Young American men surely look at Stuart Wright as if he were a hero out of a story about knights and dragons. He’s a paratrooper who served in the famed 82nd Airborne Division and he became intimately acquainted with the army’s superb M1A1 Abrams battle tank. He is a university-degreed Mechanical Engineer. He can operate all the cool machines, from industrial lathes to fascinating CNC machines. And he can build neat stuff with his bare hands while welding, electroplating, and making molds.
In addition to his other talents, Stuart is an all-around outdoorsman, bowhunter, rifleman, and fisherman, and all of these hobbies and talents drew him toward business—what would become the archery industry’s noise- and vibration-reducing specialist Bowjax Inc. “I wanted to build stuff that would make me and my family independent, so I didn’t have to work for somebody else,” he says, “and I wanted to build my business around the outdoors.”
Like most archery entrepreneurs, Stuart Wright began with a question: “How can I make this work better?” By “this” he meant the noisy speed bows of the ‘90s, which were undergoing a revolution in arrow speed. The industry was building faster and faster bows, but struggling to solve the many complex, even unexpected, issues that arose as a result of rapid technological innovation. The difficulty of noise and vibration in the shooting system was the point where Stuart Wright’s restless mind met a problem that needed to be solved.
Stuart’s journey began when he stepped on one of his children’s toys. “Jacks” is a pick-up game played by bouncing a rubber ball and scooping up small six pronged stars, and as such things happen, the pain in his foot led to an idea. From that encounter with a kid’s toy, the outdoorsman was off and running toward his first product, the Ultrajax I string silencer. Ultrajax attached to a bowstring without needing a bow press. Stuart built numerous molds and experimented with several polymers, and eventually the product satisfied him. Becky, his wife, sent samples and instructions to dealers around the U.S. and when positive “How can I order these?” responses began coming in, Bowjax was born.
What followed was a whole series of odorless polymer accessories designed to help bowhunters maximize their bow’s capabilities by dampening the noise and vibration of a shot. The Bigjax Cable Guard Dampener was next, and then the Limbjax and the Maxjax Dampener for stabilizers. On a roll, Stuart developed the Knuckle-Saver and, working with STS, became interested in string bumpers.
Bowjax began with one string silencer and today the company offers a variety. Slipjax and Super Slipjax slide through the string. Ultrajax I, the original product, must be fastened or served around the string. Ultrajax II (like the NFL designating Super Bowls, Bowjax uses Roman Numerals) requires that the bow be put into a press before these silencers can be slid over the bowstring. The new String Sleeve Silencers (4-pack, $7—requires a bow press) can be used on strings to help silence a shot and to pick up 2-3 fps, as if they were brass speed buttons.
The Wrights decided that high speed crossbows are here to stay and developed a set of silencers specifically for them. The complete crossbow dampening kit includes two crossbow-tough Monsterjax for limbs, four crossbow Slipjax for strings, and a retention spring dampener. Sets are available for split limb ($27) or solid limb ($21) styles and the items can be purchased individually.
Of course, Bowjax has a complete line of bow limb dampeners for solid and split limb compounds. The newest addition to the line which already includes Monsterjax, Slimjax and Monster Limbjax is the Revelation. These 2 ½x1 7/8-inch Split Limb Dampeners weigh only 269 grains each. They are less weight than the competition, Bowjax says, and less weight equals better speed performance.
- The 2-pack (black or red, $17) fits Hoyt, Strother, New Breed, and BowTech Invasion bows with a gap of 11/16 inches.
- The 4-packs ($23) fit the same gap of 11/16 inches and come in black, hot pink, blue, orange and fluorescent green.
- The 2-pack Magnum Split Limb ($21) with 15/16-inch gap for PSE and Fred Bear bows come in black, red, hot pink, and blue.
The newest concept for Bowjax is stabilizer development and Stuart has added two innovative stabilizers plus his Maxjax dampeners. “Our Maxjax stabilizer with two dampeners uses weight-forward technology to perfectly balance a bow,” he says. The $36 Maxjax comes in 5-inch (6-ounce) or 7-inch (8.5-ounce) lengths in black or several camo options. Maxjax has a threaded hole at the end to add additional accessories.
The X-It stabilizer strikes a balance between low weight and big dampening. X-It stacks Bowjax’ jax in tandem to produce an effective sound and vibration dampening stabilizer. The X-It comes in two different lengths (3-inch, $13; 4 3/8-inch, $17.50) and in black plus multiple colors.
Note also that Max Jax Stabilizer Dampeners can be used with any stabilizer to put more weight forward and to provide extra dampening. They come in two stretchable sizes: 5/8 to 1-inch (2-pack, $13) and ¾- to 1 ½-inch (2-pack, $10).