Over the past year or two the folk at Bearpaw we have been working feverishly to bring you arrow shafts that are worthy of carrying the name “Penthalon”. To move forwards and guarantee levels of quality we even fired one manufacturing company and spent a vast amount of time and effort in finding a manufacturer who could meet our high expectations and supply demands.
Almost exactly a year ago we launched the newest generation of Penthalon shafts with the incredible “Hunter Extreme” and its stablemates. This world class shaft has proven itself time and time again in competition, hunting and recreational shooting.
However. sometime early in 2016 it was decided that the finish of our Traditional Timber shafts was not as good as it could have been. Since then the race has been on to offer you a shaft that not only performed at least as well as the “Hunter Extreme” but also offered a natural wood look that equalled its levels of performance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to present to you the…
“Penthalon Traditional Extreme”, a VERY special shaft!
Kev Smith has been tasked with testing new Bearpaw products before their release and where necessary helping with the products design and development process. Here is his take on the “Traditional Extreme” story from start to finish which will take you along the road of development and testing and will give you an inside look at how we do things here at Bearpaw.
So there I am, standing in Henry Bodniks office wondering why he is grinning like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland! “Shut your eyes and hold out your hands”, he says to me. OK, this is weird but Im curious as to what has got the leader of Bearpaw so excited.
Next thing I know there is an arrow shaft in my hands. I open my eyes and… “Wow! This looks nice Henry. The wood looks different to our usual spruce shafts. Are we offering different woods now”?
“Look again”, says Mr Bodnik…
Fast forward to a speechless Kevin! Why? Because this wooden shaft in my hand is not wood at all! Its been given away by the fact that its hollow and I can see black carbon inside.
“Henry, Whats going on? This feels like real wood”.
“Thats because it is”! chuckles Henry
Yes folks, the new “Traditional Extreme carbon shafts” are not printed with a wood grain design. In fact, the carbon shafts are wrapped in a beautiful layer of real ash wood!!!
Carbon and real wood laminate shafts my good people. Unbelievable!
Naturally I cant wait to get started with testing these beauties so let us begin…
The first thing an arrow builder would need to do is make them the right length so I started with a cutting test. These hybrid shafts were shortened with a normal carbon shaft cutter and do not split, burn, become fibrous or in fact do anything unexpected.
Nice clean cuts. Perfect.
The next stage of testing was to submerge a section of shaft cut-off in water for over 24 hours, freshly cut and exposed ends and all! When it came out is was as if it had never even seen water! OK, the shafts are well protected from moisture, impressive.
The only downside to this is that you would not be able to stain these shafts like you would a normal wood shaft. And yes, I did try 😉
Obviously the next stage is to get some arrows put together and get shooting them!
Because of the wooden jacket the outside diameter of the “Traditional Extreme” is slightly larger than the 5/16” of the Hunter Extreme. Although we had an idea floating around in the back of our minds regarding points and nocks we decided to test the shafts using the Bearpaw Parallel glue on points which fit perfectly (in fact I would say this could be a viable option for you to build your own arrows if you so wished!)
I think you’ll agree these look great!
You can use the parallel points with or without an aluminium insert.
Using an aluminium insert has two benefits. Not only does it give the opportunity for fine tuning the total weight on the front of your arrow, it also adds an extra level of toughness to an already tough shaft.
This video of me shooting on to a concrete block was conducted without an insert…
That arrow lasted 3 full-on hits before damaging the front end. With an insert added inside the point the only thing I managed to damage after 3 shots was to split the nock!!
I really believe these are the toughest arrows you will ever shoot!
During testing I shot one bare shaft completely underground and left it there for 2 full weeks. At this time of year in Germany that means continually being frozen and thawed out and generally having a very wet, dirty time of it. What I saw when I took it out after two weeks you can see below…
That wood finish really is tough!
The exact specification including gpi will be made available when the shafts are released to the public in the next week or so. To give you and idea of weight, my 500 spine shafts weigh in at around 10.3gpi and have a really nice solid feel to them when shooting. Not as heavy as the equivalent in wood but a touch heavier than standard 500 spine pure carbon shafts.
OK Kev, I hear you ask, but how do they perform?…
The answer to that is.. SUPERBLY!
I love, love, love the standard carbon Hunter Extremes and Ive been using them for a full year but if anything I now actually prefer to shoot with the Traditional Extremes.
They really are THAT good!
Since the initial testing phase my new arrows have been put through every situation and condition imaginable. From gentle use on the range and 3D course up to hardcore stumping and roving where shafts are clattering off trees & rocks sometimes sideways!
If you havent guessed by now I am completely blown away by these new hybrid shafts.
They are precise, accurate and tough. They shrug off conditions that would have some arrows falling apart and even manage to look stunning while doing it. Thoroughly robust and desirable.
I would give these shafts a full 10/10!
Want to add a little customization? No problem!
Here you can see Ive added a crown, cresting and clear varnish finish to make them look even more special. More views of this spectacular design on my Robin Hood Arrows facebook page.
Stand by for my information regarding availablity and full specifications during the first half of January!