Win & Win was out in Taipei and showing off its new WIAWIS bow
Win & Win has continued to plough its own path through the professional recurve archery world, with its own focus on how to solve and minimise the perennial issues facing manufacturers and archers alike.
In recent years, its archery brand line has been renamed WIAWIS, which is an acronym for ‘Winning Action, Winning Spirit’. (You may or may not know they also make high-end carbon road cycles under the same brand name).
Last year it brought out its META-DX riser, the latest evolution of a long line of curvy carbon risers. For the first time, the top-of-the-line offering included the EHS Harmonic Damper, a product developed and supplied by the American compound manufacturer Mathews.
The success of the META-DX led Win & Win to incorporate the dampers into its distinctive ATF line of aluminium risers, favoured by many professionals on the shooting line. New for 2023, the ATF-DX includes two EHS dampers, one at each end of the riser. It’s not the first time risers have incorporated dampers, but it is the first time they have been included on a top-end riser from a major manufacturer for some time.
The dampers are designed to reduce hand shock and vibration, enhancing the experience and increasing stability. They have further reduced the shock by changing the material in the limb pocket to a specialised plastic, which they say can decrease shock by up to 8%.
Reducing vibration also has an advantage in that accessories like stabilisers and sights are less likely to work themselves free. However, some archers positively like the ‘aluminium feeling’, as distinct from the feeling you get from a carbon riser.
While a lot of discussion centres around feeling, Win & Win was proud of the science and testing that goes into each new evolution of the riser. The focus for the new riser was very much about avoiding torque (unnecessary movement of the bow). The riser also comes with a new adjustable clicker-plate to suit different arrows, which is a welcome addition.
The weight comes in about average for a aluminium riser, with the 25in at 1,360g and the 27in at 1,430g. The company has certainly not skimped on the colour options; the ATF-DX is available in no less than 15 colours, mostly anodised but a handful painted, including a black/red and the ever-popular black/gold two-tone options.
The new riser is supposed to be complemented with a brand new set of limbs that are called the MXT-XP, which come in foam and wood flavours in the usual short, medium and long and in 2lb increments from 28 to 48lbs. These are made, like all top limbs these days, from high modulus carbon and wood or foam (Win & Win declined to say which type of wood was used).
Both of these have two new features: a new limb curve which is designed to tackle the “correlation between stability and speed according to the strain distribution of the limbs”. Essentially, we’re getting something smoother and more stable, especially at full draw, with further increased torsional stability, although these have of course been the goal of limb designers for decades.
The other innovation is a new paint designed specifically to block infrared rays and reduce the temperature of the limbs in direct sunlight. You may have noticed that Hoyt’s new limbs have a similar new coating. (Of course, both of the biggest limb manufacturers updating their limbs to deal with high temperatures cannot possibly have anything to do with the unfortunate violent delamination incident that happened in the extreme conditions seen at the Olympics in Tokyo last year.)
Aesthetics-wise we’re not seeing a push into new territories, but the detailing and finishing of the new recurve offerings was exceptional, as Bow has found with WIAWIS products for years. And they should be: both riser and limbs are now extremely expensive propositions in the UK, with the riser costing the best part of £800 and the limbs the best part of £900 – although the new Hoyt recurve offerings are priced similarly.
As with most new recurve gear, if you want a long handle or some out-of-the-ordinary limbs, you may have to wait a few weeks. It remains to be seen if the performance can justify the price tag. We hope so.