Hoyt is one of the most famous archery brands in the world. No other archery brand has as many loyal buyers as Hoyt. You often see archers with a full Hoyt kit, including a Hoyt quiver, hat, and bag. You don’t see this with any other archery brand. So why are so many archers loyal to Hoyt and are their bows worth the price?
Hoyt is a premium archery brand and therefore you pay a premium for the brand. Although the brand creates high-quality products so do other manufacturers. But since Hoyt is such a beloved brand, you pay a premium for the label.
If you ask loyal Hoyt users, they will list a lot of reasons why they prefer Hoyt over other brands. In this article, I will discuss whether those reasons have merit and if you will shoot better with a Hoyt bow.
Why Hoyt is an expensive brand
If you look at the most expensive limbs and risers, you will most likely end up at Hoyt. Even the cheapest risers have an MSRP of more than $400. Let’s discuss some reasons that could explain the big price difference.
1. Focus on innovation
Since Hoyt has always been one of the leading archery brands, Hoyt has provided the world of archery with a lot of innovations. One example is the introduction of the ILF fitting. Before the ILF fitting each manufacturer had their own limb fitting. This made it impossible to use limbs from a different brand on your riser.
This not only made it more difficult to switch brands, but it can also cause issues when a manufacturer discontinues one bow type. For example, if the model of the bow you bought is discontinued, you may not be able to find any replacement limbs.
This was solved by the ILF fitting because you can now use almost any limb on any riser. Sadly, Hoyt has complicated this by introducing a formula. But overall, the ILF fitting that they pioneered has provided the world of archery with tremendous improvement.
2. It’s an American brand
For people who are not living in the USA, this might seem like a bad reason. But many Americans prefer to buy from an American manufacturer. Not only because they trust those brands more, but also because they provide jobs in the USA.
Since I don’t live in the USA, I don’t care if they are manufactured in the USA, China, or somewhere else. I just want good products for an affordable price! But I understand that this might be different for some people.
3. Premium build quality
If you compare a Hoyt riser to a cheap Chinese riser, you will feel the difference. The overall build quality, use of materials, and fit and finish are just better on the Hoyt bow. I have to say though, that other competitors such as W&W and Winners also have a ton of premium risers. But then you will also have to pay more.
Although it is nice to have a riser that is well-made and looks good, it doesn’t help you shoot any better. So, the difference between a cheap and expensive riser will be very minor.
Some manufacturers claim that their riser vibrates less than the products of their competitors. Although that may be true, I found that the difference is often quite small and doesn’t really affect your shot. You can feel the difference between shooting with a magnesium or an aluminum riser. That is mainly because aluminum is heavier, which absorbs more energy. But luckily there are also a lot of affordable aluminum risers on the market.
4. Marketing and advertising
Like any big brand, Hoyt is advertising a lot. From banners at archery competitions to sponsoring athletes, Hoyt is visible in a lot of places. This costs a lot of money, there is a reason why smaller budget brands cannot advertise to the same extent.
Hoyt is a bit like what Nike is in the world of shoes. Just adding the logo to the product will make the product pricier because archers want to be associated with Hoyt. Nobody wants to be associated with Kaimai, the obscure Chinese archery brand.
Just look at the number of archers walking around with a Hoyt hat. The hats from Hoyt are not any better than other hats. Archers just want to be associated with Hoyt because they think Hoyt is a cool brand.
There is nothing wrong with that, but you will pay for it, because Hoyt paid a lot of money to build their brand.
5. It’s the most prominent archery brand
You see the same thing happen in almost any industry. The brand that is known as the best can charge much more than its competitors. Think for example of Starbucks. A lot of coffee chains offer coffee for a more affordable price, but since Starbucks has such a recognizable brand people trust them more.
The same is true for Hoyt. Most archers know that the difference between their products and some other high-quality archery brands are minor. But they prefer Hoyt, because they know the brand and never had a bad experience.
This allows brands to charge more even though they deliver similar quality products.
Are Hoyt bows more accurate than other bows?
