By Scott Bestul
We’ve been counting down the best bows of the 2011 season, and we’re down to the cream of the crop. In most years, whittling out the bottom half of 15 or 16 bows isn’t too difficult for my testing team. Deciding on the Top Ten involves a little quibbling, but is rarely a tough chore.
But the Five Best? We’ve never actually gotten testy with each other when picking the five elite bows of the year, but individual scores reflect how close the voting can get. No more than 20 points (out of a possible 160) separated the Number Five bow from our Champion (the Best of the Best winner), and this year even featured a tie for the runner-up bow. So without any more fuss, here are the five models that everyone in my test team shot over and over… Sometimes looking for that one little feature that made a big difference. And sometimes because a really, really good bow is just plain fun to shoot.
Bow Number Five
G5 “Prime Centroid” (g5prime.com)
Hits: Most top-flight bows have a design feature that’s both innovative and problem-solving. In the case of the Prime, it’s called “Parallel Cam Technology ™” which is designed to virtually eliminate cam-lean, as well as reduce nock travel and limb fatigue. Basically two cams sit side by side, and the design change is both innovative and eye-catching; one of those features that jumps out at a shooter and says “this could be really cool…or really bad.” In the case of the Prime, it’s really good.
Misses: The only deductions my team gave to the Prime were in the shock/vibration category. This was nit-picking for two testers, but one team member gave it a big enough demerit to drop the Prime a place or two.
Takeaway: Major kudos go to the G5 team for incorporating an innovative design into a bow that’s just a pleasure to shoot. The Prime had a great back wall, a nice draw cycle and at 282 fps, sent an arrow zipping along. And once we got used to looking at parallel cams, we gave high marks to the Prime for fit-and-finish.