While Inside Archery’s Industry 5Q is only a one page column, the interview that yields that page worth of info is much lengthier. We recently had the pleasure of talking to Paul Trpkovski, Gearhead Archery’s president, about the innovations Gearhead Archery is bringing to the 2017 ATA Trade Show. Trpkovski had a lot to say, and it was a real challenge to condense all that info on one page. Accordingly, we thought it would be great to post the interview in its entirety so you can get a better idea of Gearhead’s big picture. Enjoy, and if you’re attending the 2017 ATA Show, be sure to stop by the Gearhead Archery booth (4501) to learn more in person.
What was the mentality behind creating a 30-inch axle-to-axle bow?
The main reason we designed a 30-inch bow was to accommodate longer draw shooters. However, we do have people that only view Gearhead Archery as a super short axle-to-axle bow company, and we needed to shatter that idea. Although Gearhead Archery firmly believes that a small axle-to-axle bow is the ideal hunting bow for many reasons, we needed to accommodate customers of all opinion, shapes and sizes. We also wanted to exploit our patented Twin riser design, which is structurally stronger than any riser on the market at any axle-to-axle. The Twin Riser allows us to have repeatability and rigidity from bow to bow that is unmatched in accuracy and consistency, period.
We will offer two new 30 axle-to-axle bows: one that is traditional like our other T-series bow line up with similar limbs and appearance, and the Mongo M30, which is a MODERN rendition of an ancient Mongolian bow with compound features added. The T30 will go up to a 31-inch draw length and will have an IBO rating of 325 fps, and the M30 Mongo with recurve tips will go up to 30-inch draw with an IBO of 340 fps. We are rethinking tradition by taking a classic ancient bow and bringing it into the 21st century. The physical profile of the Mongo M30 has curves and a lot of visual appeal, and shoots amazingly fast. Both versions, the T30 and the M30, will be about 4lbs in aluminum, and the all carbon bows will be only 3.2lb.
The T30 and M30 are great hunting bows or ideal TARGET platforms with the super stable and reliable TWIN riser system. The T30 will be $1299 MSRP and the M30 MONGO will be $1399. The carbon versions will be $1699 for the T30 and $1799 for the M30 Mongo. All carbon bows come standard with a carbon grip and riser that is warm to the hand, super strong and quiet.
FINAL NOTE FYI: We have also increased the draw length on the T20 up to 29″ from 28″, and the T24 up to 30″ from 29”, making our smaller bows longer draw by having a longer limb and brace height.
How will you ensure they stick out like your other models?
All our bows stick out because they are different by design. Everything we make is different for a reason. We started with a blank sheet of paper and made the strongest bows ever produced. Again, our riser design is what sets us apart from all other bow companies that rely on a single swept riser. We have so many unique concepts coming out at this year’s show, it will be exciting!
It sounds like you’ll be bringing lots of other innovations to the ATA Show, how did you manage to accomplish so much in one year?
We have been building robotic equipment for years under major deadlines and are used to working hard. We love what we do, and love coming up with new and different products that perform better. We also have a great team of machinists, engineers, and manufacturing specialist that sets us apart.
Give us the rundown on Gearhead’s Pick a Grip, what advantages do these options offer bowhunters?
The pick a grip is unique to Gearhead Archery. Since the grip is not an integral part of the riser load it can be swapped while the bow is fully loaded by simply removing 6 fasteners. Many people love our current swept grip while others have mentioned the desire for a flatter back grip. We will be offering 5 grip options, allowing the shooter to choose what fits them best. We will be coming up with even more new grips in the future, and as always, they will fit ALL our models old or new. We go out of our way to make our products backwards compatible with all our models.
Many people shoot with different grip positions, and this changes what grip best fits them. With Pick a Grip, they get to choose. The choices will be the standard aluminum swept grip, our new aluminum square-body flat-back grip, our new slider grip, and our new carbon-fiber swept grip, which is super warm, light as a feather, and designed to drastically cut down vibration. The slider grip is really cool. It lets you choose a square body or swept grip, and has the ability to move .25 inches left or right, so you can paper-tune the bow without moving the rest. Further, the slider lets customers move the grip forward and back a half-inch to fine-tune their draw length. This grip will be a huge hit among target shooters!
What is LimbShield, how does it work, and what advantages does this technology offer?
LimbShield is an amazing product that reduces noise and vibration without sacrificing performance, all while protecting the limbs from the harsh hunting environment. LimbShield is a waterproof covering that can absorb impacts and quiets a bow if rubbed or knocked against something while hunting. LimbShield is a propriety PATENT PENDING system that slides over the limbs, dampens sound and eliminates the problems with limb damage from rocks or dropping the bow. One of the most delicate items on a bow are the strings/cables and the limbs. We wanted to make our bow as indestructible as possible. LimbShield will come standard on most bows. The LimbShields are black with a unique diamond grid pattern.
When you shoot the new bows with LimbShields you will notice the bows are even quieter than before, which is hard to believe. The fact that all the surfaces of the limbs are covered in a durable sheath from the e-clips to the cams and limb attachment points means they all get a little layer of cushion that reduces noise and vibration, while offering limb protection.
How will your crossbow live up to your reputation for rethinking tradition?
Well, it’s a work of art. The X16 crossbow is 4.25lb bare crossbow which is hard to believe, yes 4.25lbs is LIGHTER than many bows on the market. It’s crazy light! The X16 crossbow has so many unique features that you have to see it to believe. As this article is written we are filing for multiple patents, and really can’t reveal all the details until the ATA Show.
But I can say the crossbow has a 16-inch power stroke and hits speeds up to 330fps with a 70lb, yes, 70lb draw weight. The X16 crossbow has the same kinetic energy as our T18, which has plenty of energy to take large game. The crossbow is super easy to cock and does not even require a foot stirrup or rope cocker. However, we have both options available and people that struggle to cock most crossbows today will enjoy cocking and shooting the X16 with or without a rope cocker.
The X16 is super quiet like all of our T series bows. It is as silent as a bow, simply amazing! Furthermore, the X16 shoots regular arrows and can be shot thousands of times without burning out the string or power cables. The X16 is SUPER light and is 35-inches long and 14-inches axle-to-axle when cocked. The crossbow has a traditional look, but the way it is shoots, feels, and balances is truly amazing!
One of the biggest complaints about crossbows is the weight, size, difficulty cocking, noise, vibration and how quickly the strings and cables burn out. We started with a blank sheet of paper and designed from scratch to come up with the ultimate crossbow. We believe when you see the X16 crossbow from Gearhead Archery you will understand rethinking tradition.
The X16 will come in 4.25lb carbon fiber version, MSRP $1999 and a 5.5lb aluminum version, MSRP $1499 with draw weights of 50, 60, 70, and 75lb options.
What was the greatest obstacle you faced and overcame during the creation of all these innovations?
Innovation is everything, and we are trying to make the best products and keep making them. The most difficult obstacle is kind of funny: We can’t stop. We already have 2018, 2019 and 2020 done and have to hold ourselves back to pace ourselves as a company. We have so many new innovations and will keep them coming.
Learn more on Gearhead Archery’s website!