~Bigfoot myth or reality~
Since in this holiday season, it seems to be the right moment for the presentation of our new toys, for older children, I am embarking on the presentation of my latest acquisition. The presentation is a few months late of course.
The story begins our anual meeting with the members of ATO organized by our friend Yann, in the promised land, for the hunting of wild boars in the marshes: “The Camargue”. This is where I had the opportunity, and the pleasure, to meet, face-to-face (as it is fashionable to say at the moment) Laurent Nogues, alias “Hector de Troie” on the trad talk forum.
Laurent had come for the occasion, accompanied by a bow that immediately intrigued me. I n his hand he held His new “Bigfoot Sasquatch SS Special”. Intrigued by the particular design of this bow, which at first glance gives it astonishing simplicity and sobriety. The riser was laminated hardwood with a reinforced "G-10 I-beam" in the center section, and limbs had black fiberglass backing. The whole thing made me think a little of a Predator, but more slender. A feeling of robustness emanated from this bow.In short, the appearance of a real hunting tool which seduced me with its particular aesthetics.
I currently own or have owned most of Top US and Canadian bows, and the border Black Douglas from HEX 5 to 7 and CVX RER, BW Schaffer, centaur, cari bow wenger, blacktail, Morisson, timberghost G3SS, fedora stalker, striker, Bear, Bob Lee, Toelke, Big Jim, Great Northern, Hunter’s Niche, and some more unknown but very good like Hurst bows etc.. I probably have missed some more . I have with trad gear big game animals from lightest ungulate to water buffalo, including most of southern African antilope, warthogs, pigs several deer species and mountain sheep.NOTE* See hunting photos in the Gallery
The best hunting bow I have ever used is bomb proof, extremely accurate, and the fastest bows with glass limbs i have put through a chronograph is the Big Foot Sasquatch special. (Bowyer Kirk Lavender) It is made out of hardwood and a G10 T-bone frame, and has plain black glass limbs. That thing is tuned in 15 minutes, can fall from a 10 feet high tree stand and kill a huge gemsbok 1 hour later. (It unfortunately happened to me ) and Outshoot a Bw PMA by 15 fps for same gpp arrow/DL and poundage. Actually speedwise really close (In the 2-3 fps) to border CVX Synthetic core on a black Douglas riser. You might find it is not a wall hanger but man that bow can SHOOT.
While I was on holiday i spent some time fine tuning my bows for the coming hunting opening. I could shoot through my chrono 2 bows with rather "conventional" limb design : a Border Black Douglas with bolt on CVX synthetic core limbs 19" riser/ 66" bow ( my 3D bow) and a Sasquatch SS special bolt on Recurve (my hunting bow) 19" riser/64" bow with black glass and Kirk's wood core. Border is marked 54#@31" and the Sasquatch 54#@32". At my drawlenght the BD outweighs the Sasquatch by 1.4# so they are very close. I tested both bow with same arrows (black eagle carnivore) flying good for my standard the medium set up 563 gr and heavy one 620 gr. Both bows are in ready to hunt tuning with wool string wrap wool silencers rubber lower tip protector and BH is 7.5" on the BD and 7 7/8" on the Sasquatch.
As I shoot mainly the 563 gr arrow on the BD and the 620 gr arrow on the Sasquatch I was convinced the CVX double carbon / foam core would outperform those black glass/ wood core Sasquatch limbs. I was very surprised by the result. I shot several time each arrow and bow and I am in 1 fps speed difference between release for the same bow. 620 gr arrow: Sasquatch 175 fps/ BD CVX 180 fps, 563 gr arrow: Sasquatch 182 fps/BD CVX 186 fps. Considering the BD is 1.4# heavier that makes the Sasquatch only 2-3 fps slower. Not too bad considering CVX limb cost being 3 times more than Sasquatch limbs. (actually a set of CVX limbs costs close to the same price as the full bow Sasquatch ss special)
~ Laurent Nogues, Montpellier France - 8/16/20
Kirk, mailman just came...Awesome! This bow is everything I dreamed it would be. It is exactly what I wanted. It's gorgeous, stealthy and quite sexy, ( too bad you don.t manufacture women)... I put about twenty arrows through it. Shoots beautifully! I haven't been shooting for a while, so I quit before I buggered some other body part up. It felt great, I need to exercise my shootin muscles a bit. I want to thank you for skill and craftsmanship. I love the bow. I will keep in touch from time to time. I may need some lighter limbs one of these days... Thanks so much.
