The Mathews Stoke is a high performance flagship bow shrunk down to meet the needs of younger shooters. With draw lengths adjustable from with a modular system from 21-27-inches, the Stoke is every bit as masterfully crafted as the 2016 Halon from Mathews. The bow does come with a giant price tag as well with an MSRP of $999 bare bow. However, for those youngsters needing the absolute top of the line, the Mathews Stoke offers what few youth bows have before it. With the ability to adjust 6-inches, shooters will have the bow a long time as well, so that may help justify the price point for some shooters wanting more of a bargain.
The Stoke comes outfitted with several nice finish choices to choose from. Although not all the adult bow finishes are offered with the Stoke, it does come with the Stone, Black, and Lost Camo XD finishes. To go along with these adult offerings, the Stoke can also be finished in a cool yellow color, which features black limbs to help add a bit more flair to the look. Each of the patterns look great on the bow, and the finish is durable enough to withstand the abuse younger archers can have on equipment.
The Stoke riser is the same riser feature wise as the beloved Halon series from the 2016 line up. The overall axel-to-axel measurement is shorter coming in at 27 1/4-inches, but the dual bridged riser virtually unchanged. The dual bridged riser is still in play with the top and bottom of the riser having some more added stability and strength to accommodate the massive Crosscentric Cam system. The dampening system includes a current model Dead end String Stop system, a harmonic dampener, and a harmonic stabilizer just like each of the adult hunting bow models. In addition, the Stoke riser also gets a front mounting stabilizer hole as well. To say this bow is the every bit as special as the flagship Halon is absolute truth. The Stoke is not designed to simply look the part of a compound bow, it is every bit as technologically advanced as a high-end adult hunting bow. The overall weight of 3.78-pounds is a bit heavy for some youth shooters to manage, but that extra mass could be beneficial in holding steady down range too. If youngsters are able to properly maintain good form while shooting, the result of being sturdier on target will be beneficial for them.
Again, the Mathews Stoke utilizes the same grip the rest of the line up uses with the flat back grip. This grip is nothing fancy to look at, but keeps shooters hand positioned on the bow properly, is difficult to torque, and fits well in all sized hands given the simplistic design of the grip. The grip looks a bit cheap, but the inset displaying the Mathews logo on the one-piece grip is a saving grace for it making the bow look cheap. Keep in mind, this is the same grip used across the board on the Mathews hunting lineup, it is just not much to look at on any 2017 offering from Mathews.
The split limbs on the Stoke are finished off with some yellow Stoke graphics, giving the bow a cool flair. The graphics are tastefully done, and easily blend in with the simplistic look of the Halon 32 and Avail for 2017. Maximum draw weights are available in 40, 50, and 60-pounds as well. It would be nice for the draw weight to be more adjustable, but with a youth bow of this caliber, having more limb adjustment can cause more sponge, and less efficiency as well. The limbs are still a wider shorter limb, which maintains the same rectangular look featured on the Avail and the Halon 32. When side-by-side, the bows all look identical, with slight changes in the axel-to-axel measurements and brace heights. The limb pockets do a great job of simply blending in, although they are designed to keep the wide limbs in position the entire draw cycle.
The Stoke features the same cam system placed on the Halon series bows. How often can youth shooters say they are shooting the same technology located on the high-end adult hunting bows? The answer is very few. With an IBO set up, the Stoke would shoot 344 feet per second, which is unheard of performance from a youth bow. The modular based system is adjustable with 80% rock mods from 21-27-inches. This bow is designed to fit shooters for a very long time, and the ability for the draw length to grow with shooters by simply changing out a module is a really great feature as well. The Crosscentric cam system also features the AVS design, which forces both cams to be in perfect synchronization with each other throughout the entire draw force curve.
This youth bow feels nothing like a youth bow. The draw cycle, the fit and finish, the craftsmanship, and the engineering of the Stoke are all equivalent to what Mathews produces for its adult consumers. The shooting experience from the bow is the exact same. The draw cycle is crisp and easy to maintain all the way through the 80% let off and up the cable stop assisted back wall. After the shot, the bow is shock and vibration free, and the performance is solid as well. If the Stoke made it to a 70-pound 30-inch spec rig, it would be flinging arrows 344 feet per second, which is faster than the Halon 32 6-inch brace height adult hunting bow. Long in the past are the days with a spongy, strange feeling draw cycle for youth shooters. The Stoke can flat out shoot, and feels amazingly well built for any kind of bow. When considering this is a youth bow, the wow factor is definitely in play.
The Stoke is a do it all youth bow with everything top of the line for smaller shooters. There is nothing about the Stoke that says typical youth bow. It is designed off and utilizes most of the Halon technologies and features, which makes it a youth bow in a class by itself. If this is the new standard for youth bows, many archers will want to relive their childhoods because this bow is far better than anything most archers learned to shoot with. For youth archers, this bow will truly do everything they want it to.
The Stoke is one of the most feature packed youth bows on the market. It literally has the flagship Mathews Crosscentric cam system as the driving force of the rig, and the rest of the bow fits the bill of being a high-end adult hunting bow. The $999 price tag is high end as well, but considering the technology and ability the Stoke has to grow with younger shooters, it should still be in the running for any youth shooter wanting to step up the quality of their equipment. Mathews is responsible for many shooters getting their star in archery, and the Stoke just made that starter bow phenomenal.