from packing material. These are usually found in shipping warehouses
or the actual manufacturers that make this and that works well too. One other thing that
you can use is a burlap sack. You can usually pick these up at a feed store. You can stuff
them with recycled plastics like your extra food mart bags or whatever materials that
you would like. The more dense the plastic is, the better it works. This bag weighs about
40 pounds and so the more you can get in there the better it will be. Its like a big pillow
at that point. So they’re only made for fill points, the other layered materials that we
were talking about, the dock foam and the layered foam, they may be used for either
or fill points or broad heads or your hunting points. Now one thing that gets people into
trouble is with today’s compound bows, you can’t always stop an arrow with just one of
these. You have to set them up in certain layers or certain configurations to be able
to stop these bows because they shoot so fast and they have so much more kinetic energy
than they did even 10 years ago. So be very careful when you do that and if you do have
any questions, you can always contact your local pro shop and they’ll give you some of
the ideas they have for being able to do that and they’ll probably show you some other ones
that are probably going to work better. And one of the ones that are going to work better
are typically manufactured by different companies and they’ll do the same type of job. Most
dense, more compressed materials inside of it. This one weights about the same as the
larger material but its going to last a little bit longer. The one I’m sitting on is made
for broad heads only. Its layered foam but when you only shoot a practice point into
it, what happens is you can’t pull that out very easy because it didn’t cut a path. One
of them that’s kind of multipurpose is this one right here. Its a compressed cellular
foam and what happens there is you can shoot fill points or broad heads into it and it
will last for a long time. A minimum of a year guarantee on this specific target. And
as they get better and they get more dense and they last longer, they typically cost
more. Another option is the bails that you see here. These are 240 pound compressed hay
bails that have 3 metal bands that hold them together. So they cost about 100 dollars a
piece and these will stop today’s compound bows at point blank range. They’re a lot different
than the ones you would see laying on a farm with regular straw ties holding them together.
So when you shoot at those, you only want to use practice points unless you have a youth
shooting at a really low poundage bow or recursed style bow that the smaller ones may work.
For an adult shooting a compound bow, you typically would only shoot at something pretty
heavy duty at least consisting of about a 90 pound bail or heavier and you would want
to have that and test it first. If you’re shooting up to the fletches or the feathers
on your arrow, you would want to replace that target with something better. And again, my
name is Joe and I hope this has helped.


78 Responses

  1. isaac griffiths

    January 27, 2009 8:08 am

    I think so although i have a compound you should get one they are much better but that's my opinion.

  2. ycheese123

    February 11, 2009 6:48 am

    i used a foam target once but the arrow went so fast it would melt the foam arround the arrow an you couldnt pull them out

  3. Kueche90

    March 1, 2009 7:22 pm

    I used a bail of hay for my 65 pound compound, but i had to put a blanked around it, otherwise the arrow just wont stop.

  4. Spywell

    August 8, 2009 10:50 am

    Yea dock foam is the best, I got some for free that is 5x6x2 It works very very well but up close I can put arrows through to where the tips come out the other side. Only two arrows have gone completely through. One tore all the fletching off and the other went through the spot where we shoot our broadheads.

  5. Aruexp1

    December 27, 2009 11:10 pm

    Yesterday i got a Browning Discovery compound bow my dad use 2 practice when he was younger we put up a target and then put a piece of hardwood behind then an old table behind its 30lb of draw weight and he took a practice shot and it went through the hardwood and the table.

  6. tishness1509

    February 2, 2010 12:19 pm

    my dad just bought me a bow 2 weeks ago and i am starting out shooting at a burlap sack target with a black trampoline back drop so when i miss the target i hit the trampoline liner!! my bow is set at 40lbs and it stops my arrows very well they usually don't even make it half way through the liner and my target is only 10 yards away!!!!! and i look forward to going hunting for the first time ever, this yr with my bow!!!!!

  7. stickyfox

    September 5, 2010 6:19 am

    @drayegon He's not calling them fill points. YouTube now automatically captions videos and the speech recognition is confused by his accent.

  8. Jean Riffou

    October 26, 2010 9:34 pm

    @Hailingflames carbon arrows shaft will do that , it tend to stick on anay thing you shoot at , we use natural tentes as bail at our archery club and aluminium arows are a breese to remove ,carbon arows how ever need a huge amount of force to get out.

  9. Jerry Kittle

    May 2, 2011 6:43 am

    @iamk9guy how about this i go to a Hobby Stor and spend 10 bucks and buy 2 cans of Expanding Foam and pour it in a Box mold?
    My point is I don't have any money to Spend what so ever and wanted to know where to find DOCK Foam as seen in this Video…..

