As much fun as crossbows are to shoot at the range, I've never taken them too seriously for archery season because they're so unwieldy. Enter the R15 and R9 crossbows from the new Wisconsin-based company, Ravin. These crossbows measure 6 inches from axle to axle when cocked, and are incredibly nimble compared to more traditional models.
Ravin says the secret to their low-profile bow is the Helicoil technology. The cam strings wrap around the cams in helical-shaped grooves, keeping the cams balanced and allowing a 340-degree rotation. The R15 is rated at 425 FPS, while the R9 is rated at 390 FPS. The cocking system is ambidextrous, and you can un-cock it with the hand crank so you don't have to fire the bow to unload it. It also has a quiet-crank option for reloading in the woods.
These bows are badass, but all that technology comes at a price, with the R9 starting at $1,550.