Bow Review: Hoyt Ventum 30

Is the Hoyt Ventum 30 the company’s smoothest, fastest and quietest compound bow ever offered? In the author’s opinion, yes.

Bow Review: Hoyt Ventum 30

For the author, tight groups like this 40-yarder were easy to achieve immediately following sight-in with the new Hoyt Ventum 30.

During more than 25 years as an archer, I’ve owned and tested dozens of bows. If I include the ones I set up and tuned for customers during my retail years, I’ve shot hundreds of different bows. Because of that, I know it’s relatively easy to feel the difference in performance between a current bow and one launched 5-10 years ago. But, rarely does a bow manufacturer deliver a noticeably better bow in just one year. Hoyt did that when it replaced the Alpha Series with the new Ventum 30 and Ventum 33.

Like me, you might be able to tell the differences between the Axius Alpha and the new Ventum 30, but how will you assure your customers who bought new bows last year that the Ventum warrants an upgrade? After spending a few days testing the Ventum 30, I believe I can offer some points you can use to close the sale. Let’s discuss them.

Brand New Engine

For the last 20 years, bow manufacturers have relentlessly used the following buzzwords to describe bows and cam systems: fast, quiet, smooth and accurate. So, when Hoyt boldly claimed that the all-new HBX Cam — debuted on the Ventum — is the smoothest-drawing cam it has ever produced, I’ll admit I was slightly skeptical until I drew my test bow for the first time. When I did, the 71.7 pounds felt like no more than 65 pounds. As a hardcore bowhunter, I demand smoothness. The Hoyt Ventum 30 overdelivers.

Hoyt clearly states in its Ventum promo video that the HBX Cam isn’t merely a redesign of existing cams, but an all-new cam with unique features and benefits. One that stands out is the user-convertible let-off draw stop — simply loosen a screw and slide the stop to either the 85% or 80% position to achieve an optimal valley and holding weight. That stop also ends the draw cycle with a definitive wall.

In the past, Hoyt offered two and even three cam sizes to cover all draw lengths. To protect and optimize the Ventum’s performance, draw lengths are covered via two different-sized rotating modules, which means that every single Ventum, regardless of draw length, has the same size HBX Cams. The efficiency is astounding.

 

Integrated Balance Features

The Axius Alpha featured a dampener/weight positioned at the bottom of the riser near the limb pocket. Hoyt took it a step further with the Ventum 30. In the same vicinity, it features a secondary stabilizer mounting hole outfitted with a Short Stop stabilizer. This stabilizer connection point harnesses the science of gravity at a critical point to anchor the bow and maximize stability. I found it beneficial, especially when shooting in a crosswind.

Should your customer dislike the mini stabilizer, no sweat; simply unscrew it. If they desire more weight, position their favorite stabilizer in its place. Also, there’s a third mounting location dedicated for sidebars. With these stabilizer-mounting locations, your customers can achieve an individualized fit and feel.

Another clever feature is the In-Line Sight Mount, which uses a Picatinny rail compatible with the Fuse Vectrix sight. In the past, the conventional side-mounting location for bowsights altered a bow’s balance, but the In-Line Sight Mount repositions the sight’s connection point to the front of the riser to solve this. For this test, I used the traditional sight-mounting location because my sight isn’t compatible, but I’ve been shooting archery long enough to know that the In-Line Sight Mount will improve the feel and balance.

When drawing the Ventum 30, the author confirmed Hoyt’s claim that the HBX Cam is Hoyt’s smoothest yet.
When drawing the Ventum 30, the author confirmed Hoyt’s claim that the HBX Cam is Hoyt’s smoothest yet.

My Ventum 30 Experience

I received the Ventum 30 on my doorstep only a few days before this report was due, so I’ll admit that I had very little time to test, evaluate and write. Normally it takes time to acclimate to a new bow and group arrows well at distance. The same day I set up the Ventum, I was dialed out to 50 yards and shooting tight groups. It’s one of those awesome bows that, right out of the gate following sight-in, puts arrows right where the sight pin is upon release.

