One of the surprise bows of the year is the Bowtech Carbon Icon that was launched around the ATA show in the beginning of 2015.
My response, as well as quite a few people I spoke to, was simply: Why?
Bowtech already had that segment of the market covered by the Carbon Knight and Carbon Rose. Both good bows covering a specific market segment in the super light Carbon range. Actually getting our hands on one and shooting them was the eye opener.
What is different?
Well, for one, the cams are slightly different in design so the draw curve is different. More importantly though is that the bow now also incorporates the Powershift Technology in the form of a FlipDisk. So, instead of moving the module around to change the draw curve (like on the prodigy) the module on the Carbon Icon actually gets removed and turned over (like the Eva Shockey “signature series”) only two settings, but that’s enough. You have a high performance side and a “calm” and relaxed draw curve side, which makes the bow a pleasure to shoot, even at high pounds, for the beginner as well as the archer working on their form.
The next part is pure speculation because we can in no way confirm this, but I think Bowtech changed either the manufacturing process or the material they used on their carbon risers. The riser finish feels different on the hand, but more importantly, the feel on the shot is closer to an aluminum riser than the light carbon. Much more “solid” than expected.
So how effective is the FlipDisk actually? Just a gimmick? Or is there a benefit?
I set up the bow on 55.25lbs and on 30” draw length and shot it on the Comfort setting first. I can shoot this bow the whole day, there is no way it feels like 55lbs! I went back and checked the poundage twice. It literally feels like 45lbs or 50lbs. Through the chrono, I got 269fps on my GoldTip Velocity Pro (374gr)
Then I flipped the disk to performance setting. First thing is that with the changed draw curve, the bow seemingly picked up two and a half pounds on the Draw Weight. Adjusted back to 55lbs and pushed some arrows through the chrono again. Amazingly, the speed picked up to 281fps on the same Velocity Pro arrows!
I know the theory behind this but it remains amazing that you can gain 12fps by simply changing the shape of the module. The draw curve changes drastically and the holding weight at the back is high with a small valley, but the solid back wall (thanks to the limb stops) still makes it easy to shoot.
This is a bow that is a step up from the enthusiast bows without a massive jump in price. A fun shooting bow that is light, forgiving and accurate…. which makes it ideal for a walk and stalk. Weighing in at just over 3lbs, empty, you are looking at a riser you can literally carry around all day.
This may not seem like much, but at the end of 6km of stalking, I promise you, every pound and every ounce counts!
UPDATE – Carbon Icon DLX
In 2017, Bowtech has brought out a kit version of the Carbon Icon, the Carbon Icon DLX. It’s exactly the same as the original Icon, just new camo options and the kit.
As a package, this is exceptional value for money with a Black Gold bow sight, Tight Spot quiver and a Code Red Drop-away rest. It also has an Octane Stabilising damper that, with the other accessories, makes the Carbon Icon DLX probably one of the best value for money bow packages on the market today.
Thank you to Archer’s Edge for Providing the Bowtech Carbon Icon to play with! If you would like to try it out, please follow the links and contact them directly!