Hoyt Archery’s 2018 flagship hunting bows are the most innovative to come from the Salt Lake City-based manufacturer in many years. Hoyt has redesigned their bows from the ground up, giving them a much-needed overhaul — and adding a lot of new technology.
Carbon-tube vs. aluminum risers
For 2018, Hoyt offers two flagship hunting models: the REDWRX Carbon RX-1 and the Hyperforce. Both bows utilize the same cam system and limbs, with the primary difference being the riser material. Axle-to-axle length, brace height and speed are the same for both models.
The RX-1 uses Hoyt’s proven carbon-tube riser technology, making the bow almost a half-pound lighter at 3.9 pounds — while causing the riser to feel warm to the touch even in the coldest temperatures. Featuring a 32-inch axle-to-axle length and a 6-inch brace height, this bow is a perfect blend of maneuverability, speed and forgiveness. It will be a dream to carry on long hikes to your stand. If there is any disadvantage to the carbon riser, it is the much higher cost of manufacturing, which results in an MSRP of $1,649.99.
The Hyperforce offers the feel and performance of the Carbon RX-1, but comes in slightly heavier at 4.3 pounds due to its aluminum riser — which will feel cold to the touch on those frosty mornings in the stand. I did find it to have slightly less post-shot hand shock and recoil, probably due to the heftier weight. With a much lower MSRP of $1,199.99, this bow is within more hunters’ budgets.
Both bows are powered by the ZT (Zero Torque) Hyper Cam system. The ZT Hyper Cams allow these bows to blast arrows out at an impressive 340 feet per second, while still offering a silky smooth draw and a generous “dwell zone.” This cam system also balances the side-to-side load with its innovative split-cable system, thus eliminating the need for a flexible cable guard. This reduces cable-induced torque and thus, lateral nock travel, making these bows much easier to tune and shoot accurately. The ZT Hyper Cams offer generous let-offs of 80 to 85 percent; in past years, Hoyt has never offered a let-off of more than 75 percent.
Hoyt’s Effective String Position Technology also makes the bow feel and shoot like a longer axle-to-axle bow due to a drastically improved string angle. Draw-length adjustments are easily made without the use of a bow press by simply loosening the module bolts 2½ turns each and rotating the modules to the correct draw. No wheel timing is required after changing draw length — a major improvement.
In another major change, Hoyt lowered the grip position on the riser. This results in an easier-tuning, better-shooting bow by reducing vertical nock travel. Although the trade-off has traditionally been bows that were top heavy, Hoyt’s engineers were able to solve that issue by using an asymmetrical, wider limb spacing on the bottom end of the bow. This not only makes the bow balance perfectly neutral, but it looks really cool, too. The new Quad Flex limbs are ¾-inch wide for better torsional stability, again helping to make these bows easier to shoot.
No bow press needed
Both models offer a rear stabilizer mount, making it easy to customize and fine-tune the weight and balance of your setup. I like the new X-act grip. It feels good in the hand, and also positions the hand properly for the shot. The new split-cable system also makes installing a drop-away rest easy, eliminating the need for a bow press. The finish on these bows is impressive, and they are offered in five different hunting color options: Realtree Edge, Under Armour Barren, Gore Optifade Subalpine, Kuiu Verde 2.0, Buckskin and Blackout.
Having been in the industry for nearly three decades, it takes a lot to impress me these days — and Hoyt’s new 2018 bows have really gotten my attention. You can tell they set out to raise the bar, and I feel they have done a great job. You can see that a lot of thought, planning, and engineering went into every minute detail on these new bows. As a technician, I appreciate the ease of setup and tunability. As an archer, I appreciate their shootability. Check them out as soon as you get a chance.