Product Profile: Elite Archery

For 2011 this innovative bow maker completely redesigned its lineup, and feedback has been impressive. More good news? Elite’s ‘crazy-high’ levels of customer service.
Product Profile: Elite Archery

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elite archery hunter
Elite Archery Hunter

Although Elite Archery has been around for a number of years, it fell into new ownership in the beginning of 2009. New regimes often take over with grandiose ideas, and its current ownership could have fallen into that trap. Instead it decided to sit back, watch and, most important—listen to what the customers and dealers were saying about the company, service and its product. As with most companies, there was plenty of good and bad, says Peter Crawford, president of Elite Archery.

Coming in with a fresh perspective and more than a year of product review gave the new owners the input and energy to initiate the design, quality standards, and characteristics that lead to an entirely revamped bow line for 2011. In the past, Elite’s design seemed to be based on the “speed at any cost” theory. Feel and shootability were minor considerations in the engineering process. Added to that, Crawford feels that there was some “fudging of the numbers” both in speed and draw length. Not only could a customer potentially get a bow that did not perform up to the advertised speed—the draw length could be up to a half-inch off the specifications.

Starting with the 2011 lineup, all the past has been wiped away. Elite’s new bows feature complete truth in advertising both to the dealer and the customer.

“What we are trying to do is build a rock-solid bow platform. When a hunter has to pick one bow to take on the hunt of a lifetime—such as a sheep hunt—we want everyone to advise that hunter that he needs to take an Elite bow,” says Crawford.

One way the company is accomplishing this is by having the best warranty in the business. Elite bows now come with a full lifetime, transferrable warranty. The company is so serious about its warranty that it includes an actual Hunt Guarantee. Say your bow fails on a hunt, for any reason. Maybe the guide accidentally ran over it with a truck. Elite will overnight a bow to the customer’s location—already set up—so he can finish his hunt.

That certainly takes customer service to a level never before seen in the archery industry. “Elite Archery’s goal is to achieve 100-percent customer satisfaction, both from the dealers and the end user,” Crawford says. “To do this, we are looking to fi nd the best materials and components possible. We are not looking for cost-shaving solutions; we are looking for ways to make the best possible bow.”

The new Elite Hunter features a cam shape and draw cycle not previously seen on an Elite bow. Its name says it all: The Elite Hunter was built for bowhunters. Measuring just a tad less than 32 inches, the Hunter has a generous brace height of 7 5/8 inches with speed, smoothness, and efficiency that other bows on the market simply can’t duplicate. Crawford believes that this is in large part due to Elite’s two-track binary cam system. This allows the company to produce a 7 5/8-inch-brace-height bow that can compete with other companies’ 7-inch-brace-height offerings.

One unique aspect of the thinking that went into the Hunter’s cam system was not just how smooth the cam felt during the draw cycle—but how it felt when letting down. Being a Bowhunter himself, Crawford understands that shots don’t always work out as planned. When a hunter has to let down while game is nearby, he has to be able to do it almost effortlessly. The Hunter’s cam system was developed with an understanding of the need to comfortably draw the bow slowly and let it back down slowly.

The new Pulse replaces the Judge from 2010. At a quick glance it would be hard to see the difference between the two, but according to Elite, the Pulse had the biggest change in feel both in its draw cycle and throughout the shot process. With Elite’s Pulse bows now in shops where customers can actually test-drive them, sales for the bow have increased dramatically. Crawford stressed, “The draw cycle on the Pulse is almost comical it’s so easy. Yet the Pulse has a six-inch brace height and is shooting an honest 340 feet per second.” The letoff can also be adjusted up to about 90 percent. With the Pulse you can shoot a 60-pound bow and hold a mere six pounds at full draw versus the competition’s bows, where you would likely have to hold 18 to 21 pounds.

The new Pure was really born out of customer suggestions. Crawford recounted many customer complaints about bows getting shorter and shorter. The general consensus was a yearning to return to a longer bow—with an axle-to-axle length of 36 inches. It’s no great secret; bows with a longer length between the axles are simply more stable—and therefore more accurate. The Pure was designed with archers in mind who shoot 12 months out of the year—because it will do everything the 3-D archer, spot shooter, and bowhunter wants, all in one bow.

Elite really wants to spread the message of how much it cares about its customers. “Each day we strive to improve customer service,” Crawford said. “We want to be the friendliest, easiest archery manufacturer any dealer ever works with. We don’t fight them on making customers happy. We answer the phones, get back to dealers quickly and respond to issues, problems and concerns as fast as possible. In addition to building a great bow, Elite wants to offer a great experience with an attitude less like a manufacturer toward a dealer and more like helping a best friend.”

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