Let me outline a few notable attributes I noticed while shooting groups with the Ventum 30. First, it’s unbelievably stable despite its short 30-inch axle-to-axle length. The long riser and past-parallel limbs are to thank, as is the improved stabilizer location I mentioned previously. Next, the draw cycle is mind-blowing. Drawing back is easy, but so is letting down when the situation calls for it. It’s a pleasure to draw and shoot with no identifiable hand shock or vibrations.

I’m not really that invested into speed. That being said, the Ventum 30 set to a 28-inch draw length and 71.7 pounds spit my 468-grain arrows at 283 fps. Considering those specs, that’s plenty fast. More importantly, my kinetic energy with this rig was 83.144 foot pounds — way beyond adequate for elk and moose.

The grip is comfortable. The shot is smooth. The accuracy is excellent. What else can I say? It overdelivers everything you’d expect from a $1,200 MSRP bow. When your customers test it, I whole-heartedly believe most will agree that it leaves nothing to be desired.

 

Credit Roll

Of course, the Integrate Rest Mounting System, compatible with the QAD’s UltraRest Integrate MX, has carried over onto the Ventum. I can’t give the feature enough accolades, especially since I do a lot of bowhunting in unforgiving terrain. When you mount the UltraRest MX, it’s there to stay, and finite adjustments can be made with the micro-adjust features.

The Roller Guard incorporates sealed ball bearings to reduce friction as the cables ride smoothly through until you hit full draw. It’s one of the trimmest of its kind, yet aces its purpose. It works harmoniously with the HBX Cam to, again, provide an unrivaled level of smoothness. And speaking of the HBX Cam, the Limb Shox and Shock Pods have been upgraded to maximize the HBX Cam’s performance. 

Perhaps the longest-standing Hoyt innovation that gives Hoyt bows their unmistakable appearances and has weathered the tests of time and competition is the venerable TEC Riser. The bridge serves as a strengthening component, but also diverts vibrations from the grip to virtually eliminate felt hand shock. Of all renditions, the Ventum 30’s TEC riser feels the sturdiest. Not only is it wider than TEC risers from just a few years ago, but it incorporates two riser tunnels to augment stiffness, thus reducing riser flex as the bow is drawn and fired. The product is easier tuning because everything remains consistent through the entire shot cycle.

The finishing touches are the Stealth Shot string stop and the Xact Grip. The Stealth Shot halts the bowstring at spec brace height, reduces bowstring oscillation and improves arrow departure. The Xact Grip provides outstanding comfort in a slim and well-contoured profile to minimize bow torque. That is, it’s just one more reason why the Ventum is so accurate.

Is the Ventum 30 Hoyt’s smoothest, fastest and quietest bow ever? It certainly feels like it to me. Further, it’s available in nine classic finishes and two new ones — Buckskin and Wilderness — which means there’s a Ventum 30 for nearly every type of customer to drive off the lot.

Hoyt’s Ventum 30 features ultra-sleek craftsmanship and delivers everything you’d expect from a $1,199 MSRP bow.
Hoyt’s Ventum 30 features ultra-sleek craftsmanship and delivers everything you’d expect from a $1,199 MSRP bow.

Test Bow Specs

  • Axle to Axle Length: 30 inches
  • Brace Height: 6.125 inches
  • Draw Length: 28 inches
  • Draw Weight: 71.7 pounds
  • Let-off: 85%
  • Bow-only Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Accessorized Total Weight: 6.02 pounds
  • Velocity: 283 fps (with 468-grain Easton 6.5mm Acu-Carbon 340 arrow)
  • Kinetic Energy: 83.144 foot-pounds
  • Finish: Black Out
  • MSRP: $1,199
  • Contact: www.hoyt.com

 

Additional Notes:

The Hoyt Ventum 30 was set up using a Last Chance Archery EZ Green Bow Press and EZ Green Bow Vise, and draw weight was calculated using Last Chance Archery’s Digital Bow Scale. A Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph measured the 468-grain Easton 6.5mm Acu-Carbon 340 arrow’s velocity.

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