  10. ForgottenHeiro

    January 24, 2013 3:17 am

    @FreekdeBruin same material, bud. These kids down here think a 175# bow is alot, they are retards. I have a 200# Excalibur crossbow with a stock break and I shoot normal compound targets. Crossbows never shoot over 420 fps. Mine is 405 and that's alot.

  11. Delvian

    May 7, 2013 4:21 am

    or people who want 3 times the power of a handbow. either way, using your logic, bows are for people who are too weak to throw a spear.

  12. Delvian

    May 7, 2013 4:26 am

    that actually works perfect for me, just put a bunch of old magazines in a cardboard box and youre good to go

  13. Delvian

    May 7, 2013 4:34 am

    I didn't think my question was that retarded, I never said 175 lbs was a lot but it's surely more than the average handbow, which is what this video was made for. Especially since he also mentioned that some materials from the video wouldn't suffice for some of the stronger compound bows. Either way, I found that a bunch of magazines works just as well

  14. GeorgeA090

    June 20, 2013 5:27 am

    Yeah, hay bales aren't to great.. The other day I shot an arrow into the smaller faced side of the bale and the arrow went through 2ft of hay and poked about 6-8 inches out the other side.. not very shabby..

  15. pelleban

    August 12, 2013 7:30 pm

    Straw is still a good option, many archers use straw. However if u use stronger bows, like compund or high draw-weigtht recurve, u have to be real careful about how tight the bale is, to tight and it will bend/break the arrow. To lose and the arow will go straight through. The arrow might twist and turn a bit when peircing since it chooses the "path of least resistance". Straw also get rotten if left outdors in the rain.

  16. Delvian

    August 22, 2013 5:21 pm

    because I have a 175lbs crossbow instead of an 80lbs handbow? nice logic there. for the record, yes I can pull it back, my back just prefers that I use a ropecocker instead because im a skinny nerd ;P

  17. Aint1S

    October 5, 2013 8:09 pm

    Walmart, your bags are mine! I'll do my shopping, "one piece at a time and it…"
    You could fill each bag with insulating spray foam. The heavy expansion type, but not the low expansion silly string type.
    Red can and yellowish cap.
    That's what I'm using to refill the holes in the cheap cardboard filled with the thin plastic/bubble sheets that are literally carpet backer cut down…
    Hope that helps anyone curious about those.

  18. Steve Chappell

    October 9, 2013 3:08 pm

    I got the jist of your video, but I couldn't get beyond the halfway point because of the in and out movement of the camera. Yurk!

  19. Manuel Villalpando

    October 13, 2014 2:25 am

    There are many type of foams and plastics in the markets these days.  I happened to take a Composites course in my local community college, the only community college here in Southern California that teaches Composites, and was amazed at everything that is out there these days.  From Styrofoam, to gels, there needs to be better testing done by any and all manufacturers of targets.  Some foams, when exposed to the sea salty waters will result in either decomposing to a mushy substance or lose their bonds causing them to flake or turn to dust.  There are some of types of plastics that are so hard that if they are used in any target may cause damage to arrow tips, such as carbon fiber, fiber glass, and or hardened resins.  Thank you for sharking your instructional and informative video. 

  20. Shooter4829

    June 30, 2015 3:59 pm

    Gonna grab me some eva foam (yoga mats). Found 12 mats 60cmx60cmx1cm for 50 bucks. Gonna grab 24 to make a 4ftx4ftx6cm target. Should stop a 60 pound compound from 10 meters plus. Hear in aus its 50 bucks for an archery target 60cmx60cmx4cm, so works out about 1/3 the cost to buy the yoga mats and the mats are the same density. Any aussie bow shooters hear, do the same and save yourself some $$$ to spend on more bows👍

  21. G. Flanary

    November 3, 2017 7:51 am

    Good info.
    Tell your camera person to stop moving in and out like that. It's irritating.
     Video cameras capture motion. No need to create it. You can use a "push" in or "pull" out to convey motion in a static shot, but it must be very very very slow.
    Don't confuse a push or pull with zoom.
    How do I know? Forty years in television and film.

  22. Monster Subaru

    January 4, 2019 11:59 pm

    I have a few private lakes near my house that have floating rafts. Will the dot foam work for a compound bow?

  23. DAMADA Tattoo & Body Art Tattooshop Heerhugowaard

    April 22, 2019 7:18 pm

    Anyone ever tried using those rubber mulch mats they use for decking playgrounds?


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