Genesis Original Compound Bow ReviewCheck Price


Read this Mathews Genesis Original Compound Bow review if you are looking for a great, simple to use and reliable model. A friend of mine told me about it a week ago as her daughter thought about getting into archery classes at school after watching Hunger Games for the 100th time. As my friend appreciates every chance of her daughter being not in front of her Smartphone and tablet she gifted her this model and has never regretted it so far as her offspring now prefers to be outside a lot. TV? What’s that again. The phone is ringing? So what? As this sounded too good to be true I immediately was on a mission. I turned on my electronic shovel and started digging through the common places on the internet to find out more about it right away. And yeah, it was worth it. Just read on to find out why this one is not only the go-to choice for participants in the NASP but also for everyone that wants to start out in archery. And I really mean EVERYONE πŸ™‚

Bow Package Contents

The Genesis Original compound is available in a right or left-handed version, comes strung, fully assembled and thus ready to shoot out of the box. It is made in America by Brennan Industries, Inc and was sold under the brand Mathews for some time but has now become its own brand. It is definitely the same model, though.
The interesting thing is that this model has become the official bow of the National Archery in The Schools Program. So it is the only compound that can be used while participating in that program and its tournaments and is used by hundreds of thousands of kids doing so. One word of caution: I found a customer who complained that the Camo finish does not meet competition requirements nor does the nock point that the Genesis Original comes with. Concerning the Camo finish they blacked out the front edge with a sharpie and that fixed the problem with that.
The draw weight of the Genesis Original is set to its maximum of 20 lbs so you might have to lower it down for your young archers or yourself. But that is pretty easy to do as you will see later in this review! This model comes without any bells and whistles – it’s just the bare bow! And I find that fantastic. You might think I am a bit nuts now, but let me explain: Most of the time when manufacturers offer a model at such an affordable price point together with accessories or as a set those items are nearly always crap. That means they have to be switched out against better acessories later (think arrow rest, sight, arrows, quiver etc.) As in this case there is only the compound and an arrow rest so you don’t have to pay twice.
As there was some confusion from parents about being right or left-handed versus having a left or right dominant eye here is how I see it: If you are shooting instinctively with both eyes open eye-dominance does not matter, so you should get a model according to wheter or not you are left- or right-handed. In case you need to aim while shooting (think competitions or bow hunting while using a sight and peep sight) it might be better to choose a model according to your dominant eye. So if you are right-handed but have a left-eye-dominance you should get a compound for lefties. If you want to know your dominant eye just do the following: hold out both hands in front of you and make a circle (first fingers and thumbs). Now hold this circle away from yourself and frame a distant object with it. Then slowly bring your hands back to your face while still framing that object. Your hands will reach your left or your right eye. Upon whichever they stop is your dominant eye.
The NAP flipper style arrow rest that comes with the Genesis Original is a pretty basic thing, but it works. Just don’t hold the arrow with your finger to prevent it from falling off the rest as this might bend and finally break it. Instead cant (turn) the bow slightly to the side while shooting, so the arrow won’t fall down. You can get a drop-down rest or a Whisker Biscuit for the Genesis Original as well, but keep in mind that these upgraded accessories might not meet the requirements for competitions within the NASP.
