Technology. That’s the word that cemented in our minds as we cruised the aisles and visited shooting lanes at the 2018 ATA Show. Bow manufacturers just never seem to run out of ideas to improve their new bows with models that are sleeker, quieter and more efficient than ever. Most new bows perform admirably, but it’s the following makes and models that really stood out from the rest. Here’s a look at the 10 new bows for 2018 that we think you just might buy if you give them a try.
Speed normally comes at the expense of smooth-shooting characteristics, but not so with the Mathews TRIAX. One of the hottest new bows for 2018, the TRIAX pumps out arrows at 343 fps. The power source is Mathews’ tried-and-true Crosscentric Cam System. Its 28-inch axle-to-axle length delivers maneuverability, but a long and rigid riser with swept-back, parallel limbs provide stability and vibration-free shooting.
To further silence the TRIAX, Mathews incorporates the proven Dead End String Stop, which stops bowstring oscillation and thwarts vibrations. New 3D Damping Technology adds a new level of stability and smoothness. The TRIAX is available in 75 and 85 percent letoff, and despite its minute size, the bow weighs a sturdy 4.4 pounds. A 6-inch brace height delivers the best of both speed and forgiveness, and a plethora of finishes are available — pick your flavor! $999 mathewsinc.com
Hoyt Carbon RX-1
The new Hoyt Carbon RX-1 is turning a lot heads this year with new features and function that make this one of the most talked about new bows for 2018. Hoyt engineered the ZT Hyper Cam Systems to promote comfortable, strain-free posture at full draw by increasing the distance between the cams at full draw. This broader cam-to-cam distance at full draw creates an ideal “flatter” string angle and brings the peep to you.
These innovations allow a more relaxed, strain-free posture at full draw, and reduce facial contact, string pressure, and eye fatigue at anchor.
The Carbon RX-1 is a 32″ axle-t0-axle bow that really feels great in the hand. It draws incredibly smooth and features draw weights in 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 lbs. Draw lengths are available in 24.5-28″, 27-30″ and 29-31″. The Carbon RX-1 features a 6″ brace height, boasts speeds of 340 feet per second and weighs just 3.9 pounds. $1,549 hoyt.com
Bear Archery has continually improved it’s line of new bows and the Kuma is no exception. For 2018 the Kuma brings more technology to the table than any of Bear’s previous models. To start, a slightly deflexed riser combines with the bow’s 33-inch length to redefine stability.
While the Kuma cranks arrows at velocities up to 345 fps, it shoots incredibly smooth thanks to Bear’s Shockwave, SonicStop and Speed Nock sound and vibration dampeners. Shoot with the included VersaGrip, or remove it to reveal the skinnier NaroGrip underneath. The novel Roller HingeGuard uses roller bearings at key contact points, reducing friction as you draw back to help provide a silky smooth draw cycle. Max Preload Quad Limbs are contained by the zero-tolerance BearTrap Limb Pockets.
Finally, BearCage increases the riser’s structural integrity, and eliminates flexing for improved shooting consistency. $899 beararchery.com
The radical Evolve Cam System powers PSE’s all-new Xpedite, making it one of the fastest new bows to hit the market in 2018. The Xpedite is designed to punish with an aggressive reflexed riser design and 5 ¼-inch brace height. With 65-percent letoff, the bow’s IBO speed is 360 fps, and with the 75-percent letoff module, the bow’s velocity drops to 352 fps. Mass weight is 4.4 pounds and axle-to-axle length is 33 inches.
Draw lengths range from 24 ½-30 inches, and peak draw weights are 60, 65 and 70 pounds, each with a maximum limb-bolt adjustment of 10 turns. The Xpedite is available in black, charcoal, Mossy Oak Country and Kryptek Highlander. A bowstring cushion stops the bowstring at brace height to eliminate oscillation for consistent arrow departure, and a tunneled riser ensures strength and rigidity. $1,o99 pse-archery.com
Prime arguably builds some of the world’s most durable bows. New to its line is the feel-good Logic. The 4.3-pound bow exudes stability based on its long deflexed 82X aluminum riser — the toughest on the market.
The brand-new Flexis-AR roller cable guard flexes as the bow is drawn to reduce lateral torque on the riser and cables. The Ultra Fit Grip with Ghost Grip Side Plates promotes torque-free gripping, and PCS parallel cams eliminate cam lean and the tuning problems involved. The Logic comes outfitted with a BCY 452X string and cable system, ensuring positive peep orientation, and eliminating the settle-in period of lesser quality strings and cables.
