Bow Backing

Bow backing refers to the material that is added to the back of a bow in archery to reinforce its structure and increase its stability. The backing is added to the reverse side of the bow, which is opposite to the side that is strung with the bowstring.

Bows are typically constructed from flexible materials such as wood or bamboo, and the addition of a backing provides additional support and stability to the bow. This allows the bow to perform better and reduces the likelihood of it breaking or losing its shape over time.

Materials Used for Bow Backing

The most common materials used for bow backing include:

  • Rawhide

Rawhide is a traditional material that has been used for centuries to reinforce the back of a bow. It is made from the hide of cows or other animals and is very durable and flexible. Rawhide is also very affordable and readily available, making it a popular choice for many archers.

  • Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a more modern material that is often used as a substitute for rawhide. It is much lighter than rawhide and provides additional strength to the bow. Fiberglass is also less likely to rot or decay over time, making it a more durable choice.

  • Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber is an even more modern material that is very lightweight and incredibly strong. Carbon fiber is a popular choice for high-performance bows, as it provides excellent stability and accuracy. However, it is also much more expensive than other materials and may not be suitable for all archers.

  • Synthetic materials

Synthetic materials, such as those made from Kevlar or Vectran, are another option for bow backing. These materials are very durable and provide excellent strength and stability, making them a popular choice for high-performance bows.

Each material has its own unique properties, and archers may choose a particular material based on the intended use of the bow, as well as personal preference.

Benefits of Bow Backing

Adding a backing to a bow provides several benefits, including:

  • Increases stability and reduces twist: 

The backing helps to prevent the bow from twisting or bending when it is under tension, which can greatly improve the accuracy and consistency of the shot.

  • Reinforces the bow's structure: 

The backing provides additional support to the bow, which helps to reduce the stress on the bow and prolong its lifespan.

  • Absorbs shock and reduces stress on the bow: 

When a bow is shot, it experiences a great deal of stress and shock. The backing helps to absorb some of this shock and reduce the stress on the bow, which helps to prevent damage and extend the life of the bow.

  • Improves accuracy and consistency:

A more stable bow will be more accurate and consistent in its performance, which can greatly improve the performance of the archer.

  • Extends the life of the bow: 

The backing provides additional support to the bow and helps to absorb shock and stress, which can greatly extend the lifespan of the bow.

How Bow Backing is Installed

The installation process of a bow backing depends on the type of material being used. Rawhide, for example, is typically glued to the back of the bow using a special adhesive, while fiberglass and carbon fiber are typically attached using epoxy. The backing material is carefully placed on the back of the bow and secured in place, ensuring that it is evenly distributed and does not interfere with the performance of the bow.

Regardless of the type of material used, it is important to install the backing properly to ensure that it provides the maximum benefits and does not affect the performance of the bow. A poorly installed backing can cause the bow to perform poorly or even break, so it is important to seek out the advice of an experienced bowyer or archery technician if you are unsure of how to properly install a backing.