Pros: Mitsubishi’s Diamana W-Series has similar launch and spin characteristics to its predecessor, the ‘ahina. Its newly designed butt section that gives the shaft a smoother feel, and it’s is the first White Board shaft to be available in a 50-gram model.
Cons: Its $400 price tag will be a turn off to many golfers, but that’s what it takes to own a Diamana shaft.
Bottom Line: Most White Board customers are looking to reduce spin, making Mitsubishi’s decision to give the 3rd-generation White Board a slightly softer tip a little confusing. But we’re never going to knock a company for offering golfers a wider variety of premium aftermarket shaft options.
Mitsubishi Rayon is known to many golfers as the maker of some of the best shafts money can buy. Sure, the abundant usage of Mitsubishi’s shafts on the PGA Tour by golfers such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson has helped its reputation. But industry insiders also know that Mitsubishi Rayon’s parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical, makes the high-quality carbon fiber materials used not just for Mitsubishi shafts, but for several of its competitors as well.
Mitsubishi Rayon’s Diamana W-Series shaft is the third-generation of the company’s popular “White Board” shaft, which is used by many players who desire a premium-constructed shaft with low-launch, low-spin characteristics.
The main difference between the W-Series and its predecessor, the ‘ahina, is the shaft’s stiffer butt section. That section of the shaft is reinforced with Mitsubishi’s Dialed material (also called “pitch fiber”), which is twice as strong as traditional shaft materials. The shaft also has a slightly softer tip section, giving it a more balanced overall feel than the stiff-tip ‘ahina. According to Mitsubishi, the stronger, stiffer butt section of the W-Series allows for more energy transfer, acting as a stronger “spring” as golfers approach impact.
In the EI Charts above, notice how the W-Series (black line, left graph) has a stiffer butt section and a slightly softer tip section than the ‘ahina (green line, right graph). The mid-section of the W-Series shaft is also noticeably softer, providing a more balanced feel.
The W-Series (MSRP $400) are also the first line of White Board shafts to be available in a 50-gram model, following the industry trend of offering light weight shaft options.
We tested a 60S W-Series shaft against a 60S ‘ahina, cut to the same 45-inch length in a Nike Covert Tour driver head set to 8.5N. All three testers had high swing speeds, with a range of 105-to-116 mph on golf radar. With the W-Series shaft, the testers averaged a launch of 14.05 degrees, with 2603 rpms of spin. With the ‘ahina, the launch was actually slightly higher, 14.2 degrees, with slightly less spin, 2590 rpm.
The golfers also swung the ‘ahina slightly faster than the W-Series, averaging 111.1 mph with the ‘ahina and 110 mph with the W-Series.
So what do those numbers mean? Basically, the performance differences between the shafts are too close to call. Golfers are more likely choose one shaft over another based on feel rather than performance differences. Changing driver heads and/or a driver’s settings will be much more impactful to launch monitor numbers than changing from the ‘ahina to the W-Series and vice versa.
Looks and Feel
Two of the three testers commented that the ‘ahina felt “more stable” to them than the W-Series, largely due to its stiffer mid and tip sections. But it should be noted that those golfers had the two quickest tempos. The tester with the slower tempo commented that the W-Series shaft felt “smoother” and “more balanced” than the ‘ahina.
Like all of Mitsubishi’s Diamana White Board shafts, the W-Series features Mitsubishi’s classic white oval logo, as well as the company’s beloved “flower band” graphics. One of the testers commented that the W-Series shaft may have looked even better with the matte finish used for Mitsubishi’s Diamana D+ shafts, however, the overall feedback on the looks of the shaft was positive.
Golfers in the “White Board” category are often looking for the lowest-spinning, smoothest-feeling shaft they can get their hands on. While the W-Series hits the mark for smoothness, Mitsubishi’s decision to give the shaft slightly more spin than the ‘ahina caused some concern.
According to Mitsubishi, the reason the W-Series was designed to offer slightly more spin has to do with the current trend of ultra low-spinning driver heads in the marketplace, which will no doubt continue in 2014 and beyond. Given that fact, the W-Series could be a winner for a lot of aftermarket shaft fittings in 2014.
We’re not sure the subtle differences between the W-Series and the ‘ahina are enough to drive golfers to spend $400 for an upgrade, but the shaft is a solid pairing with the company’s higher-launching, higher-spinning Diamana B-Series shaft. Like the W-Series, the B-Series uses pitch fibers to offer improved feel and the performance golfers expect from the company’s popular “Blue Board” family of shafts.
Above: Tianlang Guan plays a Mitsubishi Diamana B-Series (Japanese version) shaft in his Callaway X Hot 4 wood.
We applaud Mitsubishi for giving golfers more high-end aftermarket shaft options, but we’re just not sure that many gearheads will be excited about a White Board with a softer tip. However, that could change if 2014’s crop of drivers prove to be as low spinning as major OEM officials have indicated.