By Spencer Neuharth

Last year I attended my first ATA show in Louisville. It was a great experience, and one of my favorite parts was hitting the range with all the new flagship bows. This year I’ll be doing the same, but want to get some homework done on each one before releasing an arrow. Here’s what we know about some of 2017’s bows going into the new year.

Mathews | Halon 32 | $1099

The Halon is back in a bigger way with their new 32” axle-to-axle option. This was my favorite bow that I shot in 2016, so I’m glad to see that they’re building off of an already great product. The new Halon 32 is sure to be rock solid and quiet, and will definitely have a string angle and draw cycle that feels smoother for those with longer draw lengths. The 5” brace height version is the fastest with a blistering IBO of 353 fps.

Bowtech | Reign 6 | $1049

Bowtech brought their fans an early surprise this year with the release of the Reign series in November, as opposed to January. The Reign is said to be the “smartest bow” there is, thanks to their redesigned OverDrive Binary Cams that tunes to the shooter. Forum buzz seems to agree, with many posters saying the new Reign is much smoother than the 2016 BT-X.

Hoyt | Carbon Defiant | $1499

It’s no surprise that the company known for their carbon bows has stuck with what they know. As usual, Hoyt has produced one of the lightest bows on the market, with their 3.6 lb feather. The Carbon Defiant is one of the slower flagships in 2017 at 331 fps, but that’s to be expected with their forgiving 7” brace height.

PSE | Carbon Air | $1499

Speaking of light bows, PSE shattered expectations in 2016 with their 3.2 lb Carbon Air. Their new 2017 Carbon Air is slightly heavier at 3.6 lbs, but will still feel like nothing when in your hands. Similar to Hoyt’s Carbon Defiant, this bow shoots around 330 fps with a sub 7” brace height. The biggest difference between the 2016 and 2017 models is the longer axle-to-axle length and friction reduced AirGlide cable guard.

Bear | LS6 | $899

Bear is turning heads in 2017 with the look of their new LS6. This carbon bow, which has the shortest brace height of any flagship bow at 5”, has people talking about the unique risers. Something else that gets people’s attention is their blazing fast 355 fps IBO. It’ll be interesting to see if this powerful bow has the smoothness to compliment it’s speed.

Elite | ??? | ???

Elite hasn’t released any official information on their 2017 lineup, except that they’ll reveal the new bows at ATA in January. Elite fans on different forums believe the company will have something similar to the Energy line, but in smaller and lighter packages. A surprise would be if they go with split-limbs, something they’re not known for.