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Mathews 2014 Creed XS Bow Review

By Pat Lefemine, Founder - Bowsite.com

Short bows are typically not my thing.  I need more forgiveness, and the short axle-to-axle (A2A) bows I’ve shot to date have magnified bad habits I can’t seem to shake. So when Mathews told me about their new, 2014 Mathews Creed XS I honestly didn’t think I was a good enough shooter to test it (the XS is only 28” A2A).   I had tested two of their previous bows and both were “scary-good” - the 2013 Creed, and the 2013 Chill.  So this bow was following some tough competition.  A week later my Desert Tactical Creed XS arrived and I was blown away.  Not only did it feel incredible in my hands, I shot it as good as my best bows at both short, and long range.  Let me break it down.

Draw Cycle

The draw cycle is incredible, on par with my Chill and that was perhaps the best draw cycle I have ever felt.  Mathews seems to be perfecting draw cycle with each passing year and that's the very first thing I notice.  For whatever reason, the draw cycle felt better on the Creed XS than it did on last year’s Creed. I have no idea why - it has the same cam design. 

Hand Shock and Vibration

There was none. Check out my video in slow motion, you will see the bow just sits there dead in my hands. It was not what I was expecting, whatsoever. The bow is light, and darn fast, so I expected a little jolt.  I got nothing – I loved it.


More Details at Mathewsinc.com


When you take a bowhunter who is more grunt than shooter and you put a short bow in his hands, accuracy can suffer. That did not happen to me, it was as good as my longer bows and, dare I say, a little better?  There’s nothing scientific about it, I know when I shoot a bow well. My 40+ shots group nicely. The distance standard I usually hold my later model bows to is the Z7 – I shot that one the best. But I seem to be just as accurate with this Creed XS even though it is far lighter and shorter A2A than that bow. 


This bow is fast, but not a rocket. I think Mathews did a very smart thing by increasing the brace height to 7.5” which makes the bow much more forgiving. Of course, for someone like me with a 27” draw length that will cut off some FPS. I do not do IBO testing, I do PJL testing (that’s my initials) and my heavier arrows and 2-blad broadheads hit in the low 300’s. Perfectly fast for my purposes.  The official IBO is up to 321 so it’s no turtle.


So this is where this bow really excels for me. And I can’t figure out just why?  It is only a few inches shorter than the 2013 Creed and only a bit lighter. Yet it feels fantastic.  If you are a treestand hunter like I am 95% of my life, this bow will rock your world. It is so light, maneuverable, and smooth drawing that it’s perfect for stand hunters. 

Real World Test / Conclusion

My new Creed XS took me about 20 minutes to tune and I was deadly accurate in about a half hour. But the real test was going to be the following weekend in the woods. I had a couple decent Connecticut bucks at a property I hadn't yet hunted so along with my son Matt, we got to the stand early and hoped one of the two bucks would show. I lucked out, the ten pointer we had been watching on trail cam gave me a perfect, 20 yard shot. The first thing I noticed was how lightweight and maneuverable the Creed XS was - and that was expected. I delivered a perfect shot and the buck went down in seconds. The Creed XS not only passed my shooting, feel, and accuracy tests, I had just killed a great Connecticut buck with it too. You can't ask for a better test than that! I have a lot more hunting to do this season and the Creed XS will be with me on each of those hunts!

Pat Lefemine took this great Connecticut 10 Point with a perfect shot from his new 2014 Creed XS.

Watch the video above!


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