~ Dale Taylor, 3/28/17
I had the pleasure of shooting several of his SS at the Baltimore Classic years back when Kirk first brought them into existence. I was shooting well past my comfort draw weight with that design. Each bow has it's own personality and he shoots and finds a "right" brace for each one he builds, so trust what HE tells you! You will not be disappointed. I have a deposit on a set of the SEMI-Static limbs for my Sasquatch hybrid LB and will get my riser to him directly to have them custom fitted. These new recurve limbs are called the "1st generation Sasquatch RC." I'm dropping weight (Again) and due for another round of rotator surgery this summer, so may need to hunt those lighter Semi-SS limbs this fall ... I have seen the performance #'s and they're impressive at any weight!
~ Dave Landis, 5/12/16
Got it today !! Already shot about a dozen arrows through it !! What a hot rod !! 58" & 50# @ 27 inches. This thing is a rocket launcher and quite possibly the quietest bow I've ever owned and I've owned about every one on the market !!
~ James Smith 5/12/16
I wanted to let you guys in on how this bow has been working out for me. I have had it for 3 months now and shoot the heck out of it every chance I get. I also would like to thank Kirk for helping me and answering all my questions during that time.
First of all, for all you guys who think ILF might be complicated....it really isn't. This was my first ILF bow and thanks to Kirk (and another "knowledgeable field tester" I had this baby set up and close to dialed in very quickly. This is the 17" riser with the G10 I-beam with walnut. The G10 is so cool because it is seriously tough stuff...the riser is cut 3/8" past center. I have mine set up with a nylon tipped set screw and I really like how I can use it to change the tune for a certain arrow.
The grip is great and has a flat spot for the thumb pad which was totally new for me. Kirk helped explained the benefits of using the flat area of the grip to distribute pressure on my thumb pad....I have got to where I really like it.
My limbs have carbon on the back and are marked 53@28 and I draw near 29". I have the bolts set at even tiller, backed out 2 3/4 turns.
I laid it out beside two other well known bows for comparison. Notice the risers, even though the Sasquatch riser is the smallest it is also the heaviest thanks to the G10...makes for a really stable riser in an excellent hunting length.
The limbs are very light thanks to CF and being so slim. They are very quick, while being smooth drawing and quiet. Something else that stands out about them is how stable they are, I feel like I could use them as a car jack lol...it always amazes me what bowyers can do.
I also really like the looks of the bow, they scream performance. It has a durable matte finish which will be great for hunting. Kirk did a great job of blending the looks of modern and traditional in my opinion. A good way to describe the looks is "simply handsome"
For anyone considering ILF, and one of Kirk's bows, you should go for it...he has a real winner here. What impresses me most about Kirk is the fact that he is so helpful and wants guys shooting his bows to get the most from them.
~ Paul Todd 1/27/16
A real good looking rig there , Kirk has done it again. All that G-10 would be awesome for heavy riser lovers who don't like metal. Those SS limbs really perform and I like the deflex in the riser. His grips and stable limbs are the best for repeatable accuracy I have found. Now you got me thinking of getting a third set.
~ Gery Katiltch 1-27-16
RE: LH Bigfoot Sasquatch TD. I have shot many fine longbows and this one is at the top for me. It is smooth, quiet and very fast. Workmanship is top-notch also. If you are looking for a great bow contact Bigfoot Bows.
~ Ken Kluza 12/19/15
I've received my new t/d sasquatch longbow from Kirk Lavender of Bigfoot bows this past week. It is the finest finish and prettiest bow I've ever held in my hands. It's bocote and myrtle in the riser with bocote veneers under clear glass. I don't know how to post pics so hopefully Kirk can get some on here soon. I dropped almost 10 lbs of draw weight and didn't lose any speed, i think I've actually gained some over a few of my others. It shoots super flat well past 20 yards and it is whisper quiet. I am truly impressed with his craftsmanship and knowledge on bows. Thank you Kirk for such a great work of art and it being a great shooting bow to.
