Archery | What is a Good Brand?
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Archery | What is a Good Brand?

August 12, 2019

[shhh-thunk] Many people who are looking to get into
archery become obsessed with brand names. I get quite a lot of questions regarding
whether or not “is this a good bow?”, or “is this a good brand?”, and it’s interesting
because, as archers, we kind of know what to expect, because we’ve seen these brand names
everywhere. But for someone getting into the sport for the first time there are so many options. This can be very confusing, and because
new archers don’t have a reference point as to what they can expect from a given
brand or a given model, the brand name becomes the reference point for quality and relevance. The purpose of this video is to go
through some of the major brand names that you will encounter when shopping
for archery equipment. I’m not going to really recommend one brand over another,
but rather this is a discussion of the things you can expect from certain
companies, and who they’ll be suited for. Before I go on to that, I want to
mention a few quick things about how archery stores partner with archery suppliers.
Most archery stores have some kind of partnership with a company or supplier,
and this can be an official distribution partnership, or it might just be that they
ordered items in stock and put them on the shelf. The reason I mention this is
because some stores have limited options as to what they put in their inventories,
and because many stores have limited inventory space, you may find that they
don’t have the same range of brands and suppliers as other stores. This doesn’t
mean that these other brands are terrible. It just means that this particular store
doesn’t stock that. For example, one of my local archery
stores mostly stocks items from Win&Win and a few other suppliers, and the compound bows
come from BowTech and Oneida and Diamond, and a few other places.
But they don’t stock Hoyt, and Hoyt is the giant of the archery world.
They make some of the best bows. It doesn’t mean that Hoyt is a bad company,
it just means that this particular store isn’t partnered Hoyt,
whereas, the other store around the corner does sell Win&Win and Hoyt materials
and other things. The other extreme end is you have the large megastores like
Lancaster Archery who stock items from manufacturers from all around the world. One of the advantages of knowing this
store-and-supplier partnership is that you can generally trust shops to stock items
that are from reputable companies. No matter what item you buy, whether it’s a finger
tab or a quiver or a bow, they will only put items in the inventory that people want
to buy, and that they are reliable and they can service. This is probably the main
reason why you should buy from a store, even their online page, compared to buying
off Amazon or eBay. You know that what you’re getting is going to be recommended
by the people who run the store, and that people who use the store are usually very
experienced archers, so you are buying quality. Even the cheaper budget items that
are sold in store will be quality. They’re not the same cheap plastic Chinese
knockoffs you might find online, and this is important because the store depends on good reputation. If they sell
cheap brands, and things that break, or cheap Chinese knockoffs, then the
customers will come back and complain. They wont buy from the store.
The store didn’t make the item, but they sold it which means they’re recommending it. That’s a really big deal. The archery
stores are part of the cycle of quality control and customer satisfaction. That
is one of the big reasons why you should support your store, because, in turn, they will
support you by servicing your equipment, recommending good items, and stocking the
things that you need. When you start looking at eBay bows or Amazon bows,
you start coming across these really cheap budget brands like Apex, Atunga, and RedZone,
for example, and often these companies will have an official supplier or distributor,
like one store in the country to market their goods, and most of their sales are bought online. What’s interesting about these brands is
that they usually are meant to be marketed towards the budget buyer online,
not the people who go to archery stores, but people who go to eBay first. So you get
this really convenient low cost package, which has your bow and a few arrows, and
a target, and it looks tempting. What’s interesting about this is that
these bows usually aren’t marketed towards the archery community. These are meant for people who are outside the
community. By the “archery community” I mean people like bow hunters,
target shooters, professional athletes, amateur archers, club shooters, store
owners. These are the people who make up the bulk of the art community. They’re already
in it. They already have equipment and are looking around to buy stuff. Whereas, these budget bows
you find on eBay aren’t meant for these people. They’re meant for people who haven’t
done archery before, and, this is an important note, archery stores who service and support
the archery community won’t stock these brands, and there’s a huge reason why. Again we’re
talking about things like quality, support, service, and so on. So there is a
division between the archery community and what they buy, and these are the major brand names
you see in archery stores, versus the non-archers, in the non-archery community, who
mostly by online, and you tend to see a separate set of brands for them, and
one of the side effects of this division is that you get a lot of the eBay buyers
with new bows, new archers with new plastic-wrapped RedZone or Atunga
bows, and they don’t get much help or support because everywhere they look
there’s the “archery snobs” or the “elitists”, and I’ll be honest, I am probably one of
those who will be biased toward the certain brands meant for archers rather than
the eBay bows. And I’ve made videos about that in the past,
and I make no secret of it. I’ll push certain brands. So, this is interesting
because you have different priorities. You have the non-archery community
