The crossbow market seem
healthier than ever , we are seeing a great
number of new models , there are also new
competitors. Do you feel pressure from the
-Yes, and no. We certainly feel pressure as more
competitors enter the crossbow marketplace since
logically there is a finite number of potential
crossbow sales available and with each new entry
the pieces of the pie get smaller. The good news
is that the crossbow market in general is
growing and this reduces the effect of each new
competitor. My big concern as the market becomes
more crowded is that the customers won’t be able
to tell the “sheep” from the “goats” and may be
led to buy lower quality or poorly designed
products in their confusion. At Excalibur we
have a very loyal following however, and we
aren’t concerned about these exciting changes.
How is the new Equinox
-The Equinox is our #1 model at this time, and
has reduced Exomax volumes considerably while at
the same time attracted it’s own customers. We
are very happy with it’s performance both in the
marketplace and in the field, and I will be
shooting it in South Africa next few weeks.
In USA the number of
states allowing crossbows for hunting is
growing, how are you doing in the market?
-We honestly don’t know as real numbers are hard
to get from our competition, however we THINK
that Excalibur is growing faster than the
overall market, which means that we are gaining
What is your largest
market outside North America (U.S & Canada) ?
-That’s easy…Europe! There are millions of
people living there with a tradition that
includes shooting crossbows. I only wish the
crossbow hunting opportunities were better there
both for their sakes and ours.
What about Europe?
-Like I said above, Europe is crossbow nirvana,
it’s just too bad the market is virtually
limited to target as this is not our forte.
Europe represents less than 5% of our sales at
It seems that lately there
are two “buzzwords” everyone is concerned with:
Speed and Noise
What do you think about these?
-If I had a penny for every word that’s been
entered into our forum on these subjects I’d be
able to retire! My personal take on the subject
is that these are very closely related issues.
First, everyone has to get it through their head
that crossbows are crossbows, and NOTHING will
make them quiet enough that a spooky fast animal
like a deer won’t hear and react to them. Face
it, the vertical compound and recurve guys are a
lot quieter and they still get string jumped
with surprising regularity. If you give up one
foot per second of speed to make the bow quieter
you are working in a very wrong direction. You
will never make the bow quiet enough that an
alert deer won’t react to it, but you MIGHT make
it fast enough that it can’t beat the arrow. I
personally opt for speed when hunting really
fast animals because of this. There are people
who say that kinetic energy drops off with fast
light arrows, but it doesn’t take many FPE to
penetrate a deer and all the energy in the world
won’t help if it’s not there when the arrow
arrives. The other side of the story is “What
Price Speed?”.Some of our competitors are giving
up way more utility and portability than the
average hunter is willing to bear to get a few
extra FPS. There is a limit to what makes sense
in the field, if gun hunters were as obsessed
with velocity as we are they’d all be hunting
Are new Equinox and Vortex
going to replace the Exomax and Exocet, or are
you going to keep all of them in your catalog?
-Good question. Our line has become
uncomfortably long with the 3 new bows we
introduced this year and we are considering the
issue carefully. We are, however, going forward
to replace our aging “traditional” style stock
mold next year. You can bet that there will
always be both stocks represented.
While testing the Equinox
we found the riser to be somewhat amazing, so
small but with so many operations to build ,
looks like one of the most expensive parts in
the crossbow, isn’t it?
-Very observant, yes, it is the single most
expensive part of the bow. The riser is made
from an extruded blank in batches of 6 per
loading on our CNC milling machines. Total run
time is about 2 hours to complete these parts
plus considerable effort to deburr etc.
What can we expect next
If I told you everything I’d get in trouble with
Kath. Lets just leave it at this….We are working
on something special for our 25th anniversary!
From what we have
seen and tested we are excited and we can't wait
to see what Excalibur is working on