Elite Archery is one of the most popular names in the game, but can it live up to the hype?
Archery companies are a dime a dozen these days, and each claims to make the best product on the market. Every archer knows, however, that some things aren’t always as they seem. While archers tend to be an incredibly brand-loyal group (“I killed my first deer with X brand of bow, so it’s obviously better than any other kind.”), there are a few companies whose products are the talk of the town, regardless of who you are talking to. Elite Archery is one of those companies. Here are five questions to that should help you separate fact from fiction.
While it’s been in its current form since 2009, Elite Archery was founded in 2005. Elite Archery was originally located in Walla Walla, Wash., and various parts of the brand’s assets were bounced around before being purchased in 2009 by Elite Archery LLC (with Peter Crawford at the helm). The company even had a short relationship with famed bow designer Kevin Strother, formerly of Bowtech (and Strother Archery) fame.
While all manufacturing is done elsewhere, Elite is now headquartered in Henrietta, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. All manufacturing and assembly is done in the United States.
While some companies market their bows as the fastest or the most accurate, or boast bows that kill animals (or targets) the “deadest,” Elite claims to produce the industry’s most “shootable” bow.
According to Elite, there are six factors that make their bows easier and more pleasant to shoot than their competitors’ products. First, Elite’s team of engineers have designed cams that spread the effort required to draw the bow over a wider range, and arriving at peak weight later in the cycle increases the ease at which the bow is drawn.
Elite bows also roll off the cam quickly, decreasing the time a shooter must hold the bow’s peak draw weight. Elite bows feature draw stops on the top and bottom, and the resulting solid-back-wall effect helps ensure consistent, repeatable performance.
Also, while Elite doesn’t publish readily available let-off figures, the company claims a high let-off that aids in full draw comfort. Due to cam design, Elite claims its bows have a huge “dwell zone,” or valley, which means the bow will allow large amounts of forward “creep” before trying to rip the arrow out of your hands.
Lastly, Elite also claims industry-best levels of hand shock and post-shot vibration, leading to a more pleasant shooting experience.
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Characteristics and Tech
Elite is famous industry-wide for offering a limited lifetime warranty on all its products. While strings, cables and decorations aren’t included, Elite will cover the limbs, risers, cams and pockets against defects in material or workmanship for the lifetime of the bow. Best of all, this warranty doesn’t just apply to new bows or bows owned by the original owner. For perhaps the first time in the archery world, that used bow you picked up on Craigslist is still covered under warranty.
In addition to the lifetime warranty, Elite also offers an industry-first hunt guarantee. According to the hunt guarantee, if in the course of a hunt, your Elite bow is rendered inoperable, the company will overnight you a tuned loaner bow. That’s right, even if your idiot buddy drops your Elite bow and breaks something, your hunt isn’t totally over.
All Elite bows also come from the factory with Winner’s Choice strings, and all 2015 bows come with Pro Kote performance coating. This coating protects components from drops, scratches and even chemical abrasion. It also adds a level of lubricity to all components.
Elite bows feature a two-track cam system, which provides one track for the string and a separate track for the cables. This means the cams are less inclined to lean, and it helps keep them in sync.
Currently, Elite offers five bow models: the Energy 32, the Energy 35, the Synergy, the Victory and the Spirit. The Victory, with its 38-inch axle-to-axle length, is the tournament bow in the lineup.
The Energy 32 is the compact hunting bow of the group. It’s shorter axle-to-axle length and 332 to 335 IBO speed make it perfect for tree-stand and ground-blind hunters.
The Energy 35 is similar to the Energy 32, but its added length makes it, according to Elite, one of the most accurate bows ever produced. Don’t scoff at that claim. The Energy 35 took the top spot at more IBO and ASA events than any other bow in 2014.
The Synergy is exactly what its name implies, a middle-of-the-road bow slotted between both Energy models.
The Spirit is Elite’s first bow designed from the ground up to be a women’s bow, and its lightweight and smaller size make it perfect for that task.
While prices vary per model, expect the MSRP of a new Elite to start at about $899.
Elite sponsors a large number of tournament archers and hunting show personalities, but perhaps the most famous Elite-sponsored archer is Levi Morgan. Morgan is a world champion tournament archer, in addition to being a well-respected big-game hunter. Morgan hosts “Name The Game,” which airs on the Sportsman Channel.
Elite Archery is one of the hottest names right now in the archery industry. How long will they stay at the top of the heap? Only time will tell.