The Mathews ZXT has mixed reviews related to 3D shooting. The Mathews Conquest Apex 7 is promoted as one of the best competition bows available. Shooting with each, using a hinge release or a thumb release I’ve made my choice for the IBO shoot next weekend in NY.
Neither bow breaks speed records especially at my draw length, 26 inches. Both bows are equivalent when I shoot indoors at 20 yards. They are both similar shooting outside up to 60 yards, at least at my skill level. The major difference is the let off, length and weight.
The ZXT is about a half pound lighter, not too much of a difference. The Apex 7 is nearly a foot longer (10 inches). The ZXT let off is 80% versus 65% with the Apex 7. The ZXT is IBO rated 6 fps faster than the Apex 7, again not a big deal. But, I am more comfortable with the ZXT.
About a month after I begin shooting I switched from a finger to a back tension hinge release. That changed a few weeks ago when I bought a thumb release. Following some difficulty shooting the thumb release I finally got it – that is I stopped shooting my arrows everywhere other than the target. The biggest advantage is mental. I can relaxed more knowing that if I need to let down, jerk the bow, or “slip” I am less likely to release the arrow using the thumb release.
The arrows haven’t changed. In fact, I ordered a dozen new ones, the Beman ICS Hunter brand, for the tournament. Despite meticulous care when ordering, repeating the shaft length they arrived 0.5 inches shorter than what I have been shooting for the past year. Par.
Going to the IBO World Championship is currently a contest above my skill. Nevertheless, it is an experience that will help in future competitions. As such, my goals are: 1) shoot as comfortably and relaxed as possible, 2) leave the course carrying the same arrows with which I entered, and 3) enjoy the experience. Which means, the ZXT and a Tru-Fire Hardcore Revolution release.