The Logic incorporates a generous 7-inch brace height and achieves IBO speeds up to 330 fps. Ten finish options run the gamut, providing a flavor for everyone. $1,099 g5prime.com
Bowtech’s latest SmartBow is the Realm. Featuring Bowtech’s revolutionary PowerShift Technology, which lets the user adjust between three different draw cycles, the Realm is one of the most adjustable new bows for 2018. The OverDrive Binary Cam draws smoothly and simplifies tuning.
The modular Clutch Performance Grip is anti-torque and incredibly comfortable and at just 30 ¼ inches from axle to axle the Realm is very maneuverable in tight hunting quarters. Weighing in at 4.3 pounds the Realm built sturdily for the demands of the hunt.
Finish options are Kryptek Altitude, GORE OptiFade Subalpine, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country, Blackops, and Flat Dark Earth. Bowtech’s innovative new CP Dual Lock system locks the solid core limbs to the pocket, and the pocket to the riser. The result is unparalleled precision, stability and accuracy. The Realm’s Orbit Dampener can be custom positioned to counterbalance bow-mounted accessories. A forgiving 7 1/8-inch brace height and 340-fps IBO velocity round out the specs on this great new bow. $999 bowtecharchery.com
Ever think of bowhunting as a ritual? The folks at Elite Archery do, which is why Elite’s 2018 flagship bow is aptly named the Ritual. This bow’s specs epitomize Elite’s shootability claim — 33 ¼-inch length, 6 ¾-inch brace height, 335-fps IBO speed and 4.3-pound mass weight.
Elite’s riser cage stabilizes and strengthens the riser, and a roller guard and smooth-drawing cam system make shooting the Ritual nearly effortless. Split limbs balance the workload, and at 88-percent efficient, Elite calls the Ritual its most efficient bow to date. A total of 17 riser finishes are available, and limbs come in tactical Ninja Black. $949 elitearchery.com
Since its beginning, Parker has sought to bring incredible bows to market that offer sound technology at value pricing. The Poison 30 and 32 carry the torch to the next level. Bowhunters can expect high-end performance for around $700 – several hundred less than most of the competition.
The Poison offers the simplicity of a conventional cable guard, and it incorporates a robust riser for both strength and stability. Both models weigh 4.9 pounds. The Poison 30 has a 6 ¼-inch brace height and shoots 330 IBO, while the 32 has a 7 ¼ inch brace height and shoots 325 IBO. Krytek Highlander camo is the finish of choice, and the twin-track hybrid cam offers up to 90 percent letoff. Draw length range for the Poison 30 is 27-30 inches, while the Poison 32 ranges from 28-31 inches. $729 parkerbows.com
Designed with the shooter in mind, the Quest Thrive is completely customizable from top to bottom. Set at the factory for a 29” draw length, each Thrive comes with a set of five modules for personal draw length adjustments from 26-31 inches; with some room for adjustment to the archer’s specific draw length or preferred let off in each module.
The comfortable grip plates will make sure the Thrive feels at home in the archer’s hand. The Field proven Flux cam system and aluminum limb pockets ensure that this bow has a strong foundation, and can handle any abuse you give it.
The Thrive is a 33 3/34″ axle-t0-axle bow with draw length options from 26-31 inches and a draw weight range from 50, 60, and 70 pounds. The bow weighs in at 4.3 pounds, has a brace height of 7 inches, and launches arrows up to 330 feet per second. $650 questbowhunting.com
Boasting a brand new and innovative riser design is the Obsession Fixation 6XP. The riser is engineered to reduce flexing as the bow is drawn. A 6-inch brace height and aggressive cam system pushes that Fixation up to a 358-fps IBO speed rating.
Obsession’s patented Two-Track cam design reduces cam lean and simplifies tuning for an all-new shooting experience. It also features a rock-solid wall at full draw. The Fixation 6XP weighs 4.5 pounds and has 80-percent letoff. The Anti-Torque Angled Cable Rod works to increase speed, smooth out the draw cycle, and reduce cam lean.
Axion Limb Dampeners are included, and result in stealthy shooting. The Fixation 6XP wears America’s Best Bowstrings, and the new 6-piece XP Limb Pocket features a stainless-steel rod at the limb’s pivot point for impeccable tolerances to deliver the performance your hard-eared money deserves. The sturdy XP Riser and an adjustable string-suppressor rod complete the ensemble. $949 obsessionbows.com
Which New Bows Are Right For You?
Unfortunately that’s a question that only you can answer. Purchasing a new bow is a very personal decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your bow choice should be dictated by a variety of factors including budget, fit, and what types of hunting and shooting you’ll be doing with it. When possible, try to shoot as many new bows as you can before making your decision.
And if you’re looking for a new bow and don’t see it on this list, let us know! We’d love to hear which new bows are getting you excited for the upcoming bowhunting season.