Now that I have some extended string time behind the new Podium X Elite, I wanted to write a more indepth review about certain aspects of the bow. I wanted to talk about how it tunes, some of the areas I found that needed to have extra attention, the new Spiral Pro Cam, how it feels aiming, and about the grip inserts and how it can help with the balancing of the bow, as well as the sight picture.
To start with, I’ll go over the ease of tuning this bow. Coming from my previous bow, a Hoyt Pro Comp Elite, this bow is a dream to set up and tune. I set up the top cam to hit even with the bottom cam, set my draw length, put the arrow rest in the center of the riser (aligned from limb bolts, roughly 7/8 from riser to center of rest), set the arrow to be just slightly nock high, and was good to go from there. Paper tune gave me a bullet hole right away and from there I went out to creep tune, bareshaft tune, then group tune. The one area that I found that needed attention was the creep tuning portion. At 50 yards I shrank my groupings by three inches with just a half twist out of the control cable. I could see big differences in just half a turn and it was very responsive. The downside to this is you have to put the time in to get the bow spot on with your creep tuning. Without this, you could see some vertical groupings that are out of your norm.
A question that I keep seeing, is how are the new Spiral Pro Cams different from the previous SpiralX Cams. They aren’t exactly a completely different cam, but do have so points to mention. The premise behind them both are the same. Smaller valleys, less let-off, and good adjustability of feel and tuning. How they get there are slightly different though. The first differences you will notice just by comparing the two, is the top cam on the new Spiral Pro Cams have a draw stop ledge added to them and the new cams come equiped with moduals to help adjust through a small range of draw lengths. The biggest differences though are the ones you cannot see. When you draw the new cams back you will notice they are slightly “heavier” feeling. Meaning you feel you hold more weight throughout the draw cycle compared to the older SpiralX Cams. It’s not noticeable after you have shot them for a while though as your body adapts. However, for a shooter who does not shoot often, this new cam system could wear you down quicker. The next thing you will notice is the feel against the wall while you are at full draw. The draw stop ledge lends to a very firm and solid feel when adjusted properly. This comes into play some when you look at how you fire your release. Personally, I use a relaxation method throughout my palm, so this new cam system fits my execution style perfectly. However, if you are a pull through while adding tension with the fingers style shooter, you could see some interference here with the cams not giving as much.
When it comes to aiming, the Podium X Elite aims very well. The Hoyt Pro Comp Elite I had prior was designed with a lower grip location. For me, this led to never finding a good balancing point and constantly searching for a good feeling bow to shoot when I was fresh, as well as after I got tired. However, with the Podium X Elite the grip location has been moved back up to the traditional location and it was effortless to find my perfect stabilizer set up and balance. The wider limb stance was carried over from the PCE, and I’ll commend Hoyt on this as I feel it makes the bow much more stable in your hand at full draw. The PXE will get on target very easily and quickly due to this wider stance and you don’t feel jitters or bobbles in the bow throughout your shot. This bow also gives good feedback on the shot, meaning it will kick out and in the direction you pushed the energy through with your grip. I’ll definitly recommend a finger sling, or wrist sling, to keep this bow from coming out of your hand and bouncing across the ground.
The last part I would like to go over are the interchangeable grip inserts. The way I used the inserts was to fine tune my float pattern and bow reaction at the shot. I ended up using the 4 degree insert as I feel it gives my hand a “pocket” to go into at the riser and my forearm has the least amount of tension in it throughout my shot. This allows me to have a much softer bow hand and better bow arm alignment. This slowed my float down, and more noticeably, made my left and right movements much less. Also, the reaction I receive from this hand positioning is a very natural straight foward jump. This is due to no extra pressure or tension being in place throughout my forearm, wrist, and hand.
Overall, I am very impressed with the new Hoyt Podium X Elite. I would say for myself, that this is the best offering Hoyt has put out thus far. The small technology enhancements, in the form of adjustable cable rod and grip inserts, make a lot of difference in the feel and function of the bow when used correctly. I look forward to shooting this bow and seeing how I will perform with it over time.