The OK Archery design have been improving over the years and I think the X-Energy is the pinnacle of this. It is Sexyyyyyy ! It’s subjective of course, but my friends (who shoot PSE and Hoyt) like the design.
Why did I choose to add the ATA Extender on the X-Energy 39 platform? First of all I want to make it clear: this bow will only be used for indoor shooting. So I'm looking for as much stability and forgivness as possible (to the detriment of speed). Longer Axle to axle bow are generally more stable and easier to shoot both indoors and outdoors and the greater string angle allows for more comfortable face anchor. For the record, the Active Stop on limb does not work with the ATA Extension! Again not a problem for me as I think the wall is strong enough as it is.
(Hersteller Info: In Zukunft gibt es auch einen harten Stopp für die ATA Extender)
The X-Energy 39 riser is bigger and heavier than the X-Energy 36 (no, really ?) but not as much as you can think. 70gr difference between the 2 risers … impressive. But what if i need more weight ? The X-ENERGY platform has a longer lower limb bolt. This gives you the option to add weight to the bottom, center of the vertical axis. Don’t underestimate this option ; it will change the shot feeling and how your bow react to the shot. I like a heavy riser ; it adds stability for me (I like to lower the center of gravity) and I find it easier to make a good shot with my release (Tension activated release) when the bow is heavier.
The multi layer ergo grip:
The machining is awesome, and ergonomic! It puts the hand in direct contact with the riser. I thus find a hand pressure in the Grip naturally strong. And I like that. I already talked about the difference between the Absolute grip and the X-Energy grip (cf. XE37.5 review). This time I’d like to quickly talk about Torque Tuning.
If you don’t know what Torque tuning is you can read "Understanding Torque Tuning" from Tim Gillingham.
I like to use the Torque tuning method after my bow is set and ready (you need to be sure everything is set up before you torque tune or it will not work).
For indoor archery I think it is not as important as what it is for outdoor. But since the goal of this bow is to be forgiving I had to do it. It was harder than I thought. Why ? Because for indoor you shoot “only” at 18m (20 yards). And to my surprise I had a hard time torquing the X-Energy. Don’t get me wrong, I can torque it if I do not set my bow hand the right way (but I can feel something is not right). The hand has full contact with the grip and I can easily feel the pressure point when I am in. I must force it if I wanted to torque it. That’s why I said in my XE 37.5 review that the grip was perhaps the biggest new benefit of the X-Energy platform ... at least it is for me (in the end I moved back my arrow rest a tiny bit; the sweet spot for the torque tuning was easy to find).
I also wanted to talk briefly about the adjustable stabilization mount. That’s a new feature of the X-Energy platform that you have never seen before on any other bow. (as OK Archery said, not yet :p). Being able to adjust the length up to 1 inch from the middle position – back or forward is again a very nice tuning option. Why ? Because again I’m able to micro adjust the balance of my bow. Normally the only way to change this balance is to change the weights (or the angle of the stabilizer).
Another feature I like a lot (not new since it was also on the Absolute riser). The riser has two holes for fixing the arrow rest. This is useful for locking and and securing the arrow rest, or using it to slide it and adjust the pivot point (in particular to address the torque tune it).
The fine adjustment / tuning of a compound bow is very important to me; and I have never been disappointed with OK Archery bows. The X-Energy make no exception and goes even further !
New Target Cam – 8 inches brace height
Visually it is different. My archery friends call it the Square cam J
Like its sister, the draw length is adjustable by interchangeable module: Number for 70% letoff, letter for 60% letoff. And each module has 5 settings (0.25 inches per setting).
What does this new cam bring?
First, lets talk about the the brace height. The brace height mean the distance between the deepest part of the bow riser, and the string in its loose position. The brace height influences an archer's power stroke (distance from the bow grip to the archer's full draw position). The powerstroke then affects the amount of time the arrow stays in contact with the string before launching past the riser. ... This could make the shot (and bow) more or less forgiving (of course the forgivness of the bow is relative to your draw length).
With this new cam, welcome to the world of a 8 inches brace height. Speed decreases around 10 fps compared to the original Chili Cam.
Ok, but did it make a difference for me ?
First of all, I never struggle to draw my bow with the original Chili cam (I tried the medium and large cam) and I always find drawing my bows easy and smooth. But I find it easier with this new cam. Perhaps it’s because of the release shoulder angle that is less closed when the brace height is larger. The first part of the draw (until you reach the peak) feel the same as the Chili medium cam. But I found the part after the peak smoother than the standard Chili cam. Again this is subtile and since my bows are not the same I am not 100% sure of this.
In the end it’s very hard to know for sure if it is more forgiving. But I can talk about an exercice (from Nuts&Bolts of Archerytalk) I did with it. I shot one arrow on a target face at 10m. Then i tried to shot the same arrow again and again in the same hole. I failed my 145th shot (76 shots the first day, 77 the second day). I never did this before !
To sum up, a very strong bow, with formidable stability and a lot of "forgivness". The combination of the new target cams and the 40.5 Axle to Axle makes it a fantastic bow for indoor archery. Now all I have to do is "training" and have fun in competitions.