- Obie Jackson - December 13, 2015 - myrtle wood / bocote footing
Kirk's bows are very nice. Not just excellent wood choices but quality build and much attention to performance. My Sasquatch recurve was one of the best shooting bows I've owned. I killed my biggest "traditional" buck just a few months after receiving it. The bow and buck are pictured here.
~ Roy Grimes - August 11, 2015
I have had his hybrid and liked it a lot, sold it when I was short on $. Also have a Stealth model and it really shoots and performs well. I currently have his SS recurve with G-10 I-beam for extra mass/stiffness and really like it. She is really quick and VERY stable. I also have a set of SS ILF limbs on order and anxiously await there arrival. Love working with Kirk, he listens to you and adds recommendations you should listen to. His attention to detail and getting the most performance out of a shootable bow is what he shines at. They don't look to bad either. Yeah I like and recommend his bows.
~ Gery K - August 11, 2015
I've bought and sold more different bows than I can remember, sold them all but one, Sasquatch with hybrid limbs...very fast, stable, totally dead in the hand and very quiet, I was at the Muzzy shoot this weekend and had a bunch of guys comment on how quiet the bow was.
~ Larry Marshal- August 11, 2015 - (Larry on the right)
I've had my Flatliner longbow for about 8 months or so and it is by far the best bow I've shot. In my 15+ years of shooting traditional equipment I've never shot a bow that performs like Kirk's bows. My first exposure to Bigfoot was through a fellow Kirk got me in touch with that lived close by. He handed me his Sasquatch and his arrows and I knew it was super quiet, smooth and very accurate but I wasn't that impressed with the speed of the bow. Seemed pretty close to my R/D bow that I had been shooting for many years. I was only after Dave had me shoot his arrow out of my bow that the light bulb went on. My bow was 2 or 3 pounds heavier and his arrows dropped like a rock out of my bow. I was hitting at least 12" low! Here Dave is a big fan of heavy arrows and those logs he was shooting were something like 12 or 13 GPP and I was shooting about 8 GPP out my bow. Forget using the normal spine calculators with Kirk's bows as well. He puts such performance into his limbs you'll end up shooting a much stiffer arrow than what you think you should. The performance is fantastic but not at the expense of comfort. His bows are super smooth and he builds them to your draw length so as he puts it, "nothing is left on the table". You will not be disappointed with any of Kirk's bows.
~ Keith Harnish - August 11, 2015
The custom bow experience you get from Kirk is second to none, he really works with you to make the bow you want. Following the aesthetics of design, you also get a real performer; I have a Sasquatch LB and it is one of the smoothest drawing and on point shooting bows I have laid hands on. IMO it will not be a waste of time to at least get Kirk on the phone and bow talk a bit and see what you come up with.
~ Heri Paumo, Finland- August 12, 2015
I bought one of Kirks bows about a year ago after researching many bowyers across the Internet. Kirk seemed to be the most knowledgable person about the energy mechanics of a good bow, not to mention beautiful craftmenship. I own the Sasquatch SS takedown and was amazed at how light this bow is and yet it dead in the hand when I shoot. This is the first year that I was able to claim high score in our archery club for all traditional shooters. I'm sure I can attribute it to this bow. I would buy another bow from him in a second. He will spend the time to give you good straight forward advise. He has a wide selection of bows and one of them will fit your shooting style give him a try. His prices are very competitive too.
~ George Zimmerman- August 12, 2015
I've been shooting an original 3pc Sasquatch 1st generation recurve since 2011. Kirk is a true custom bowyer in every aspect. He'll customize the grip to fit you and your shooting style. Kirk also builds his bows to be draw specific, meaning that the bow will perform best at your given draw length. I've never shot through a chrony, but do my own form of testing a bows performance. I've shot the Big Foot side by side with several other top end bows using 3 different arrows, wood, aluminum and carbon. Most all bows shoot about the same out to 20 yards, but back up to 35 or 40 yards and you'll see the difference in arrow trajectory. The Big Foot is the flattest shooting bow I've ever shot. Kirk is a top notch bowyer and an even better man....how can you go wrong with that combination?
