Welcome to this week’s installation of “Why Your Bow Sucks,” an ongoing series of bow reviews.
I could sit here and write about Mathews repurposing last year’s V3. I could write about their pro staff. I could write about people who buy Mathews and I could write about the overpriced accessories. I could write about how they lie about IBO. And you know what? That’s what I’m going to do. Let’s get to it, reader.
Throughout my life, I’ve had the severe displeasure of sitting through countless prolonged and painful meetings. Nothing is worse than sitting in a room while your idiot boss rambles for hours and melts your brain. And that’s what I love about Mathews – their product meetings last for about 15 minutes.
“Here’s what we’re gonna do for 2022, folks. We’re gonna use the V3 again but we’ll make it a bit longer. We’ll call it the, uh, V3X. I hate my ex, so we’ll go with that. What’s for lunch?”
I can already hear the Mathews fanboys through my monitor.
Yeah, yeah. I know they machined a glory hole for dovetail sights into the riser. They’ll claim it’s to better balance the bow and make it more streamlined, but I know the truth. It’s to get you to buy into the Mathewsverse and trap you so you’ll never leave. Mathews is the Apple of bow manufacturers – you’re going to want the Mathews Ultrarest, Axcel sight, quiver and bow stand just like you’ll want the iPhone, MacBook, iPad and Airpods.
And, just like Apple, everything with a Mathews stamp on it will cost you an arm and a leg. Even though you’ve given Mathews two months of your annual salary, you’ll still put their stickers on your truck because “hur dur PsE sUcKs.” Meanwhile, Kyle Douglas continues to teabag everyone in a black and yellow jersey.
Speaking of the Mathews “factory staff,” is there anyone more insufferable than Levi Morgan? Not only does he (probably) host swingers parties for the Bowmars, he’s reached peak pandering with his cringeworthy clothing line, “Freedom’s Creed.” This dumb fuck actually sells “Jesus is my vaccine” t-shirts and tells people he’s a patriot. Mathews, check your bitch. There’s a greater than zero percent chance Dan McCarthy was on Epstein’s island.
The V3X is nowhere close to Mathews’ advertised IBO, but you can make up the difference by going with their 75-pound limbs. Gee, thanks. Slow is smooth, and smooth is slow. There’s no “having your cake and eating it, too” in the world of archery.
What Doesn’t Suck
The V3X truly does feature an incredibly smooth draw cycle. The 75-pound option is easier to draw than most other bows at 70 pounds. There’s a reason why Mathews doesn’t re-invent the wheel – the wheel they’ve built is damn near perfect.
This bow is also dead quiet and nearly vibration-free. I might hate the price of Mathews accessories, but when you’re running their low-pro quiver and integrate rest, there’s almost no difference in how this bow feels compared to when it’s bare. You could probably shoot this thing just fine without a back bar.
The 29 retails for $1,199 and the 33 goes for $1,299 – that’s right in line with other companies’ aluminum flagship models. They’ll take a piece of your ass on the accessories, but in Mathews’ defense they are good accessories.
As you’d expect, the fit and finish was perfect. If you’re familiar with the Mathews top hat system, you’ll be able to tune this bow in no time. The 33 is a welcomed improvement over last year’s 31 and should prove to be a fantastic do-it-all bow. The smaller 29 will make tree stand hunters happy, but it’s plenty capable in other situations, too.
On the V3X 33, with my 547-grain arrow at 75 pounds and a 30-inch draw, I was able to hit 273 feet per second on the chronograph. That’s not untenable and with this setup I’d be able to take any game animal I wanted.
This is one of the best pure hunting bows I’ve tested this year. There, I said it. For me, it was a coin flip between the V3X, the Levitate and the Inline 5. Ultimately, I went with the Inline because of its longer ATA and performance (278 fps at 70 pounds). Plenty of people will choose the V3X this year, and those people will probably be very happy with their decision.
If you already own a V3 and are happy with it, there’s no real need to upgrade to the “X.” The V3 is a fine bow, and you can probably hold off another year or so before replacing it. We’re beginning to hit a wall in terms of bow engineering, so until we see advancements in the types of materials used, I don’t think we’ll be graced by anything truly mind-blowing.
If you do decide to purchase the V3X, I’d highly recommend running their low-profile quiver (which will require the Integrate or Hamskea Epsilon rest and mounting your dovetail sight through the riser). I’m of the opinion that all quivers suck, but the Mathews one sucks the least. When set up this way, you won’t find a more compact and naturally-balanced hunting bow than the V3X.
Don’t buy anything from Freedom’s Creed.