A lot of people believe that expensive bows shoot a lot more accurately than cheap bows. That is not true. Well-designed bows tend to be more forgiving than cheap bows. This means that the bow shoots well, even if you make a mistake in your shot. But if you have excellent technique, you will be very accurate both with a cheap and an expensive bow.
One way archery manufacturers test their accuracy of their bow is by using a hooter shooter. This device holds and triggers the bow, eliminating the archer. With a few exceptions, any bow will hit the gold at 90 meters, if it’s correctly tuned.
So, the biggest factor that determines the accuracy of the bow is the skill of the archer that is holding it. Since we are all human, we will all make small mistakes in our technique, even the best archers do.
Having a bow that is forgiving helps a lot. But there are many ways to make your bow more forgiving, such as adding stabilizers/dampeners or optimizing the grip. Also, some archers like to add some weight to the riser, because this makes the bow vibrate less.
The overall geometry and design of your bow also play a role, but that difference is minor. So, unless you are shooting at World class level, you probably shouldn’t worry about that.
Is it worth buying a Hoyt bow?
From a pure price standpoint, buying a Hoyt bow is not necessarily economical. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t, however. You don’t have to make every purchase economical.
Many people purchase Apple products, even though many people in the tech industry say that you would get more bang for your buck with other brands. But since people like the design and function, they prefer Apple products. Similarly, if you like the design and feel of Hoyt products you shouldn’t be deterred from buying it.
In this article, I just want to let archers know that you don’t need a Hoyt bow to shoot well. Many archers are overwhelmed by the prices of archery equipment. I think archery shouldn’t be a sport accessible only to rich people.
Please, do not buy a Formula bow!
Although I have nothing against Hoyt, I do have something against Formula. Bows with the Formula limb fitting are not interchangeable with other archery gear. ILF was one of the biggest innovations in archery which helped to make it much easier to find replacement limbs.
Hoyt claims that they introduced Formula because it performs better than ILF. I don’t believe that, because the design is almost the same. I think Formula was introduced to lock people into buying Hoyt products.
I am quite annoyed by this because I got a very nice riser from Hoyt that I wanted to use, but since it has a formula fitting, new limbs would cost me more than $400. Since I didn’t want to spend that much money on limbs, I decided to use my old riser.
If you want a more in-depth technical analysis of the difference between ILF and Formula, make sure to read my article below:
There are a lot of great archery brands. So, there is no need to stick to just one. Just look at their offerings and see if they fit you. Below I have listed some of my favorite high-quality archery brands:
- Fivics: I have used many Fivics accessories, and I always liked them a lot. For example, the tab they designed was the gold standard for a long time. Now they are copied by many other manufactures. Fivics recently also started creating full bows.
- Sanlida: This relatively new brand has disrupted the market. High-quality bows were always significantly more expensive than some cheaper alternatives. There was just a huge gap between the cheap and expensive gear. Sanlida focuses on creating high-quality bows for an affordable price, so it’s a good alternative for big brands!
- Bear Archery: This is one of the most popular brands within the bowhunting scene. They offer a lot of great products, from compound bows, traditional bows, and accessories; they have pretty much everything for bowhunters.
- Many others: don’t focus too much on the brands. Each manufacturer makes some bows that are great, while others have issues. The best way to make sure that you make the right choice is by reading reviews and talking to fellow archers. Especially if you are on a budget, you can save a lot of money by looking for a good bow from an obscure brand.
My experience with cheap alternatives
For me, it has always been a challenge to find the cheapest gear that still works fine. But yeah, I am Dutch, so I am probably living up to the stereotype. Since I am also working in marketing, I know how much brands overcharge just by slapping their sticker on something.
So, I have gone on a bit of a crusade to find the cheapest gear and make it work. In the video below, I share my experience with a $140 compound bow.
I probably made a lot of archers angry with this article. The ‘’get serious, get Hoyt’’ slogan has really worked its way into a lot of people’s heads. Even people who buy other brands think that cheap archery equipment is inherently bad.
With this article, I tried to give a rebuttal to these thoughts. I don’t think there is anything wrong with purchasing expensive gear, if you feel like it. Make sure that you buy it because you like the premium feel, the brand, or certain features. Just by buying an expensive bow, you will not improve your accuracy!