Elite Archery continues its push to affect change in bowhunting culture with its laser-like focus on shootability. It is all about the experience of the archer with Elite — I like that. Elite's 2014 lineup includes the Spirit, Tour, Energy 32 and finally the Energy 35, which is designed specifically for the all-around archer who wants one bow for both 3-D shooting and bowhunting.
If you pick up an Energy 35, you will find a mid-range axle-to-axle bow that features the company's Two-Track cam technology, three-layer laminated limbs, String Decelerator, the new Riser Cage and Elite's popular grip.
What is Shootability?
Elite defines the ultimate shooting experience as getting to peak draw weight later in the draw cycle, spending less time at that peak, a solid back wall, low holding weight, a generous valley and "nothing to it" shooting. That's another way of saying easy to aim, with minimal shock and vibration at the shot.
The Energy 35 accomplishes most of this with its Two-Track cam system. Elite experimented with the cam shape and overall function until it found just the right recipe for a draw cycle exemplifying those shootability qualities. Check out the draw-force curve.
Using only two tracks for each cam allows a narrower side-to-side footprint, which reduces mass and brings the load from the cables closer to the center of the axle and system. Elite says this configuration increases efficiency and reduces the opportunity for cam lean and the negative effects that come with it.
Two base cams, the EN and ENS, cover a range from 24€‰1„2-31 inches for various draw-length options through the use of modules that require the use of a bow press and a T15 Torx wrench to change. Modules are available in half-inch increments. A slightly adjustable draw stop on each cam provides a solid back wall while allowing for some customization.
Elimbinating Shock and Vibration
One aspect of Elite's shootability definition that is not totally controlled by the cam system is "nothing to it" shooting. Elite employs a parallel limb position to achieve that low level of shock and vibration coveted by today's archers. For many, the lack of shock and vibration is at the top of their wish list when selecting a new bow.
The Energy 35's three-layer laminated limbs are made from Gordon Composites' trusted materials and are available in peak weights of 40, 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds.
Elite design engineers also invested their efforts on making the Energy 35 a bow that you would trust on the 3-D course. This resulted in a relatively long riser and a focus on aligning the mechanics of the bow to optimize accuracy. The Energy 35 is a bow that will work for you, not against you, while aiming.
A new Riser Cage structure is featured on the Energy 35's machined aluminum riser. It is strategically built in just above the sight window and is advertised to increase riser strength by 30 percent and rigidity by 19 percent — all without increasing overall mass weight.
Why does this matter? A riser that presents a stronger and stiffer platform is believed to be more controlled and consistent, which translates into accuracy and reduced vibration.
A Little Something Extra
Also new for 2014 are two tapped mounting holes on the back of the riser for mounting weights and stabilizer systems. In other words, you can trick your hunting bow out to be a serious contender on the 3-D course. These holes are in addition to the stainless steel stabilizer mounting insert on the front of the bow.
Bowhunters are particularly concerned with bow noise and rightly so. In addition to the past-parallel limbs, Elite also includes a set of pre-mounted Limbsaver Ultra Quads, Limbsaver Cable/String Leeches, and a Limbsaver Decelerator complete with Limbsaver Rod Dampener.
The draw cycle on this bow is exceptionally smooth, making 65 pounds feel like much less. Elite grips are effective and comfortable — some of my favorites. The mass weight is a little more than I like, however, it is part of the give and take when shooting a longer axle-to-axle rig and undoubtedly partly responsible for this bow's quiet shot.
I noticed a quick shock and some lasting, yet mild, vibration at the shot, neither of which were much to talk about. Last, but certainly not least, is the stability this bow demonstrates at full draw — it allows me to relax and hold tight on the target.
Manufacturer: Elite Archery, 877-503-5483
Model: Energy 35
Cam System: Energy Cam (EN Cam)
Weight: 4.4 pounds (advertised); 4.5 pounds (as tested)
Brace Height: 7 inches
Axle-To-Axle length: 34€‰3„4 inches
Letoff: 80 percent
Draw Weights: 40, 50, 60, 65 and 70 pounds peak
Draw Lengths: 24€‰1„2-31 inches, in half-inch increments on two base cams; modular
Riser: Forged and machined aluminum, reflex
Limbs: 12.5 inches, three-layer laminated
String: Winner's Choice BCY-X 57.25 inches
Cables: Winner's Choice BCY-X 39.625 inches
Grip: Two-piece laminated hardwood
Finish: Ninja (all black), Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max1, Realtree AP Snow
Advertised IBO Speed: 327-330 fps
Suggested Retail Price: $899.99
Comments: Will be very hard to beat in the Shootability Challenge.