PSE Nova Review

PSE Nova

Average user rating

PSE Nova Review4.558 out of 8 user reviews


  • Good bow for starters who are on a budget
  • Smooth and easy draw cycle
  • Accurate bow with a generous brace height
  • Modular-adjustable eccentric system
  • Draw length can be easily adjusted without using a bow press
  • Decent bow for the money


  • Overall quality could be better
  • Some modifications could have narrower grips
  • Could be a bit faster

Where to buy

eBay logo
from $69.99
Compare Prices


content from YouTube

Editors' review

The PSE Nova series has been around for more than a decade now. With the first version released in 1997, the Nova has been enhanced many times: a number of different eccentric systems, grips, risers, and other components were introduced over the years. While there are a lot of different versions out there, the Nova can be collectively described as a good starter bow for shooters on a budget: while the overall quality could be better, this is a decent bow for the money.


While there were a lot of design enhancements over the years, the grip on some PSE Nova modifications could be a bit better. Some owners say that while they are happy with pretty much everything, the grip could be a bit narrower and could have less torque. Some of such shooters prefer to take the grip off and wrap it with some tennis racket tape because the corners on the riser are too sharp without any material.

Eccentric system / Draw cycle

Starting from 1997, PSE introduced quite a few eccentric systems for the Nova bow: One Cam, Stage, Vector, Maxis, Synergy, Nova Pro, Vector Wheel, Arson, Vector Pro, Inferno, Synergy, Lightening, Rimfire, and NRG. While each cam system is individual, nearly all of them are very smooth and easy to draw as described by many owners. Have a look at the full PSE Nova specs for detailed information about IBO speeds for each cam.

Draw cycle / Shootability

Due to its non-aggressive eccentric systems the Nova is a pretty smooth and easy drawing bow. Some archers say they chose this bow for its smooth draw cycle because they had to recover form shoulder injury. While the bow is easy to draw, it's not a speed monster and can't generate blazing IBO speeds. It's very unlikely you will get IBO speeds over 300 fps with this bow. However, this is not a problem for those shooters who are not speed fans. Such people say this bow is more than suitable for their hunting needs even though it is on the slow side. When it comes to the back wall it's not as solid as on some other rigs. Although the PSE Nova is not as quiet as some modern high quality rigs, a fully equipped bow is quiet enough for hunting.

Good bow for starters on a budget

While some archers disagree it's a great rig for starters and say there are better (but more expensive) beginner bows, other archers firmly believe this bow is a great choice for beginners on a budget due to its low price tag and decent quality. Having analyzed a lot of opinions, we came to conclusion that the Nova is a good bow for shooters on a budget who don't intend to upgrade it shortly. For example, if you want to build you archery skills quickly and quickly become a pro, you may be better off if you invest a little bit more money and get a better quality rig instead of upgrading in a year or two. If, however, you are not too passionate about becoming a super archer in a short period of time, buying the Nova could be one of the best investments.


To summarize, The PSE Nova is a decent quality bow at a very reasonable price. While it's not the quietest rig out there, the bow is quiet enough for many hunting scenarios. Admittedly, the Nova is an accurate hunting bow with good shootability characteristics. Although this rig is not as good as some of the better quality (and more expensive) bows, it's considered to be a great starter bow for shooters on a budget due to its low price tag and decent quality. Overall, the Nova is a good choice for beginners who are on a budget, don't plan to upgrade it immediately, and are not too excited about super fast speeds.
PSE Nova Review4.558

User Reviews

  • 8 reviews
  • ( out of 8 reviews for all versions)
  1. Great starter bow!!

    Version: 2011 PSE Nova NI


    Pros: I enjoy the smooth draw and easy sight adjustments

    Cons: It came stock with the draw wieght set at 73lbs which is a bit unrealistic when your considering that this is supposed to be a starter bow

    Full review:
    I belive this is a product that i have well spent my money on. Many of the reviews i have read keep reiterating this is a "good, cheap bow." I understand that quality is always on the line when your dealing with money figures. At the same time i dont belive that 350 is very cheap either. Overall as i said at the beginning this bow has made its way into one of my favorite "cheap" pieces of archery

  2. Had this bow for 15 years, shot it thousands of times, accuracy finally dwindling

    Version: 1997 PSE Nova Stage III


    Pros: Held up well, good durability, great bow to learn on

    Cons: Heavy, too long, spongy back wall, not easy to adjust, needs bow press

    Full review:
    Overall this bow has been great to learn on. Its kind of heavy, really long axle to axle, and is not the ideal hunting bow because of this. It does get the job done and is consistent and accurate. Don’t care for the spongy back wall feeling. All that being said, for the price it was a great starter bow and I’ve had it for 15 years, so it will withstand the test of time. I will put this bow away and save it for my son to learn on when he’s big enough.

