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Many people who are looking to get into archery become obsessed with brand names. I get quite a lot of questions regarding whether or not “is this a good bow?”, or “is this a good brand?”, and it’s interesting because, as archers, we kind of know what to expect, because we’ve seen these brand names everywhere. But for someone getting into the sport for the first time there are so many options. This can be very confusing, and because new archers don’t have a reference point as to what they can expect from a given brand or a given model, the brand name becomes the reference point for quality and relevance. The purpose of this video is to go through some of the major brand names that you will encounter when shopping for archery equipment. I’m not going to really recommend one brand over another, but rather this is a discussion of the things you can expect from certain companies, and who they’ll be suited for. Before I go on to that, I want to mention a few quick things about how archery stores partner with archery suppliers. Most archery stores have some kind of partnership with a company or supplier, and this can be an official distribution partnership, or it might just be that they ordered items in stock and put them on the shelf. The reason I mention this is because some stores have limited options as to what they put in their inventories, and because many stores have limited inventory space, you may find that they don’t have the same range of brands and suppliers as other stores. This doesn’t mean that these other brands are terrible. It just means that this particular store doesn’t stock that. For example, one of my local archery stores mostly stocks items from Win&Win and a few other suppliers, and the compound bows come from BowTech and Oneida and Diamond, and a few other places. But they don’t stock Hoyt, and Hoyt is the giant of the archery world. They make some of the best bows. It doesn’t mean that Hoyt is a bad company, it just means that this particular store isn’t partnered Hoyt, whereas, the other store around the corner does sell Win&Win; and Hoyt materials and other things. The other extreme end is you have the large megastores like Lancaster Archery who stock items from manufacturers from all around the world. One of the advantages of knowing this store-and-supplier partnership is that you can generally trust shops to stock items that are from reputable companies. No matter what item you buy, whether it’s a finger tab or a quiver or a bow, they will only put items in the inventory that people want to buy, and that they are reliable and they can service. This is probably the main reason why you should buy from a store, even their online page, compared to buying off Amazon or eBay. You know that what you’re getting is going to be recommended by the people who run the store, and that people who use the store are usually very experienced archers, so you are buying quality. Even the cheaper budget items that are sold in store will be quality. They’re not the same cheap plastic Chinese knockoffs you might find online, and this is important because the store depends on good reputation. If they sell cheap brands, and things that break, or cheap Chinese knockoffs, then the customers will come back and complain. They wont buy from the store. The store didn’t make the item, but they sold it which means they’re recommending it. That’s a really big deal. The archery stores are part of the cycle of quality control and customer satisfaction. That is one of the big reasons why you should support your store, because, in turn, they will support you by servicing your equipment, recommending good items, and stocking the things that you need. When you start looking at eBay bows or Amazon bows, you start coming across these really cheap budget brands like Apex, Atunga, and RedZone, for example, and often these companies will have an official supplier or distributor, like one store in the country to market their goods, and most of their sales are bought online. What’s interesting about these brands is that they usually are meant to be marketed towards the budget buyer online, not the people who go to archery stores, but people who go to eBay first. So you get this really convenient low cost package, which has your bow and a few arrows, and a target, and it looks tempting. What’s interesting about this is that these bows usually aren’t marketed towards the archery community. These are meant for people who are outside the community. By the “archery community” I mean people like bow hunters, target shooters, professional athletes, amateur archers, club shooters, store owners. These are the people who make up the bulk of the art community. They’re already in it. They already have equipment and are looking around to buy stuff. Whereas, these budget bows you find on eBay aren’t meant for these people. They’re meant for people who haven’t done archery before, and, this is an important note, archery stores who service and support the archery community won’t stock these brands, and there’s a huge reason why. Again we’re talking about things like quality, support, service, and so on. So there is a division between the archery community and what they buy, and these are the major brand names you see in archery stores, versus the non-archers, in the non-archery community, who mostly by online, and you tend to see a separate set of brands for them, and one of the side effects of this division is that you get a lot of the eBay buyers with new bows, new archers with new plastic-wrapped RedZone or Atunga bows, and they don’t get much help or support because everywhere they look there’s the “archery snobs” or the “elitists”, and I’ll be honest, I am probably one of those who will be biased toward the certain brands meant for archers rather than the eBay bows. And I’ve made videos about that in the past, and I make no secret of it. I’ll push certain brands. So, this is interesting because you have different priorities. You have the non-archery community buyers who are looking at price over reputation, and you have the archery community who want quality and reputation over cheap prices. