by Dave Cousins
As I lay awake with what can only be described as the worst case of jetlag I’ve ever experienced, I can’t help but to get out of bed and write about my recent “AlphaMax Karma” experience.
I ordered an AlphaMax 35 on a whim. The conversation went a little something like this: “I’m going to the FITA World Championships in 10 days. If you send one, I’ll shoot it”. I figured the chances of actually having to back up that promise were slim to none, since I had just ordered the hottest bow on the market right at the peak of the hunting season rush.
Three days later I was out in my yard with my trusty UltraElite 3500, and in rolls a familiar big brown truck. Sure enough, the driver handed me a long slender “bow box” from Salt Lake City, Utah. I know what’s inside before I open it.
I ran downstairs to my shop with the same hurried anticipation that we all get when a new toy arrives. Sliding the AlphaMax out of the box, I’m perplexed on how the heck I’m going to get my 6’ tall, 31” draw frame behind this rig. Over the last six years I’ve grown accustomed to my 43” axle-to-axle UltraElite with its 8 ¼” brace height, but deep down inside I’ve always secretly wanted to try one of Hoyt’s shorter axle-to-axle bows – just to see what I could do with it.
After setting the poundage at 60, getting the draw length just right and making a couple tweeks to the cam position I got to work installing all my favorite accessories.
One other thing I wanted to play with on this rig during the tuning stage was grip. Hoyt offers four grips for the AlphaMax that will yield five different configurations: the bare riser, side plates, Pro-Fit High Wrist, Pro-Fit Standard and the rubber 180 Grip.
With the rest set at 13/16” from the riser to the center of the shaft and the nock point set at 3/16”, I ran through the grips one by one, noting how each feels and tunes. After careful consideration, I settle in with the 180 Grip. That’s right … the one with the cool buck head logo on it! I swear this played no part in my decision.
Now that I had got my AlphaMax rocking bullet holes with Easton’s Pro Tour 380s, it was time to run it over the chronograph just for fun. Holy smokes! I’ve got a bow in my hands that feels awesome, tunes right down the middle, balances really well, has a firm wall that lacks that “rip it out of your hand feeling” if I relax too much, is dead quite, has no vibration to speak of and, at 60 pounds, shoots a 395 grain arrow at 287 feet per second!
Time for the real test. Time to head to the range. I spent a little time at 30 meters getting my sight set and windage zeroed, and then I worked my way back to 70 meters, and finally, 90 meters. I spent the better part of the next few days out at the long distances testing my groups, plotting, keeping a keen eye on my scores and making careful comparison to what I can normally lay down with my trusty UltraElite.
It was time to make the call. I had to decide which bow I’d take to the FITA World Championships. Would it be my trusty UltraElite or my brand new AlphaMax? It was at the point where I was loosing sleep over my decision. My flight for South Korea was leaving in just a few hours and I finally decided to go for it and pack the AlphaMax. And I’m really happy I did. I shot a solid 1392 for second place in the Qualifying Round during tricky winds, and shared a gold medal performance in the Team Round – all just seven days after pulling the AlphaMax out of the box. This has to be the “AlphaMax Karma” everyone is talking about!
But I wanted to test this bow out even more by taking it to the challenging field courses of Belgium and going head-to-head with the current FITA and IFAA European champions. At shooting distances of 20 feet to 80 yards, and with extreme angles of 25-30 degrees, two days and 172 arrows later, the AlphaMax had thrown down a clean round on the last day and sealed the victory. You can catch the highlights at www.europroarchery.com.
The bottom line is this:
After picking up the AlphaMax, taking it to the last major tournaments of the 2009 season, and coming home with a gold medal and victory over the best field archers the world has to offer, I’m a firm believer that every bit of technology that goes into building the most proven bows in target archery goes into building the toughest and most accurate hunting bows in the field.
As a full-time professional archer, I have strapped on a quiver and stepped to the line for a living everyday for the last 13 years with the assurance that Hoyt bows will deliver uncompromising quality and performance for me every time.
It would be foolish to head out to the woods or the shooting line with anything but a Hoyt.