~ Billy Shipp August 12, 2015
I'd like to share my experience and my trail through the woods in search of a bow that would solve some long-standing issues...if it were possible. As my investigations unfolded, I began a "Search for Bigfoot". Perhaps you'd like to join my journey?
Before I start, let me say that I have heard many great things about many, many bowyers. I’m sure there are other bowyers who could have done a great job addressing my grip problem, but I only had so much money and at my age, so much time.
Yes, I have a grip issue with standard risers--90% of the bowyers I talked to over the years felt they could "fix the problem!” but I’ve been burned a few times so I decided to give it one more try.
Friends recommended 2 bowyers: I contacted Kirk and one other bowyer by email. Both got back to me. I talked to one who recommended I try his customer's bow who lived in my region. I did. Not even close. Words can be so fragile when it comes to explaining something so complex as a bow grip or challenges to same.
Kirk responded by email. A few exchanges later, after reviewing my perceived issue with grips, Kirk provided me with a list of things that he would need from me to figure out if he could build a custom bow that would resolve my grip issues. He wanted “data” to determine if it was a grip design problem, or if there were flaws in my form or execution that no bow grip would fix. I’m a data driven guy and Kirk asking for “data” to review, well, that fit my personality!
There is a “cost” associated with him diagnosing and custom building a grip to fit. The option was simply a "Custom Grip" option. Kirk appeared very thorough in what he asked. I learned from others that he pulls few punches, and if it was not a bow grip problem, I sensed he’d not waste my money or his time! I liked that! Kirk gave me an outline of what he would need. He wanted still pictures from a bunch of angles and viewpoints plus hand tracings.Even videos of me shooting if that was possible.
We struck a deal. He invested heavily in time and reviewed everything--- and provided feedback to me that he identified a body mechanic issue with how I rotate my wrist and that he felt he could remedy my issue. And the safarri began...
Next: The build choices....
~ August 16, 2012 Dave landis
Thing about Kirk--- he doesn’t just build a pretty bow (all I’ve seen were gorgeous!) but he builds a fully functional bow and each of his design feature has been thoroughly tested and -- re-tested. I paid my deposit and held my “spot”. He shared high speed clips of his limb designs in action-- he is passionate about bow design, limb function: vertical limb stability, lateral limb stability, and resulting performance. He wants to exceed his and the customer’s expectations. He has researched deeply into different types of carbon and has settled on his “matrix” design that he’s tested, reviewed, tested under high speed videography and settled on a formula that offers high performance while maintaining vertical and lateral stability! I’d watched a few of Kirk’s video build series in the past and I’d been in a few bowyer’s shops to see processes unfold, so it is not all alien.
Kirk took time to share parts of the build process with me so I could see “my bow” come alive in his hands. Those pics above were neat to see cause I could roughly understand them... I understood, well enough for my purposes, his explanation of vertical limb stability and horizontal stability and how it improves performance, but Kirk would have to step in to do that topic justice… understanding doesn’t mean I can describe it accurately. I wonder how many others invest in high speed video equipment, editing software and then blow up thousands of dollars of limbs & materials, while being photographed with high speed equipment, to see, if, where and how they fail? And then start over to fix it all till it is perfecto??
~ Dave Landis August 18, 2012
I have 2 of his takedown Sasquatch longbows. One plain Jane for hunting and a less poundage fancy one for 3d shoots. Both were built exactly as I wanted with a little advice on Kirks part. Now I have a one piece static on order. I guess you might say I'm very happy with his work and you can't find anyone that is easier to work with. You will be happy with any bow you order or he will make it right.
~ Bill Tennison - August 12, 2015
"I've done a lot of reading about Kirk and his bows and it's always positive!"
