top of page

From Foam to Block: Exploring the Different Types of Bow Targets Available




Foam targets are popular among archers due to their affordability and ease of use. Bow target blocks are typically made from compressed foam layers or blocks. The foam composition allows arrows to penetrate the target without damaging it significantly. Foam targets come in different shapes and sizes, including traditional round targets and 3D animal-shaped targets. They are lightweight and portable, making them suitable for outdoor shooting and field archery. However, foam targets can wear out relatively quickly, especially with extensive use, and may require occasional replacement or repair. Block targets, also known as layered foam or compressed foam targets, are constructed from multiple compressed foam layers. The layers are bonded together to form a solid block. The advantage of block targets is that they offer excellent stopping power, even for high-speed compound bows. They are designed to withstand continuous use and are known for their longevity. Block targets provide easy arrow removal, and the layered construction allows for multiple shooting surfaces, increasing the overall lifespan of the target. However, they can be bulkier and heavier than other types of targets, making them less portable.


How do you make a bow target?

  1. Determine the size and shape of your Bow targets. You can choose a round shape or any other desired shape based on your preferences and shooting practice goals. The common dimensions for a round target range from 36 to 48 inches (91 to 122 cm) in diameter.

  2. Measure and mark the dimensions on the foam sheets or blocks. If using multiple foam sheets or blocks, ensure they are cut to the same size.

  3. Use a utility knife or foam cutting tool to carefully cut the foam according to your marked dimensions.

  4. If desired, prepare a sturdy backing material, such as plywood, to provide additional support for the foam target. Cut the plywood to the same size as the foam target.

  5. Apply carpenter's glue or adhesive to one side of the foam sheets or blocks. Press the layers together firmly, ensuring they are aligned properly. If using a backing material, place the glued foam onto the plywood or backing material and press it down to adhere.

  6. Allow the adhesive to dry completely as per the manufacturer's instructions. This step is crucial for ensuring a strong bond between the foam layers and the backing material.

  7. Optional: To enhance the durability of the target, you can wrap the edges of the foam with duct tape or strong adhesive tape. This helps protect the foam from wear and tear and reinforces the edges.

  8. Your homemade bow target is now ready to use. Set it up in a safe and suitable location for shooting practice. Ensure there is sufficient space behind the target to catch arrows safely.

What are block targets made of?


Block targets are typically made of compressed foam or layered foam. The foam used in block targets is a specially formulated material designed to have high density and durability. It is often composed of polyurethane foam or a similar synthetic foam material. The manufacturing process involves compressing multiple layers of foam together to form a solid block. The layers are bonded to create a cohesive and sturdy target surface. The foam layers are carefully selected to provide optimal arrow-stopping power while allowing for easy arrow removal. The specific composition and construction of block targets may vary among different manufacturers and models. However, the overall aim is to create a target that can withstand repeated arrow impacts without significant damage and maintain its stopping power over an extended period of use.


Types of bow targets available

There are several types of bow targets available for archery practice. Here are some common types:

  • Foam Targets: Foam targets are made of compressed foam layers or blocks. They allow arrows to penetrate without causing significant damage and are available in various shapes and sizes. Foam targets are lightweight and portable, making them suitable for outdoor shooting and field archery.

  • Bag Targets: Bag targets are constructed with durable fabric materials and filled with synthetic fibers or shredded fabric scraps. They offer easy arrow removal and durability, making them suitable for both field and target archery. Bag targets often feature multiple aiming points for enhanced practice sessions.

  • Block Targets: Block targets, also known as layered foam or compressed foam targets, consist of multiple compressed foam layers bonded together. They provide excellent stopping power, even for high-speed compound bows. Block targets are known for their longevity and can withstand continuous use.

  • 3D Targets: 3D targets mimic real-life animals and are primarily used for hunting practice. They are often made of foam or other durable materials. 3D bow targets provide a realistic shooting experience, allowing archers to aim for specific areas on the target, such as vitals. They come in various animal shapes and sizes and are popular among bowhunters.

  • Straw Targets: Straw targets, also called bales, are constructed by tightly compacting straw into a solid mass. They have been used in archery for centuries and are commonly used in traditional and field archery. Straw targets offer good stopping power and are relatively inexpensive.

  • Paper Targets: Paper targets are printed sheets with various designs, including bullseye patterns, animal shapes, or scoring rings. They are commonly used for indoor and outdoor target archery practice. Paper targets are lightweight, inexpensive, and easily replaceable.

  • Reinforced Targets: Reinforced targets are made of a combination of materials to enhance durability and arrow-stopping power. They often feature multiple layers of foam, fabric, or other high-density materials, providing excellent resistance to arrow penetration.

What kind of foam is used in bow targets?


The foam used in bow targets is typically a type of closed-cell foam called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam. EVA foam is a popular choice due to its desirable properties for archery targets. It is known for its durability, density, and ability to absorb and stop arrows effectively. EVA foam is also resistant to water, UV radiation, and general wear and tear, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. EVA foam targets often consist of multiple layers or blocks of compressed foam. These layers are bonded together to form a solid and sturdy target surface. The specific composition and density of the foam may vary among different manufacturers and target models to achieve optimal stopping power and arrow penetration resistance. Overall, EVA foam has become a preferred material for bow targets due to its ability to withstand repeated arrow impacts while maintaining its structural integrity.

Unveiling the Versatility of Bow Targets, from Foam to Block

In the world of archery, having the right target is crucial for effective practice sessions. From foam to block targets, there is a wide range of options available to cater to different archery needs. Foam targets provide affordability and ease of use, while bag targets offer durability and easy arrow removal. Block targets excel in stopping power and longevity, while straw targets bring a traditional touch. 3D targets provide a realistic hunting experience. By considering factors such as shooting style, practice goals, and portability requirements, archers can choose the target that suits them best. Whether it's honing skills or preparing for a hunt, the diverse world of bow targets offers something for everyone. So grab your bow, take aim, and hit the mark with confidence.

21 views0 comments
bottom of page