2017 Mathews inc. Product Launch Review

Posted by

This is special time in the retail business because it marks the start of the busy holiday season that a majority of stores rely on to either make or break the year. However, it is even more important to the archery retailer due to the release of the next year's bow lines. The middle of November always arrives with whispers and gossip over what new products will be released and this gives customers a chance to dream and wish for their perfect bow. This year, on the 15th of November archers around the world woke like children on Christmas morning and raced to social media and the Mathews website to see whether their dreams and wishes had been answered. This rush of excitement is felt by both customers and retailers alike, as neither of them have any information until it is posted on the Mathews website. We received an early taste this year when Mathews released three new target bows in late September, but everyone waited until November for the Hunting Line.   

Now that both lines have been released, it is clear that Matt McPherson and the engineering team had every member of the archery community in mind with the 2017 lineup. Each of the 2017 bows utilizes several key innovative designs including Crossentric Cam technology, Tophat Cam spacing, Rock Mods to give a very solid back wall, and a longer riser design to assist in aiming. With an option for everyone from your youngest archers to the most advanced tournament shooters, Mathews is sure to have a bow to fit your shooting style and needs.

Image: Devin Hall

Target Line:

Mathews was extremely successful in the tournament season last year with the Halon X in just about any venue. The Halon X was a great aiming bow that would easily stand out in any paper event but still had the speed needed to excel in the 3D game. I used my Halon X for both outdoor and 3D events and couldn't have been happier. This year they listened to their customer base and were able to make it even better with the release of the Halon X Comp. By stretching it out two extra inches to 37” ATA and increasing the limb angle to be more similar to the Chill X from 2014, while still keeping the rated speed at 330IBO, the new X Comp is a bow that belongs on every tournament trail. I received my Halon X Comp in late October and have been spending as much time as possible getting familiar with it before indoor season starts. The X Comp aims even better than the Halon X, and has been extremely forgiving to shoot. When testing the rated speeds I found that my bow was shooting 3fps over advertised as I was getting a calculated 333IBO rating. I already feel more confident with my X Comp than I have with any other competition bow I've owned to date.

The second set of the target line is the TRX series including both 7” and 8” brace height models. Coming in at 40” ATA the TRX looks very similar to the TRG series with such a long riser. I was a big fan of the TRG series and was very successful with it in both paper and 3D events. The TRX has an aggressive shot that I normally find in a 3D bow, but it is easier to aim than any of the previous long ATA bows released by Mathews. The TRX offers a great shot feel and astonishing speeds rated up to 332IBO making it a very versatile bow that allows it to be utilized in several disciplines. From my testing I've found the IBO rating for the TRX to be spot on with my average speeds varying between 332-333fps. I believe the new TRX is going to be exactly what several groups of archers are looking for, and it will be seen in a wide range of events this year.

Image: Devin Hall

Hunting Line:

Mathews Halon 32 camo patterns. Optifade Elevated II(top), Ridge Reaper Barren(middle), Lost XD(bottom)

Imagine having each customer build the exact bow that they dream of. Typically an archer has to weigh the options between just a couple bows, and rarely do they get both the ATA and Brace Height desired. Archers now have 7 options to choose from for a hunting bow between the Halon Series, Halon 32 Series, and the Halon X. For my testing I was able to use the 6” brace height model set to 29/70 with 85% mods. The Halon 32 feels very solid in the hand, has a controllable draw cycle, and stores an amazing amount of energy resulting in a smooth, quiet, and surprisingly quick shot. Tuning the Halon 32 is just as easy as it was on the original Halon Series and gives the shooter great consistency and reliability. 