I've spent a big part of the last two days doing the same. I haven't found anything negative yet. Poked around the website some. Most of the technical stuff is way over my head, but it sounds real important. The pictures are fantastic! I don't understand all the tech talk either but what I can grasp from it all is he has his act together when it comes to milking every last drop of performance out of a set of limbs. All I know is arrows that were slightly stiff for my previous 50# radical R/D are way to weak coming out of a 48# bow that braces as a D shaped longbow. I don't know how he does but very glad he's got it figured out. I'm toying with the idea of getting a lighter, slightly longer bow for NFAA field shoots. Got to get with Kirk to talk that one over at some point.
~ Keith Harnish- August 12, 2015
Kirk is a true professional and artist and a innovator for sure. He is great to deal with. I love me Sasquatch #55 @ 31" Shoots great, Shoots very quiet. No hand shock whatsoever. Awesome bow.
~ Jim LeJEune MI - August 12, 2015
You cannot go wrong with either Bigfoot or Eagle Wing bows. I have both. My Sasquatch has both 42# and 50# limbs. The lighter ones are great if I'm going to shoot several hundred arrows in a day. I hunt with the heavier ones. Kirk will communicate with you until he knows exactly what will fill your wants and needs. And the quality of workmanship is outstanding, even in today's crowded field of trad bowyers.
~ Andy Cooper- August 16, 2015
I recently had Kirk build a bigfoot for me including a custom grip from a grip and riser I sent him, along with hand pics and tracings, Kirk did suggest a slight modification and it worked out wonderfully. Traded numerous emails and Kirk was always very helpful, knowledgeable and easy to converse with. Had an excellent experience and by the way, Loving my bigfoot sasquatch td. Thinking about my second.
~ Gery K August 17, 2012
I've ordered a few custom bows throughout the years, but I have never dealt with a bowyer as thorough as Kirk. I am also a STICKLER on grips. A few bowyers have gotten close to making a grip to my satisfaction, but Kirk nailed it dead on.
If you're able to supply Kirk with the information he asks for, you'll wind up with a truly CUSTOM bow that SUITS/FITS you.....no one else may like it, but it will be EXACTLY what you ask for. I was fortuntate enough to hunt with Kirk earlier this year. I think 5 of us were already shooting Big Foot bows, plus Kirk brought along several more bows for folks to try out. I knew that Kirk had built my grip like I wanted, but it really opened my eyes to what Kirk was doing in terms of building grips to suit different guys. On that trip, I was able to shoot 8 or 9 of Kirks bows, each one with a different grip....some I could have gotten along with, and some I didn't care for at all. The others guys loved their grips as much as I did mine. My grip was totally different than any bow there, but it's the perfect grip for me.
I think you're going to be impressed with your Big Foot Doc.....Kirk has taken the word CUSTOM to a new level.
~ Billy Shipp August 17, 2012.
Wood I-beams are not new at all, It's the name we chose for that center lamination that's new. a lot of the older Bear bows and Ben Pearson bows to name a couple incorporated multiple lamination's in the wood risers to help strengthen them. Often times is was done with the same piece of wood too..... Besides strengthening the riser it also eliminates warping or twisting that isn't uncommon using one solid piece of wood.
The G-10 material i use is actually called Garolite. It's an epoxy fiberglass lay up with very high tensile strength. i recommend this product for increasing riser stiffness and adding mass weight to a riser for those who like a little more physical weight in their hands.
To answer your question specifically, I would most strongly recommend using G-10 when the riser wood choice is questionable in strength vs the draw weight of the bow. A good example of that is using domestic hardwoods like black walnut, western curly maple, or all different kinds of burl wood.... the riser shape and length itself can be a determining factor too. I also highly recommend G-10 for those that like really skinny grips with a circumfrence of 4.75" or less. If your riser has a "Radius Back", it will be stronger than a riser with a "Flair back" because the two limb pads are connected, or tied together. This is a very slender riser with a G-10 I beam. PLease go check out the riser design portion of the bows page to get more info and a better idea of how i build these things. There are many options to fit your needs.
