2009 Compound Bows

2011 H2H Intro
H2H Prologue
Voting and Test Procedure
2011 H2H Evaluation Team
Special Thanks


Category Shooter Bows Speed Bows
Noise Level Results Results
Balance/Feel Results Results
Kick/Vibration Results Results
Draw Cycle Results Results
Speed Results Results Results
Data Sheet Data Data
Final Results Results

2011 Bow Evaluation Commentary

Shooter Bows

Mathews Z7 Extreme
APA Viper V7
Martin Onza 3
Elite Hunter
Diamond Outlaw
G5 Prime Centroid
Bowtech Assassin
Hoyt CRX 32

Speed Bows

PSE Dream Season EVO
Elite Pulse
Darton DS3800
APA Mamba M7
Bear Carnage
Mathews Z7 Magnum
Bowtech Invasion CPX
Strother SX1

Untitled Document

Voting and Test Procedure

Choosing the sixteen bows (two categories - 8 bows each) for the Head2Head Bow Test is done through a voting process right here on BOWSITE.COM. This year we asked for two votes from each Bowsiter - One vote for a bow that has an advertised IBO speed of at least 335 fps and one vote for a bow under 335 fps IBO. I used the manufacturer's lowest advertised IBO speed to place them into one of the two categories. For instance if a bow had an IBO range that spans both categories I placed it in the Shooter's Bows category because its lowest IBO number fell below 335 fps.

The poll was conducted in the same manner as last year - that is, voters not only chose the manufacturer but they also chose the model to be tested.

We rely completely on the Bowsite for our votes and eventual test bow lineup. Once the bows are selected for each category I add an additional bow as my "Wild card". The first year I picked a wildcard (Bear Instinct) it ended up placing very well and only retailed for approximately $399.00!

Subjective tests were conducted with each bow set to a 28" draw length and 65 pound draw weight. Why 28/65? Several reasons. First, a 28" draw length is more common than a 30" draw length according to many manufacturers polled on the subject. Second, finding a tester with a 28" draw length is much easier than finding one with a 30" draw length. The 65-pound draw weight is also very common with today's hunters and is easier to handle through the entire test.

Each evaluator worked separately through all four categories. A blindfold was used to keep brand loyalty at bay and was worn from the beginning to the end of each session (Draw Cycle, Grip, etc.). Evaluators were not permitted to see the bows until after they were done with their evaluation. Following is an example of how the testing was performed:


Example of the "Draw Cycle" category process:

This process is continued until only a single bow remains. The bow that remains is the evaluator's #1 pick for that category. That bow is then taken out of the testing. The entire process is completed again for the remaining bows until only one remains, which becomes the evaluator's #2 overall pick for that category. This process is repeated until all bows have been placed/ranked.

Each evaluator's results are then scored. This was done by simply inverting the numbers of the rankings and rewarding points for each ranking. For example:

1. Evaluator's #1 Pick

2. Evaluator's #2 Pick

3. Evaluator's #3 Pick

4. Evaluator's #4 Pick

5. Evaluator's #5 Pick

6. Evaluator's #6 Pick

7. Evaluator's #7 Pick

8. Evaluator's #8 Pick

The bows would then be given the following scores for one evaluator for the draw category:

1. #1 Pick - 8 points

2. #2 Pick - 7 points

3. #3 Pick - 6 points

4. #4 Pick - 5 points

5. #5 Pick - 4 points

6. #6 Pick - 3 points

7. #7 Pick - 2 points

8. #8 Pick - 1 point

The points are totaled for all evaluators in each category. The bow with the highest number of total points in that category is rated #1 and so on down the line to #8. In this way we are able to get a true ranking for each category based on the results from all evaluators.

Speed is tested in the following manner (28/65 with 350 and 425 grain arrows):

Just to make sure the bow is at least in the right ballpark the draw weight and draw length are roughly verified with Easton's Hand Held Bow Weight Scale and a simple draw length arrow correlated to a mark on the shelf equaling the deepest part of the grip. This saves me a lot of time if the bow is not close to the right draw length or draw weight.

In the event that a bow that does not meet the draw length spec, either short or long, I will contact the manufacturer and get a module that brings them into spec or just get another bow altogether. Strings and cables are not tweaked to bring a bow into spec unless the manufacturer asks me to do so. The same goes for a bow that has "out of tune" cams- a term that is commonly used in referencing the timing, synchronization, etc of the bow's eccentric system.

I also want the readers to understand where I stand as a writer in hopes that it will eliminate or at least minimize the absurd speculations that seem to pop up every year when the H2H is posted. According to some I am somehow biased to one company or another and some folks have gone as far as suggesting that I am being bought-off by a certain manufacturer (usually the one that won that year). Let me introduce you to reality - the archery world does not spin that way - at least not for me. I do not have any manufacturers courting me in any way and none have offered to pay me to make them look better. It simply does not happen.