Behind the Scenes With Power-Stop Archery Targets

Darrin Brown from Power-Stop Archery Targets details the company’s interesting history, which dates back to 1888, and how it continues to test new target materials to improve its product line.

Behind the Scenes With Power-Stop Archery Targets

Bowhunters and competitive shooters need good targets to prepare for hunting seasons and events. Having something that lasts and withstands cumulative hours of impact is critical. Power-Stop Archery Targets knows this and offers an array of targets that catch the eye of consumers in your shop.

Power-Stop’s parent company, American Excelsior Company, is based in Texas. For more than 130 years it has adapted with changing times to provide packing materials for myriad uses. Among those in the last half century is foam, which the company fabricates. Foam archery targets, of course, are the most popular in the industry. American Excelsior says that it doesn’t use scrap materials or “just any quality foam material available. It means we engineer the highest quality foam material to meet our specific needs, and to perform at the optimal level you need.”

In this issue’s Spotlight column, we talk with Darrin Brown, national sales manager for Power-Stop.


AB: Thanks for taking the time to visit with Archery Business this month. Power-Stop has a tremendous history, dating to when it was founded in 1888 as American Excelsior. It has a long, storied legacy in the packing business with wood excelsior for filler, cotton batting, foam rubber, polyurethane foam, polystyrene filler and starch-based packaging. Power-Stop has adapted at almost every turn. How has this helped you within the archery market?

DB: There are not many companies left in America that have such a long legacy. The culture of American Excelsior is like no other, and our production capabilities and diverse experience in the foam and packaging industry has been a big help in building the Power-Stop brand.

AB: Few companies can claim a history dating to 1888. Grover Cleveland was president of the country, which had only 39 states at the time. Are you the oldest archery-based company in the industry?

DB: That is hard to say, but most people don’t realize excelsior was one of the first packaging products made. The bales may have been one of the first commercially manufactured for archery targets. Now, as far as foam targets go, we are the oldest. You see, Stanley Hips Targets were brought to the market in the late 1960s or early 1970s. American Excelsior acquired Hips Targets in 2017, and when you combine the history of both products you might be able to say we are the oldest.

AB: Let’s talk about your products. Power-Stop makes targets for indoor use, outdoor use and also large bale targets made from Curlex Excelsior. Can you describe each one, and also tell us about Curlex Excelsior?

DB: We manufacture foam targets to meet the needs of every archer — from beginners, indoor and outdoor ranges, as well as broadhead targets for hunters. Curlex is the registered trademark for our excelsior bales, which are engineered from unique excelsior “aspen wood fiber material.” These proven bale targets have set the standard for more than 30 years.


AB: The bale targets work indoors or outdoors? An archery store owner or range owner could have these outdoors and not worry about deterioration?

DB: Curlex Excelsior targets can be used indoors and outdoors. Fiber expansion is the key to the longevity of our targets. These fibers can be dampened with water, which causes the fibers to expand and bring the target back to its original strength or density.

Power-Stop builds top-notch foam targets, as well as bale targets made of Curlex Excelsior (above), which is an aspen wood fiber material.
Power-Stop builds top-notch foam targets, as well as bale targets made of Curlex Excelsior (above), which is an aspen wood fiber material.

AB: Given the company’s history with its products, have you tested various materials over the years to see how they stand up to bows and crossbows? If so, that had to be interesting, fun and possibly a bit “Uh, nope. Can’t do that.”

DB: Archery equipment is constantly evolving, and we are continuously testing new materials to improve our product line. I am sure you have heard the saying, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, our motto is, “If it isn’t broke, improve it.”


AB: As we see crossbows with faster speeds, and compounds shooting micro-diameter arrows, will we see newer materials or targets coming in the future for these faster, harder-hitting arrows and bolts?

DB: Now, that would be a trade secret; we will just have to wait and see.


AB: How do you work with dealers on pricing, special deals or other offers?

DB: Dealers are the backbone of our industry. We strive to work with them to provide the highest quality product that they can profit from, and stand behind after the sale.


AB: I’m a dealer, so tell me why I should put your products in my shop. Give me the pitch.

DB: It’s simple, we offer targets to meet all their customers’ needs, and our Curlex Excelsior targets are the longest lasting target on the market. We manufacture our foam targets with vertical layers of high-density foam verses the thin layers of horizontal foam our competitors use, which shred far quicker than our vertical layers. The lightweight design is also a key selling point that consumers appreciate.


AB: My customers want to know about your products. What should I tell them?

DB: The best way to tell your customers about our targets is to show them how well they perform. Display our targets in your archery shop and put some on your range for them to shoot. Your customers will see the quality firsthand, and actions speak louder than words. Once consumers experience the construction and performance of the targets, they sell themselves.


AB: Anything else you’d like the readers of Archery Business to know about Power-Stop Archery Targets?

DB: We pride ourselves in building high-quality products that dealers and consumers will appreciate. Our long history in the industry proves we build great archery targets. And we build them right here in the USA.

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