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2011 Mathews Retailer Business Show Keeps Growing

by Todd Graf 2. January 2012 03:09
Todd Graf

Even before I saw the attendance figures for the annual Mathews Retailer Business Show, I knew I was witnessing the company’s biggest, most successful show in its four-year history. This exciting three-day event has grown big-time since its launch in 2008.

It’s a heck of a show for archery retailers. It’s very business-oriented, and it’s held in early December each year at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. This year it attracted more than 400 retailers and 150 exhibitors, including more than 100 Lost Camo licensees. That’s nearly a 50 percent growth in show exhibitors from a year ago, and a whopping 112 more exhibitors than the inaugural show drew in 2008.


Companies such as KTech Designs make a variety of high-quality accessories specifically designed to compliment your Mathews bow.


It's great to see new companies like Archer Xtreme pushing the sport of archery to new heights with their cutting edge designs and materials.

Matt McPherson, Mathews’ founder and president, reminded us of the company’s philanthropic work, too. “Not only do Lost Camo licensed products give Mathews retailers a unique and exclusive product to help their business, but 100 percent of the Lost Camo proceeds help people less fortunate around the world,” Matt said. “That’s in addition to the funding Mathews and Mission have been doing for years for those less fortunate."

I attended the show all three days with Justin Zarr and several other staff members from our Bowhunting.com crew. Let me tell you, we scrambled the entire time to make sure we saw the latest bowhunting gear from Mathews and all the other exhibitors. In fact, this year’s show was so large it was held inside “the bubble,” a giant building with an inflatable roof. This mammoth building is the Chula Vista convention center’s largest venue.


A view from inside "The Bubble", where several hundred people spent nearly 3 days conducting the business that keeps our industry running.

During the show we worked extensively with Corrine Bundy, Mathews’ marketing communications specialist, on several video promotions for Mathews’ products. By the show’s final morning on Day 3, Corrine knew without doubt that the show was Mathews’ best yet.

“It was a great success for us,” she said. “This was the fourth straight year of growth for the show. That kind of growth helps us carry out our mission for the show, which is to give retailers the tools they need to be as successful and profitable as possible.”


Here Justin and I are working with our cameraman, Nick and Brandyn, along with Corrine Bundy to film a Holiday Gift Guide for the Mathews and Lost Camo websites.

While walking the show we saw a variety of innovative new products that will be hitting the market for 2012.  Many of those products are geared towards accessorizing, and colorizing, your bow setup.  Mathews has done a great job at offering colored accessories for their bow for several years now, and many manufacturers are following their lead with colored accessories of their own.  One of the companies leading the charge in that arena is Pine Ridge Archery, who now has a variety of bow accessories in 8 different colors.  From peep sights to kisser buttons and even a new stabilizer, it's never been easier to customize your bow setup any way you please.

Another interesting new product we came upon is the iBowsight.  If you want to talk about innovation and technology in archery, this is it!  The iBowsight uses a custom-designed bracket to hold your iPhone 4 or 4s and turn it into a full-fledged bow sight.  Simply purchase and install the app on your phone and then mount it to your bow and you're off.  The iBowsight may not be for everyone, but there's no doubt it' sure to fuel plenty of conversations.  Click here to read a full review of the iBowsight.

In addition to a busy show floor, Mathews also delivered an impressive seminar lineup featuring industry experts to teach everything from bow tuning to retailing tips. And for evening entertainment, Mathews provided plenty of laughs from comedian Tim Hawkins.


Love it or hate it, the iBowsight is certainly a unique product.

As always, I was impressed with both the Mathews and Mission bow lineups, and think everyone will be impressed with the Heli-m. This bow gives you a super smooth draw and is the lightest bow ever offered by Mathews. Plus it’s loaded with Mathews technology like the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Damper Lite, Harmonic Stabilizer and Geo Grid Lock Riser.

But I gotta tell you, one of the most amazing spectacles was the shoot-off tournament where about 500 people tried shooting bull’s eyes with Mathews’ Genesis bow. This is the bow used by thousands of youngsters nationwide in the National Archery in the Schools Program.  Each show attendee was given one arrow, courtesy of Easton Archery, and had to try and shoot the foam bull's eye of a metal target.  If you made it into the foam you advanced to the next round.  If you missed, you were out.  And no, I didn’t win the event! I missed my first shot to earn an instant disqualification. Justin made it to the second round, but failed to advance to the third round. After 4 rounds of shooting we finally had a lucky winner, who got a free antelope hunt from our good friends at Table Mountain Outfitters.


The aftermath of the Iron Buck challenge. 


It's always great to see kids who are enthusiastic about archery and hunting.  Remember, they are the future of our sport!

Our next stop will be the ATA Trade Show, which runs Jan. 10-12 in Columbus, Ohio. As always, we'll be doing our best to cover the hot new bowhunting and archery products that are hitting the shelves in 2012.  So be sure to keep an eye on Bowhunting.com as we'll be updating the website directly from the show to bring you the hottest new products before anyone else.

The iBowsight: Turn Your iPhone Into a Versatile Bow Sight

by Dustin DeCroo 16. December 2011 07:42
Dustin DeCroo

At bowhunting.com we are always fascinated by cutting edge technology in the archery world, with that said, the iBowsight is very intriguing. The iBowsight is a two part system that combines the iBowsight app (for iPhone 4 or 4s) with a bracket that mounts to any bow with standard AMO sight holes. From there your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S utilizes the camera for your sight picture and can utilize the HD video camera in conjunction with your sight. This means, you can use the phone as a sight and record your hunt at the same time. The pins and sight ring are both fully adjustable in regards to color and size as well as offering a pendulum sight option for extreme angles.

