Mathews Monster XLR8 Review
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Editors' reviewThe Mathews Monster XLR8 is an extremely fast compound bow with a stiff draw cycle, short valley, and a solid back wall. This is the fastest bow from the Monster series. With the brace height of 5 inches, this bow is less forgiving then the other two rigs from the series: the standard Mathews Monster and the Mathews Monster 7.0.
Riser, limbs, and gripThe Monster XLR8 is outfitted with a fully machined reflexed riser, a one piece Inline Walnut grip, and split limbs that reach past parallel angles at full draw. Some archers do not like the grip, saying it is way too big. While some people prefer to replace the grip to improve shootability, others believe the factory grip is good enough. In our opinion, this is a matter of personal preference. If you don't like this big Mathews grip you can always replace it with a slimmer one.
Eccentric systemThe Mathews Monster XLR8 is equipped with a stiff-drawing dual cam AVS eccentric system, advertised to hit IBO speeds exceeding 360 FPS. To reach such great IBO speeds the Mathews design team had to reduce the brace height to 5 inches, thus reducing forgiveness even further. The AVS is the first Mathews dual cam system designed by Mathews engineers to step into the fastest bows market. The draw length is adjustable from 25 to 30 inches though a set of interchangeable modules without using a bow press.
Draw cycle / ShootabilityDue to its aggressive eccentric system and short brace height, this bow gets different reviews from different archers based on their form and skills. While some shooters like the way this rig shoots, others say it's extremely difficult to draw. In our opinion, this is a normal situation because the Monster XLR8 is not for everyone due to its aggressive design and fast speeds. Therefore, we strongly recommend shooting this bow before buying unless you are a big fan of fast bows and are used to a stiff draw cycle. While this bow has a stiff draw cycle, the back wall is very solid as confirmed by multiple test conducted by archers and experts. It is important to note that the valley is very short and requires getting used to. While some people say you need to shoot this bow at least 50 times to start getting consistent results, we believe it really depends on your form.
While the Monster XLR8 is less forgiving than the standard Monster, the draw cycle is a little bit smoother as noted by many archers who tested this rig. This is due to an enhanced version of the AVS cam installed on the standard Monster.
So, if you have only shot smooth single cam bows before, this rig might not be the best match for you unless you are willing to try a faster bow and sacrifice smoothness. If, however, you are an experienced shooter addicted to fast and stiff bows, it's very likely you will like this bow.