Mathews Z7 Xtreme Bow Review

Mathews Z7 Xtreme Bow Review
The new Mathews Z7 Xtreme has a radical footprint with extreme angle limbs, reflex geometry, eye-catching Grid Lock Riser and short axle-to-axle length.

Mathews is a company that needs no introduction. So, I'm not going to give them one! The new Z7 Xtreme is loaded with features -- such as the Grid Lock Riser, ZX Cam, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, SE5 Composite limbs and a host of vibration-damping accessories --  and I need all the page space possible to cover them. Let's take a look at the Mathews Z7 Xtreme bow review.

Striking Structure

Mathews' now familiar Grid Lock Riser design does more than just reach out and grab you. The isometric cutouts set on a grid pattern serve to create a strong and stiff platform on which other features and technologies are built. Strength is gained without excess material, keeping the overall mass weight under four pounds. A Harmonic Stabilizer and Harmonic Damper are set directly into the riser's body to reduce vibration and noise. If you have ever seen the bare metal riser demonstration using the Harmonic Dampers, you know just how beneficial they are.


A section of the shelf area is actually completed with the top section of the one-piece walnut grip. The SlimFit Inline grip is narrower from top to bottom than the company's older models -- this is my favorite Mathews' grip to date. Beyond comfort, the polished wood is also functional in allowing the shooter's hand to repeatedly move into position without excess torque. A single piece of red colored wood is laminated on the centerline of the bow, making initial setup and tuning easier.


Not far up the riser from the grip is the Reverse Assist Roller Guard, which is mounted on the outside of the sight window. The unique cable-containment system reverses the typical position of the cables in terms of where they contact the rollers. Cables sit on the shooter's side of the rollers and actually relax more as the bow is drawn. The end result is a smoother draw and less torque on the system. Less torque equals increased consistency and improved accuracy.

Smooth, Smooth, Smooth

The more I shoot the Z7 Xtreme, the more its effortless draw cycle shines through. Mathews was undoubtedly in pursuit of an extremely soft feel for its new rig, and needless to say, they didn't miss their mark.


We can't forget the speed this bow generates -- up to 330 fps IBO on a 7€‰3„8-inch brace height. So, how do they put it all together? They start with the machined aluminum ZX Solocam system, which rotates on stainless steel axles and sealed ball bearings to reduce friction and increase efficiency. The ZX has a cam-specific draw-length adjustment, meaning there is a different cam for each draw length between 24 and 30 inches, including half-inch sizes.

Mathews engineers its bows, each draw length, for optimum performance. In short, a specific cam is the way to maintain that precision. Knowing it takes longer to change a cam than a module, Mathews came up with a more efficient way to get the job done in the form of its Quick Change Axle (QCA) feature. The QCA replaces the typical e-clip with an easy on/off plastic fixture on one side and a pull-knob on the other.


The 80-percent letoff designed into the system makes holding at full draw those extra few seconds more comfortable and easier on the shoulder. Mathews breaks out its Zebra Barracuda strings and cables for the Z7 Xtreme and adds a speed-enhancing String Grub and set of vibration-reducing Monkey Tails to the mix. A set of limb-mounted String Suppressors and Dead End String Stop add more vibration-killing power to the Z7 Xtreme's arsenal.

Ultra Endurance

Mathews' SE5 Composite limbs, held in place by the company's sleek and super efficient SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup system, are subjected to brutal cycle testing designed to push them far beyond the stresses of normal use.

Engineered composite plates are precision cut on Flow Waterjet machines to produce the final limb unit, which is then matched to a set based on deflection values. At full draw, the limbs come to a wicked, past parallel position that is key to the exceptionally low levels of vibration, kick and noise experienced when shooting the Z7 Xtreme.

In my opinion this is the quietest bow Mathews has ever produced -- and that is saying something! The severe angle of the limbs, even at rest, brings the axle-to-axle length down to a highly maneuverable 28 inches.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bill Winke

Bill Winke's Top Five Bow Shooting Tips

Petersen's Bowhunting Field Editor Bill Winke give us his top five bow shooting tips

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Designed exclusively for their crossbows, Ravin has announced three new mechanical broadheads to maximize penetration and overall performance.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane.

 Good broadhead flight How-To

4 Steps to Perfect Broadhead Flight

Bowhunting Online Staff

Going from field tips to broadheads requires arrow tuning on a higher plane. Good...

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

Top New Arrows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

Check out our list of the best new hunting arrows from the 2019 ATA Show!

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

See More Trending Articles

More Bows

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

We put the Xpedition Xcursion 6 to the ultimate technical test. See how it performed! Bows

Bow Review: Xpedition Xcursion 6

Jon E. Silks - November 06, 2018

We put the Xpedition Xcursion 6 to the ultimate technical test. See how it performed!

Editor Christian Berg gives you a first look at the brand new 2019 Mathews Vertix Bows

First Look: 2019 Mathews Vertix

Christian Berg - November 13, 2018

Editor Christian Berg gives you a first look at the brand new 2019 Mathews Vertix

Hoyt's new-for-2018 Nitrux features their hybrid Cam & system and Quadflex split limbs to produce speeds of 332 fps. See how it performed in our testing! Bows

Bow Review: Hoyt Nitrux

Jon E. Silks - September 24, 2018

Hoyt's new-for-2018 Nitrux features their hybrid Cam & system and Quadflex split limbs to...

See More Bows

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now