It’s kind of hard to believe when you consider the futuristic-looking Zeon Fusion vanes introduced for 2011, but it was simple wooden arrow shafts that brought Norway Industries to the public consciousness way back in 1958.
Catastrophe struck in the early ‘80s, nearly spelling the end of Norway when its arrow factory burned down. Fortunately, aluminum arrows were becoming a strong presence on the archery scene about the same time. “About the time of the fire, wooden arrow shafts were starting to be relegated to ‘kiddie arrows’ and lesser-quality shafts,” said Del Star, general manager at Norway. Like a phoenix from the fire, Norway Industries was reborn and adopted an entirely new focus.
The emerging aluminum arrow market had enough competition so Norway decided to dedicate its efforts to a completely new focus—the vane market. “There had already been some shift into that [vane] market with the introduction of injection molding and the trifletch and nock combination that slipped over the end of the shaft,” Star stated. The trifletch was a low-quality offering to accompany the kiddie arrows. With the company’s rebirth, a new factory needed to be built. According to Del, that is when the decision to refocus Norway’s direction and introduce the Duravane line started, and high-quality plastic vanes were adopted as Norway’s primary product.
During the rebuilding, Norway also started a metals division. “The metals division used CNC machines to make custom cams and risers for compound bows, and [we] did rather well for many years without actually producing any proprietary products of our own,” according to Star. Recently, however, the metals division has been phased out, making Norway primarily a vane company.
For the past couple of years, Norway’s Fusion vane has served as its flagship product. In the beginning, vanes suffered serious setbacks and too often peeled off the shaft after being glued. Vanes that adhered better did not perform as well in flight as their stiffer cousins. “The Fusion vane is a dual polymer vane where the base is made from one material—which was formulated specifically for its glueability—while the wing of the vane is crafted from a stiffer polymer that allows it to fly the arrow better,” Star explained. The dual polymer system simply offers the best of both worlds without any of the sacri?ce.
Never wishing to rest on past success, Norway Industries introduced the Zeon Fusion vane this year at the 2011 ATA Show. The Zeon Fusion builds on the Fusion’s success. It is a transparent vane that uses an edge glow in the polymer to convert ultraviolet light into visible light. Similar to a fiber optic, Zeon vanes collect and push light out to the edge of the vane instead of the surface. It is particularly excellent in dusk and dawn or under a canopy of vegetation where UV light is still high but visible light is low. “It’s a very exciting vane, and it is getting a heck of a lot of attention. We knew it was an exciting vane when Norway introduced it, but to be honest, it has garnered more excitement than even we expected!” the otherwise-demure Star exclaimed enthusiastically.
Fans of Mathews bows have also flocked to the new, 2.1-inch Fusion vane with a Mathews logo. The product has already proven to be a success—with the branding well received by both Mathews and its proud following.
Another new offering from Norway is the Raptor vane. The Raptor follows the high-profile, short-length design popular with other manufacturers and proven by hunters everywhere. According to Star, the difference in the Raptor is its adhesion qualities. “We set out with a proven design in mind and added Norway’s unique adhesion qualities to make it even better. The industry has responded favorably, particularly with arrow manufacturers who are buying Raptors in huge bulk quantities.”
Norway has sold its own vane glue in the past, but now recommends another brand. “We recommend Goat Tuff glue as much as possible. We have looked into manufacturing our own glue and recently held a meeting on the very subject, but it simply did not seem to be the right fit for [Norway Industries]. We know Goat Tuff works very well with our vanes and have decided to simply ‘stick’ with what we know works,” Star quipped.
In addition to vanes, Norway has a fun new product it recently introduced called the Bill Clip. The Bill Clip can be worn on the bill of a hat or used as a money clip. The Bill Clip features one of the following—buck, duck, fish or dog—so there is one to scratch most any sportsman’s preferred itch. “The Bill Clip is a classy little item made from stainless steel. You mention ‘hat clip’ and it drives most to think of something cheaply made. The Bill Clip features excellent images with a fine depth-etching to create more than a single layer of image,” said Star.
Norway’s future is solidly focused on innovation. And with exciting advances like the Fusion and Zeon Fusion vanes, the sky may not be the limit. “Norway is attempting to do some really new things by taking vanes in completely new directions,” said Star.
Our best advice? Stay tuned.
For more info go to www.duravanes.com