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Archery Backstop – Guide to safe Archery Netting

archery backstop


It is well known that as an archer you also miss from time to time. Not even professionals always hit the target. Then it is of course annoying if the arrow lands somewhere in the forest behind your target and you have to search for it for hours. More aptly: it is dangerous. We present you alternatives to searching – namely Archery Netting.




What is an Arrow Net?

An arrow catching net, also called Arrow Backstop, is archery netting made of synthetic fiber with very tight meshes. In archery, it serves both to protect objects and persons behind the target and to relieve the shooter. By using such a net, the shooter does not have to spend hours searching for his arrows. For inexperienced archers who miss the target relatively often, it is perfect. It is also good for large shooting ranges, where several archers are present.

Furthermore, an Archery Backstop Netting also protects the arrow from being struck too hard. It makes a difference whether it hits a house wall or a Backstop because the latter gently takes energy away from the bullet and slows it down without causing damage.

Arrow mats are also available. These have no meshes but are made of a particularly densely woven fabric. Some of them are multilayered to provide better protection. In general, dartboards offer a higher level of safety, but they also offer a larger surface for wind and weather to attack, as they do not have meshes. So it can happen in strong winds that the Arrow Safety Mat is blown to the side at the worst possible moment. However, this is rare.


archery netting



Differences between the various Arrow Nets

Archery Target Backstops are available in different versions. Size, mesh, size, and bullet resistance play a role. In some cases, the nets are sorted by color, whereby white is suitable for bows with low shooting performance, for example. However, this is not always the case and can be quite confusing for the beginner. The best thing to do is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and, if in doubt, ask.


Arrow Net

Product recommendation follows


Arrow Mat

The weight per square meter plays a role with the arrow catching mats. The heavier the mat is, the more effectively it stops the arrow. However, this also increases the force applied during impact, and arrows made of less stable material can be damaged over time.


Product recommendation follows



Where is the Use of a Safety Net recommended?

In principle, you can use Backstop everywhere. But there are areas or situations where it is especially useful:

  • On a large shooting range where many shooters are on the move
  • In an extensive area where arrows are particularly difficult to find
  • In closed rooms where objects or walls could be damaged
  • In your own garden, for example, if the garage wall or – even worse! – the neighboring garden is behind the target



How large should an Arrow Net be?

Arrow nets are available in a wide variety of lengths; from a few meters to an infinite number of meters, everything is available. Most of them are between two and three meters in size.

Make sure that your Backstop really covers the area behind your target. When in doubt, it is better to plan a little more than too little. After all, archery is all about safety.

Talking about safety: When shooting, always keep a distance of at least fifteen meters to the arrow catching net – no matter how large the arrow catch is.


archery backstop netting



Are Safety Nets for Archery bulletproof?

Whether an arrow catching net is bulletproof depends mainly on the bows used and their tensile weight and on the material of the arrows, but also on the structure, the mesh density, and the material of the arrow catch.

If the shooter uses a traditional Longbow, Rider’s Bow, or a Recurve Bow, arrow nets offer a high degree of safety. However, this does not apply to the penetrating power of a Compound Sheet, as this is much higher. A carbon arrow shot from a compound usually passes smoothly through an arrow catch. So you should not rely on it one hundred percent.

A solution to this problem could be another net, which you mount behind the first one. This way the arrow is braked by the first net and caught by the second one.

If you have questions about bullet resistance, you can of course contact the manufacturer. They can give you exact information about which bow types and arrows the respective Backstops are suitable for.


In general: No net for archery will help you if people could be endangered while shooting! The shooting path and the area behind the target must always be clear, even if people are behind the net.

arrow backstop



Correct Installation of the Arrow Safety Net

The arrow net is mounted behind the target utilising a steel cable. This is stretched between two trees, walls or posts, for example. Many arrow catching sets already contain everything the archer needs to build the net correctly. Arrow nets are also available by the meter and are popular.

It is important not to place the net directly in front of a wall or fence so that there is enough room to swing after an arrow has been struck. Otherwise, the arrow will simply impale it on the wall and the arrow will be damaged, which is one of the things you want to avoid.

It is always a good idea to let the lower end of the net rest on the ground because this will additionally slow it down and thus the arrow. You should also avoid stretching the net too tightly. It should always give way well, throw wrinkles, and thus be able to extract the energy of the arrows optimally.



Build your own Arrow Net

As an alternative to the net for archery, you can also build your own DIY archery backstop netting, for example by hanging thick carpets or blankets next to and behind each other on slats or wire ropes. But of course, you have to make sure that this kind of Backstop is really safe. There should be no gaps and the fabric should be rigid or thick enough to stop the arrows with a high probability.


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An arrow net or an arrow mat is therefore an absolute must for archers in certain situations. Better be on the safe side, because although a bow is nowadays considered a piece of sports equipment, it was developed for use in hunting and war. Safety first! Have fun with archery!

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