Samick SLB II 69" 35#@28"
As seems to be the way with Korean and Japanese companies, Samick started life producing something very different to the products most archers would associate them with today, an off shoot to the Piano making division Samick Sports was born in April 1975. Zip forward a quarter of a century and Samick now make a huge range of bows from the budget range all the way up to top Olympic recurves.
This bow falls very much within that budget category coming in at less than £100 at most retailers. When you first hold the bow you can see why, it's very much function over style on this one as the brown limbs and rather boring looking laminated Maple are not what you would call eye catching. The bow comes in a set of standard draw weights in 5 pound increments from 30 up to 60 and the one on test was 35# at a 28" draw. It also only come in a 69" length, which is no bad thing as that generally makes for a good all rounder.
I had the chance to test the bow on what was a rather rainy day, hence the wet weather gear and drab appearance in the photos. I measured the draw weight and it was bang on the 35# marked, this is to be expected from an off the shelf mass produced bow but it was good to know as when drawing it felt all if not more than 35#. The limbs are actually pretty narrow but also rather thick with three wood laminations sandwiched between 2 layers of brown fibreglass, the consequent advantage in terms of speed offered by the narrowness will be counteracted by the mass of a thicker limb. There is a rather thin shelf which comes with a felt rest and arrow plate. The standard string is thick and it might be there that you would look for a way to gain a little bit of performance.
The recommended brace height is between 7 1/2" and 8 1/4", I tried a number of different heights and to be honest the sweet spot, if you can call it that was somewhere in the middle of those two figures at a shade under 8" at my draw which is a touch over 28". As you would expect there was hand shock but to be honest it was more in the form of noise and vibration at the limb tips rather than actual shock in the handle and it didn't really detract from the shooting.
I was using a light arrow with a 35-40# spine, this might have been a little stiff as I was having to cant the bow a fair bit to get the arrows where I wanted, but I was consistently grouping in the same place on the target, the 35# draw allowed me to really focus and only release when the time was right.
I was initially sceptical on how this budget bow would perform, but I was very pleasantly surprised, I would imagine as the weight went up you would begin to see the benefit of spending a little more but at 35# it was a really nice experience, I'd recommend this to anybody looking for a cheap bow to get yourself going.
Unfortunately, the weather put paid to any Chronograph readings as I wasn't able to get any consistent readings, however early indications are that speed is not this bows great strength. Once I get the chance and some day light I will update the review with the chronograph readings.
Features & Design
Not exactly stunning to look at and brown is not my favourite choice of colour when it comes to limbs.
Actually not too bad at all given the price.
Value for Money
Great value and ideal as a bow for those just starting archery or coming from different bow styles and wanting to give flatbows a try.
Plenty of performance for the price, not the best looking bow around but it's unlikely to matter as you will likely up grade pretty quickly.