This is what the iBowsight App/mount ready to hunt!

As interesting as this is, my skeptical mind began to ask questions about the “reliability” of an electronic and removable sight. With this in mind, I sent my questions directly to the manufacturers of iBowsight as I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with them at the Mathews retailers show where I was first introduced to the product. These were the questions that I asked as well as the responses from the engineers of iBowsight.

What happens when you get a phone call or text?

You can set your phone in airplane mode or have blue tooth on for incoming calls. With bluetooth, you can always answer with your headset, I personally will put mine in airplane mode when I hunt to lock out the distraction! For text it is simple, below is what it looks like when the text shows up, the text will show on top of the iBowSight Screen while in iBowsight mode even when at full draw. As you can see the text does not in any way interfere with your sight ring.


This shows what will be shown when a text is received.


Does the iPhone mount exactly the same way every time?

Yes for the first 1500 times it should be within +/- 0.003". To mount the iPhone 4(S) effectively, reliably, securely and quickly, a clamp system with 8 mounting points has been designed. This system allows the user to mount and remove the iPhone from the bracket in less than 10 seconds while maintaining the same position, +/- 0.003” from -4F to +120F.

Additionally, iBowSight allows users to create multiple profiles to meet the needs of the current bow in use. This means each profile can be set up individually and even be specific to the brand and length of the arrow being shot. One has the ability to build and tune these specific profiles to get within +/- 0.003” of an inch even in extreme temperatures. The beauty of these profiles is that they can be precisely recalled at an instant time after time. To make this a true sight system, the mounting bracket is predrilled to give up to 3 mounting positions on the bow and have a pre-tapped holes for a bow quiver. The back of the bracket is also predrilled to accommodate for future accessories and comes standard with a removable accessory mounting bar. There will be two different styles available at the ATA Show offered in Black and different Camouflages yet to be announced. The iPhone attaches to the bracket via the stainless steel bristle around the phone , the bracket does not attach to the glass screen because the screen can expand and contract due to temperature variances.

How does the app affect battery life?

The app does not affect battery life, unless you leave it in the foreground, with iOS5 multitasking, you can put it on back ground and it is just dormant. When running in the background mode, the battery will last 16hrs.

The app is designed to have a lot more features than most people can dream, like instant on, 2 seconds to in-focus from app being pressed.

How does the iBowsight work in rainy or snowy conditions?

With iPhone's water resistant design, there will be rain hood and USB plug sold as accessories for those who want to use it in those weather conditions.

How do you sight in the iBowsight?

Just like any other sight, but with iPhone you can micro adjust in +/- 0.003" once you have the iPhone bracket installed on your bow you can rough sight it in, then to do the fine micro adjusting to your sight. You will be able to micro adjust the sight within the iBowsight App. You will also be able to change the sight ring to any different color you want so that if you tilt the bow past level the color of the sight ring will change to warn you that you are not holding the bow level. In the App, you will be able to move the sight pins to sight in like you would with most other sights.

3rd Axis Calibration

3rd Axis Calibration


Color choices for pins, ring and bubble level.


The iBowsight has the ability to be a pendulum sight as well as a pin sight.



Pin Ajustment Mode





How do the lenses work with the sight?

The iPhone uses the built in optics of an iPhone, to reverse the wide angle built in lens, a fix focus telephoto lens is recommended to get a 1X1 ratio.

The app has a 4X Zoom. These can be purchased over the internet from various manufacturers with prices rangeing from $25.00 to $800.00, it all depends on how fine of optics you want... quality comes with a price.

As for optics, it is optics, you get for what you pay for. It uses standard 11/16" screw mount and I recommended non focus design lens.

The bracket will come with an installazion hole for the correction lense of choice.


The iBowSight App will be available for purchase via the Apple iTunes App Store in the near future. ( Should become avilable the day before Christmas )

The iBowSight App not only transforms the iPhone into a bow sight, by leveraging the iPhone’s advanced electronics and iOS 5, it is also a video camera which can film every shot and store them into the internal memory of the iPhone. The video will be recorded in 720p and 1080p when using the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S respectively.

In v1.0 of iBowSight, the following features are available:

  1. Sight ring can be size from 0.3” radius to an edge to edge radius of 2.1”
  2. Sight ring’s can have up to 2.6 millions colors of choice
  3. Sight ring can be micro adjust in an increment of 1/326”
  4. Each pin size can be adjust from 0.012” radius to 0.240” radius
  5. Each pin can have up to 2.6 millions colors of choice
  6. Each pin can have its own shape beside a standard dot. At version 1.0 there is a total of 9 shapes to start.
  7. One can add up to 7 pins to the sight
  8. There is built in digital zoom from 1.0X base on internal optics to 4.0X in an increment of 0.01X
  9. 3rd axis adjustment to accommodate the most demanding and complicated sight set up
  10. Built in water level for visual bow leveling
  11. Sight level confirmation via ring color choices. i.e. One can set the ring color to be green (color A) when leveled and red (color B) when the bow is tilted. Thus one can look at the ring color change instead of the water level to confirm if the bow is leveled.
  12. One can have the option to set the sight into an automatic pendulum sight when the bow is dropped below 45 degrees. This feature allows the best of both worlds. In pendulum mode, the choice of sight pin shape and color is totally independent from the original pins. However the reference position of the pendulum sight is still base on the 20 yard pin. Therefore setting the pins in use are critical for the pendulum sight options to function properly
  13. up to 20,000 storable profiles, (each profile also bow, arrow, arrow length, point weight, and other parameters settings)
  14. Operational indicators (mini icons to show on active screen which optiions are active



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