Carbon Express Maxima Blue Streak Review

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Arrow technology has come a long way over the years and with today's modern carbon arrows its hard to imagine making an even better performing arrow. However year after years manufacturers are working to improve arrow technology. Keeping that in mind, Carbon Express has released an update to their very popular line of Maxima arrows. This year Carbon Express has released the new Blue Streak and Blue Streak Select with a new Maxima Hunter KV that uses Kevlar fiber. For this review we decided to take a closer look at the standard Blue Streak

The Blue Streak brings new technology to the Carbon Express line of hunting arrows. The big new feature is what Carbon Express has dubbed Dual Spine Weight Forward. The idea is that each arrow is actually made of two materials that are then woven together in a complete shaft. The Dual Spine idea is that back portion of the arrow (nearest the nock) should be made of a lighter stiffer material, while the front of the arrow is a slightly heavier and stiffer material, which puts more weight to the front of the arrow shaft.

The Maxima Blue Streak by Carbon Express

In order to understand why spine and spine consistency are so important for arrow grouping, one has to understand what an arrow looks like as it comes off the bow string. Take a look at this excellent short YouTube clip.

Spine is a measure of flex in the arrow shaft, which occurs most as the arrow comes off the bow string. Spine consistency assures in a batch of arrows that each shaft has nearly the same flex, both in the shaft and radially outward from the center of the shaft. One can imagine that if the arrow actually flexes differently for each arrow in a batch of arrows that each will impact differently, because the arrows each have a slightly different wave frequency. If each wave is identical the groups will improve and be more consistent and tighter.

Spine is really a three dimensional property, but it can only really be measured at best in two dimensions. Dual spine allows for less flex at the rear of the arrow and more flex at the front of the arrow, the idea being that the arrow dampens its wave oscillations faster than one with a single spine.

Indeed this is exactly what Carbon Express is claiming in their marketing literature, with groups shot with broadheads coming in 50% tighter than a similar arrow that does not use dual spine.

Does the technology improve groups? Yes it should. However keep in mind that for a well tuned bow/arrow combo and for most hunting distances of 40 yards or less, the improvement in group size may be well under the benefit of practicing more or shooting a more consistent spine arrow (Dual Spine or otherwise). A similar idea is with rifle hunting, match bullets tend to be more accurate than round nose and spitzer bullets; however the accuracy improvements are small when compared to the kill zone on big game at most hunting distances of less than 200 yards.

The Blue Streaks continue the use of BullDog collars that they have used on previous Maxima arrows. The collar is a piece of milled aluminum that goes over the end of the arrow and holds the nock. Collars are handy because they can deflect field point impacts away from the end of the arrow when shooting tight groups while practicing. Keep in mind that they only deflect arrows that are a glancing impact. The collars still rupture with a direct hit. BullDog collars are more of a safety device, because nicking the nock end of the arrow is bad and causes the arrow to become structurally unstable. None-the-less always flex check your carbon arrows to make sure there is no crackling or unusual weakness, whether you're using collars or not. BullDog collars are interchangeable between the Maxima Hunters, the Blue Streak, and Blue Streak Selects.

View of the nock and BullDog collar.

The nock and BullDog collar can be removed.

The collar protects the end of the shaft from glancing blows from other arrows.

Carbon Express also uses a finishing layer on their Maxima arrows that they call BuffTuff. It appears to be clear polymer that gives the arrow a glossier finish. The coating protects the arrows a bit more from side impact and also makes them a little easier to pull out of targets when practicing.

In conclusion, Carbon Express brings a batch of new innovation to the hunting arrow market and the new Blue Streaks are worth trying if you're in the market for a premium arrow. At just over $13 per arrow, these probably are not the most economical arrow choice for the beginning archer; however all will appreciate the benefits of the coating on the arrows and the BullDog collars. For the most demanding archer, Carbon Express is also offering the Blue Streak in a "Select" grade. This is virtually the same arrow as the standard Blue Steak, but the Select has a straightness tolerance of .001 inches versus the .0025 inches of the rest of the Maxima line.

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ndemiter's picture

i'm not sure if easton didn't

i'm not sure if easton didn't beat carbon express to the dual spine. for years i've been shooting easton axis fmj's which is a carbon arrow wrapped with an aluminum sleeve. i will say that not only were these arrows extremely consitant, they did the job! i did find that i was unable to recover any one of more than a dozen that i put through deer without some blemish. normally a tell-tale flatmark indented into the aluminum from grazing a rib.

the idea of gaining performance from this technology is sound. it makes sense in that the different construction would dampen the energy in the vibration of the arrow. but remember the law of conservation of energy. (energy in a closed system cannot be created or destroyed, only converted) so where is the energy being converted? my best guess is that 90% of the energy that is "reduced" by this new construction manifests into sound energy and 10% into heat energy from friction inside the shaft of the arrow.

i'm absolutely convinced that this shaft is a better construction than most of the others i have seen, if the difference will be noticable or not is yet unseen.