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An Interview with Don Katsumi, Boo Strings manufacturer

We tested the famous Boo Strings a few weeks ago (part 1 of the review is online HERE) it is now time to get to know the man behind that. Don Katsumi , a dedicated professional that has  a mission: deliver the best string money can buy.
Let's get to know him better.


Good morning Don and welcome on Crossbow-Review, tell us something about yourself:

Where are you from and where do you live?

 I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

When you did get involved into archery (crossbows) and how ?

I started with a new 165 lb Exocet a long time ago and presently own 10 Excals and one Ten Point. I started because I was not happy bow hunting with a compound during the winter with bulky clothing. I felt I could be more humane by not having my bulky clothing interfere with my shooting.

What crossbow you have and shoot ?

I own an Exocet 165, an originally wooden stocked Exocet, a Phoenix, a brown Vixen, a black Deluxe Vixen, a Max Point, a Volverine, 2 Y25s, a Vortex and a Ten Point(which I have a major hate/love relationship with). I do most of my hunting with the Vortex and one of the Y25s. They are perfect killing machines. I put them on the same level as the M16, very efficient. I put STSs on all of them. The Y25 in particular is a bow, after a couple of additions, almost as quiet as my Hoyt Vortex. When shooting the Y25 with 350 grain arrows you can watch the arrow go to the target through the scope. It is just an awesome stet-up. I like the Vortex for stalking. Although is is wide because of it's a recurve the pistol grip helps the handling. last year I stalked a whitetail to 15 yards with the Vortex and successfully took the shot. I was pumped for a whole day! Both the afore mentioned bows wear 40 strand Boo strings with cat whiskers and shortened STSs.

How did you decide to manufacture crossbow strings?

I am an "A" type and saw a product(a crossbow string) I could improve on visually and functionally. Besides that I can't leave things alone, I guess I am what people call a "tinkerer". I am constantly experimenting like reducing the noise level in crossbows.

You are quite famous all over internet, in many forums people talk about you and your famous Boo Strings: is string making becoming your business?

Making strings is just a hobby. I make my living by owning and operating a BMW specialty repair shop. Making strings does not make much money. One simple Flemish string takes me an hour of work time to finish so I don't pay myself much after receiving $42.00.

What materials do you use and what type of string you make ?

The string material in a "Boo String" is composed of 1/3 Vectran and 2/3 Dyneema and it was the second material I tried. The serving is Halo. The materials were selected for the manufacturer's description and of course I had to experiment before trying to sell the strings. The reason for now using the present material is for it's lack of creep and lower shock on the shot.

Do you make strings for every type of crossbows or is there any restriction?

I will, as a favor, make traditional bows string but no compound bow strings. I have made a string for an archaic bow on request but I make Flemish strings as a rule and others as a favor.

When it comes to string care and maintenance many manufacturer seem to make opposite suggestions; What would you recommend for optimum string life and serving care ?

I recommend using bow string conditioner with silicone in it. The string should be waxed inclusive of the loops. The serving should be waxed every 30 shots or so and the rest of the string should be waxed every couple of hundred shots. The wax should be put on before putting the bow away after a shooting session not before. No rubbing should be done, just let the wax soak in. Another recommendation is to turn the string every 50 shots or so to have the latches bear on a different part of the serving. Serving wear is thus cut in half. Serving separation is a fact of life but improves vastly after the first serving. Once the string is served a certain amount of wax is squeezed out and the subsequent servings do not have to deal with the wax that comes from the string making.

If a customer places an order just how long does she/he have to wait to receive its custom string?

I hate say it but it is a 2 to 3 month wait. I am inundated with orders from mostly the US but have had orders from Sweden, England, Italy, Holland and Australia as well.

Where does the name "Boo" string comes from?

Someone said that you get one best dog and Boo is the one. Boo was a Springer Spaniel I bought from Springville Springers near Peterborough many years ago and no dog will ever shine that him. I still shed a tear when I think about him.

Tanks Don for your time and for sharing your insights with us and our readers.


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