If you want to learn more about recurve bows in general, check out our Best Recurve Bows Guide.
The Bear Kodiak is/was a pretty classic and well-known bow – the Super Kodiak is the continuation of that well respected lineage. In fact, the original founder of Bear Archery, Fred Bear, is known to have used the original Kodiak model on his own hunting excursions. The Super Kodiak has improved on the original model greatly, and is one of the best one-piece bows out there, and it is in our opinion the best recurve bow for hunting.
Bow Length: 60″/64″
Draw Weight: 30-65lbs
Handedness: Both, LH version has less spec options
Bow Weight: 3lbs
First thing that we should say is that the Super Kodiak was designed largely with hunting in mind – if you’re primarily or exclusively a target shooter, this may not be the right bow for you. Everything from the way it looks, to the high draw weight options, points towards the Super Kodiak being a hunters bow.
The Super Kodiak is not a takedown, and while we prefer takedown bows in general, the Super Kodiak can get away with it for two main reasons – firstly, it performs well enough in other areas that we can overlook it, and secondly, because the Super Kodiak is the continuation of the original Kodiak, in a way, it pays homage to the classics by shunning the relatively modern idea of the takedown – and we can respect this even if it makes the bow less portable. Also, no takedown option means no assembly – just string the bow and you’re good to go.
The Super Kodiak shoots real nicely – the thing that sets it apart as a hunting recurve is the higher draw weights that it’s available in. 65lbs is pretty significant draw weight, and if you’ve got this high draw weight version, you’ll be shooting at pretty blazing speeds for a recurve. The high draw weight option allows for more powerful shooting, which in turn makes it easier to ensure a humane kill, particularly on large game.
The Super Kodiak also shoots pretty accurately, and the draw is smooth and comfortable. The ergonomics are also good – the bow is light enough to carry and hold without it feeling unwieldy, and the grip is great, particularly for those with larger hands. The bow is also made from top flight materials – Bear has adhered to the traditional materials like wood, but it’s clear they’ve put effort into using the best possible wood and put a lot of thought into the craftsmanship of the Super Kodiak. It’s also pretty quiet with only a little vibration.
There are a few things we’d note about the Super Kodiak – not really flaws as they’re likely intentional, but just things to know before you buy it. First, it is impossible to mount a sight on the Super Kodiak – they really keep it old school with this bow. As such, the Super Kodiak is much more suitable for instinctive shooting, and is probably not as good a choice for those who prefer to aim and shoot. Second, the bow is truly traditional – both in construction and in aesthetics. If you’re looking for a more sleek, modern look, the Super Kodiak may not be the ideal choice for you.
- Really powerful for a recurve
- Lightweight with good ergonomics
- Available in higher draw weights which are even better for hunting
- Shoots accurately and the draw is really comfortable
- REasonably quiet with not much vibration
- Classic aesthetics
- Many years of history as an excellent recurve speaks volumes about the quality
- Cannot mount a sight on it, so its better for instinctive shooting
- While it’s light, it’s not a takedown, which hurts portability
- Lack of option for mounted sight and other factors make it less suitable for beginners
- Moderate-high end in terms of price
The Bear Super Kodiak is a great choice for experienced bowhunters who are looking for a powerful weapon to bring down big game with. We like that Bear have stayed true to the original, very traditional roots of the Super Kodiak, and while that does come with some downsides, the Super Kodiak performs well enough to overcome all of them. Because you can’t mount a sight on it, we recommend the Super Kodiak more for instinctive shooters and less for those with an aim-and-shoot style. Also, the Super Kodiak may not be as suitable for beginners because it’s more oriented towards hunting and less towards target shooting.