Eros Archery Target By Target Tech
We have already reviewed Target Techs' flagship target, the Atlas, which was designed to stop arrows from all bows, the middle section contained a remarkable sphere with excellent recovery properties. For those of us mere mortals who are unable to destroy the middle of the target in just a few sessions there is another option - The Eros Target.
We have had 5 of these on test now for a couple of months, the version we are using is the field model with stumpy legs, the other model is the Fita target version which stands at the regulation height on wooden legs.
Most archers will be familiar with the layered foam target, this is a version of that with several tweaks which should offer good value. The foam used is the same as is found elsewhere, namely the "skins" that are used as protection on foam boards as they are delivered to converters, the thin skin is peeled off and returned for recycling, however it was soon found that when layered together it produced an excellent boss for paper faces or as a backstop for 3D's at a field shoot, a more durable and economic solution than Ethafoam..
As a boss it is a little more expensive than other versions I have seen but rather than just strap a bunch of skins together the designers have looked at ways of adding value and making the target more archer friendly.
Some of the things I very much like about it are that the skins them selves are bonded into cassettes, 6 of these cassettes or foam blocks will slide into place to make the target, I say slide because the edges are recessed to fit the frame. This allows the side of the wooden frame to be mostly tucked away out of harms way from stray arrows. It also means that cassettes can be swapped about as the centre becomes shot out, indeed they can even be reversed to prolong use. Extra cassettes can be purchased which in theory makes the life span of the frame itself if not infinite then at least able to last a long time before being replaced. The cassettes are available for around £18. Over the time we have used ours we have noticed no puffing out or bowing of the whole target, which in part may be due to the foam being cut for the frame to sit in.
There is however another really nice feature to help you get more use from the target, The top section of the frame is obviously removable to allow segments to be replaced, but there are two screw handles to tighten it which will in turn compress the layers, with ours we started at normal tension and as the target gets shot we have tightened the tension to create more stopping power where the foam may have been a little shredded over time. It takes mere seconds to undo as they have thoughtfully provided a "key" which fits over the screw handles and can be powered by an electric drill - it's a nice touch but not one that is essential, the screw thread itself is quite long and can be twisted up in a minute or two with little effort.
The frame is pretty solid and the legs work very well allowing you to choose the angle at which the face will be presented - especially interesting to field archers as a paper face can be shot a various angles. We actually had some hoops fashioned to hold the target stand in place and these we fit around the bottom struts - it would be possible for a strong gust of wind to push the target over, when it is stuck full of arrows this could prove expensive.
I say it would be possible because the target is heavy, an advantage when it comes to wind but a definite dis advantage when it comes to moving them about - we haven't weighted our but at a guess I would say around 50 kg, not beyond the weight a man could lift but because of the size it's almost impossible to shift one on your own, that coupled with the awkward shape ( big by necessity) and lack of grab places means you will need 2 men.
To make this job a little more manageable we have used seat belt strapping screwed to the sides to allow a solid purchase whilst moving them. Even then if you intend to shoot a York with one of these make yourself some wheels for it or a little trolley. However that said it's only disadvantage is in fact also one of the reasons I like it so much, it's big, it's solid and it will take a little rough handling with no complaint.
The makers suggest it will last up to 8 times longer than a conventional layered target and judging but the use we have put it through that claim stands good.If you intend to leave these in situ, say at a field club then the wood of the frame will need treating.There are several sizes made - the one we tested which is 1300mm X 1300mm-FITA and field, a smaller 950mm X 950mm, in both FITA and field and a 650mm X 650mm which is available as a field target only.. Each of the targets is 300mm thick
Features & Design
Target Tech specialise in making targets, for a long time archers have shot what was available because that's what was available, it appeared that no one was too concerned as long as it stopped arrows - at least for a time. All that has changed now, Target Tech have incorporated lots of features which were never rocket science but will add much to the life of a target.
Excellent, it was tested with untold number of wooden arrows, arrows from 120# longbows, spears from Atlatl's and ally arrows from recurves, although we didn't test with compound bows, the ability to move segments around and replace shot away areas means that performance will not be compromised.
Value for Money
£175 is great value, I use these targets as part of a commercial operation, there are cheaper available but these offer superb value.
Another brilliant target from Target Tech, I imagine this will become the club standard target. Both for target archery clubs and field clubs it offers longevity, performance and value.