Bear Kuma LD Review
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The Kuma LD is the long draw big brother of the Kuma, which accommodates larger shooters with draw lengths from 27-32-inches with a modular based cam system. The Kums LD joins a short list of bows offered for longer draw shooters, and is well received amongst the target audience. The Kuma LD has a ton to offer longer draw shooters, and should be a very popular hunting bow for those on the market. The LD is fairly compact for larger framed shooters at 33 1/4-inches axel-to-axel, the geometry of the limbs and the shape of the cams creates a comfortable string angle. It is a shame Bear chose only two finish options on this particular long draw bow. It would be great to see the Kuma LD offered in all five of the options available on the normal sized Kuma, but the two choices available look outstanding. This bow is backed by the Fred Bear Legend Series name, and proudly represents the respected heritage. For a suggested retail price of only $899, this flagship bow should be very popular in the woods this Fall.
FinishThe 2018 Kuma bow has five awesome looking finishes available. The longer Kuma LD only has two choices for shooters to choose from, which is a shame. The two choices are the camo pattern of Badlands Approach and the new solid Iron finish. Both of these options look outstanding, and Bear has always produced long lasting finishes on their archery products so the quality is not questionable either. The other three camo patters on the Kuma are awesome though, and for those to be missing on the Kuma LD really stinks.
RiserThe Kuma LD riser is a piece of work, and adds to how desirable the bow is as a whole package. Perhaps the largest design bonus is the Bearcage machining technique. The caged design starts out as a thick forged piece of aluminum, and is trimmed down from there to eliminate extra weight as well as maintain the structural integrity of the entire system. This happens on the top and bottom of the riser, and also helps incorporate the dual Sonicwave strip stop systems, which have been streamlined a bit for 2018 to have a smaller profile. The front mounting stabilizer bushing is also part of the standard equipment offered.The Roller HingeGuard cable system is a nice technology feature to have on the Kuma LD also. This helps smooth out the draw cycle a bit with the roller guard and the hinging cable slide moves to a position the cams fight to be in to help eliminate torque placed on the riser. Ultimately, this leads to a more accurate set up, and one that performs down range better than a system with more riser torque.The riser makes up a large amount of the 33 1/4-inch axel-to-axel measurement, leading to some pretty great stability. The brace height created on the Kuma LD is 6.5-inches, which is a great mixture of forgiveness and speed. The bow also tips the scales at 4.3-pounds, which is pretty standard for a bow this size in 2018. The 4-pound mark used to be the benchmark for aluminum riser bows, but that trend has shifted to a little heavier weight over the past couple years. The added ounces helps keep the bow dead after the shot, and it helps many shooters hold more still downrange as well. Both bonuses in regards to how the bow feels, and the added weight is not super noticeable.
GripBear offers two distinct grips for the Kuma LD. The rubber one-piece grip is the standard grip for the Kuma LD, and is the larger of the two offerings. The back of the grip is flat, and fits well in the hand right along the lifeline. The slim grip is also available for the Kuma LD, for shooters wanting a smaller version. The design is similar in regards to the flat back and shape, but the thinner slim grip is closer to what many shooters are demanding for 2018. For Bear to have multiple grip offerings available really shows how open they are to customer feedback. The grip is very personal, and offering two choices allows the company to reach more potential shooters. This is a great move by Bear, and appreciated by the customers interested in a Kuma LD.
LimbsThe Max Preload Quad Limbs are featured on the Kuma LD. Bear limbs have always been built to last, and the engineering behind distributing the weight across the entire limb has proven to be beneficial. Bear offers two limb configurations for the Kuma LD with a 45-60-pound model and a 55-70-pound version. The added draw weight range is appreciated although most adult shooters will set a weight and leave it where it is. The BearTrap limb pocket system is a metal pocket designed to hold the limbs securely to the riser. The pockets are designed to allow zero tolerance throughout the draw cycle, which should help improve accuracy.
Eccentric SystemThe EAZ hybrid cam system is the chosen cam for the Kuma LD's extended draw length range. The system flings arrows at 330 feet per second, and is adjustable from 27-32-inches in half-inch increments with a rotating module. The EAZ cams also feature an 80% let-off for anyone with sore shoulders or those wanting to have a lower holding weight at the back end of the draw cycle. In comparison to the standard Kuma, the EAZ cams feature more let-off and a slower speed rating.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityLong draw shooters are limited in the choices they have available to them, and the Kuma LD should stack up against the competition well. The Kuma LD has enough performance for most shooters, although 330 feet per second is far from fast for 2018. The high 80% let-off is becoming more and more desirable for hunters, and it feels really great when combined with the smooth draw cycle the Kuma LD offers. The EAZ cams are smooth, and that is evident just looking at the shape of the cams, which are almost perfectly circular. The string angle feels good, and not too sharp like some long draw bows have. The bow feels perfectly balanced at full draw, and has no vibration or buzz after the shot. The let-off feels perfectly matched to the smooth draw cycle and the solid back wall. Holding on target is effortless with the Kuma LD, and the pin float is so minimal it is almost non-existent.
Usage ScenariosThe Bear Kuma LD is designed with hunting in mind. The Kuma LD will be accurate enough to use for other styles of archery, but it is a designed hunting bow, and will be more comfortable used as such. For those longer draw archers interested in a new target rig, there are likely better options available to them. With that being said, those wanting their hunting bow to double as a weekend 3D bow, the Kuma LD will have no problem delivering. For those more serious about 3D archery, there are better choices. For a hunting bow, especially at the longer end of the draw length range, it will be tough to find a better bow.
Bear Kuma LD vs. Kuma
For most shooters looking at the Bear Kuma LD, the decision is going to be clear. The long draw version is geared towards those with longer draw cycles, and the Kuma LD is the clear winner. However, for those shooters with draw lengths offered on both rigs, the decision is not as clean cut. The Kuma will squeeze out a bit more performance with the H18 cams versus the EAZ cams on the LD. However, the Kuma LD adds a little axel-to-axel length and a longer brace height, which some shooter may appreciate. Both choices are outstanding, and personal preference with dictate which bow makes the most sense for each shooter. If nothing else, shooters may want to consider the Bear Kuma has more finish options available, and that may be the deciding factor when deciding which bow to choose.