Mathews Hēlim Bow Report
By Bowhunt America’s Jace Bauserman, Editor
Twenty years of pure excellence is quite a track record. And while some companies would boast about such an accomplishment, Mathews remains humble and hungry. Strictly adhering to its core values of integrity, innovation and impact, Mathews continues to raise the bar in customer service and bow design.
2011 was a banner year at Mathews despite trying economic times. Mathews retailers had a difficult time keeping the company’s flagship bow, the Z7 Xtreme, on their shelves. And it wasn’t hard to see why. The 28-inch axle-to-axle Z7 Xtreme was the perfect bow for treestand, ground blind and spot-and-stalk hunters. The Z7 Xtreme boasted a number of thoughtful Mathews features. The Reverse Assist Roller Guard reduced tension on the cables during the draw cycle, and the soft, wide bumpered Dead End String Stop hushed residual string vibration. Then there was the classy checkerboard Grid Lock Riser. An engineering marvel, this riser enhanced strength while reducing weight. Basically, the Mathews Z7 Xtreme was impressive in every way.
With lesser bow companies, retailers and archers speculate about their ability to trump a previous year’s bow model. With Mathews they don’t speculate—they know something better is coming. If that doesn’t speak to a company’s dedication to true innovation, I don’t know what does.
The 2012 Mathews bow line is nothing short of spectacular. The dual-cam Monster MR8 showcases revolutionary AVS Technology to better ensure perfect cam timing. And the MR8’s ultra-forgiving 8-inch brace height provides excellent shot-to-shot consistency. Also new-for-2012 is the Jewel, which is specifically designed for female archers. Featuring the latest Mathews technologies like the Grid Lock Riser, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Perimeter Weighted Cam and Dead End String Stop, the Jewel is sure to impress female archers. And finally, serving as the Mathews 2012 flagship is the much anticipated Mathews H?lim.
More than 20 years of Mathew’s engineering has been poured into the all-new H?lim. The bow sports a host of features that bowhunters will adore. And while I will do my best to describe its features and benefits, my best advice is to simply put the H?lim in your customers’ hands. It will take care of the rest.
I’m often asked what features I find most appealing in various bow lines. Sometimes this question is very easy to answer, but with Mathews it’s just the opposite. How do you take a bow like the Helim and single out just one exceptional feature? You don’t. So I’ll just say one of my favorite features is its quiet nature.
The Mathews Dead End String Stop carries with it a legacy of zero noise and zero vibration. For 2012, the torch has been passed. As good as the Dead End String Stop was, I dare say the new Dead End String Stop Lite is even better. Sporting a smaller circumference and a dimpled back end, I found the cushioned bumper to be a sophisticated, extra-durable dampening device. Shot after shot, the Dead End String Stop Lite facilitated a clean arrow release, boosting downrange accuracy, and it showed no signs of wear.
Favored by archers, the Reverse Assist Roller Guard reduces friction by positioning the cables in front of rather than behind the roller guard. This design pushes the cables outward so that there is less tension on them as the bow is drawn. The system makes for a quiet, insanely smooth draw cycle.
The Harmonic Dampening System is a Mathews calling card. Floating in an elastomer wheel, this tried-and-true Mathews feature pulls shot noise and vibration from the riser. Part of this Harmonic Dampening System is the Mathews Harmonic Stabilizer Lite. Introduced in 2011, the Stabilizer Lite reduces nearly 75 percent of residual vibration and is almost 70 percent lighter than the original Harmonic Stabilizer.
Rounding out the “hushing” devices are the Monkey Tails, String Grub and idler-wheel-mounted String Suppressor. Standard on the new 2012 H?lim, the three strategically positioned Monkey Tails defuse string and cable sound. The String Grub, located just above the cam, boosts speed and aids in vibration reduction. And the String Suppressor prevents bowstring whiplash between the cam and the idler wheel. I just love Mathews’ attention to providing the archer with a quiet, vibration-free shot.
The Perfect Riser
Mathews has taken the next step in Grid Lock Riser design. The new Geo Grid Lock Riser on the H?lim is technologically enhanced in every way. The advanced geometric design not only provides added strength and eliminates riser twist, but it’s also extremely light. In fact, the entire bow weighs a miniscule 3.5 pounds, and much of that weight reduction is compliments of the Geo Grid Lock Riser.
With the Geo Grid Lock Riser it’s difficult not to focus on all the technology. But what I appreciate most is that the technology has purpose. It’s masterfully blended to give the H?lim a balanced, accurate and smooth-shooting appeal.
Smack in the middle of the riser is the fashionable Walnut SlimFit Inline Grip. Designed to provide a custom, form-fitting grip, the SlimFit Inline Grip is perfectly angled and thin through the throat, and it just feels great in the hand.
20 Years of Single-Cam Technology
Since its inception in 1992, the concept of single-cam technology forever changed the face of cam design. Matt McPherson’s Solocam eliminated frustrating timing and synchronization issues that once kept archers confined to their bow presses.
Twenty years and many Solocam designs later, Mathews introduces its most prolific cam to date—the all-new H?lim Cam & QCA. Constructed with quiet and accurate shooting in mind, the H?lim Cam sports an airy, lightweight design that will please any archery nut. Propelling arrows up to 332 feet per second, this cam provides plenty of speed. And its rubber-coated draw-stop peg rotates around, contacting the H?lim’s inner limb to create a firm back wall. But what I like best about the cam is its ultra-forgiving nature. Shooting the Helim Cam made me feel like a better archer than I really am.
