Hoyt 2014 62" Tiburon 40# @ 28"
It means Shark !!
Hoyt seem to do this to me every time.. they throw in a curveball just when you are not expecting it, they did it with the Gamemaster 2 - at the time the "target" looks just didn't float my conservative trad boat - when I eventually got around to shooting it I was shocked and surprised to find a very dependable bow that shoots so predictably you will start to think you have "cracked" archery. Owning a bow named "Tiburon" is going to get you nothing more than smirks, no one will think you have a cool bow, you won't be growling the name in a low guttural tone to intimidate your adversaries. You have to wonder what was in Hoyts head when they named it.... in fact looking at the hunting or trad Hoyt line up you actually start to wonder if they need another bow pitched at the same market as the GM 2, the Dorado and the Buffalo.
I get the Gamemaster 2, utilising their target background and experience there emerges a bow that shoots stable and accurate... and I also get the Fred Eichler Buffalo, a bow with a hunters stamp on it, not to mention the endless stream of 14 year old girls that we get booking into the archery experience venue we run as a result of The Hunger Games in which this bow features as perhaps the star of the show. The Dorado, well, that's a fish and I have never shot one .... which brings us to the 4th bow in the Hoyt hunting series - the 2014 Tiburon.
We should start with what it looks like... it's pretty similar in overall appearance to the GM 2 with the funky riser "extra bit thing". The riser is 21" which is longer than most trad style bows will sport, it's cut way past centre so you have plenty of tuning room, the grip is slim with a low wrist position. The whole bow weighs in at 3.2#, which has a meaty heft to it.........and it's the full blackout version, (see, now, they can do it with names... because "full Blackout" sounds great- a little bit special forces and a little bit like something deadly lurking in the shadows) it is available in several options but this one looks the best by some margin. If you are the kind of guy that likes to screw rods and things in to the front of your bow you are well accommodated here as there are 3 bushings on the front of the riser.
This bow is 62" and there are 3 versions available which include a 60" and a 64" - I probably would have chosen the bow in 64" due to the nature of its design but as only the 62" was available to me at the time that's what I got. At this point I would like to thank Nathan Eavy for the loan of his brand spanking new bow, the deal was... I tune it and I can shoot it - he gets a bow tuned to perfection and I get to play with a new toy.
I just love putting together a new bow and the feeling of excitement and expectation, especially as I very much rate the GM 2 - the review I did a couple of years ago on it didn't necessarily have me raving and jumping up and down, however in the intervening years I have shot a whole arsenal of bows and the GM 2 will hold its own in ANY company. Hoyt will know this, they also know that for a trad archer the addition of the target style riser might be a step too far, which I guess is why the Buffalo exists, to appeal to the guy that doesn't want a pressure button or fancy bits sticking out - I have shot the Buffalo, although I have never managed to get a full review done, once again it shoots steady and with stability and accuracy, so as I fit together the Formula system limbs to the slick long riser I again ponder where exactly this bow is aimed and which bit of their own market are they trying to poach archers from...
The bow "sniks" together nicely - I haven't huge experience with ILF or Formula limb fitments and most of my bows have been custom jobs with a good old fashioned bolt or nut- I find the slip together limb system a little disconcerting as they flap about whilst you manoeuvre the bow putting a string on it.
Having said that, these limbs are tight and solid in the mounting. I generally just get stuck in with set up and tuning using my own tried and trusted method. I don't usually bother checking out bowyers guidelines regarding brace as during the tuning process the most suitable brace height will reveal itself anyway.
But, there is almost no info about this bow on the net so I did in fact trawl about looking for as much material as I could find, all that was available to me was Hoyts own blurb and brace recommendation of 7-8" on the web and the instructions which came with the bow indicating a brace of 7 1/2" to 8 1/2" - if this were my first bow I would be confused - add to that the fact that when the string is on the bow, as supplied, the brace is a tad over 8 1/2"...............
Here's something that really pisses me off (I generally refrain from foul language when reviewing kit, there really is no need for it- however sometimes something upsets you to the point that only a bad word will suffice!!) by taking out the few twists that the string actually posseses the lowest I can get the brace is 8"- REALLY Hoyt ????... that is pretty mean with the string material - I guess I could remove all the twists and I might, just maybe get down to 7 7/8" - that is more than upsetting and I can imagine some poor guy that can't make his own strings being somewhat flummoxed at this point - especially galling as in the box Hoyt have provided all manner of goodies...
You get some nice looking seal skin cut outs to go under the string for the limb tips, you get some great cushion material for the beautifully radiused shelf and a lovely foam backed strike plate, there are some string leeches too and even a little Hoyt key ring, the bag is a very nice roll case which will take the bow broken down along with some accessories and I reckon you could get another set of limbs in there too..- oh,..... you also get a Hoyt sticker for your forehead............. but .........the damn string is too short.
