Hoyt 2020 Recurve Overview with Olympian MacKenzie Brown

U.S. Olympic archer MacKenzie Brown and Lancaster Archery Supply recurve archery specialist John Wert run through the new recurve offerings from Hoyt for 2020.

The latest lineup from Hoyt includes the Xceed Grand Prix riser, which is a great choice for Olympic archers, but includes special features aimed directly at competitive barebow archers.

The Xceed features a new limb alignment system and string tension technology, which Brown and Wert discuss in detail. And it also is designed in concert with a unique weight system that barebow archers will love.

The Formula Xi riser also features the new limb alignment system and string tension technology, but is built for Formula limbs.

The Formula Carbon Integra and Grand Prix Carbon Integra limbs are designed as a high-performing limb that’s sold at a more affordable price than other limbs of this caliber.

Yes, you can adjust the draw weight on certain recurve bows

Compound bows are well known for their ability to have the draw weight adjusted. Most have a 10-pound adjustment range, but there are some that can be adjusted from 5-70 pounds.

Did you know it’s possible to adjust the weight of some recurve bows?

In an episode of “Behind the Riser,” filmed by Shrewd Archery, which follows U.S. Olympian Brady Ellison during the 2018 Lancaster Archery Classic, Ellison talks about “taking three turns out of” his Hoyt recurve bow after the first day of competition. That action changed the draw weight from 52 pounds to 47 pounds. (Ellison went on the win his second consecutive title at the Classic in the Men’s Recurve Division.)

Brady Ellison

So yes, you can change the draw weight of certain recurve bows. The only bows this will work on, however, are those Olympic recurve and Traditional recurve bows that have ILF limbs and fittings.

ILF stands for “International Limb Fitting,” which is a universal limb attachment system that allows ILF limbs and risers from various manufacturers to be mixed and matched. Several Hoyt recurve bows employ a modified ILF connection system that uses the same hardware as ILF bows, but the hardware spacing is distinctly different than ILF. This unique limb connection system is the Hoyt Formula system. Formula bows adjust in exactly the same manner as ILF bows.

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ILF limb being inserted into ILF riser.

An ILF or Hoyt Formula riser will have dovetail pockets to capture the dovetail bushings on the limbs. And they’ll also have limb bolts. The limb bolts on these risers are adjustable. Turning the limb bolts clockwise lowers the bolts closer to the riser and increases draw weight. Adjusting counterclockwise raises the bolts and decreases draw weight. Also, nearly all risers with adjustable limb bolts use some type of locking screw to keep a limb bolt in place after adjustments have been made. It is very important to unlock these screws before adjusting limb bolts, and then lock them again when adjustments are complete.

According to John Wert, who heads the TradTech division of Lancaster Archery Supply, which produces ILF and non-ILF recurve risers and limbs, the bolts on ILF recurve bows have a recommended best working range. Starting at a maximum height of 20mm (13/16 of an inch) for lowest draw weight and adjusting in to a minimum height of 15mm (5/8 of an inch), for the highest draw weight.  Those distances are measured from the underside of the limb bolt to the surface of the limb pocket beneath it.

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“This is the best range for the entire sphere of ILF bows,” Wert said. “You can take some in or out farther, but then you are in a gray area that can lead to problems. If you know what to look for, you can adjust to as low as 12 mm and as high as 25 mm on some limb and riser combinations.”

The chief problem with turning in a limb bolt shorter than 15mm is the leading  edge of the limb bolt cap can start to dig into the limb surface. Back the limb bolt out more than 20mm, and the dovetail limb bushing can bind in the riser hardware– or even worse, the limb could fly out from under the bolt altogether.


Left photo shows a limb sitting under a bolt set at 15mm, while the other is set at 20mm.

The number of turns an archer can put in or take out of a limb within that 15-20mm frame varies, according to Wert. Some screw patterns on the limb bolts are more aggressive than others, which would affect the total turns.

It’s up to each archer to figure out how many turns the limb bolt can withstand to stay within that 15-20mm gap. Likewise, the amount of weight that can be added or subtracted varies from bow to bow. It’s up to the archer to figure that out, so he or she knows how many turns are possible, and how much weight each turn gives up or puts back on. But generally, a set of limbs has an adjustment range of 8-10% of the limb’s draw weight.

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Turning a limb bolt with a hex wrench.

During the Lancaster Archery Classic, Ellison was able to reduce his draw weight by about 5 pounds by taking three turns out of his Hoyt limb bolts.

It’s important to note that equal turns must be put into/ taken out of the top and bottom limbs in order to maintain the tiller. Unequal turns will affect a bow’s tiller measurements, which can affect the bow’s tune and the way the bow sits in your hand.

Bow manufacturers vary on how they determine limb weights. Some, like TradTech archery, stamp their limbs with the low end of their weight range. So a TradTech limb rated at 50 pounds would draw at a minimum of 50 pounds at 28 inches with the limb bolts backed out to 20 mm. The weight would increase from there as the bolts are turned in and the limbs would reach a maximum weight of approximately 54 pounds.

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Other companies, like Hoyt, use the middle of the range for their limb ratings, and some rate their limbs at the top end of the adjustment range.

So all of this begs the question, “Why would I change the draw weight on my recurve?”

In the Shrewd video, Brady said he was having trouble holding his bow still at the higher draw weight. So he lowered it to gain more control. Other archers might find more control by increasing the draw weight.

Another reason to adjust draw weight might be to get an arrow to tune better. If the tune is close at a set draw weight, changing the weight just a little could be all that’s needed to get perfect flight.

