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06-19-2013, 11:32 AM
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My shooting / Skill pad experiences with different products / materials

I have tried several different types of shooting pads (purchased one, built three). I am in a townhouse community so I need something that I can use in an open space, and carry back to my patio 20 yards away. There is no concrete surface that I can use, but there is a large open grass area (using on grass vs concrete is a big difference). I need a shooting pad for both stick handling, and shooting. Here are the different approaches I have taken - jump to the bottom if you want the quick summary (in chronological order).

1) Roll up plastic $120 (1/10" x 4' x 8.5')

The biggest waste of $120 I have ever spent. The thing does not lay flat (even after weighting it down over night). A real puck barely slides on it. I called the place I bought it from and they flat out told me that it is really meant for a green biscuit - which they sent me free of charge. It slides great on it - but a green biscuit slides great on just about anything. Being that it is a roll up, it is very thin - makes it useless if your only open area is grass.

2) Marker Board $10 (3/16" x 2' x 4') -

This was my first homemade attempt. I was pretty happy with it. Pucks slide really nice on it. Spray a little pledge on it and dry off and it has a real nice "ice-like" feel. It is quite thin, so on grass I needed to glue it to some plywood. After that it was great on grass. After a few weeks it started to warp (I keep it outside, somewhat covered). The surface is fairly durable, but after probably 500 shots or so the glossy layer is starting to scrape off.

3) Harboard Panel $10 (1/8" x 4' x 8') -

The huge size vs low price of this made it appealing. Unfortunately it was a letdown. The pucks really do not slide as well as the marker board from 2). I have heard other talk about spraying something to make it slippery, but I am not really a big fan of the mess that makes. The other thing is that it is not much stronger than cardboard. It it gets wet at all it is done. I guess it would be great to use indoors with a green biscuit to work on stick handling (because it is so huge), but if it is to be used outdoors I can't see how it can last.

4) Melamine Board $10 (1" x 2' x 4') -

This is finally what I was looking for. The puck slides on this board so well. If you rub some pledge onto it, it is as close to ice as I think you will find. It is 1 inch thick so it does not warp, and it is heavy enough to sit on top of grass. I bought two of these boards and lined them in an 8 foot row. I put a bungie cord at the end of one of them and it is perfect for one timers. I have taken close to 1000 shots with these boards, and no damage at all (other than the edges). I will make a youtube video of this setup soon.

In Summary:

9/10 - Melamine Board: Cheap, durable, excellent slide (especially rubbing pledge into it before starting), thick enough to work on grass.

7/10 - Marker Board: Cheap, good slide. Not very durable, and if using on grass you need plywood under it.

5/10 - Hardboard Panel: Best feature is that it is huge and cheap. Pucks do not slide all that well. It is very thin, and not durable. If it gets wet it is toast.

1/10 - Roll up plastic shooting pad: Very expensive, pucks do not slide well at all, hard to lay flat, too thin to use on grass. Waste of money (in my opinion)

Last edited by Teppo: 06-19-2013 at 11:39 AM.
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