May 22, 2023
By Christian Berg
For 2023, Mathews has taken two big archery trends and melded them into one with its all-new Bridge-Lock Stabilizers, giving bowhunters an elegant, off-the-shelf solution for achieving perfect bow balance.
Trend number one is the growing popularity of stabilizers among the bowhunting set. Over the past decade, bowhunters have steadily moved away from short, rubbery “stabilizers” that merely quell shot noise and vibration in favor of true stabilizers that place significant weight away from the bow to dramatically improve bow balance at full draw and boost downrange accuracy. Rising consumer demand has spawned a plethora of bowhunter-focused stabilizer products, including back bars and V-brackets that offer hunters the same benefits tournament shooters have long enjoyed.
Trend number two is the rapid growth of purpose-built, integrated accessories designed to meld seamlessly with hunting bows. Whether created by the bow makers directly or developed in partnership with accessory manufacturers, today’s bowhunting market is flooded with rests, sights, quivers and other items custom-built to work with a particular bow and enhance its overall function rather than fight against it.
Last year, Mathews moved the integration needle forward with the introduction of Bridge-Lock Technology for mounting sights directly into the bow riser via a dovetail-shaped mounting hole. And this year, the company has pushed that needle another notch forward with its comprehensive lineup of Bridge-Lock Stabilizers that mount into the riser via a second dovetail-shaped hole right below the traditional stabilizer-mounting insert.
Bridge-Lock stabilizers are available in three models, measuring 8, 10 and 12 inches long respectively. Each is built using an ultra-stiff aluminum bar with multiple machined cutouts and machined indexing marks that allow the stabilizers to be inserted into the Bridge-Lock mount on the riser and adjusted in precise, half-inch increments to achieve desired length. The stabilizers are quickly and silently locked in place on the bow via the polymer Bridge-Lock Knob, allowing for easy adjustments on the range or in the field.
At the far of the end of each stabilizer is a Mathews EHS Nano Harmonic Stabilizer and two, 1-ounce weights that lock together with patent-pending Interlink Weight Technology. This first-of-its-kind weight system allows users to add or remove weight, in 1-ounce increments, as desired simply by loosening and then re-tightening a single setscrew. Additional weights can be purchased separately.
In addition to the stabilizers and weights, Mathews partnered with Shrewd Archery to develop the Bridge-Lock Adjustable V-Bar bracket that allows you to use a Bridge-Lock Stabilizer as a back bar on your bow. This bracket features a quick-disconnect to add it and remove it from your riser as needed, and like the main Bridge-Lock Stabilizer mount on the front of the riser, the V-Bar bracket allows you to customize the length of the stabilizer and lock it in where desired using a thumbscrew.
I’ve been shooting a 10-inch Bridge-Lock Stabilizer on my Mathews Phase 4 and absolutely love it. The stabilizer is sleek, looks great and is extremely easy to adjust and remove when need (such as when traveling to a hunt). Further, the Bridge-Lock mounting system eliminates annoying indexing issues with traditional stabilizers that sometimes require multiple mounting-bolt adjustments to achieve proper orientation. It’s also worth noting Mathews’ own testing shows the use of Bridge-Lock Stabilizers results in a dramatic decrease in shot noise and vibration — always a bonus when trying to remain as stealthy as possible.
Compatible with all new-for-2023 Mathews bows, Bridge-Lock Stabilizers are available in your choice of eight solid-color and camouflage finish options and can be further customized with a variety of available colors for the Harmonic Stabilizer. — Editor Christian Berg