  3. i think this is a very good bow. gets the job done and is very accurate and my bow.

    Version: 2011 PSE Nova NI


    Pros: light weight. held a matthews one time it felt exactly the same.why spend alot more money just for the name they all put meat in the freezer

    Cons: none

    Full review:
    my pse nova1 gets 303 fps what more do u need to bring down a deer.i like the way it feels in my hand and is very of the best bows ive ever owned.i would not trade it for anything else on the market.great bow and i recomend it for anyone out there.

  4. The proper term for this bow is "inexpensive" not "cheap".

    Version: 2003 PSE Nova S7


    Pros: Easy to shoot. Very accurate. Good value for the money. BTW the first PSE Nova was made in the early 1980’s. Graphite limbs with nylon cams. I had one. Shot very well with carbon arrows and a trophy taker shaky hunter rest.

    Cons: Nothing

    Full review:
    The Nova draws smoothly. Mine is set at 70 pounds with a 29" draw length. Real chronographed speeds with carbon express 6075’s with 100 grain field points were 301, 303, and 305 fps. The bow can be silenced considerably with a limber saver rubber coated stabilizer and the installation of a Diamond Archery Hush Kit.

  5. Tough, no frills bow

    Version: 2000 PSE Nova OC


    Pros: Tough

    Cons: After a time, string begins to hit the limb, causing wear.

    Full review:
    I’ve had this bow for about twelve years. Paid $180 for it, new. I’ve hunted with it and shot an intramural tournament with it. I won the tournament.

    Last year I dropped this bow out of my deer stand, it held up fine. This bow was in my old house when it burned down. Again, it was fine. It may not have the best fit and finish but it’s built very tough. It’s always been reliable.

    Only gripe is that as it wears in, the string will bgin to rest against the limb, which causes it to wear. I took it to a shop and the guy said that "all Nova’s do that" and acted like it was no big deal, just keep an eye on it.

    Overall, it’s a good, solid bow but nothing particularly special. If you’re looking for a real "meat and potatoes" bow, the Nova’s not bad at all.

  6. My first bow and the it has got me hooked

    Version: 2001 PSE Nova OC


    Pros: Price, easy to adjust, perfect for a beginer

    Cons: It got me hooked on Bow hunting

    Full review:
    I bought my bow off of TNOL for $100. Its my first bow and I believe that this was the best and worst investment of my life. The best because I got hooked on Bow Hunting and the worst because I got hooked on Bow hunting. The price was perfect for me to tweek and make it personal, but it wasnt so far out there that i spent a couple grand to find out if i liked it. Overall I actually like my bow more than some of the newer models out on the market today.

  7. Great

    Version: 1997 PSE Nova Stage III


    Pros: Easy to use

    Cons: Nothing

    Full review:
    Killer my first deer with it, not shure what im going to do without it when its gone, easy to use really accurate and I’m teaching my son with it ive had it for twelve years and i love it i only bow hunt beacuse gun hunting is to easy

  8. Great bow.

    Version: 2011 PSE Nova NI


    Pros: Great bow

    Cons: I guess in a perfect world it could be a little lighter — but the mass does absorb the shock of the shot.

    Full review:
    I have been shooting arrows since I was 5 years old. I am now 53. I have a PSE Nova and have nothing bad to say. Set at 60 lbs it shoots right through a phone-book so can probably kill anything that walks. I have it out on the range and don’t have any complaints as it is more accurate than I am.

What do you want to do next?

Submit Your Review

Share your knowledge and help other hunters and archers by writing your own review

(Put your mouse over the stars and click to rate this bow)

(Enter the version of your your PSE Nova bow; required)

(Summarize your review in one line; required, max 100 characters)

(Tell us what you liked about this bow; required, max 250 characters)

(Tell us what you did not like about this bow; required, max 250 characters)

(Provide your detailed review by outlining what you like and dislike about this bow. For example, you may describe features, shootability, overall feeling, your bow setup, real IBO speeds, and your experience using this bow; optional, 200-5000 characters)

(Enter your full name; required, max 50 characters)

(Enter your location, ex. city, state, country; optional, max 50 characters)

(Enter the code shown in the below picture, required)

Reload Image