The Zebra string comes nocked with a temporary nocking point and there is an Allen wrench (3/16β€œ) included for adjusting the draw weight of this model. Don’t forget to wax the string regularly (use the Zebra High Performance String Wax or a silicone based wax) as this prevents it from getting worn and – in the worst case – breaking. You need to switch it out as soon as you find small damages on it.
There are an unbelievable 12 finishes available for the Genesis Original Compound, so colorwise there should be one for every taste out there.
Genesis Original Compound Bow Finishes
Additionally you get a one year non-transferable warranty against defects in materials and workmanship (one year from the date of purchase to the original owner). This won’t work, of course, if you mistreat the compound in any way. So if you dry fire it you won’t get any refunds. Dry firing means shooting without an arrow in place. Read my guide here to learn more => Dry Firing A Compound Bow.
MacGyver types that like to drill holes in things won’t get refunds either, just saying πŸ™‚
Concerning arrows: the manufacturer recommends using Easton Genesis 2 #1820 30″ aluminium arrows. This type is recommended by the NASP and is the only one that is approved for tournaments, so if you want to keep things simple, just get those (buy at least 10 as arrows tend to get lost over time). It’s worth mentioning that they don’t have changeable tips. But as the Genesis Original Compound is intended for recreational shooting only, you don’t need to switch out the tips of the arrows anyway. The Genesis 1 has glue on the nocks while the Genesis 2 has easily replacable nocks that can be aligned to the cock feather as well (the cock feather is the one colored differently that needs to point away from the bow’s body), so buy the Easton Genesis 2.
Apart from that you can shoot every arrow that fits the bow (carbons or aluminium that are 30″ plus long). Never shoot wooden ones with a compound and I would not recommend getting fiberglass arrows. I know they are cheaper but they tend to crack and splinter and may even get damaged when getting pulled out of the target. By the way: always check your arrows from time to time especially when hitting a hard object. If they got small cracks from that they might break when being shot again and splinters could land in your hand!
There is no sight that comes with the Genesis Original as they are not allowed during competitions with the NASP. You can add one nonetheless to this model as the riser has pre-drilled holes for doing so. Some customers recommended the TRUGLO Carbon XS 4-pin Camo Archery Sight. So something like that should work pretty well.
As you can add a bow sight, a peep sight can be served in as well. As this model is way too weak for bowhunting, though, serving a peep sight in makes no sense to me at all. So I wouldn’t serve one in.
No quiver is included. If you or your kids need one I would start with a simple hip quiver. Some folks, me included, don’t like back quivers or bow mounted quivers. But as this is a personal thing you have to try for yourself and find out what works for you.
If you need to carry the Genesis Original around a lot – imagine your kiddo winning the State Archery Tournament and thus qualifying for the National Tournament etc. – buying an adequate case for carrying and storage might be a good idea (this is in general a good idea for storing as those modern compounds do not like extreme temperatures or moisture). Some customers bought the Plano Protector Compact Bow Case (Black, item number 1110-00) and were pretty satisfied with it.
I would also recommend getting an armguard for your kid or yourself as you might get a string slap on your forearm from time to time. This happens due to shooting without proper form which means you are not shooting correctly. I don’t use one as I don’t get those slaps very often, but for a kid it might be really painful and thus kill motivation and fun. Just get a basic one as there are no big differences between armguards, at least in my opinion.
Just to make it complete: the Genesis Original could be shot with a D-loop and a mechanical release aid but it is indeed recommended to be finger-shot. Maybe that’s because it is used in schools and camps and those prefer simple solutions in general, so I would not install a D-loop nor a release aid. Keep those things including a peep sight for your hunting bows. πŸ™‚