A Limb Revolution
In 1996, Mathews shook the archery industry right down to its toes with the introduction of parallel-limb technology. And that was just the beginning. With each passing year, Mathews limbs seemed to gain efficiency while losing surface area. The culmination of this limb revolution can be seen on the Mathews H?lim. The SE5 Composite Limb System is simply phenomenal. Ultra-thin and ultra-tough, these stylish limbs utilize a composite material that boosts limb life. In addition, the limbs handle stress and energy with ease thanks to the stylish Limb Turrets, which spread the load throughout the limbs. And the parallel design cancels vibration and creates a smoother, quieter bow.
While most bows incorporate some sort of limb pocket, Mathews uses the SphereLock Pivoting Limb Cup System. Trim and lightweight, these cups are barely noticeable, but they serve an important purpose. The Limb Cup System ensures constant downward limb pressure, creating a rock-solid limb-to-riser bond.
A Lot to Smile About
When I first wrapped my hand around the H?lim‘s Walnut SlimFit Inline Grip I just smiled. How could I not? It’s thin through the throat and narrow in the palm-swell area—two qualities my hand demands from a grip. In addition, the grip is perfectly rounded and angled from top to bottom. From the moment I picked up this racy masterpiece it filled me with confidence.
What also feels great on the Mathews H?lim is the bow’s lightweight nature. During testing I found myself tossing the bow into the air and catching it with one hand, much like a basketball player will do with a ball. This bow is so light it’s scary. And its compact 30-inch axle-to-axle size makes it perfect for any hunting expedition. Personally, I can’t wait to tote this lightweight rig into the back country after big bulls.
Few things trump the importance of bow balance. Historically, a longer riser meant better balance, but Mathews is always changing history. The 2011 Z7 Xtreme was only 28 inches from axle to axle, and I found the bow provided exceptional balance. That exceptional balance is once again the story with the all-new H?lim. At 30 inches axle to axle the H?lim felt steady at full draw and tipped slightly forward at the release to promote a better follow-through.
Everyone likes a performer, and the Mathews H?lim fits that bill. Its draw cycle is wonderfully smooth, and transition into the bow’s 80-percent letoff comes with a baby-like ease. Also noticeably pleasing was the H?lim‘s solid back wall.
At the release of an arrow—heavy or light—the Helim doesn’t make a peep. In addition to its silence, it’s also absolutely dead in the hand. There is no noise. There is no jump. There is no tickling hand vibration. The many dampening devices on the H?lim work in concert to make every shot ultra-quiet.
Of course we can’t forget speed. The H?lim is plenty fast. In fact, the H?lim‘s feet-per-second rating fits right in with the 2010 Z7 and 2011 Z7 Xtreme. Both were extremely popular Mathews models used by countless bowhunters to take down a slew of game.
Twenty years of Mathew’s innovation and excellence have been poured into the all-new H?lim. Nothing has been overlooked. Nothing has been missed. It’s the perfect bow for any hunt. When you take all of the H?lim‘s amazing features and benefits into account and toss in the fact that it’s Mathews’ anniversary bow, this bow is sure to be a hot commodity in 2012.
2012 Mathews H?lim set at 29 inches (by factory) and adjusted to 70 pounds
Shaft Arrow Kinetic Arrow
28-Inch Test Arrows Gr/In Weight Energy Speed
Easton XX78 Alloy 2512 10.3 448 gr. 80.8 285 fps
Easton Full Metal Jacket 400 10.2 426 gr. 79.6 290 fps
Carbon Express Aramid KV 350 9.8 415 gr. 78.6 292 fps
Carbon Tech Whitetail 65/80 9.5 411 gr. 78.4 293 fps
Carbon Express Maxima Hunter 350 8.9 398 gr. 78.0 297 fps
Easton ST Axis N-Fused 400 9.0 392 gr. 78.4 300 fps
Beman ICS Hunter Elite 400 8.4 390 gr. 78.5 301 fps
Gold Tip XT Hunter 55/75 8.2 385 gr. 78.0 302 fps
PSE Radial X Weave Hunter 300 8.1 376 gr. 77.2 304 fps
Gold Tip Ultralight Pro 400 7.4 361 gr. 76.6 309 fps
Carbon Tech Cheetah 400 6.4 346 gr. 76.3 315 fps
Easton FlatLine 400 7.4 344 gr. 76.3 316 fps
High Country Speed Pro Max 5.5 303 gr. 75.5 335 fps
Bow weighed with an Easton Bow Force Digital Scale. All tests conducted with a Spot-Hogg Hooter Shooter Portable Shooting Machine and a Competition Electronics Pro Chronograph.
Axle-to-Axle Length 30 inches
Brace Height 7 inches
Mass Weight 3.5 pounds
Letoff 80 percent
Draw Lengths 26 to 30 inches
Half Sizes 26.5 to 29.5 inches
Draw Weights 40#, 50#, 60#, 65#, 70#
Riser Color Lost Camo and Black
Limb Color Lost Camo, Black and Tactical
For more information, visit mathewsinc.com or call (608) 269-2728.