Mathews Creed XS Review by Antler GeeksDecember 5, 2013 - Tyler Ridenour- Antler Geeks
When the Mathews Creed was introduced in 2013 the crew here at Antler Geeks thought we had found the perfect bow to fit a diehard whitetail hunter’s needs. The Creed’s small compact design and incredibly smooth cam system made for an ideal bow when hunting from a tree stand or ground blind. After spending a season afield with the Creed we found ourselves wondering if there was any possible way Mathews or any other manufacture for that matter could top it. Our questions were answered upon the arrival of the new 2014 Creed XS. Yet again, Mathews has raised the bar, improving the original Creed to build the ultimate hunting bow.
One of the most notable changes from the Creed to the Creed XS is its shorter Axle to Axle length. The new XS comes in at a maneuverable 28 inches. This compact design is ideally suited for hunters that frequent tree stands or ground blinds. At first, the 28 inch profile of the Creed XS may seem too small for some archers, in fact I had a moment of doubt when first pulling the bow out of the box. However my doubts were eased with the release of a single arrow. This bow shoots much bigger than 28 inches, one major reason for this is the long riser length. At over 24.5 inches the riser of the Creed XS provides stability and accuracy you’d expect from a bow of much larger stature.
Even More Forgiveness
The 2013 Creed came standard with a comfortable and forgiving brace height of 7 inches. That measurement has been bumped up to a very hunter friendly 7.5 inches on the Creed XS. Forgiveness in a hunting bow can often be over looked when shooting at your local pro shop or at the range, however it is an invaluable asset when a shot presents its self during a cold day of hunting. The longer brace height on the Creed XS in partnership with the Reverse Assist Roller Guard make this bow one forgiving rig.
Perfection Requires No Adjustment
The SimPlex cam system that powers the Creed XS produces an extremely smooth, consistent draw cycle that drops into a nice valley with a rock solid back wall. There is absolutely zero play or spongy feel at full draw thanks to a draw stop that ends cam rotation upon reaching the backside of the lower limb. From a bow hunters perspective, the SimPlex cam is the definition of simplified perfection and one of the best hunting cams I’ve had the pleasure of drawing.
Bigger Really Is Better
While the Creed XS is an overall small package the cam and idler wheel it boasts are anything but. The oversized cam and idler wheel on the Creed XS are a big part of what makes this bow feel much longer than it is. By increasing the distance between the top of the idler wheel and the bottom of the cam when at full draw the XS becomes more stable than a 30 inch axle to axle bow with more traditional sized eccentrics. Another benefit of the oversized cam and idler wheel found on the Creed XS is the decrease in string angle, by reducing string angle the bow becomes easier to draw while eliminating tuning issues and concerns of string pinch.
The Creed XS is IBO rated at 321 fps, 7fps slower than its predecessor. This decrease is IBO rating comes as no surprise due to the increase in brace height. However during our testing the speeds generated by the new Mathews single cam were quite impressive. We tested a Creed XS out of the box with a 28.5 inch draw, set to 70 pounds. Shooting a 385 grain arrow the chronograph averaged speeds right around 300 fps. When the same bow was tested after being fully set up for hunting with the same weight arrow speeds averaged in the low 290’s. With draw length and arrow weight taken into consideration it’s fair to say the new Creed XS will reach its IBO rating.
Zero Vibration = Zero Noise
During our outdoor testing of the Creed XS the lack of noise present at and immediately following the shot was almost unbelievable. Shooting the bow with only a rest and a d-loop during these tests make it possible to hear and feel just how quiet and vibration free this bow really is. Standing just a few yards away from the shooter the only noticeable noise present was the arrow hitting the target. The Creed XS is so incredibly quiet thanks to all of the vibration reducing technology found in the bow. These standard features include Mathews Harmonic Dampet, Harmonic Stabilizer Lite, Monkey Tails, String Grub and Dead End Lite String Stop. Killing vibration makes for a quiet shooting bow but it also effects how the bow feels in the shooters hand upon the shot. When shooting the XS hand shock was none existent, just one more attribute of this great hunting bow.
The Creed XS Is A Hunter
Looking at design specs and individual areas of performance are great ways to determine how the overall shooting experience of a bow will be but the Creed XS is a hunting bow right? So how well does it hunt? Having spent over a month now in the whitetail woods with the new Creed XS I’ve gotten a feel for how it performs in the field. The light weight and compact design of the XS make it ideal for long hikes into your stand and the maneuverability this bow offers once in the stand or ground blind are second to none. While the Creed XS is well suited for a tree stand or ground blind its packable design and outstanding performance would make it my choice for a western style hunt as well. A smooth and stealthy draw was easily achieved even on cold and snowy days of the November rut. The accuracy of the Creed XS has proven true, when practicing with broad heads the XS grouped arrows tightly at every distance I shot. Bottom line this bow was built to hunt!
Stand Out From The Crowd
The 2014 Creed XS is available in several different finishes that make this bow look as good as it shoots. The standard Lost Camo with walnut grip is still available as well as the Black and Tactical finishes that have been offered from Mathews in the past. In addition are two new finishes available for 2014. The Crimson Creed XS features a black riser and limbs with a red idler wheel and limb pockets along with red accessories. Also new to the lineup is the eye catching Desert Tactical finish, tactical tan covers the riser and limbs along with a color coordinated string.
The Creed XS is a bowhunters bow, every design feature found in this bow can truly be appreciated when it’s put to work in the woods. When advanced technology is delivered in a simple package something special has been done and the new Creed XS is indeed something special. We look forward to putting the Creed XS to good use during the late season here at Antler Geeks and wish you the best of luck during the rest of your season.