buyers who are looking at price over reputation, and you have the archery
community who want quality and reputation over cheap prices.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. If you’re buying a bow for the first time,
avoid buying it off of eBay. eBay does not provide an extensive listing of what’s
available in the market. You only get the same cheap, Chinese,
knockoff brains listed over and over again because they’re trying to flood you
with this artificial list of results. The brands you do want, which are reputable and are
reliable and are guaranteed quality, are not being sold though eBay. They’re being sold in store. So look at archery stores. Don’t go Google
“cheap bows” or “ebay bows” or go to Amazon, go and search up “archery stores”, and you
might end up buying from Merlin Archery, or Lancaster Archery, some of the major mega stores
around the world, but, even if that’s the case, that’s fine. It’s better you look at the
inventory from Lancaster than looking at eBay. You will never know what you missed.
The rest of this video, we’ll look at the major brands which are generally stocked
by archery stores. The purpose of this is to give you confidence. If you see
these brands, and you see these models, then hopefully you’ll get more confident in
spending money on good archery equipment, rather than taking shortcuts, and
buying things you’ll regret. Do note that because of regional differences and
availability, a lot of brands aren’t on the shelves in many stores. So, what I’m going
to discuss mostly are the brands and companies and models that you’ll
generally see in most archery stores around the world. We’ll start with the giant of the archery world, and that’s Hoyt. Hoyt is a classic successful
American company. They make quality products. They make recurve bows.
They make compound bows. They make hunting bows and accessories and apparel.
This is premium quality stuff. They’ve got midrange things too, but this brand will guarantee you
quality from mid to top end. The other big name in archery is Win&Win.
Win&Win is a Korean company, and they are also very well known for their top end
equipment. They mostly make high-end recurves and some mid-range models, but they
also make a few compound models as well. They also make a few accessories
such as sights, stabilizers, plungers, and so on, and they too are generally in the mid to top end. Sébastien Flute or SF is a brand that is
owned by Win&Win, and the SF label is normally used for the entry level to mid-range equipment,
including recurve bows and accessories like sights. Cartel, or Cartel Doosung, is mostly
known for budget, entry-level equipment, including sights, bows, bow cases, and so on. Samick is also well known for budget, entry-level equipment, including the
ever-popular Samick Sage, as well as target bows, like the Samick Athlete and Avanté. You also come across miscellaneous brand names like Fivics, Kaya, MK, Spigarelli, and Uukha.
These are generally known for being reputable in mid-range
products. Now alongside Hoyt, the other giant named American archery is Easton.
The Easton brand name is used mostly for arrows. If you’re buying arrows more
than likely you’re looking at Easton standards. They also make some accessories like
quivers and chest guards and so on. Some of the other common arrow brands you’ll come
across include Carbon Express and Gold Tip. A special mention goes to Beiter.
Beiter don’t make any bows, but they make excellent bow accessories, including stabilizers, clickers, and plungers. Doinker is also very well known for their stabilizers. As far as sights go, apart from the already mentioned
budget brands, you have the top end manufacturers such as Shibuya, Sure-Loc,
and Axcel, as well as HHA for the compound sights. For hunting sights,
Trophy is probably the most well known manufacturer. While I don’t normally talk about
compounds, since a lot of people ask me, some of the big names in compounds include Hoyt,
Matthews, BowTech and Bear, depending on whether you’re doing target archery or bow hunting. For the
mid range entry-level stuff, brand names like PSE, Mission, and Diamond offer some
really good and affordable mid-level bows. That generally covers most of the well-known bands.
Now, I’m not personally endorsing or advertising and promoting particular brands, but
what I am saying is that what you see in these brand names is reliability, reputation, and quality. These are safe buys. If you buy one of
these bows you probably won’t regret it. Now obviously, I can’t cover all of the brands,
if you do see something and you’re not sure, here’s a rule of thumb, if it’s something you
can find in an archery store, it’s probably recommended and good. If it’s something
you only fine on eBay then it’s probably not going to be strongly recommended.
Hopefully this gives you some insight into what to invest in for your archery
equipment. I do know that in a lot of archery stores there is a lack of reviews for
the mid-range to high-end equipment, and a lot of the reviews are stacked heavily
towards the budget bows. Generally, if you recognize a brand name like these,
then you will not go wrong. I literally have not come across someone
who has bought a recognizable brand and regretted it. These are people who
like their bows and they shoot their bows. I have seen, in contrast, dozens of
people who have bought an eBay brand and discard the bow within weeks or months.
In the end, you buy what you want to buy. I’m only offering my opinion based on my
experiences of working in the archery community, and, look, in my opinion, if you
are willing to invest a decent amount of money into archery, you will find it enjoyable.
If you try to cut too many corners by getting no-name brands, then you do
put yourself at risk of getting something that you wont like using. Anyway, this is NUSensei. Thank you for watching,
hope you found this helpful, and I will see you next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hi. Love your channel. But: prizes aren't cheap, they are low. "Cheap prizes" are an ingredient a funny Norwegian joke involving chewing tobacco!