All of the technology in these bows really is best recognized when it comes time to shoot broad heads next to field points, and these bows leave nothing to be desired. Right away the Point of Impact difference between the two heads was only 2” using a fixed 3 blade at 20 yards and with a little adjustment in the top hats, you couldn't tell any difference in the POI between the heads even at longer distances. The 6” brace height model is rated at 340fps(30/70@85% letoff), and I was getting average reading between 329-331fps(29/70@85% letoff). With the difference in draw length factored in, our demo bow was clocking speeds exactly at what the Halon 32 is rated at. 

Something else that is new this year is a change in available finishes. The 6” model is being offered in four different camo patterns including Lost XD, Optifade Elevated II, Optifade Open Country, and Ridge Reaper Barren. All three models, however will be available in the standard black and stone. With the changes in this year in both size and finish, its hard to find something that Mathews overlooked in their flagship hunting line.

Model Axle to Axle Brace Height Mass Weight Draw length IBO Price
Halon 32 5” 32” 5” 4.83lbs 24.5-30.5” 350fps @75% $999.00
Halon 32 6” 32” 6” 4.73lbs 25.5-31.5 343fps @75% $999.00
Halon 32 7” 32” 7” 4.73lbs 26.5-32.5 335fps @75% $999.00

Image: Devin Hall

For the Ladies:

It had been a couple years since Mathews released its last women specific bow the Chill SDX. Last year the female shooters really gravitated towards the Halon 5. With most female shooters having shorter draw lengths while shooting considerably less poundage on average, the 5” brace height gave them back some of the speed they had lost. The only thing they liked more than the speed was the smooth draw and that they were able to pull more poundage than ever before. But with all things archery, there were detractants to the standard Halon series and it always seemed to be the hefty weight of 4.6 lb. Once again Mathews listened to the consumer and put the Halon on a massive diet, the result was the 3.96 lb Avail. Coming in at 30”ATA with a 6” brace height the the Avail has a buttery smooth draw cycle while still clocking in at a 340fps IBO(5gr/lb@30”) rating or 320fps at 28” and 60lbs. With a draw length range of 22-28” the Avail is designed for those shooters with shorter draw lengths. The demo Model that we received was 25” draw length with 50 lb limbs. Immediately upon holding the bow I noticed the weight difference and knew it was going to be a hit with our short draw shooters both men and woman. Running the bow through the chronograph we got speeds of 286fps(5gr/lb@25”), This puts us at a calculated 316fps IBO(5gr/lb @28”) after factoring in the difference in draw length, just under the advertised rating. 

We are very excited to see our customer's reactions to this bow and think it is going to fill an often overlooked niche.

Model Axle to Axle Brace Height Mass Weight Draw Length IBO Price
Avail 30” 6” 3.96 22-28 320fps(28/60) $999.00

Image: Devin Hall

Professional Grade Youth Bow:

Mathews has been extremely successful with their Mission line of bows in the hands of the next generation of archers. The adjustability of the Mission bows allow for the bow to grow with a young archer as they progress through archery. But all of the adjustability came with at the price of giving up a solid back wall and usually had low speed ratings. Mathews is changing this in 2017 with the announcement of the Stoke. The Stoke takes precision engineering and a custom feel, and puts it into a platform suitable for youth shooters. Unlike the adjustable modules that left a lot to be desired for feel, the Stoke is available with individual modules in half inch increments from 21-27”. With a 27.25” ATA the bow is very maneuverable for smaller archers, while the 5.625” brace height brings the heat of a 344 IBO rating(5gr/lb @30”) or 314fps at 27” and 60lbs. Our demo bow came in set to 22” draw length and 50lbs draw weight. Putting the bow through the speed tests, we calculated an actual 310IBO rating(5gr/lb @27”). This calculated rating is just under advertised, but I think the smooth draw and quality of the build will make the Stoke the highest quality youth bow on the market. 

For those looking to give their young archers the best equipment with no compromises, the Stoke is going to be very high on the list.

Model Axle to Axle Brace Height Mass Weight Draw Length IBO Rating Price
Stoke 27.25” 5.625” 3.78 21-27” 314fps(27/60) $999.00