Andrew Smith goes long with the latest Uukha riser…
The Uukha Xpro2 riser, new for 2019, is available in 25″ and 27″ versions. With a 30.5″ draw I was looking to upgrade my ageing Uukha Xprolite, and was all set to put my order in for a 25″ riser, when I received an email from Patrick at the company:
“Andrew: at your drawlength our tests show that you would benefit from a more stable shot, resulting in higher scores, shooting our new 27″ riser with your long Uukha XX HM Limbs” – Best regards, Patrick
I have been around archery a long time and this statement seemed contrary to what I experience daily, helping club archers struggling to get good sight marks at the longer distances because their bows were too long for their draw length.
However, with the introduction of unique manufacturing techniques and modern materials, Uukha now challenge this claim and believe that many more archers would benefit from the stability of shooting a longer bow.
In April Ferdinand Delille tied the French national record of 684 for a 70m round shooting a 74″ Uukha bow. But we all know that there is a world of difference between what top international archers do and the rest of us, so the question is would a club/county archer see the same benefits as those at the very top?
Let the challenge begin
To find out Uukha loaned me a Xpro2 27″ riser to test for a month. I am by no means a top archer, sitting in that club/county archer bracket with a competition WA70 PB of 618.
For the test I used my existing 70″ bow as a reference point (Uukha Xprolite) and swapped my current 36# Uukha XX HM Carbon limbs between each riser. (I used the same Easton X10s on both.)
Uukha are well known for making unique, fast, smooth limbs across the range and the riser is made with the same monolith construction; these are not mass produced products.
I have been lucky enough to visit the factory and I can honestly say that the method of construction means each riser is as good as hand-made, somewhat justifying the 10 week leadtime.
The benefits of this type of carbon construction means that the manufacturer has total control over the flexing of the riser and its shooting characteristics, unlike aluminium risers.
The construction is the same as the 25″ version with just a slight modification to the final bow geometry, which helps performance without the loss of stability. The limb pockets have a unique, very simple secure ILF adjustment system that does away with fiddly shims and grub screws. The detent fitting also ensures that your limbs cannot fall out of the limb pocket when the bow is unstrung.
The choice of seven grip shapes is a welcome bonus for many, negating the need to make aftermarket modifications. (My favourite is the standard U1.) The clicker fitting is recessed, so a blade clicker sits flat to the riser and the magnetic fitting clicker plate reduces the bulkiness seen on some risers to accommodate a bushing. At 1225g, the mass weight is pretty light for a 27″ riser.
After fitting my limbs to the 27″ riser and setting them at 39lb on the fingers it was good to see that everything was completely straight, this made the setup of the button and centreshot easy.
As a starting point I decided to keep the button spring pressure the same as my 70″ bow and the tiller again the same, 5mm positive and an initial brace height of 23cm (throat of grip).
To tidy up the nocking point and tiller I shot a balanced bareshaft and fletched arrows at 18m. At 70m I found that just a few clicks to stiffen the spring tension was required to get the arrows flying well. This was good news because I really would be comparing everything like for like.
So, first impressions were very pleasing especially given the cold easterly wind across the range and my groups and scoring arrows (ends of 50/51) were comparable to my current bow, but everything felt more solid and stable.
First off, an arrow speed test showed both bows at 196fps, I was expecting the 72″ bow to be slower. My 120g points and 18 strand string slow things down a bit, but I do prefer a stable shot over gaining a few extra fps.
(I find a lot less wind drift with 120g points, which last year translated into higher scores.) Delving further into the figures, the draw force curve and calculations for stored energy and bow efficiency were identical to my 70″ bow.
I settled into shooting the new bow quickly, from a balance point of view I found that I could swap over my current Gillo (GS6) stabiliser system with no adjustment and the bow felt settled with no limb vibration, although it did feel better balanced vertically during the follow through.
At 70m, sight marks for both bows were identical, backing up the draw force curve figures. All seemed good apart from a couple of minor details – my arrows were drifting slightly right at 70m (I am a left hand archer) and the string on my face did not feel quite right.
The second issue was easily solved but it took a bit of time to sort out the first issue which in the end was a head slapping moment, just the simple fact that the Xpro2 27″ riser sight window is cut a fraction more over centre and as I line my string up with the edge of the sight window this moved my head and string picture – something I should have picked up when I set the button. A minor adjustment to the sight pin and my arrows were central again.
On to the second issue, this related to the different string angle of the longer bow at full draw, but it did not affect the feel on the fingers as many would expect, but the position of the hand under the chin, the string angle is shallower so I was not getting the hand under the chin in my normal position, which for me affected the feel through the shot. It was such a small issue to correct that after a few ends the problem sorted itself out.
I can’t say much more than I have now bought the riser! The bow is beautifully built, the magnetic clicker fitting does not fall out (an issue I did wonder about).
The finish looks good, the balance of the riser is just right for me in all weather conditions, with minimal weight on the ends of the stabilisers. The bow tells me when I have made a good shot with a satisfying hum and the limbs stop dead.
After a month of shooting and a bit of fine tuning it is now faster at 198fps, fortunately the torsional stiffness of the limbs means that I still get a good tune out of my current arrows. The bow is smoother to draw back giving me even more control over the shot cycle.
All of this has added up to higher practice scores. In my opinion Uukha have been proved right, things have moved on and if you so desire going up a bow length then a 27″ riser will certainly not put you at a disadvantage.
The extra speed over my 70″ bow has been a bonus and a surprise – and perhaps best of all, I enjoy shooting it!