Sun sets on biggest archery trade show on the planet, rises on a bright industry year!
By Kevin Reese
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- Closing day of the 2016 ATA Show proved to be bittersweet.
Anyone saying the previous year’s ATA Show was better than the Louisville, Kentucky venue wasn’t saying anything at all, an encouraging vote for Louisville’s weather this year and more accommodating venue; after all, instead of a wind chill of -16, attendees basked in the warm glow of lows and highs from the 40s up through the 60s; the weather was perfect! The show floor was significant and wide-open with aisle after aisle of eye-popping, jaw-dropping product offerings from businesses large and small. Here are some closing highlights from companies and products that shined and thrived at this year’s event.
Bowfishing’s splash has grown tremendously over recent years and its presence as a legitimate sport with a wildly growing legion of fanatics reverberated across the ATA Show floor; although, no company seemed to shine brighter in this niche cross between bowhunting and fishing as well as AMS Bowfishing. AMS has long been respected as the premier brand for serious bowfishermen and women over the years with no signs of slowing its roll.
AMS Bowfishing rolled into the 2016 ATA Show with a serious game-changing face. Marketing Manager, Mathew Schillinger, was happy to show off a number of brand new products including the AMS E-Rad, a 30-60 lb. draw, parallel-limb compound bowfishing bow. Lava Crux arrows and the all-new Retriever Pro Tournament Series kits are sure to turn up the heat on your bowfishing and the industry as a whole, signaling the continued growth and overall interest in the sport among archery, bowhunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. In line with the current “pimp your bow” trend in archery and bowfishing, the new AMS Retriever Pro reel kits, now come trimmed in ultra-cool aqua blue, red, orange, green or yellow to match your bow, gear or, heck, even your personality.
SPYPOINT TRAIL CAMERAS
As has been the case for the past several years at ATA, SpyPoint Trail Cameras has once again blown the minds of show attendees and perhaps soured the grapes of other trail camera manufacturers with the SpyPoint Solar, their innovative new trail camera complete with a blistering, unmatched trigger speed and an integrated solar panel – so long battery replacements… see ya’ around! Of course, the Solar wasn’t the only shock to the hunting camera system SpyPoint lined up. For amateur and professional videographers alike, the SpyPoint Xcel 4K also changes the video landscape with up to 4K resolution, a water resistant case, included bow and rifle mounting accessories, and a price point that causes users of other HD POV cameras to question the real cost of brand loyalty.
It’s going to sound cliché, I know, but both the Solar and the Xcel HD 4K really are “the bees knees” when it comes outdoor camera gear whether you are 10,000 ft. above sea level bowhunting elk, trekking around low-lying waterways, or anywhere in between.
BENJAMIN PIONEER AIRBOW BY CROSMAN
Few products, maybe none, had attendees clamoring as much as the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow by Crosman. This archery-air rifle uses PCP technology and compressed air to send arrows at the fastest velocity the archery industry has seen yet, 450 FPS, and boasts 160 fpe, without the use of limbs or cams. The overwhelming majority of attendees were enthusiastic about the Airbow for all types of big game and predator hunting. The Pioneer Airbow promises faster shooting and improved accessibility for new, young or physically challenged hunters via an ultra-easy two-finger cocking process. The Airbow can fire up to 8 shots at 450 FPS on a full charge – 3,000 psi of compressed air. Crosman reported the Airbow is not affected by cant during the shot and requires minimal maintenance compared to crossbows.
At 33.5” of overall length and weighing in at just 7 lbs. the Pioneer Airbow just might be the perfect choice for hunters who like to take their adventures to new places. The Airbow includes three arrows with field tips, a 6x40mm scope, sling and quiver. Talk about game-changing!
