Mathews Avail Review
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Mathews went back to the drawing board to create a really great high-end option for women archers to shoot for 2017. The technologies and integrated specifications were created with serious female archers in mind, and the result is a high-end bow that performs just like any other top of the line bow, except this one was created specifically for the ladies in mind. The cams are a mini version of the Crosscentric system, and offers draw lengths ranging from 22-28-inches in length. The Avail also weighs in at just under 4-pounds at 3.96-pounds. Draw weights are available with maximum weights of 40, 50, and 60-pounds combined with an 80% let off. Mathews also outfits the Avail with five different color options, three of which are brand new to Mathews for 2017. The Avail graphics are fairly minimal, but the pink and yellow may turn some female shooters off a bit. It is not as intense as the Passion graphics were from several years ago, but some ladies are not into making their bow frilly. The $999 price point puts the Avail in competition with almost every other female hunting bow on the market, but with the technology incorporated, shooters are going to get what they pay for with the Avail rig. Serious female shooters should give the Avail a shot, it is well designed and has features women will appreciate.
FinishThe 2017 finish options for Mathews are the most diverse they have ever been. Ladies wanting less of a hunting look can opt for all black or stone finishes on their Avail. These colors look awesome, and the pink and yellow graphics look outstanding when applied over the darker solid colors. Ladies wanting a more camo look can choose Mathews own Lost Camo XD pattern, or go with the newly offered Optifade Elevated II, Optifade Sub Alpine, or Ridge Reaper Barren patterns. These three choices look absolutely stunning in person, and give shooters more than the traditional camo bow choices. More factory choices from the factory are always a good thing.
RiserThe Avail riser looks very similar to the 2016 Halon riser at first glance. With a 30-inch axel-to-axel measurement, and a fairly straight riser, the riser truly makes up most of that length. The overall weight is lighter than the original Halon series, with the Avail weighing in at 3.96-pounds before accessories are added. Just like the past Mathews' men's lineup, the Avail also features a dual bridged riser at the top and bottom. This does add additional weight, but it makes up for it in added strength and stability where the riser is most likely to twist as the bow is drawn. The Avail also incorporates the harmonic dampener and harmonic stabilizer, a reverse assist roller guard system, the latest Dead End string stop system, and a forward mounting stabilizer hole as standard equipment. Each of these designs makes the bow almost identical to the men's line up. Basically, the Avail features everything shooters love about the men's bows in a slightly smaller version, more optimized for women archers.
GripThe flat back grip gets the nod for the grip of choice on the Avail bow. This grip is one of the simplest designs Mathews has utilized with virtually no contour. The back is completely flat, and uniform from the top to the bottom of the handle. The rubber composite steps away from the tradition of wooden grips from Mathews, although shooters can get the wooden insert to keep with the Mathews heritage. The grip fits perfectly in the shooters hand, and is very difficult to torque or grab incorrectly. The grip promotes proper hand placement, and is very repeatable, despite its fairly ugly overall appearance. The bottom line is that from a functional standpoint, the flat back grip is outstanding.
LimbsThe wide track split limb technology featured on the Avail is great for creating a solid shooting platform and keeping the cams from causing torque and twist on the limbs. They are offered in maximum draw weights of 40, 50, and 60-pounds. It would be nice for an offering of 30-pound maximum limbs as well, especially for those women just getting started and needing some lighter poundage. However, in Mathews defense, those shooters are more likely to be looking at different models instead of a top of the line bow like the Avail. The graphics on the limbs are nice with pink and yellow being the dominant colors used. Although it does not look super girly, some ladies may prefer a different color option. Most will find the colors and graphics very appealing, and they really pop on the black and stone finish offerings.
Eccentric SystemThe Mathews lineup has a great offering in the Crosscentric cam system. The Avail does not feature these cams, but they do feature what is essentially mini Crosscentric Cams, which should have better short draw efficiency. The cams feature 80% let off, and is a modular based adjustment system from 22-28-inches. The cam system also has an impressive IBO speed rating of 320 feet per second. The cams are built on the Mathews No Cam and AVS systems combined, which create a very useable cam with a great feel and superb efficiency. The virtually circular cam makes for an easy drawing bow, and has no surprises in the draw cycle in regards to humps or dumps. The cams synchronization works in such a way that the cams are always in the same spot as each other. The arrow starts with a perfect vertical nocking point, and they maintain vertical plane the entire draw force curve. This creates a bow that is easy to draw, easy to tune, easy to hold, and it can flat out shoot.
Draw Cycle/ShootabilityThe Avail was designed to incorporate the features of the Crosscentric Cam System, while still being more specific for shorter draw shooters. The result is a mini version of the Halon cam system. This draws effortlessly as one would expect having any experience with the Halon. However, the smaller diameter cams make the draw cycle even better than the Halon in regards to how smooth it is and how effortless it is to pull and hold on target. The just under 4-pound bow is a nice weight for most female shooters as well. The 4-pound mark really seems to be the cutoff between heavy and light for men's bows, so the Avail would seem to be a touch on the heavy side for a ladies bow. However, it balances so well on target, and the pin float is so tiny, the Avail really does feel and hold great downrange when combined with the 80% let off module. After the shot, the Avail remains on target and feels wonderful in the hand. It is quiet and does not have any hand shock felt in the system after releasing the arrow. The performance is noticeable as well. The arrow is zippy to the target, and the rig simply feels top shelf the entire time.
Usage ScenariosThe Avail is a nice bow designed for female archers. For the most part, the Avail was designed with hunting in mind. However, female archers wanting to expand on the uses of their new bow will find the Avail does well with 3D shoots as well. For straight target shooting there may be a few options designed more specifically towards that style of shooting. However, the Avail has a great design for female shooters wanting to hunt or do weekend 3D shoots with friends and family.
Avail vs. Halon 6
|Bow||Mathews Avail||Mathews Halon 6|
|Brace Height||6 "||6 "|
|AtA Length||30 "||30 "|
|Draw Length||22 " - 28 "||25 " - 31 "|
|Draw Weight||30 lbs - 60 lbs||30 lbs - 70 lbs|
|IBO Speed||320 fps||345 fps|
|Weight||3.96 lbs||4.55 lbs|
|Where to buy|
Best prices online
|compare more bows|
Mathews Avail and Mathews Halon 6 are similar in brace height and axel-to-axel measurements. There really is not one bow that performs better than the other; it is just a preference thing, like most decisions in the archery world. The Avail is lighter, has a better draw force curve for shorter draw archers, and has some cool graphics women may appreciate more than the Halon graphics. Each bow has a lot to offer shooters. However, with the Avail being designed specifically for women in mind, it may make sense for ladies interested in a new Mathews to give it a shot.