  2. Just a correction. Uukha is not mid-range. Their limbs for example start at around 250 pounds and go all the way to 600. Their risers are also quite expensive. Pretty much the same goes for MK.

  3. MK Korea actually makes the most expensive recurve bows – their top end risers and limbs are more expensive than those of Hoyt and W&W. Uukha's top end products are not mid-range either. I agree with the main point of the video though.

  4. I have a Great Tree Archery recurve. it was very cheap ( as far as bows go). But I bought it knowing it was cheap because I was on a strict budget. Plus I break things and I didn't want to spend a fortune on a bow just to break it. However my bow has been solid. It's kind of wonky at times but I chalk that up to me being bad at archery. LOL.

  5. Mybo is a good starter brand as well. They are a merlin archery exclusive I belive and make great entery to low midrange kit, as well as some good acsesories

  6. I'm sorry, but calling FIVICS, MK and UUKHA 'mid-range' is definitely a misconception. FIVICS and MK have a product range from mid-range to the very highest of high-end, and UUKHA is one of the most expensive if not THE most expensiveand exclusive brand in all of recurve archery.

  7. Can you (or anyone reading this) recommend a bow for a 7 year old, I have no idea how long she will be interested in archery but she's been with me lately while shooting and has shown a lot of interest.

  8. So I have a question about archery in general, I just watched the movie War of the Arrows on Netflix and a big thing in that movie is that he can make the arrow's trajectory curve mid air I just wanted to know if that was possible. I'm just curious because it's a very interesting thing in that movie and would like to know if it would work or simply snap the bow string.

  9. Hi NUSensei. Love your videos. I paid the most attention to one called " can you teach yourself archery". One question. Any comments on a brand called GEOLOGIC. I'm certain they have bows that are beginner level stuff. When I read about them the first thing that came to mind was "Toyota"; mass produced, cheap, and probably good vfm. I ask because this is one (and I mean the only one) brand I can get where I live, and where I live is not big in archery.