Podcast: TradTech director John Wert

John Wert is a nearly-lifelong traditional archer and the director of TradTech Archery. He’d rather hunt and target shoot with a stick and string than any other weapon, and is well-known around the country as an expert in setting up traditional bows.

To help mark the 10th anniversary of TradTech – a division of Lancaster Archery Supply – Wert sat down with LAS podcast host P.J. Reilly to discuss the allure of traditional archery.

In this podcast, you will learn:

– How Wert got involved in traditional archery, and how he came to TradTech Archery in 2010.

– What a traditional archery rendezvous is all about.

– What role TradTech archery plays in the world of traditional archery, and what’s new from TradTech in 2017.

– How the YouTube film “The Push” is garnering a lot of attention for traditional archery today.

– That traditional archers march to their own drum, and have their own unique look.

“You can walk around with a dead coyote on your head, a 14-inch Bowie knife, no shoes and no shirt and nobody will give you a second look,” Wert said. “But you wear a shooter jersey…and the music screeches to a halt as soon as you walk in the door.”

If you have any questions or comments for Lancaster Archery about this podcast, please email us at [email protected]

Traditional Archery Bows Explained

In traditional archery, the bows often are compared to works of art, rather than simple, arrow-delivering tools.

Traditional archers carry their bows with pride, and they’ll gladly rattle off the specs – draw weight, construction material, string type, manufacturer, etc.

In the compound-bow world, the differences between bows boils down to the manufacturers. But in the end, however, all are compound bows.

Not so in traditional archery. There are several different types of bows, and you’ve got to know what you’re holding.

In this video, Lancaster Archery Supply and TradTech TechXPert John Wert describes the various types of traditional bows – self-bow, classic longbow, modern longbow, one-piece recurve, take-down recurve and ILF takedown recurve.

In doing so, Wert discusses their construction, what it feels like to shoot them and how they fit in the traditional world.

Wert delivers his traditional-bow dissertation on the grounds of the 2016 Eastern Traditional Archery Rendezvous in Potter County, Pa. It is the largest gathering of traditional archers in the U.S.

As Wert talks, you can see traditional archers of all ages shooting their bows in the background.

Each of the bows Wert describes was represented at the rendezvous.

What’s the right size recurve bow for me?

Recurve bows come in a variety of sizes, but not all will perform well for every archer. There are some parameters that will help guide you in determining which bow is the right size for you.

Lancaster Archery TechXpert John Wert explains in this video how to choose the right size recurve bow. And it should be noted that there is not one simple length for each archer. How you intend to use the bow – hunting, backyard shooting, tournament competition – will play a role that will likely result in an individual archer being able to shoot multiple bows of different lengths.

One archer, for example, might like a shorter bow for hunting than for tournament shooting. As Wert explains, there are still sizing parameters that will guide the selection of a hunting bow and a tournament bow for that archer.

Lancaster Archery Classic Barebow Division Explained

After the 2015 tournament, the annual Lancaster Archery Classic now features a Barebow Division for recurve archers who prefer to compete with more traditional equipment.

In this video, Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert John Wert explains the equipment allowed for barebow archers in the Classic tournament, which is scheduled for Jan. 21-24, 2016.

(For a complete list of tournament rules, and for registration information, click here.)

It’s important to note that there will be true traditional archers shooting wooden bows and arrows competing in the Classic, along with archers shooting modern, ILF recurves and carbon arrows.

Both setups are legal under the Barebow Division rules, as John Wert explains.

Lancaster Archery Supply Buck Beard

In celebration of hunting season, Lancaster Archery Supply is proud to offer the Buck Beard. TechXPert, and rut-season Buck Beard wearer, John Wert runs through the different sizes of the Buck Beard, explaining when each is suitable during hunting season.

There’s a Buck Beard for the warm days in the early season, the pre-rut, the rut and the late season. Each model is designed to keep you comfortable regardless of when you’re in the woods.

Sebastian Flute Inferno Recurve Bow

Lancaster Archery TechXPert John Wert talks about the Sebastian Flute Inferno recurve bow in this product review. Made of maple, with oak accents and limbs laminated with fiberglass, the Inferno is a good entry-level takedown recurve bow.

It comes in three sizes – 54,62 and 66 inches – and the limbs are offered in a variety of draw weights. With reinforced limb tips, archers can use any string material they want with this bow. It comes standard with a Dacron string.

Samick Journey Takedown Bow

John Wert, Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert, describes in detail the Samick Journey takedown recurve bow. This is a 64-inch bow, made for right- and left-handed archers, which Wert explains is ideal for archers 6 feet tall and taller. It can be used for hunting, or for recreational or 3-D target shooting.

The Journey’s limbs, which come in 5-pound, draw-weight increments from 30-60 pounds, can be removed by unscrewing the limb bolts. The riser is made of several layers of hard maple. The built-in grip is cut and sanded to situate the archer’s hand in the perfect shooting position.

Eagle’s Flight Navajo Jumbo Quiver

Lancaster Archery Supply TechXPert John Wert describes the function and features of the Eagle’s Flight Navajo Jumbo Quiver. This attractive, leather quiver holds four arrows, and is designed for traditional recurve bows and longbows.

As Wert explains, there are three versions of this quiver. One features an elongated lower bar to set the arrows back toward the string, which makes the setup more streamlined. Then there’s the standard bracket, which simply holds the arrows vertical. Both of those quivers attach to the limbs via straps.

There’s also a version that mounts to takedown bows by a bracket that’s attached through the limb bolts.