~ Kirk –I-beam explaination - August 19, 2012
My son John and I were able to spend a good bit of time speaking with Kirk at ETAR (and shooting his bows and I will say that this whole thread is further proof to me of the type of bowyer Kirk is. He was so willing to discuss, not only what he does, but why he does it, and that speaks a lot. It really seems that bow making, and that includes designing, trying, testing, etc. is really a passion for him and it shows in his work. I can only say that if I was to look for a new bow his name would be at the top of a very short list. My son, however, has a really short list, one, and that is Kirk. I just have to get him to the point where he can earn money from people other than me. Enjoy your bow, Doc! I'm sure it will be a shooter as much as it is a beauty.
~ Carl Campbell August 19, 2012
Hey Doc did you say you were going to hunt with this bow? If so, please mark the date and give us a 1 year review on how stable the performance and finish is after 1 year. Always interesting to find out if high performing truly custom bows can remain on the edge over a period of time. "Owl bait"
~ Mike Gerard August 19, 2012 (note See Mike's review on his new bow he custom orderd 4 years later up top)
Let me give you a testament to Kirk's bows. I have shot the devil out of one for quite a while now.....yes sir....the grip area is shiner that the rest of the bow, but I'm not going to talk about Kirk's finish because it's as good as any out there. Kirk is not the only bowyer using this particular finish, so it is indeed time tested and proven....now....on with the story.
Folks talk about a bow being bomb proof. I doubt any are bomb proof, but I can attest to how well Kirk's bows are built.....long story short...my Big Foot was snatched out of a crew cab Ranger Polaris, which is pretty big, heavy machine. The bow was jerked out of the Ranger, on a solid rock road, ran over two (2) times with both the front and back wheels. I had a Thunderhorn quiver full of POC arrows in the quiver. Quiver was smashed completely flat, and the arrows were a pile of toothpicks. The bow was ran over while lying on it's side....limb edges up. It had some nice, deep gouges in both limbs and the riser from being ran over on solid rock. Neither limb was even twisted, much less broken....and yeah....the finish was messed up too.... It was like new after a simple refinish.
This bow had been shot thousands of times before the wreck, and it's been shot thousands of times after the wreck.
Maybe this story will help answer you questioning Kirk's bows holding up for any length of time. I could let you hold it, look at, and shoot the bow today, and you wouldn't know that it wasn't delivered today.....well, except for the shiny area on the grip.
~ Bill Shipp August 19, 2012
I got my bow delivered to me late this afternoon, went out for a few shots before installing nock point or anything else just to shoot it and it started to rain really hard after about 9 shots. It was a cold day and I have a bit of flu so I was not feeling as strong as usual, took a few warm up pulls and let fly with those 710gr arrows and ... WOW, those arrows fly like darts out of this bow, incredible!!! Even without a nock point installed on the string, I was shooting right where I was looking.
BR> It's a strong bow for sure. Spent the evening setting it up with nock, cat whiskers and quiver ready for shooting tomorrow, weather permitting. I simply love the compactness of the bow Kirk, the riser is nice and compact, the grip is right on man, right on slender means less torque, hand right up under the shelf, as is the overall length which is a great plus for manoeuvrability. Everything is perfect, right down to the non-glare satin finish, great for hunting, not to mention the classy black mamba carving, really making this piece unique and special. I am very impressed with how slim you get those limbs, yet retain incredible stability. It honestly pulls like a much longer bow. The bow oozes "I mean business".
This Mamba is so powerful, it was bending 29" 5575 arrows at 710gr like spaghetti, so much so, the shaft of one pinched the web of my left hand so severely it cut me quite bad, blood all over. I was shocked. I had noticed that the arrows were coming out like a snake on hot tar, corkscrewing. This afternoon, I got out there with my bow and some arrows and proceeded to set the nocking point. I backed off on the weight of the arrows, down to 650gr and they worked far better at 29". When I get enough time, I will run through my setup arrows and see what works best. These have been cut into half inch increments starting at 27" and work right up to 32" in both 5575 and 7595, some FMJ's and FMJ DG's shafts with the sole purpose of bow tuning. I told you from the outset that I will be using heavy arrows with this bow, and today I had a go with some and I can honestly say that you have surpassed my expectations with this build!!!
