Pictured is a Kodabow Crossbow hanging amidst the hundreds of items available at a typical archery shop.
Based on research, here is what we found to be important in making your purchase:
1 - Shoot the crossbow: sounds simple but its not and most crossbows are sold without being shot at all or only discharged at 5 or 10 yards. Shoot at a distance of 30 yards or greater because that is a real world hunting distance. Feel the trigger function, cock the crossbow and shoot the bow more than just once or twice. You will own your crossbow for years and making a judgement based only on appearance, the fancy label on a box, or after 1 shot is unwise. At Kodabow, we like to shoot at 40-50 yards with crossbow consumers and go "head to head" with other brands. We like to compete on the range and not on the shelf. That tells the story. As a good friend said, the "outdoor industry is filled with biased viewpoints." There is a bias towards compound crossbows for example. There are always tradeoffs and we see many consumers buy Kodabow after travelling that path and then choosing Kodabow after recognizing the design merits. Yes --- Kodabow has biased views as well ---we believe we make the best "hunting" crossbow when multiple performance factors are weighed together - not just a few elements. Accuracy, durability and reliability are key factors when you are far from town. Kodabow excels in these categories. For a Kodabow, you will likely be spending around $899. Yes --- plenty of money. Only one trip to replace worn cables and strings on a compound and avoidance of all the related hassle will make the Kodabow choice even look smarter. After $150 hunting boots and a $300 treestand, spending $899 for a crossbow tool that will be still standing tall years down the road makes sense so that is why we build to that level of quality.
2 - Inspect the Crossbow: Most items on a crossbow should not move. Wiggle the arrow hold down back and forth and side to side. If it moves, that is sloppy workmanship. Same holds true if the scope is not mounted correctly perpendicular to the flat plane of the string path. The bow will never shoot well at distance. At Kodabow, we are very focused on locking everything down tight for optimal accuracy. We even prefer scopes that are 3 power "fixed" and that cannot move or adjust where vibration can change impact points.
If your crossbow appears complicated, it may require more attention to various components especially when these items are permanently attached to the crossbow.
At Kodabow, we like to keep extraneous items off the bow to keep the lines clean.
The bow will hunt better that way.
3 - Look at the Details: The bowstring should be square and at a right angle to the rail and at a nominal position on the rail. The same model crossbow can't be made "right" if one has the string floating 1/8" above the rail and the next has the string resting on the rail with hard pressure -- both settings can't be correct.
4 - Listen to Actual Experience: But even then, there may be an agenda. Here are the scenarios that mean something to us. A young man purchases a Kodabow the other day. He simply said his Dad was a crossbow enthusiast and owned 5 different crossbows and Dad said that the Kodabow was the best crossbow he owned. The same week, a gent reveals that he works at a big chain that sells crossbows but doesn't carry Kodabow. While he said he has easy access to many different brands, he said he bought a Kodabow for himself. Neither of these folks had any incentive to promote our product -- they just purchased what they evaluated as the best crossbow for themselves based on significant shooting experience. Find a Kodabow shooter and ask them what they think. look for shooters that do not have any commercial reason to choose a Kodabow other than the simple merits of the crossbow. Keep in mind that "satisfaction" is a relative term.
See # 5 below.
5 - Satisfaction Depends on Viewpoint: One customer will be perfectly satisfied with a crossbow that has a problem and it only takes 3 weeks for the parts to arrive to get the bow fixed. In fact, the customer may proudly brag about ther terrific customer service received. The next customer will be extremely upset when anything goes wrong and waiting 3 weeks to get back into the field would be viewed as total failure. We build crossbows for this type of consumer. We don't anticipate downtime for our customers.
A dealer asked us two questions one day as we were introducing Kodabow. Neither question was about bow performance or features that distinguish Kodabow from other crossbows. The first was "how fast can I get parts?" The second was "if you are going to shoot that bow in here, will the limbs break and fail?"
It seems the dealer has lots of experience with parts replacement issues and bows failing --- from the Kodabow perspective, we thought we were on another planet....Jupiter, Mars.....maybe Venus.
6- Crossbows are New: Crossbows are still new. While people generally mean well, if the folks selling you a crossbow don't have the time to answer your questions or only seem oriented to selling what is "in stock" and exhibit no willingness to deliver other options, that is not desirable. Often, it is not the dealership - just your bad luck getting paired up with an inexperienced sales person that might know the fishing department better than archery. Crossbows are still new to many dealer organizations. We were at a recent show and another factory representative confided to me that he "learned about the crossbow he was selling last night."
Ask the tough questions and see if the answers make logical sense. We like tough questions.
7 - Be Smart: Organizations should stand behind their product but don't expect the same pricing structure from Dealer A to get your crossbow back together and help you out of a jam when you shopped at Dealer B several states away to get your crossbow at Cut Rate Freddy's Discount Emporium. Sure you saved $50 but it costs money to maintain a service level. Dealer A would likely get you straightened out at no charge if you had purchased the crossbow there but expect to pay to get back on track when the bow was purchased elsewhere. Elsewhere and low cost often means service levels are "zero."
8 - Don't Rush into a Decision: Some items (like string supressors standard on a Kodabow) are sold as aftermarket kits on other crossbows. The kit could easily be $60. The numbers begin to add up on the discount $599 "crossbow special" when accessories are added or the "package scope" was not really what you were after to begin with and another $90 is out the door. Mix in a few cheaper arrows and you can find yourself in the position of buying twice instead of quality once. Quality scopes are standard on every Kodabow along with AR-15 quality components.
Kodabow also sells a SuperPak for $100 that includes 6 premium carbon fiber arrows ($40), a well made quiver ($35), a spare bowstring ($30), Silicone Bowstring Wax ($6), an EL-2 Sling ($15), Bowjax Limb Dampeners ($22) .... bought individually, nearly $150 in value of quality high performance items that are solid or we wouldn't sell them.
The internet can be helpful but there is also plenty of bad information as well. Look for trends of reporting similar information from multiple sources to get the best picture. At Kodabow, we are not following the pack.
We have considerable hunting experience. If it was as simple as buying the cheapest bow or the fastest bow or the lightest/heaviest bow or the bow with the best looking box or the most colorful bow, or the bow with the most gizmos, or the bow that looks best in a magazine ad, we would never sell a single crossbow. That is not what we are about.
We make hunting crossbows that work ---- crossbows that can be depended upon to shoot straight ---- ones that hold up to hard hunting and bring home game.
Be safe out there ..... and check out Kodabow.
The Kodabow Team