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Product Review: Matthews Genesis Mini Bow

February 25th, 2008

I have been hinting at this review for a few days now, but have not had the time to sit down and write it. I am finally able to get it down, with not much time to spare before my “Tuesday’s Tracking” is due tomorrow! So, without further ado, here is my take on the Mathews Genesis Mini Bow.

The Matthews Genesis Mini Bow is a bow designed to get younger children involved in the sport of archery. In fact, Matthews has worked to make this bow available for schools to use in physical education archery classes, as well as for archery clubs in the public school system. The Genesis series bows are the perfect choice for these classes and clubs because of their flexibility. These bows are designed to grow with children, so that they don’t have to be replaced every time the child grows (like most archery equipment).

Adjustable Draw Length and Weight…

The Genesis series of bows is designed to have a very flexible draw length. Without adjustment, the draw length covers everything from 14″to 25″. This is accomplished by having a 0% let off design. This means that there is no “break over” of the cam (more detail later). The draw weight for the Mini can be adjusted easily by either loosening or tightening the main limb bolts. The weight range is between 6 and 12 pounds. Since the draw weight itself is so small, it is ideal for very small shooters. With the 0% let off, whether a child draws it to 14″ or 25″, he is holding back the same poundage. This is impressive, because the same bow can be shot as the child grows through these lower draw lengths, and having a bow with an adjustment up to 12 pounds will ensure the bow will last for at least 2-3 years before a child is ready to move on to other equipment. So, not only can you start a shooter earlier, but you can be sure that the equipment will not become outdated too soon. My dealer said that most schools use the Mini for classes up through elementary school, and then move to the regular Genesis bow for the middle school and older kids.

Other Specs…

This bow is very well made, which is surprising for the price that it sells for. Compared to other bows that are designed for smaller kids, this one puts the others to shame. This bow is designed for durability, and I believe it will hold up to the task of providing hours of recreation for children who are notoriously hard on equipment. Some of the specific features that make this bow top notch include:

  1. Aluminum idler wheel, and cam. Matthews did not use plastic wheels, like some other manufacturers. This would easily be a place to cut cost, but it would also cut quality. These wheels should hold up to any use that a child could put it through. Simply put, they should last longer than a child will using the bow (even if it is several years).
  2. High strength, durable strings. This is another detail that could have easily been overlooked. But, lets face it, kids will be hard on a bow string! They could have gone with a cheap imitation of a bow string, but this is very similar, if not the same as, the string material used on other adult bows. With the low poundage, this string should last for years (if properly maintained).
  3. Split Composite Limbs. The limbs seem to be very well made. The composite material is very durable, and will , like the rest of the bow, be strong enough to last for years. Again, the low draw weight will also help here, as there will not be much strain on the limbs.
  4. Molded Competition Grip. The grip is not overlooked on this bow. For some equipment designed for kids, comfort elements are often bypassed for cheap materials. Again, that has not happened with this bow. Every detail has been addressed in the design of this bow.
  5. Quick Replace Rest. If there is a weakness in the durability of this equipment, it has to be the rest. However, this rest is designed to be able to be replaced quickly and easily. It doesn’t take anything but a wrench, and it takes very little tuning. Basically, it only has to be level with the knock point. It can be replaced easily, and very inexpensively.

That summarizes the main characteristics of the bow, and shows just how durable the bow is. Here are a few of the general specs that you may be interested in:

  • Axle to axle length: 29 1/2 inches
  • Riser length: 16 inches
  • Brace height: 6 1/8 inches
  • Draw Weight: 6-12 pounds
  • Draw Length: 14-25 inches
  • Let off: 0%
  • Colors (or Flavors as Matthews calls them): Red Cherry, Blue Raspberry, Black Licorice, Hardwoods Camo

My Take…

My son shot the Matthews Genesis Micro at the West Virginia Hunting and Fishing Show at the Ohio DNR booth. He had an absolute blast doing it, and I was very impressed with the fact that he (at just under 5 years old) was able to shoot the bow unassisted, at least once he learned what he was doing. After looking into the bow itself, I decided that I would get one for him. Though he has not had the chance to shoot his own bow yet, as the weather has been too cold and rainy, I am sure that he will love it. I also believe that the quality is so good that I am planning to hand down this bow through all three of my kids, as they should be spaced apart at just the right intervals to be ready for it as the older one grows through it. I recommend this bow highly for anyone with younger children (4-8 years old) who want to get them started in archery.

Notice, that this bow comes in several colors. That, I think, is important because archery is not about hunting. My son got the camo bow because I know that is what he would like the most. However, he has already figured out that his bow is too small for deer hunting, and has started calling the bow his “target bow”, since that is what he will be shooting with it. Archery is a sport that anyone can get into, even if they never have any desire to start hunting. In fact, hunting is only a small part of the sport. Archery is a sport that you can get your children involved in with you, so that you can have “family time” together. I know when I was growing up, I loved spending time with my dad on the range shooting. Often, in the late summer, and fall, we spend Saturdays at various archery clubs shooting 3D tournaments. I’m looking forward to getting my son involved so that we can get started in shooting tournaments such as that.

Where to buy…

The Matthews Genesis Mini is available in many places. Cabela’s has the black version available in a package deal for $199. I called Gander Mountain and found that they sell the bow, by itself, for $129. I found it at a local dealer for $159, so that is where I bought it, as it would have cost me more than $30 to drive to the Gander Mountain. You can also find a retailer at the Matthews web site.

Final Word…

If you have a child somewhere between 4 and 8, you have to check this bow out. For older children, check out the regular Genesis–Same quality, with a little larger frame!

2 Responses to “Product Review: Matthews Genesis Mini Bow”

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. […] I wrote a post about Jacob’s birthday, and the bow that we got for him. I also wrote a post reviewing the Matthews Genesis Mini Bow, so if you haven’t had a chance to see that make sure and go back and read […]

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