1060gr arrows were launched out of this bow with deadly power, no kidding. I simply cannot believe the incredible capacity of this bow to handle such monster arrows. Kirk, those arrows were giving me such incredible penetration on my target butts, a number of times they blasted RIGHT THROUGH the target butt and embedded themselves into the sand bank behind. I could not believe my eyes. My compound set at 72Lbs managed to do this with less frequency with those heavy arrows!!! Now that's HUGELY IMPRESSIVE, especially from 20 yards!! I honestly feel this bow is TWICE as powerful as my old 65# longbow. Not based on scientific tests, but that's how I feel about it. Those heavy arrows just soak up the bow's potential energy, very silent on the shot.
This bow just loves heavy arrows. From 5 to 25m, those 1060gr arrows are totally practical to hunt with since trajectory only becomes a slight issue between 20 to 25m. You could easily go to 30m with practice. I would not shoot at any game beyond 25m with a longbow anyway, especially big game.
I love the way this bow shoots where you look. Do your part and concentrate and bam, right on the money. Another thing, it's DEAD IN HAND at the shot, I mean DEAD. How the heck do you do that man? It's plain beautiful, poetry in motion so it is. Last thing, did I mention I love my bow?
~ Fred. South Africa, 2011
The following is a review of my new Take-Down 64" Reflex/Deflex Flatliner Longbow (43#@28") by bowyer Kirk Lavender.
Before we actually discuss the bow, I feel that I should mention the bowyer. Kirk has proven himself, not only to be the most skilled and knowledgeable bowyer I've dealt with, but second to none in the customer service end of things. During my ordering process, Kirk took the time to answer all of my numerous questions, as well as teach me a great deal about bow making in the process (which was very rewarding and valuable in and of itself). He took considerable care and attention to detail to design for me the absolute best fit for a longbow (not only in design, but in regards to grip and aesthetics). He even took photographs of the bow making process, as well as including slow motion video of the Flatliner as it was test fired, so that I could see the dynamics of the bow during drawing all the way through the shot. I can tell you that after seeing the video I could hardly wait. What a stable, well designed bow (but more on that later). Did I also mention that he sent a draw force curve for my bow with explanation. Obviously, his skill, original designs and years of woodworking experience come together to make the best custom longbow I currently own.
Now to the looks and design of the bow ...
I was fortunate enough to have Kirk find for me a beautiful riser block laid up with Kingwood and Rosewood with black glass accents. To this I added a G-10 I-Beam for stability and extra performance. (I am primarily a traditional target shooter). The riser came out as a seamless and smooth piece of art, with exacting craftsmanship and a superb finish, allowing the beauty of the wood to show through from all angles. Absolutely perfect glue lines and no rough edges here. The riser as a whole has a wonderfully balanced shape, which adds to the profile. The grip perfectly fits my hand and shooting style due to the time and attention Kirk spent through discussions and with my hand tracings. Probably the most stunning aspect of the look came when I finally saw what Kirk had in store for my limbs. I ordered bamboo and walnut limbs with black glass. The surprise came when I saw the woodworking of the matching kingwood/black glass overlays and tips, the tips accented with white glass as well. These very fine and slender tips make stringing the Kat easy, as well as adding to the design. Stunning and beautiful is all I can say! All of these features come together to create a bow with a beautiful profile when strung or unstrung.
Now to the shooting characteristics ...
The first thing that I noticed was how solid and sturdy the bow feels in the hand. This is truly a well made bow that feels good to hold and you will notice this quality immediately. The feeling directly transfers itself to shooting. The Flatliner is a very stable and smooth shooting bow, allowing focus to be put on the shot, due to the perfect fit of my low grip. The grip just falls into place securely, comfortably, and with no torque whatsoever, finishing very dead in the hand after the shot. And given the great pre-load and smooth draw to anchor, aiming is easy and follows with a quick powerful shot. Even with my slightly heavier arrows that I like to shoot, the power and efficiency comes through. Finally, the Kat gives you that perfect "in the shot feel" that I have come to love and desire of any longbow I shoot. I am back to really being able to pinpoint and call a shot on target again. This is truly a high performance and skillfully crafted longbow. Shooting is a joy!
I highly recommend Kirk Lavender and Bigfoot Bows and will definitely be adding another quality, custom bow of his to my stable in the future!
~ Sean Evans May-2011