When it comes to modern compound bows, true innovation is hard to come by. Each year since the late 80’s and into the first decade of this century, each year archery companies offered new bows that were significantly better than their predecessors. But you can only improve a mechanical device so much. In fact, today one could argue that there are new bows being introduced by the major manufacturers that are not as good as the previous year’s models. That is not the case with Mathews. They are on an extended winning streak and it continues with this year’s new hunting bow, the VXR 28 and VXR 31.5.

The foundation for this improvement is the extended six bridge riser which is a direct descendant of the most successful Mathews target bows. The longer riser creates a more stable bow and al- lows for improved accuracy. By completely changing the geometry of the bow the Mathews engineers were able to build the VXR in 28″ and 31.5″ axle-to-axle lengths. Both the VXR 28 and the VXR 31.5 are equipped the Crosscentric Cam system with SwitchWeight Technology. Originally introduced last year with enormous success, this system allows the shooter to change the draw length, let off, and peak draw weight in 5 pound increments up to 75 pounds with a simple module change.Also handed down to the VXR is the Engage Grip interface, which in my opinion is the best grip ever on a Mathews bow. For those of you who love the feel of direct contact with the riser, this grip is compatible with the Engage Grip Side Plates.

Mathews new extended six bridge riser creates a more stable bow and allows for improved accuracy.

The entire 2020 lineup is offered in multiple color or camo options. My bow came in the new Ambush Green which looks spectacular! I know I may sound like a teenage girl buying her first car but a cool looking bow just makes me smile. I don’t know if Mathews changed the finish process completely because I have only seen one bow, but my bow has a noticeably flat, non-reflective finish. I shiny bow may look better on the wall at the archery shop but it is a real problem in the field.

Now back to my opening comments about the current Mathews winning streak. Last year they introduced the Vertix which quickly became the best-selling bow in the archery market.It was quiet, fast and shot lights out. In fact, my Vertix shot so well that I was tempted to put it away in June and 52 not shoot it until hunting season for fear of some- thing changing! I didn’t do that of course, and out- side of a few string twists to straighten out my peep I never had to put that bow in a press even after thousands of arrows. The Vertix set the bar extremely high, so when the VXR 31.5 arrived I was going to be tough to impress… but I was pleasantly surprised.

The cams are essentially the same so and both have a 6-inch brace height so the draw cycle was familiar and comfortable. But the VXR is noticeably quieter and more dead at the shot which I attribute to the longer and stiffer riser. I only have about five hundred arrows through the VXR so it is early to make bold statements about accuracy, but every now and then you shoot an arrow that misses the mark and you just can’t explain why it missed? Well, so far, I have not had one of those shots out of the VXR.
While I have not had a chance to shoot the VXR 28 I have spoken to folks who have with equally rave reviews. Mathews proved that they know how to engineer a great shooting short ATA bow when they introduced the 28” Triax a few years ago so I have no doubt the VXR 28, with its longer riser, will shoot even better.

I am not asking you to take my opinion, since bows are a very personal thing. But you owe it to yourself to check out your nearest Mathews dealer and give the new VXR a try. Mathews has a handy dealer locator on their website if you
don’t already have a favorite.

MATHEWS VXR 28
• BRACE HEIGHT: 6 INCHES
• IBO RATING: UP TO 344 FPS
• AXLE-TO-AXLE: 28 INCHES
• DRAW WEIGHTS: 60, 65, 70, 75 LBS • DRAW LENGTHS: 25.5 – 30″
• LET-OFF: 80 OR 85%
• PHYSICAL WEIGHT: 4.44 LBS
• CAM: CC W/ SWITCHWEIGHT
• PRICE: $1,099 MSRP
• CONTACT: MATHEWSINC.COM

MATHEWS VXR 31.5
• BRACE HEIGHT: 6 INCHES
• IBO RATING: UP TO 343 FPS
• AXLE-TO-AXLE: 31.5 INCHES
• DRAW WEIGHTS: 60, 65, 70, 75 LBS • DRAW LENGTHS: 26.5 – 31″
• LET-OFF: 80 OR 85%
• PHYSICAL WEIGHT: 4.66 LBS
• CAM: CC W/ SWITCHWEIGHT
• PRICE: $1,199 MSRP
• CONTACT: MATHEWSINC.COM