The Latest Isn’t Always the Greatest

By Beka GarrisJanuary 23, 20231 Comment

With the beginning of each new year, comes the unveiling of new bows. This time of year, most archery companies start to release their newest gear, beckoning archers everywhere with the “latest and greatest” in archery equipment.

I get it – I’ve been there. For years I would get sucked into the hype when it came to purchasing a new bow every few years. Even after I switched from a compound to traditional archery I was guilty of wanting a new bow fairly frequently. New gear was always exciting, and there was a certain satisfaction that came with owning the “best” out there. However, I’ve come to the conclusion over time, that the latest gear doesn’t necessarily equal the greatest gear. And maybe buying a new archery setup every year isn’t something we ALL need to do as it’s not always beneficial as an archer.

The Latest Isn't Always The Greatest
Want it, or need it? Sometimes the latest new gear isn't always your best option.

The old saying, “It’s the Indian, not the bow,” is something that loudly rings true. I’ve learned over time that it’s less about what bow you shoot, and more about the archer shooting the bow. If you put in enough practice, chances are you’ll be accurate and consistently shoot your bow well. Particularly if you’re a bowhunter, accuracy and consistency are key to being successful and shouldn’t be taken lightly. And, the price tag on your bow has nothing to do with it.

I’ve seen people with a $100 bow outshoot those with a $1000 bow, mostly because the person with the high end bow didn’t practice or put enough time in to be confident in their equipment.

Sticking with familiar gear you’ve shot for awhile can equal better shooting than if you switch over to something new. The more time you spend shooting with one particular setup, the more likely you are to be the best shot you can possibly be. A bow you’ve shot for some time is like a familiar friend. You know your gear and trust how it performs. Switching everything up when it comes to archery equipment can set you back to square one. You’ll be learning the feel of a new bow, and although it may be similar to the one you last used, it may throw you off a bit and cause your shooting to be subpar until you get some time in with the new one.

The first brand new compound I ever bought was a Bowtech Heartbreaker. I shot it extremely well and truly loved the bow. Then, Bowtech released their new carbon bow and I simply had to have it. I sighted it in, practiced often and shot several animals with it. But in the back of my mind, I felt like I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I had the Heartbreaker. Buyers remorse is all too common, especially if you can’t shoot a bow before buying it. If you truly love your current bow, you may want to stick with it.

The Latest Isn't Always The Greatest
Sticking with the bow you've found success with can be a huge confidence boost.

With current social media influencers and paid promotions singing the praises of the newest gear, it can be tempting to immediately click, “add to cart.” But just because a specific bow works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Plus, chances are these folks are being paid good money to say how great the equipment is and may not actually be sharing their personal opinion.

For years, I had heard traditional bowhunters everywhere talking about the Bear Takedown. They were one of the pricier recurves that I wanted to eventually shoot, and I often considered saving up to buy one. One year, I got the chance to borrow one for a few weeks to deer hunt – and I quickly realized I wasn’t a huge fan. Although it was a beautiful bow and it shot well, it was far from my favorite recurve. The hype just wasn’t there for me, and I was extremely happy that I hadn’t spent the money on one before trying it out.

The Latest Isn't Always The Greatest
Don't believe everything you hear when it comes to product ads and marketing schemes. Shoot the bow for yourself before you make a decision.

When I first got into traditional archery, I went through a few different recurves and longbows before finding my current setup. I’ve been shooting the same bow for several years now, and feel like my shooting has improved immensely simply by keeping the same setup – I know what to expect from it and it gives me more confidence than I’ve had with any other bow. Without confidence, you are nothing as an archer.

Creating and selling new and improved gear is how the hunting industry stays in business, so the concept is certainly understandable. There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying new gear. However, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Contrary to popular opinion, a new bow won’t make you a better archer. Before you pull the trigger and drop a chunk of money on a new bow that you’ve never shot, consider asking yourself if it’s something that would make you a better bowhunter and not just buy it as a status symbol that you’ll later regret.

Beka Garris
Beka Garris is a wife, mom and traditional bowhunter living in Southern Ohio. When not hunting, she enjoys shooting, bowfishing, gardening and cooking.
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