Genesis Original Kit

The Genesis Original is also available in a kit that includes the following items apart from the compound:
Belt Tube Quiver: This is a hip quiver that can be attached to your belt. It is quite handy and way more than enough for starting out. If you want a better quiver you can always get one later, when you know which type wou want (hip quiver, back quiver, bow mounted quiver etc.).
Adjustable arm guard: Again, it is okay for starting out and it gives you some time to decide if you need something different or better. There are a lot of arm guard models out there and it may take some time to find one that fits you best.
5 aluminum arrows: I assume these are Easton Genesis 2 (1820), as those are the official arrows recommended for the bow. Five are pretty good, to begin with, but I would strongly suggest you get some more, as arrows really tend to get lost over time – especially when starting out as an archer.
3/16″ Hex wrench and a manual.
If you get the kit you should be able to start shooting right away, as it contains everything you need to beginn your journey in archery – which simply means it makes this model truly ready to shoot out of the box.

genesis original kitCheck Price Here

Noise Level / Handshock

This model is not loud and has no hand shock so you don’t need to add gimmicks like string silencers or string stoppers etc.

Bow Specifics / Limbs / Riser / Grip / String

The Genesis Original compound is made with quality materials and looks and feels like a full sized model due to its weight and sturdyness. Its aluminum machined riser is drilled and tapped for all kinds of accessories (think sight, arrow rest, stabilizer etc.), providing balance and durability.
It has composite split limbs, comes with a molded grip – which may feel too small for some adults – and has a single cam system. The cams and idler wheel are machined from aluminium as well, the cable guard is teflon coated (stainless).
The axle to axle length (ATA) is 35.5″ the length from outside of each cam is 39.25″ (so keep that in mind while looking for a case!) Its brace height is 7 5/8″, its net weight is 3.5 lbs. This weight could be too much for really young archers which will depend on their individual strength.
All in all this model looks very well made and sturdy which proves excellent craftsmanship, in my book. Made in America, that’s all I say πŸ™‚

Draw Cycle / Shootability

The Genesis Original fits virtually everyone – at least that’s how the manufacturer advertises it because of its single-cam system that – together with a let-off of 0% – allows nearly everyone to shoot this model without problems.
It draws very smoothly and feels to be well balanced overall. The single-cam system prevents archers from having to mess around with tuning or hard recoils and makes the compound more accurate and less noisy in general.
The draw weight ranges from 10 – 20 lbs and is easily adjustable. To do so you need to use the included Allen wrench (3/16″) on the limb bolts that attach the split limbs to the riser. Turning them counter-clockwise lowers the draw weight, turning them clockwise raises it. One full turn equals 1.4 pounds of draw weight. Always turn the limb bolts the same number of turns at each limb. Never do more than 7 full turns! If you are not sure just tighten them again and start from there.
The draw length range is from 15″ – 30″. That means it can be shot without the need of being adjusted by everyone that fits into that range – which could be your whole family!
With 0% let-off the Genesis Original shoots more like a recurve as you need to hold the draw weight while aiming all the time – in contrary to a standard compound where the cam system supports you to a certain degree while aiming. You could shoot this model even instinctively if you’d like too, as it is recommended to be finger-shot (with or without a glove).
I also want to point out that this one is a really accurate little shooter that will keep your motivation high. Bulls-eyes and tight groups are achievable consistently which makes it a joy to shoot. Success follows success, after all, right? πŸ™‚

Shooting Speed

As this one is intended for recreational shooting only by the manufacturer its speed is not that important and therefore there is no info to be found about it.

Proper For Hunting / Kinetic Energy (KE)

Definitely no! The Genesis Original is way to weak to kill anything in a humane way. Just remember: it is used for International Style Target Archery for youth in 4th to 12th grade and was never meant to be a bow for hunting. Period! If you want to go bowhunting get something appropriate like the Infinite Edge Pro or similar models.
If you want to learn more about Kinetic Energy (which is a very important factor for bowhunting) just read my little guide here => Kinetic Energy For Bowhunting.

Proper For Bowfishing

A bowfishing reel can – due to the pre-drilled holes on the riser – be added. I am not sure if the poundage is enough for penetrating the water and hitting the fish properly as I have not tested this myself but I found a few customers that seemed to be rather happy using this one for bowfishing. So yeah, happy bowfishing!


With a price point of under 200 bucks the Genesis Original is an affordable entry-level compound made in the USA. A lot of other models in that class are made overseas so you really should take that fact into account while judging the price. As it is used by schools and camps it needs to be a really sturdy and durable kinda compound that will last for years if treated properly.

Pros & Cons

– official bow of the NASP
– very well manufactured
– affordable entry-level bow
– fits virtually everyone
– made in the USA
– no arrows included


The Genesis Original is a perfect compound for starting out. On the one hand it is a really reliable and sturdy compound that can take some beating without passing out too quickly, on the other hand its straightforwardness makes shooting it a joy as you don’t have to mess around with all those gimmicks and draw lengths that other models require you to do. The universal draw length range and the adjustability make sure that it can grow along with younger archers for years, which makes it truly a one-fits-all compound that can be used by your whole family easily.
I would recommend it for kids 8 years and older although your 6 year old could use it too if he is strong enough to pull back 10 lbs. If not there is a version called Genesis Mini available which is meant for the very young crowd (there is also a Genesis Pro that is meant for adults that want more power). As this model is mostly used in schools by kids I want to make clear that it is nonetheless not a toy! You need to supervise and guide your offspring until they are able to handle it in a responsible way for themselves because it can hurt or even kill animals and humans. As long as you keep this in mind you will have a lot of fun shooting this compound for years.
I hope I was able to present you the Genesis Original in an adequate way. The fact that it is used by hundreds of thousands of archers (due to it being the official bow for the NASP) kinda proves that it is indeed a very well made model that will serve you well for years to come.
Thanks for reading and shoot straight!
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