  10. Although Cartel risers and limbs are ok, I would NOT recommend any of their accessories (except maybe their arrow rests). Their sights are poor imitations. Although they look ok and may seem ok for entry level, they are not. They require multiple tightening, needing the Alan wrenches on you at all times to make the adjustments. Even with the wrenches, they vibrate apart. My norm is to shoot and then check and tighten the sights and plunger constantly. If I don't, the plungers fall out of the riser, the sights fall apart…literally…as in the pieces will drop to the ground. The plungers are impossible to keep tight without another tool, each plunger having multiple sizes of alan wrenches used. Meaning, you can't keep just one on you, but a multitude of them. For entry level, a Cartel riser and limbs are ok (though the limbs are loud) but splurge and buy a Shibuya sight and Beiter plunger and another higher-end, clicker. If you don't keep up with archery, you should be able to resell those items. No one will buy a used Cartel site…(except maybe an Ebay shopper).

  11. be weary of bowtek my uncle had a couple and if you can find an older one you should be in good shape but the stuff they make now is bad

  12. PSE is definitely not mid-range, their target bows are right up there with Hoyt.
    a LOT of the world's top target shooters shoot PSE.
    More compound honourable mentions are Elite & Prime, who have some of the best bows out there, and are also shot by a lot of top shooters.

  13. What about antropos from Amazon. I just bought two of their entry level bow m109/m120. I'm a total noob at archery, but I would like to have you're opinion. Sometimes there are hidden gems in some Chinese companies

  14. This channel is extremely helpful I love it. I'm extremely new to archery (haven't shot a bow at all. Age:15) so I am looking to invest into a compound bow.

  15. Hey NuSensei, what about buying second hand?
    I use a Yamaha α-ex that was gifted to me by my uncle. in an attempt to get some spare limbs i bought 2 secondhand bows which turned out to be a Hoyt pro-medalist and a Hoyt gold-medalist.
    On a related note, since all of these bows were apparently made pre-standardised limb fittings, none of their limbs fit the other risers and none of the risers fit current limbs.
    I got 2 sets of limbs for the Yamaha (36" and 38") and both Hoyts are 40"
    Do I stay on the lookout for possible replacement limbs (Yamaha hasn't made bows since '93 so they are becoming rather rare and I doubt I'd find any limbs fitting the old Hoyt bows) or switch to a new model bow if my limbs need replacement or I'm ready to move up in draw weight?

  16. I love the silly names of some archery brands like the 'venom' finger tab from 'black mamba archery' only the really scary sounding products will prevail, eh? I have not yet come across Rainbow Unicorn Archery, probably way to tame :oD

  17. Interesting story, a teammate bought a Martin Jaguar online, it was such a great price he couldn't pass it up. Our instructor thought there was something funny about it.
    Turns out the whole riser was bent, they thought it might be a factory second.
    You get what you pay for.

  18. In my humble opinion there are two brands that offer both quality and beauty: Black Widow and Blacktail. Go on their websites and see what I mean.

  19. in my state we have a brand called Bear, its one of those kid ones and I really think they are a bit toyish, cause with all the real bows out there I think the bear brand is a bit cheap looking, most wholesale stores I see have ok quality like cabelas

  20. There's a lot of snake oil with archery kit. A lot of the cheaper brands are good enough if you're not at a professional level competing in top tournaments. An example is recurve sights in the hundreds of £££'s or limbs made with super premium materials.

  21. You are right. Well said. In the Philippines lots of beginning archers tend to buy Chinese knock off because of price, only to find out they got SCREWED.

  22. what about SAS Rage Compound bow? (Southland Archery’s) it is recommended by, it is cheap, what do you think?

  23. I've owned a 45# Bear takedown recurve since 1976 and have been pleased with its performance. After listening to your video I was wondering how you think Bear recurve bows compare to the other brands you mentioned.

