As well as now being at a level where better limbs would be beneficial I also knew that if I wanted to reach longer distances I either had to increase my draw weight or shoot faster limbs. Increasing my draw weight didn't feel the right thing to do as when I've tried shooting 36lb limbs I've found it a bit too much of a struggle. I then noticed a few faint cracks appearing in my SF Premium limbs and interestingly a number of other people who shoot these limbs have all noticed exactly the same thing. It appears as though the cracks are only in the final varnish and everyone I know who has noticed this has carried on shooting with them without any problems but it's not exactly a confidence builder and every time I went to draw my bow I half expected it to explode in my face! Therefore new limbs were needed, but which?
Since I wasn't going to increase my draw weight my main concern was speed, I wanted fast limbs so that my arrows could hit 100 yards. The next consideration was weight. My biggest problem is stamina, not so much in drawing the bow but in holding the bow and I often find that my bow arm shoulder starts to get tired and then I start to hunch up which then makes drawing more difficult. I have tried to combat this by using carbon stabilisers and a carbon sight and reducing the weight on the end of my long rod and now my bow feels as light as it would be comfortable to shoot, any lighter and I feel it would be at the sacrifice of stability. With this in mind carbon limbs seemed the perfect choice being both fast and light.
So which carbon limbs? This was to a large extent determined by budget as I had around £300 to spend. As I currently shoot a SF Forged + riser which is made in the W&W factory and would like to eventually upgrade to a W&W riser it made sense to look at W&W limbs. My short list was therefore the W&W Winex, Rapdio and RCX-100.
My first choice was the legendary W&W Winex but W&W have stopped making them and there wasn't any 34lb long limbs left anywhere in Europe. This was pretty gutting as I had set my heart on them but the choice then boiled down to the Rapido and RCX-100. Researching both limbs didn't really make it clearer other than the RCX-100 was more expensive by around £50 so did that mean they were better?
Win&Win say the following about the RCX-100 limbs:
RCX-100 limbs contain a CRS foam core that optimises their speed. They feature high modulus carbon and the 45-degree carbon system developed by WIN&WIN engineers to increase shooting stability and protect the limb during use, also ensuring straightness and resiliency against twisting.
This is what Win&Win say about the Rapido limbs:
The RAPIDO carbon/foam limbs are specifically designed to complement the new carbon riser. Easy to draw and aim, the RAPIDO limbs are silky smooth to shoot and perfect for building competition archery confidence!
So both are carbon/foam but presumably the RCX-100 would use better quality carbon but who knows and could I even tell the difference? Being cautious I pretty much decided I would buy the RCX-100 based on the assumption that more expensive must mean better. However when I spoke to a couple of shops who stocked these and the Rapido limbs the feedback I got was that the Rapido was quite possibly the better choice for me as the difference between the two limbs wasn't very noticeable especially at my draw weight. What settled it for me was when I spoke to one shop who said that he had shot the Rapido limbs and thought they were brilliant and very smooth and fast and, in his opinion, were better than the RCX-100 and was now recommending them above the RCX's and so this is what I ordered.
I've now had my Rapido limbs for a couple of months so how do they shoot? They are incredibly smooth! The difference between these and my old SF Premium limbs is massive, it feels like a totally different bow but in the best possible way. The only analogy I can come up with is that my old limbs felt like an old clapped out Mini whilst the new limbs feel like a finally tuned Porsche. Whereas my old SF Limbs would start to stack almost immediately once past 28" resulting in the limb becoming increasingly harder to draw, the Rapido limbs don't stack at all and the same amount of effort is required all the way through the draw. The end result is that they actually feel easier to draw. They are also very fast. I can't say whether they are faster or slower than the RCX-100's but my concern was being able to hit 100 yards and this I now can do quite comfortably. Yes obviously a heavier draw weight would improve my sight marks but as mentioned before, that is not something I'm physically capable of at the moment. That said the difference these limbs have made to my sight marks has been quite remarkable. My sight marks for 60 yards is now slightly higher than the sight marks on my old limbs for 50 yards, effectively therefore I've gained over 10 yards. So far I've only shot 3 rounds at 100 yards and 90 Meters but, to a large extent thanks to these limbs, I am already shooting scores just below that of Bowman classification.Whilst I doubt I will achieve that classification in what is left of this years outdoor season, it is something I am going to aim for next year.
Would I recommend these limbs? Absolutely. I'm not saying these are the best limbs money can buy but I definitely feel that they are one of the best limbs you can buy in the £250-£300 price range and well worth trying.