One day, a couple of weeks ago, rain was falling here in Southeast Pennsylvania and I was beginning to feel a bit too cooped up. With nothing else to do, I loaded up my bow and took a ride over to Stowe Archers with my oldest daughter.
We shot together for about a half hour before I packed up my gear and watched my little girl shoot. She was having a great time and before long she had me pulling out different 3D animals for her to take a shot at.
As I sat there watching her, I realized that it was time to get her a new bow. The one she was shooting used to belong to my cousin, who used to shoot it some twenty years ago. It is a great little bow but my daughter needed something that fit her better and would grow with her.
Over the next few days, my wife and I discussed the ideas of setting up our daughter with a new bow and arrows. It would be a gift given out of the blue but we felt she earned it. She does well in school, on the soccer field, and is a good kid in general.
Once we came to an agreement, I began researching different options. Buying a bow for a 6 year old girl isn’t overly difficult but it isn’t easy either. I narrowed it down to three options and went from there.
The Original Genesis is a versatile bow that was designed to fit a wide range of archers. The key feature is that they utilize a variable draw length with 0% letoff. What this means is that any archer strong enough to draw the bow could pick it up and shoot it without needing to make adjustments.
The great thing about this particular setup is that as the child grows, the bow automatically grows with them. There is no need to rotate modules to change draw length. Just pick up the bow, load and arrow, and have fun.
Genesis Bows are made by Mathews, a big name in the archery industry, and are well built. They are used in NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) and retail for under $200.
35 ½” axle-to-axle length
7 5/8” brace height
Adjustable draw weight 10-20 lbs
Draw Length range of 15-30 inches
3.5 lbs mass weight
While being a great bow, I had my daughter shoot one and found that there were a couple of problems. The major issue was the size and weight of the bow. My daughter is 6 years old and roughly 3′-8″ tall. She found the Original Genesis to be a bit unwieldy. In addition, the minimum draw weight of 10 pounds was a little heavy for her.
As appealing as the Original Genesis was, I didn’t think it was the best choice for my little archer.
For Young Archers that are not quite big enough for the Original Genesis, there is the Genesis Mini. It sports the same features of the larger bow but in a smaller format.
29 1/2” axle-to-axle length
6 1/8” brace height
Adjustable draw weight 6-12 lbs
Draw Length range of 14-25 inches
2 lbs mass weight
The Genesis Mini fit my daughter well and looked like a winner. The one concern I had was that she would likely outgrow the bow in a year or two – needing something that would draw beyond 12 pounds. Having to buy the Genesis Mini now, followed by the Original Genesis in approximately two years, wasn’t a deal breaker but I preferred to not have to buy twice if I could help it.
Diamond Infinite Edge
The last bow on my list was the Diamond Infinite Edge. This bow is massively adjustable and is considered a real-deal hunting bow. It’s lightweight frame and versatility make it a great option for growing kids as well as adults.
DRAW LENGTH 13-31″
IBO SPEED 310 FPS
MASS WEIGHT 3.2″ LBS
AXLE TO AXLE 31″
BRACE HEIGHT 7″
DRAW WEIGHT 5-70 lbs
MSRP $399 W/ Boondocks Pkg
EFFECTIVE LET-OFF 80%
Adjustability is simple and requires rotating a module to change draw lengths. The longer the draw length, the higher the peak draw weight.
The biggest concern I had with this bow was giving my daughter too much to deal with all at once. As setup, she would need to learn to use a release, peep sight, and sight pins. Accessories could be removed as needed but the thought didn’t cross my mind early on.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a Diamond Infinite Edge for my daughter to try out. Going by the mass weight, which matched the Genesis Original, I assumed it would also be a bit unwieldy for her. The idea of buying her one bow that would last for years and year was very appealing.
Making a Choice
I spent several days trying to make a decision between the Genesis Mini and the Diamond Infinite Edge. Both bows had their pros and cons but, in the end, I decided that the Genesis Mini would suit her best right now.
I made my way down to French Creek Outfitters and hoped to walk out with a new Genesis Mini in Pink Camo. It turns out that they didn’t have that color in stock and they would need to order one. I put a down payment on the bow and made my way home, slightly disappointed that we wouldn’t be shooting together that evening.
A week past before I got a call that my bow was in. After work, I raced off to the store to purchase my daughter’s new bow. She didn’t know that she was getting it and my wife and I were excited to surprise her.
It just so happens that when I arrived, a friend from Stowe Archers was working behind the counter. He unpacked my bow and commented on how nice it looked. Then he looked up at me and said “Before you buy this, I want to show you something”. He walked off to the bow rack and came back with something that I hadn’t considered.
Bear Cruzer Lite
The Bear Cruzer Lite looked very much like an adult bow scaled down to child proportions. It came equipped with 3 pin sight, whisker biscuit arrow rest, peep sight, string loop, and string stop – all color coordinated with the bright pink riser.
Included in the package were separate modules to allow for half-inch draw length adjustments as well as one that would allow for variable draw length (much like the Genesis). The weight range and adjustment weren’t as impressive as the Diamond Infiniti Edge, however, they were perfect for a young growing child.
DRAW LENGTH 12-27″
IBO SPEED 290 FPS
MASS WEIGHT 3.2″ LBS
AXLE TO AXLE 27-1/8″
BRACE HEIGHT 6″
DRAW WEIGHT 5-45 lbs
MSRP $299 RTH (Ready to Hunt)
EFFECTIVE LET-OFF 70%
We spent a couple of minutes talking about the features and it became clear to me that perhaps the Bear Cruzer Lite was the best choice for my little girl. I gritted my teeth as I handed over the cash for the bow and a youth release and eagerly made my way home.
Our daughter was thrilled with her new bow and we immediately hopped into the car and made our way over to Stowe Archers to give it a try. The member who sold me the bow met us at the club and set it up for her.
We wound up having to take out the peep sight (it was too flat and she couldn’t see through it due to string angle at her settings) but she was putting arrows into the target butt in no time at all.
I wound up spending more than I had intended that evening but I don’t regret my purchase at all. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my little girl at the archery club.