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. If you’re buying a bow for the first time, avoid buying it off of eBay. eBay does not provide an extensive listing of what’s available in the market. You only get the same cheap, Chinese, knockoff brains listed over and over again because they’re trying to flood you with this artificial list of results. The brands you do want, which are reputable and are reliable and are guaranteed quality, are not being sold though eBay. They’re being sold in store. So look at archery stores. Don’t go Google “cheap bows” or “ebay bows” or go to Amazon, go and search up “archery stores”, and you might end up buying from Merlin Archery, or Lancaster Archery, some of the major mega stores around the world, but, even if that’s the case, that’s fine. It’s better you look at the inventory from Lancaster than looking at eBay. You will never know what you missed. The rest of this video, we’ll look at the major brands which are generally stocked by archery stores. The purpose of this is to give you confidence. If you see these brands, and you see these models, then hopefully you’ll get more confident in spending money on good archery equipment, rather than taking shortcuts, and buying things you’ll regret. Do note that because of regional differences and availability, a lot of brands aren’t on the shelves in many stores. So, what I’m going to discuss mostly are the brands and companies and models that you’ll generally see in most archery stores around the world. We’ll start with the giant of the archery world, and that’s Hoyt. Hoyt is a classic successful American company. They make quality products. They make recurve bows. They make compound bows. They make hunting bows and accessories and apparel. This is premium quality stuff. They’ve got midrange things too, but this brand will guarantee you quality from mid to top end. The other big name in archery is Win&Win.; Win&Win; is a Korean company, and they are also very well known for their top end equipment. They mostly make high-end recurves and some mid-range models, but they also make a few compound models as well. They also make a few accessories such as sights, stabilizers, plungers, and so on, and they too are generally in the mid to top end. Sébastien Flute or SF is a brand that is owned by Win&Win;, and the SF label is normally used for the entry level to mid-range equipment, including recurve bows and accessories like sights. Cartel, or Cartel Doosung, is mostly known for budget, entry-level equipment, including sights, bows, bow cases, and so on. Samick is also well known for budget, entry-level equipment, including the ever-popular Samick Sage, as well as target bows, like the Samick Athlete and Avanté. You also come across miscellaneous brand names like Fivics, Kaya, MK, Spigarelli, and Uukha. These are generally known for being reputable in mid-range products. Now alongside Hoyt, the other giant named American archery is Easton. The Easton brand name is used mostly for arrows. If you’re buying arrows more than likely you’re looking at Easton standards. They also make some accessories like quivers and chest guards and so on. Some of the other common arrow brands you’ll come across include Carbon Express and Gold Tip. A special mention goes to Beiter. Beiter don’t make any bows, but they make excellent bow accessories, including stabilizers, clickers, and plungers. Doinker is also very well known for their stabilizers. As far as sights go, apart from the already mentioned budget brands, you have the top end manufacturers such as Shibuya, Sure-Loc, and Axcel, as well as HHA for the compound sights. For hunting sights, Trophy is probably the most well known manufacturer. While I don’t normally talk about compounds, since a lot of people ask me, some of the big names in compounds include Hoyt, Matthews, BowTech and Bear, depending on whether you’re doing target archery or bow hunting. For the mid range entry-level stuff, brand names like PSE, Mission, and Diamond offer some really good and affordable mid-level bows. That generally covers most of the well-known bands. Now, I’m not personally endorsing or advertising and promoting particular brands, but what I am saying is that what you see in these brand names is reliability, reputation, and quality. These are safe buys. If you buy one of these bows you probably won’t regret it. Now obviously, I can’t cover all of the brands, if you do see something and you’re not sure, here’s a rule of thumb, if it’s something you can find in an archery store, it’s probably recommended and good. If it’s something you only fine on eBay then it’s probably not going to be strongly recommended. Hopefully this gives you some insight into what to invest in for your archery equipment. I do know that in a lot of archery stores there is a lack of reviews for the mid-range to high-end equipment, and a lot of the reviews are stacked heavily towards the budget bows. Generally, if you recognize a brand name like these, then you will not go wrong. I literally have not come across someone who has bought a recognizable brand and regretted it. These are people who like their bows and they shoot their bows. I have seen, in contrast, dozens of people who have bought an eBay brand and discard the bow within weeks or months. In the end, you buy what you want to buy. I’m only offering my opinion based on my experiences of working in the archery community, and, look, in my opinion, if you are willing to invest a decent amount of money into archery, you will find it enjoyable. If you try to cut too many corners by getting no-name brands, then you do put yourself at risk of getting something that you wont like using. Anyway, this is NUSensei. Thank you for watching, hope you found this helpful, and I will see you next time.