This review is my opinion and mine only. I am not paid by Athens in any way to say this. I just figured I would pass along some info for people who are considering a new bow or an Athens for their next bow.
I was in the market for a new bow and heard a lot of really good things about Athens Archery and was fortunate enough to be selected by Rodney for the Athens Field Staff last week. The only problem was I did not know what bow to order and really wanted to try the bows out before I ordered one. After going to the Athens website I found the closest dealer (Passthru Archery) was in Asheville which was about 2 hours or so from my house. I had to make the trip to the mountains anyway to work on a school project and decided to stop by and try the bows when I was done with the project. Let me tell you, the drive was well worth it!!!!!
I sent Kevin (Passthru Archery) a message on AT and we talked on the phone Sunday and he agreed to meet me at the shop around 6pm today to shoot the bows. I missed the turn to the shop the first time b/c I didn't see the sign and didn't listen to the GPS on my iphone (he told me to turn exactly when the GPS said to but I didn't) but realized it and quickly turned around. After talking with Kevin for a few minutes I realized the guy knew his stuff and he quickly got the main 2 bows out for me to shoot (Accomplice 32 and Ibex). I had gone in undecided on which bow I was going to get. I like the AtA on the Accomplice and the weight on the Ibex and was interested in the grip on the Ibex as well.
I shot the Ibex first set at 29" and 60 lbs. The bow was light and for such a short AtA it held very beautifully but I didn't care for the grip. To me the side plates were a little too short and it just felt awkward in my hands. I know a lot of people love the grip on the Ibex but it just wasn't for me and it was going to be very hard to overcome for me to order it. The draw cycle was very smooth with only a slight and I mean very slight hump towards the end before coming to a rock solid back wall. And I mean rock solid, anybody that has shot a binary cam bow with 2 draw stops knows what I mean. The start of the draw cycle does stack up in weight rather quick and their wasn't much of a valley so if you let up it would jerk you pretty good but nothing like some of the speed bows I had shot, but t hat is to be expected from a bow with the specs of the Ibex. There was zero, and I mean zero, hand shock or vibration on the shot and the arrow was cookin!!! The only down side to the Ibex, besides the short side plates, was the draw length felt short (it was a real 29" draw so it wasn't short, just measured correctly) and the steep string angle was too much for me and I had a hard time getting my nose on the string which felt very weird.
Next I shot the Accomplice 32 at 29" 61 lbs. As soon as I picked up the bow I immediately knew this was the bow for me. The grip as perfect and very comfortable and the bow balanced perfectly. The Accomplice is slightly heavier then the Ibex and you can feel the added weight but it was certainly no heavier then the bow I currently shoot or any other 32" AtA bow on the market and I just couldn't get over how comfortable the bow was in hand and I hadn't even drawn it yet. The draw on the Accomplice stacked very well, not as quick as the Ibex, and was just as smooth as the Ibex. I couldn't feel any hump and the draw cycle ended with the same rock solid wall from the Ibex and if you let up a hair its very controllable and does not jerk on you at all. I immediately noticed the extra 2" in the AtA. The draw still felt a little short (about 1/2") for me but it was a lot more comfortable b/c I could get my nose to the string. The Accomplice shot like butter. It hand absolutely zero hand shock or vibration and the arrows were very quick. I shot the Accomplice a couple more times and every time I picked it up and shot it I knew I had found by next hunting bow and knew I could not get over the grip and string angle on the Ibex. The Ibex is a sweet little bow but it just wasn't for me.
I also got to shoot a couple of arrows out of the Affliction at 29" 61 lbs. That is a sweet bow!!! It is a little heavier then both the Accomplice and Ibex but the weight made it very forgiving and comfortable for a bow that only has a 6.5" brace height. The start of the draw reminded me of the Ibex b/c it stacked beautifully and the end was a lot like the Accomplice b/c there was no hump. Again like the other 2 bows I shot, there was zero vibration or hand shock and the arrows were flat out screaming. One of the other guys there shot it at 50 yards after only shooting it 2 or 3 times at 15 yards and the arrows were touching. The Affliction seemed to be the quietest of the 3 b/c it has double string strops. The other 2 bows were very very quiet but the Affliction was just a hair quieter. If somebody needs a bow to do it all, 3D and hunting, then the Affliction just might be the ticket for you.
I spent an hour and a half shooting the bows and talking with Kevin and it was worth every bit of gas I burned and money spent it took to get there. Kevin was super cool and very helpful. He provided me a lot of good information that I will be able to digest before ordering my Accomplice 32 later this week. If you are in the market for a new bow and have not shot the Athens line of bows you are missing out, big time. When my Accomplice comes in I will get it all set up and get comfortable shooting it and then when I have to be back in Boone for a student teaching meeting with school in late August I will stop by on my way home and get Kevin to tune my bow and get it shooting beautifully before the season starts.