I can't tune a bow with a string with 1 twist every 4 inches so I make a new one... I guess it has to be all black and although Hoyt have thoughtfully provided some string leeches I will stick with a few puffs of black sexy wool at the quarter points - it's a 14 strand Dynaflight 10 string, padded out to 18 at the tips.... if I recall the GM 2 started out a bit noisy so I am taking no chances as I expect some "boing".
Rather than shoot off the shelf I want to use an elevated rest, the Tiburon has a thread for a button so I intend to use it - I had great results with a Cavalier Freeflyte rest on the GM 2 so I have put on the exact same rest. The string is now on and I start at my preferred brace of 7 1/4".
The riser is skinny, really skinny which initially caused me some concern but after a couple of shots I had forgotten it because from the very first draw I was spellbound. Smooth and silky the string comes back to anchor, my draw is dead on 28" and the bow feels like syrupy toffee and upon release the arrow flies straight and true. There is no noise, there is no handshock, the string leeches are not required as there is no discernable vibration and I favour wool over any other string dampener. Over the years I have moved away from low wrist grip bows and now find myself drawn to comfy full on recurve grips, my initial inspection of the riser grip left me with a feeling that although the bow possessed all the things one might expect on a recurve the grip was full on longbow - that's interesting, because if you are a trad shooter coming from a longbow or flatbow this is going to be a breeze to shoot and you will be an instant convert...... if you are a recurve shooter with little experience of low wrist grip bows then you might find it a little odd - happily the grip is detachable and replaceable, there are enough grips out there made by Hoyt that you will in all probability find one to suit you.
Once I had committed to "heeling" the bow I could see that Hoyt knew their business and when I was shooting I didn't even notice where my wrist was which has to be a good sign.
That was just too easy... despite the bow shooting exactly as I would want I decided to play around with the brace - it's always a good idea the get the height down to the lowest possible that the bow will take and still shoot great, those extra few 16ths will be adding cast - as it turned out the bow shot just fine anywhere up to 8" - there is no real need to go higher and even though everything was still quiet and straight at 7" it just felt better at 7 1/4" - the addition of the Cavalier freeflyte made arrow tuning a breeze and I found that my tapered 50/55# arrows were coming out like supersonic darts.
This isn't quite the end of the story though, the more I play with this bow the more I realise it might just have made the entire line of Hoyt hunting bows redundant and would be my first choice despite its silly name..
What we have here is the best of the Buffalo and the best of the GM 2 all rolled into one superb package..
We have the paralever system which allows a weight adjustment of up to 2.5# either way which means that you actually have 2 bows - where you might buy a 40# bow as this one is marked - in fact when we weighed it up we found it a tad over 42# which means we have not only bought a 40# bow but a 45# too.... what a hell of a deal, what a hell of a bow..
I almost didn't bother to put in the speed figures, why ? bcause it's immaterial how fast this bow shoots - it's that good that I really don't care - having said that this bow is no slouch, but it wasn't the actual speed itself that made me look twice at the chrono... it was the fact that I kept getting the same numbers coming up.. dead on the same numbers !... I like to think my form is pretty good right now but I have never had a bow that just kept feeding me the same number every shot. Either I have become "Borg" or this baby is super consistent.....
12 shots off finger at my draw of 28" - discard the top 3 and the bottom 3 and average the rest
450gn 10.71gn/# 174 fps
500gn 11.90gn/# 170 fps
This adjustment facility means that trad archers can now get into the whole tiller adjustment thing - shoot 3 under?-- not an issue, want to change the way the bow feels on the draw? not an issue just start playing with the adjustment screws - As I mentioned... I have shot the Buffalo - nice bow... but... this is the bow the Buffalo should have been and it's the bow the GM 2 would like to be - I have a whole heap of bows at this time, I think maybe 17, they range from some old classics to some very recent superbows - I will put them all on the table and trade any one of them for one of these. Er, well, all of them apart from my 1974 Border Reiver......
Hoyt are no mugs, with a target track record that speaks for itself it was only a matter of time before they absolutely nailed the "trad" market - there are prettier bows and there are faster bows, there are bows with better names and bows that cost a whole bunch more - none of that matters because this bow will punch the arrows where you look, it's simple and easy to tune, it's stable, forgiving, well balanced and accurate, it boasts a whole host of features and extras, limbs from the Hoyt Formula range will be interchangeable too.
It will cost you around £600 or so which is neither cheap nor expensive in the grand scheme of things but in terms of value, in terms of "Bang for yer Buck" - this bow delivers..... in spades.
Features & Design
Hoyt claim to use all 85 years of archery knowledge to make this bow - I imagine they did because it has everything you could want and everything they had offered on an individual basis with other hunter models, this bow has them all and is a Masterpiece!
Don't judge a bow on pure fps figures - this bow is no slouch and it also performs in all the other areas that archers argue about as being the most important, this bow is the decathlete of bows - it can do everything and it can do it well..
Value for Money
BANG !!!! BANG !!! In the States you can find this bow for around $700. UK and European archers may well find that this £430 bow is on sale here for £700 which means you will be better off buying from the States.
If you are thinking of buying a new bow but don't have enough to buy one of these then wait... just wait till you have more money or save harder.