  24. Spigarelli is known for their batshit insane designs, the italians looove their extremely weird and unconventional designs, they have nothing that is "normal" save from a chest guard and a sight hahaha

  25. pse is an all around low to extreme high end too, pse has the most advanced carbon bow in the carbon air stealth and are responsible for having the bow with the highest speed, their new bows blow everything else out of the water in some aspects like speed, let off, and adjustability, also weight

  26. Amazon and eBay can be reasonable places to buy equipment.. but ONLY if you know what is good equipment to buy in the first place. One of your videos for new buyers recommends gold tip traditional arrows. I sized the spine for my bow with gold tips calculator, looked online, and Amazon had the lowest price for the specific pre fletched combination I wanted. I wouldn't hit the online shops first with broad searches, I'd look at archery retailers and find quality items, then translate that search over to Amazon and eBay and see if you can find a lower price there.

  27. Anybody heard anything of EK archery, most of there stuff is pretty cheap like a 100$ compound with a 29# draw, the stuff looks like the proper equipment, but I dont know that much…

  28. Bear makes some great recovers and missed some of the other top line bows such as Parker, Martin, and bowtech with own diamond and g5

  29. I just brought a second hand topoint serenity (3 months old) as an entry lvl compound for me and loving it.
    Only £255 with a lot of top end accessories but I done my research on the accessories that came with it so I wouldn't say don't buy off ebay or online in general but do your research
    I went to my local archery shop and the guy there went straight to a £475 bare compound bow no riser sights nothing and starts totalling it up and im like no thanks mate just just trying to fleece me so what im saying is just be careful where you buy stuff …. do your research first before buying

  30. This video is somewhat old and probably this has been said, but I want to make some corrections: 1) the largest segment in commercial archery is probably bow hunting; there's roughly 18 millions of bow hunters in the world and almost half of them live in USA, target archery and 3D archery are niche landscapes in terms of finnacial weight; 2) the four largest brands in the market are Mathews, Hoyt, PSE and Bowtech, mostly in that order (Hoyt makes more variety of bows, and is part of Easton which is the largest arrow manufacturer, but Mathews probably sells more bows); Mathews also owns Mission which is a mid price brand; PSE is huge but instead of having smaller brands has from entry level quality bows to top high end; Bowtech is a bit smaller but istill comparable to the other three. 3) After those four you have a dozen of more niche brands (but still top quality) which either are new or have loss some weight; that includes Draton, Bear or Martin amongst the historical or Elite, Obsession, Xpedite or Athens in the newer. There's top quality manufacturers in the recurve landscape (as Win & Win) which despite their tech and features are merely a shadow in terms of sales compared to the "4 big".

  31. For new starter into anything they would buy a starter kit and down the road if they still interest they would buy the name brand.

  32. I know this video is quite old but I want to update a bit since YouTube still keep recommending me this video despite I bought my set of bow already for a few month. (Turn out Google algorithm is not quite accurate lol).

    Recently there are many brands from China that are very cheap and can be decent quality, like Decut, Akusta, Tangzong etc. A starter one can be very cheap like lower than $100 to get everything: riser, limbs, string, guards, button, sight, arrows etc. This is better and cheaper than well-known wooden starter bow and the quality is on par with WNS, SF range, which can be twice the price. Because Chinese brand are quite active lately and also not produce just cheap knock-off but instead their own design. (Though some can argue that it may copy many things from Hoyt and W&W, which is also true but they have R&D and also somewhat different design.) They even have high-end bow which they advertise to compete in quality with Hoyt Epic and Formula with half the price but I can’t confirm whether this statement is correct. But I can say their starter bows are balance and have decent quality because some of my friend are using this and shot very well.

    I myself have bias against Chinese brands so I did not buy these. But for one who has very limited budget (that cannot afford even Cartel Sirius) can consider these brands rather than shopping junk from eBay or abandon interest in archery altogether.

  33. Just buyed a Mankung Mirage 70lb compound bow. Roughly 300$, converted.
    I realyze this video is a bit out of date now, but is Mankung a good brand?

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