The Elite Emerge joins the competition in the growing market of bow produced for shooters still growing, allowing them to keep the same bow as they grow instead of buying a new bow each year. The Emerge has some great specifications for a youth bow, and their ability to utilize the same technologies and shootability of their upper end models is a great step in the correct direction for getting shooters hooked on what Elite has to offer. The adjustments accommodate shooters from 24-inches all the way out to 28-inches, and will adjust from peak limb weights of 30-60-pounds. Elite seemed to have missed the mark a bit though on several aspects of producing a bow that will ideally grow with shooters, as they get bigger. The first is that the limbs are only adjustable in ten-pound increments. This assumes shooters on the smaller side of the draw cycle are going to shoot within the same ten-pound draw weight range they will when they grow to the longest draw length adjustment. The purpose of designing a bow that will grow with shooters is to make sure it can grow with shooters, and ten-pound draw weight increments is not ideal. The bow is also the same basic size as a grown ups bow, measuring in at just under 32-inches axel to axel, and tipping the scales at a fairly heavy 4.1-pounds. These numbers are not bad specifications for an adult bow, but the Emerge is not designed to be an adult bow. The final minor let down is the price. An MSRP tag of $999 is the same as an adult bow as well. It would be nice for Elite to differentiate a bit more between this bow and the rest of their lineup if they truly want an entry level model with the ability to grow with shooters.
Elite is not skimping at all with the finish options offered on the 2017 Emerge giving shooters the choice to choose between 20 different camo patterns and color choices while allowing shooters the ability to mix colored risers with different camo limbs. Dealers are more than likely going to have some more popular colors on the shelf, but the ability to order virtually anything you could want straight from the factory is amazing. For camo patters, shooters can opt for KUIU Verde, or KUIU Vias, Realtree Xtra, Realtree Max-1, and Realtree AP Snow. Each of these camo patterns can be added to the limbs for the riser black, hardwoods brown, and olive green riser colors. Shooters more interested in color choices have the option between 12 additional colors including: canyon orange, cobalt blue, surge red, crimson red, serious pink, purple rain, pine green, famous pink, sunset pink, timberwolf gray, vette yellow, and trendy teal. Elite maintains the Rhinodized coating, which is advertised to be longer lasting and more durable than standard finish options. The coating gives the bow a fairly distinct feel, and for typical conditions, it does seem to hold up fairly well for most shooters.
The Emerge riser is fairly typical of an Elite model bow. It has a bridged design above the sight housing, which adds structural integrity and additional support for any torque placed on the riser as the bow is drawn. The riser features a stationary roller guard containment system, which is nice for a bow, designed with youth shooters in mind. There is a mounted string stop system on the back of the riser as well, which features as a Limbsaver dampener. The riser is fairly long considering the 31 7/8-inch axel to axel measurement, but keeps the bow pretty heavy weighing in at 4.1-pounds. Although this weight would be just about right for an adult bow, this is not an adult bow. For shooters on the low end of the draw weight and draw length range, 4.1-pounds may be too heavy for them.
The Elite grip is new for 2017, and the Emerge is outfitted with the new design. This grip features some tiny side plates, which are not overly functional, but help make the bow look a little nicer. The grip has a flat back, which fits great in hand, and is pretty slim allowing for proper hand placement. For those wanting to use the Emerge as a hunting bow, the grip will be chilly because it is the same aluminum the riser is made of.
The Emerge limbs are only adjustable in 10-pound increments, which is the standard for adult bows, but for a bow designed to grow with shooters, it is pretty unfortunate to be so limited. Peak weights for the solid limb designed Emerge bow are available in 30, 40, 50, and 60-pounds. It would be nice for that range to be offered in one limb configuration, or possibly even a 15-pound adjustment versus the ten-pounds they chose. The limbs do get the solid limb Limbsaver dampeners, which have been standard on all solid limb Elite bows in the past.
The SP cam system has a modular adjustment system, which is easy to change from one setting to the next. The design will accommodate shooters in the draw length range of 24-28-inches with the ability to do half-inch increments as well. Based on the IBO speed rating system, the 28-inch setting shoots speeds up to 305 feet per second with a 7-inch brace height, which is an acceptable speed rating for a bow ultimately designed for youth archers. The two-track Elite cam system features a large dwell zone and a rock solid back wall aided by a limb stop on each cam.
The SP cam system feels very similar to higher end Elite models as well. This is a great feature for bows designed for younger shooters, because it allows them all the benefits of an upper end model. This bow feels and shoots exactly like the rest of the Elite lineup despite its target audience being younger or perhaps new archers. The large dwell zone of the Emerge combined with the amazingly solid back wall makes for an ideal combination for shooters the bow is targeted for. The let off and solid wall help shooters really settle in on the target, and the ease of holding the Emerge on target should help with increased accuracy as comfort shooting the same bow increases. For a bow designed for youth archers, the Emerge is really hard to find anything wrong with in regards to the draw cycle and the shootability.
The Emerge bow is created for growing archers, and as designed, it includes technology featured on their highest end models. For the desired audience, the Emerge will work great for every kind of shooting. It can be used in the woods, on the line, or a 3D range, with great success. It was nice for Elite to also offer this bow in every finish option they have, which is also a great feature considering newer archers may simply be interested on the color of the bow alone.
For a smaller archer bow, Elite did a nice job keeping the technology on their upper end models consistent with what is standard on the Emerge model. For a true growing shooter bow, the limbs ten-pound increments are far from ideal, the weight is perhaps too heavy for young shooters, and the axel-to-axel measurement may not be different enough from other Elite bows to be a realistic option for shooters. The $999 price tag may be a bit steep for the intended audience as well. Despite the negatives in the design of a growing archer bow, the Emerge shoots exceptionally well, holds on target great, and will give younger shooters all the advantages of a high-end bow. Those shooters able to commit to a 10-pound draw weight range should give the Emerge a shot. If shooters are not able to stay in a 10-pound range, the bow may get pricey having to purchase different limbs as the shooter gets stronger.