At the 2013 Archery Trade Association (ATA) trade show in Louisville, I asked almost every bow manufacturer I met the same question: “How can compounds get any more efficient?” Each representative said virtually the same thing -- it will be very hard. As a group, today’s new bows are technologically so far above those of even five years ago, it is amazing. They’re fast, smooth to draw and about as vibration- and noise-free as they can be. If you’re looking to upgrade this season—and if you have not upgraded in the last five years, you are well behind the technology curve—here’s a look at the best from the top manufacturers. In Part I we’ll cover eight new bows, and then follow up in Part II with the final eight. As a side note, many companies introduced more than one new bow at the trade show, but in this series I’ve selected the one bow in which I believe serious bowhunters will be most interested. The companies are listed alphabetically.
See Part II of the list here.
Alpine provides a solid package wrapped around the company’s V3g Cam system, which helps produce an IBO speed rating of 332 fps with 80 percent let-off. The bow also features Gordon composite limbs, a one-piece Rosewood grip, Fast Lane Roller Guide and Split Point Limb Capture System limb pockets. You have a choice of 12-inch limbs with 6 ½-inch brace height, or 13-inch limbs with 7 ½-inch brace height. It measures 34 ½ inches axle-to-axle, and weighs 4 ½ pounds. Draw length can be adjusted between 28 and 32 inches and peak draw weights of 60 or 70 pounds are available. MSRP: $699
APA Viper Nano
The new single-cam Viper Nano, which measures 30 inches axle-to-axle and has a forgiving 7¼-inch brace height, has an IBO speed rating of 330 fps. The new Venom V2 Cam offers 8 inches of draw length adjustment in half-inch increments and a positive draw stop. The riser has a built-in, balanced carrying handle, and APA’s Fang Riser features an incorporated limb hook that allows you to easily store your bow while on stand. Also standard on APA bows is the multi-function tool center that features a nock wrench, broadhead wrench, carbide sharpener and cam lock built into the riser. The cam lock allows you to lock the cams and replace the string or cable in the field without a bow press. MSRP: $899
Bear Motive 6
Built around the new H13 Hybrid Cam, with an IBO speed rating of 350 fps, this is the fastest compound Bear Archery has ever produced. The new cam features a rotating module that permits the user to adjust draw length from 25½ to 30 inches without a bow press. Also new this year is the ability to adjust the Offset String Suppressors for a custom fit. The bow is 32 inches axle-to-axle, weighs 4 pounds, has a 6-inch brace height and 75 percent let-off. Peak draw weights of 50, 60 and 70 pounds are available. Other key features include the 4x4 Roller Guard, Max Pre-Load Quad Limbs, Zero Tolerance Limb Pockets and a Contra-Band string and cables. It comes in several different finishes. MSRP: $899
In recent years BowTech bows have been regarded as some of the most advanced in the industry, and this year’s flagship bow, the Experience, does nothing to diminish that reputation. The bow is built on a specially designed riser that repositions the CarbonCore limbs for a smooth draw cycle and solid stop at full draw. Other cutting-edge features include a FLX-Guard cable-containment system that dramatically reduces riser torque, the OverDrive Binary Cam system for symmetry, synchronization and stability at the shot, an Extinguish Dampening System and an Octane Factory bowstring. The bow measures 32 inches axle-to-axle, has a 7-inch brace height, comes in draw lengths between 26½ to 31 inches and draw weights of 50, 60 or 70 lbs. and has an IBO speed rating of 335 fps. It comes in either Mossy Oak Infinity camouflage or BlackOps finishes. MSRP: $999
Darton’s tag line for this bow is a “Muscle Bow With Manners.” With the company’s Dual Sync cam technology and IBO speed rating of 350 fps, that moniker makes sense. The Dual Sync is a hybrid system that eliminates tuning problems associated with many dual-cam bows. Also featured is a fully machined aluminum riser, E.E.T. (Efficient Energy Transfer) split limbs, P.T.R. (Progressive Torque Reduction) cable rod and P.P.L. (Pivoting, Positive Locking) Limb Pockets. The bow is 33 13/16-inches axle-to-axle, weighs 4.1 pounds, and has a 6-inch brace height and 80 percent let-off. Draw lengths from 25 to 31 inches and maximum draw weights of 50, 60 or 70 pounds are available. It comes in many different finish options. MSRP: $899
Diamond Infinite Edge
Need a high-quality bow that a youth shooter can grow into? The Infinite Edge has a draw length range of 13 to 30 inches and a draw weight range of 5 to 70 pounds. Best of all, both adjustments can be made without a bow press. Mass weight is just 3.1 pounds, it measures 31 inches axle-to-axle and it has a 7-inch brace height. It also has an IBO speed rating of 310 fps. To help get newcomers off on the right foot the bow comes as a package that includes peep sight, Apex 3-pin sight, Octane DeadLock Lite quiver, Hostage XL arrow rest and BCY string loop. It comes finished in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, Pink Blaze or BlackOps. MSRP: $399
Talk about a makeover—the 2013 Elite Hunter features an all-new riser and cam system, smoother draw and wider range of draw lengths. The bow weighs 4.3 pounds, is 31½-inches axle-to-axle, has a generous 7¾-inch brace height, and IBO speed rating of 323 to 326 fps. A Winner’s Choice Custom Bowstring is standard. It’s available in draw lengths from 25 to 31 inches, with peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds. It’s one of those bows that you need to shoot to appreciate its smoothness and accuracy. MSRP: $899
Hoyt Spyder 30
Cutting-edge engineering is what Hoyt has been developing for decades, and with the new 30-inch axle-to-axle Spyder 30, that’s evident. Hoyt created patent-pending AirShox Technology with dampeners that have been mounted to the limb pockets, allowing the limbs to pull away at full draw, and then be cushioned by the AirShox when they spring back into place at release. It also features Hoyt’s RKT Cam & ½ that generates an IBO speed rating of 330 fps. Also featured are Hoyt’s TEC Lite Riser, XTS Pro ARC limbs, Fuse Custom Strings, In-Line Roller Guard, Pro-Fit Custom Grip and Silent Shelf Technology. The bow weighs 3.8 pounds and has a 6 ¾-inch brace height. Draw lengths range from 24½ to 30 inches with available peak draw weights of 40, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 80 pounds. Finishes include Realtree Xtra, Realtree MAX-1 and Black Out. MSRP: $999