Tips from the Pros: PSE

When I first got interested in shooting, my parents told me that I had to learn about things so that I could make the best decisions.  Part of that was setting goals for myself of what I wanted to do and learning about the best kinds of equipment.


A lot of times, you will hear students say “I want to go to the Olympics” or “I want to be a Pro.”  When I started shooting, my step-dad said, “Well Emma, how do you do that?”


So, I started asking questions.  This is my first blog of research about PSE.


This summer, I got to meet the awesome Lee Ford when the Paralympians where here to train.  When my parents came to pick me up, I had notes I took about all the questions I asked everyone.  The reason what Lee said was so important to me because I had never had someone explain equipment the way she did.  Usually people say stuff about how their bow is the greatest bow in the world but not every person can use the same bow.  Some things are better for others but Lee talked about why, as a female, she feels the PSE bow was better for her.

I sent Lee an email to ask permission to put her story on this blog because there are people new to archery that read this and are trying to learn.  This is what Lee said:



“I had started shooting an Optima when loaned one by a fellow Kennesaw Archery Club member and liked the PSE a lot. I had the opportunity to buy a PSE X-Factor from another club member and did so, since the Optima had treated me so well. One day with my coach, this same club member and I were shooting and he was complaining about how much poundage he was shooting to get to 70 meters, but I was shooting much less poundage, about 6-8 and not having a problem and told them so. We took off all my equipment from my PSE and put it on the other riser. Turns out now I couldn’t reach 70 meters anymore either! We put everything back on the PSE X-Factor, exact same limbs, limb bolt settings and I again can shoot 70 meters. We realized that the ratio from the arrow rest to the sight bar screws was better for someone with a smaller face or a woman, since they would not have to shoot as much poundage to shoot 70 meters and keep their shoulders safe and a strong form and not have to struggle.”


Cool, right?  I sent a letter to PSE after I talked to her because of everything she had told me about how great the bow was.  I asked them to tell me what they look for in someone that will be one of their Pros so I can use that to set some goals for myself.  The super cool Bobby Vargas wrote me back, this is what he said:


“Being a part of the team requires a lot of hard work and dedication to the sport and to the brand. We look for shooters that participate in as many events as possible and help to introduce new people to the sport. We need shooters that are willing to take the time to speak to other archers about PSE equipment and the company. Our staff is also required to help drive sales through their local PSE retailers. Your job as a Pro Shooter is not only to always perform to the best of your abilities, but also to help grow the sport and the PSE name. In order to be a factory sponsored Pro Shooter you are expected to do this AND perform well at top level events.”


Did you guys know all of that?  I think a lot of people think “oh if I win this and that, I can be sponsored as a Pro” but really, you have to be able to talk to people.  If you are afraid to be in front of people, you will have to get over that quickly!


After my experience in Texas this year, I know for sure what my goals are for next year but I do think I want to bow hunt with a compound.  (Right now, all my field and 3D tournaments are with my recurve.)  I think PSE has a lot to offer on both kinds.  For a long time, I have been speaking with Paige Pearce at events.  She is always kind and will answer questions and sign anything I ask her to.  After I got the email back from Mr. Vargas, I thought I would ask her what she would say about her bow in case anyone is looking for a new compound. This is what Paige said about hers:


Paige at the World Championships in France with a Supra.



PSE is the smoothest and most forgiving bow I have ever shot!  When you add the fact that the PSE’s are among the fastest bows on the market, you just can’t go wrong.”

Paige uses different ones for hunting and competition.  I think this is what I have to do, the more competitions I go to.  What I need set up for Olympic competition is completely different from the other stuff I like to do and I don’t want to give anything up.  Equipment is expensive but I think if you want to do things well, eventually that is what you end up doing.

The buck Paige harvested in September with a PSE Evo


Have any of you shot PSE bows?  What kind and is it recurve or compound?  Can you tell me what your experience with them is?  This is important research!

If you are interested in reading more, here is a good blog from PSE pro Emily Anderson about her bow decision too.

3 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: PSE

  1. Hi Emma,
    Greetings from Barbados. I’m a PSE shooter all the way and although my X-Factor isn’t the newest bow on the block she is the sweetest, most forgiving bow I have ever shot. I’m a lefty and when I started PSE was the only company that did an affordable recurve in left hand. I did struggle with the mass weight at first but a little focused strength work took care of that. That first riser eventually cracked at the handle pivot point so I went searching at a Pan Am qualifier and absolutely fell in love with the X-factor the first time I saw it. The owner (from colombia) and I had a looong conversation about it in a mish mash of english and spanish and when I got home I bought it. I’ve never looked at another bow since. I’ve shot my X-factor for the last 12 years without a single problem. Every so often I’ll pull everything off and clean it thoroughly as the salt in the air here will corrode anything, but that is all I do.
    Wishing you all the best,


  2. Hello Emma,

    I’d began with the recurve PSE Zone for a several years, i did like shooting with it, then a retailer sold a PSE X-factor with (custom paint job on it?) snake print in red, i fell in love with the handle, light, strong and less material.
    So i shoot again for a few years with full satisfaction, the riser shoots very smooth and accurate.
    Now i have a shoulder injury and I’m not gonna shoot again so I’m planning to sell the complete recurve bow, maybe i buy a light compound bow of course a PSE and see how it goes.

    Best regards,

    Twan from Holland (the Netherlands)

  3. hello Emma,
    i shoot a PSE X Appeal as an olympic recurve. i shoot PSE Dominator 3D’s for indoor and out FITA and 3D as well as field.
    i am a staff shooter for PSE at the local regional level, after shooting a Hoyt for 12 years i tried a PSE and can say it changed my shooting for the better. i am now 4 years with PSE and cannot imagine switching.

    the only thing PSE could do better is marketing for the Olympic recurve side. not alot of info or press for such a great riser.

    as mentioned in your blog, not every bow is right for every archer. for ME the 2 main points are perfect, back wall and the best grip in the biz.

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