November is one of my favorite months for several reasons, but perhaps none bigger than the launch by most manufacturers of the next year’s new compound bows.
I eagerly await for them to reveal their newest technologies, much like a kid on Christmas Eve waits to open presents the next morning. Technology moves fast in this industry, with some years seeing far more advancement than others — 2020 is one of those years.
Although there are many quality bow manufacturers in today’s marketplace, I am focusing on Mathews, Hoyt and Bowtech, what I call “The Big Three.” These manufacturers are in it for the long haul and consistently produce quality bows that push the envelope when it comes to new technology. All have a solid offering for 2020, making it a tough decision when choosing a new bow.
For 2020, Mathews’ flagship hunting bow is the VXR, which is offered in two axle-to-axle lengths: 28 and 311/2 inches This bow builds on Mathews’ revolutionary Switchweight Technology by using the Crosscentric Cam with Switchweight Modules. This cam system allows the archer to adjust the peak draw weight of his/her bow from 60 to 75 pounds in 5-pound increments, all without losing any efficiency, by simply changing the cam modules. Draw length and let-off can be adjusted as well.
The VXR features Mathews’ new Extended Bridged Riser, which contains six bridges for increased length, stability and rigidity in key areas, while reducing weight at the same time. The 3D damping has been extended forward to optimize its effects and provide better balance. The popular Engage Grip helps promote proper hand position and reduce torque. Once again, the riser includes the Integrate Rest mounting system, which is a dovetail machined on the back of the riser, allowing a QAD integrate rest to be mounted.
Mathews has always been known for quiet, smooth-shooting bows, and the VXR takes this to another level. There is ZERO movement or hand shock at the shot. This bow is crazy quiet and sounds like it is a black hole that actually absorbs noise. Its quietness is furthered by the new Enhanced Stabilizer Bushing, which is enlarged and has a concave face, increasing the stiffness of any forward stabilizer by 10%. The VXR 28 is available in draw lengths from 251/2 to 30 inches, while the VXR 311/2 is available in 261/2- to 31-inch offerings, a fit for virtually any archer. Perhaps the coolest feature of the VXR is the new, optional Silent Connect System (SCS) Kit, which allows for quick and silent attachment of the new Mathews Genuine bow rope and bow sling. These screw onto the back of the limb pockets and add very little weight, while providing a streamlined, neat attachment point for those accessories. The last new feature is actually a new color “Green Ambush,” best described as a powder-coat, duck-boat green — really cool. This has been the best seller in our shop so far.
Not to be outdone, Hoyt has built on its REDWRX series with the new RX-4 carbon riser bow. The RX-4 is Hoyt’s shortest hunting bow ever, and at only a 29½-inch axle-to-axle length will be extremely maneuverable in both the tree stand and ground blind.
Hoyt offers the same in an aluminum riser bow called the AXIUS. Both bows feature the new ZTR cam system, which has a more solid back wall and is the quietest, smoothest cam Hoyt has ever produced. I was blown away by how much smoother these bows shoot than last year’s bows.
Both models feature Hoyt’s patented adjustable grip system, which allows the shooter to customize the grip location to aid in tuning. These bows feature Fuse strings and cables that are low stretch and minimize peep rotation. New for this year, Hoyt features the Integrate Rest Mounting System, this eliminates the rest bracket, making for a cleaner, lighter, lower-profile rest attachment. Hoyt also offers a new color for 2020, Under Armour Forest, which has been extremely popular in other brands.
For 2020, Bowtech offers the Revolt and Revolt-X. These bows feature the Deadlock Cam System, one of the most innovative cam systems I’ve ever seen. It allows the use of an Allen wrench to precisely adjust the cams left and right on the axles for perfect alignment. This focuses the energy directly in line with the arrow for perfect arrow flight. This adjustment can then be locked down securely for permanent repeatable accuracy.
These bows also feature the Deadlock limb pockets, which lock every component in the entire bow structure as one to ensure maximum accuracy. I love the grips which are comfortable and virtually eliminate torque.
The Revolt is 30 inches axle-to-axle with a 71/8-inch brace height, making it extremely forgiving. The Revolt-X is 33 inches axle-to-axle with a 6½-inch brace height. Both bows are adjustable from 26- to 31-inch draw lengths.
Do yourself a favor and go test shoot this year’s new class of bows, I can guarantee you’ll be impressed with them all.