Circling back to a couple companies introduced in our article on ATA Show opening highlights, the unveiling of several industry firsts had the show floor buzzing about BIGshot Targets. During the 2016 ATA Show, BIGshot launched the IRON MAN Series Extreme 500, the industry’s first-ever 500-fps rated target system, as well as a new pro and personal reactive field-point-ready video target system and the enormously popular Vegas Series Tournament Target System, an industrial grade competition target system designed to accommodate 6 target faces for increased shooter capacity. Why nobody came up with a target system this beneficial to shooting ranges? Who knows, but it’s here now! Not there physically but truly present in spirit was BIGshot’s other out-of-the-box first-ever offering, a completely mobile professional grade mobile video target range! As a result, BIGshot sales orders kept the company’s president, Al Perelli, on the move and smiling from ear to ear.
“We easily doubled our orders over last year’s ATA Show. This has been an unbelievable experience! It’s why we come here. I can’t tell you how excited and motivated we are to deliver on our promise to be the best value, best quality, best innovator in the archery target market for our new and existing customers.”
Xecutioner Broadheads President Thomas Loa and the Vice President, Diana Loa also brimmed with excitement throughout the ATA Show. A broadhead product growing scarce within the industry is virtually any broadhead outside of standard 100-gr and 125-gr offerings. Serious bowhunters often spend significant time exploring weight options in order to optimize arrow flight and energy. Xecutioner delivered the goods with the 75-gr. Xpandable and put an exclamation mark on their product line with an intimidating, reportedly great flying 4-in. cutting diameter turkey hunting broadhead. Also creating chatter was Xecutioner Broadheads’ prototype REDRUM Arrows, spin-tested to a demanding, precise tolerance of +/- .001-in.
“This isn’t our first ATA Show, but it has been our best!“ stated Diana Loa. “We’ve had such a warm response to our 75-gr… it’s gratifying to know we are offering something people have been asking for. They want more options to optimize their hunting arrow weight.” Thomas Loa also added, “People have been anxious to place orders for our REDRUM Arrows. They’re going to be great but we’re not quite where we want to be yet. They’re coming soon.”
BE THE TREE
Browsing the “IZ” row of the ATA Show and striking up short conversations with hard-working visionaries like Greg Blymire, president of Be The Tree, LLC, an extraordinary cover scent product line, will reveal more than business men and women – many of these folks, including Greg, are hard-core, boot-on-the-ground bowhunters just like us. They deserve more than a pat on the pack or respectful nod. They deserve our business. In Greg’s case, as in others, he not only deserves it, you want to give it to him. I’ve never experienced a cover scent quite like his.
From field spray, to wafers, to shampoo and detergent, Be The Tree’s scent captures every outdoor scent you can think of help you truly disappear in your environment… and it smells great! It just might replace gun oil as my next cologne!
THE IZ ROW IS AWESOME!
For many companies, Be The Tree included, the 2016 ATA Show was their foray into the archery industry’s largest industry trade show. While some may have been overwhelmed by its sheer size and attendance (remember, this is NOT a consumer show), they didn’t show it. Booth after booth revealed only smiles and the kind of determination that lets you know the future of the archery industry is in great hands. Not only did the 2016 ATA Show demonstrate for these companies the potential for life- and business-changing opportunities, for some it delivered!
“This was the shot in the arm Be The Tree needed. This is our first year and we’ve secured the largest orders we’ve ever seen!” exclaimed Blymire. “Coming here has shown me there’s room for new innovators and that the American Dream is alive and well in our industry. We can’t wait to see what 2016 holds for us!”
Maybe it’s because I wear my heart on my sleeve; maybe I like to root for underdogs; just maybe, I like to see good things happen to great, hard-working people who venture outside the box to deliver truly amazing products; maybe it’s all of those things combined that truly kept me warm on an expansive show floor in January while scouting for opening day highlights. The truth is, none shined brighter than the collective light of the entrepreneurial fire found amongst IZ-aisle newcomers like Be The Tree.
If you wonder where movers and shakers come from, they are there, in those little booths lined with blue linen, waiting to wow the heck out of you.
About Kevin Reese:
Kevin is an award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, videographer, speaker, host of Global Outfitters TV Show’s GO Tips and a Marine Corps veteran. He owns and administers www.mainbeammedia.com and Main Beam Blog at blog.mainbeammedia.com. The Main Beam Blog offers great articles, press releases, outdoor industry news and reviews.