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Nunchuk xi Iron Shafts: Editor Review

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Pros: For a lightweight graphite iron shaft (104 grams), the xi’s feel extremely stable. They reduce vibration compared to steel shafts, and offered slightly more launch and spin for our tester.

Cons: They’re $75 each, and could cause swing weights to come in too light.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for stable, lightweight graphite iron shafts, these should be on your list to try. They have scary high frequency numbers, but our tester found that they still felt smooth and solid, and performed better than his steel shafts throughout the set.

Overview

Golfers are always searching for ways to remove variables from their game. That’s why many spend hours on the range with hopes of developing the consistency that will allow them to hit longer, straighter shots.

One way that golfers can improve their consistency without practice, according to nVentix, is to use one of the company’s Nunchuk shafts. Nunchuk shafts are different than other shafts on the market because they don’t come in different flexes. They’re made with rigid tip and butt sections that inventor Gerry Hogan says minimizes shaft droop and bend to give golfer a better chance to hit the sweet spot.

Nunchuk’s wood and hybrid shafts have already found the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour — Jhonnatan Vegas used one in his driver, 3 wood and hybrid in 2011 to win the Humana Challenge, and Brandt Snedeker used a Nunchuk shaft in his hybrid when he won the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open.

nVentix hopes to have the same success with its new graphite iron shaft, the Nunchuk xi, which debuted at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show. The shaft has the same design theory has the company’s driver/fairway and hybrid shafts, as well as the same weight — about 104 grams. It retails for $75 per shaft.

  • Torque — 3.3 degrees
  • Weight — 104 grams
  • Length — 40 inches
  • Tip outside diameter (OD) — 0.355 and 0.370
  • Butt OD — 0.610 inches
  • Parallel tip — 2 inches (0.370-inch model)

The Review

Several months ago, there was an opportunity to review Nunchuk’s new xi grpahite iron shafts. I applied to be a tester and actually forgot about it. I was in the process of testing my TaylorMade Forged MB/MC combo set versus my Rocketbladez Tours. I know, big difference in clubs, but both were equipped with KBS C-Tapers shafts in stiff flex, hard-stepped once. Just as the testing started getting good, I received an email asking me if I would still like to test them? ABSOLUTELY, I said! I was pretty excited to give them a shot, although my experience with graphite shafts in irons was minimal at best.

A little about myself. I use to log 250 to 300 rounds annually for several years. My best ever established handicap was +3.7. I played on some mini tours for several years, with marginal success. Man, is that a wakeup call! No matter how good you are, there are 60 guys as good or better. I played several rounds with Tommy Gainey on the Grey Goose Gateway Tour, and let’s just say those outcomes put him where he is, and where I am. Needless to say, a shoulder injury sidelined my career and here I am, eight years later typing this review. I play once a week and hit balls on occasion. I currently hover right around scratch, and on any given day play anywhere from 68 to 78.

At the beginning of March, I came home to one package and 20 questions from my wife about what I had purchased. To be honest, I couldn’t remember what it was until I looked at the box. Inside I found some beautiful grey shafts with a colorful purple logo. Man were these sharp. My first thought was, what color grips should I put on these?

[youtube id=”dnVbwjGxDb0″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

I began scouring eBay for purple Lamkins. During my search, I realized I was faced with a much more difficult decision than which grips to buy — what clubs do I put these in? Well, as experience would play a factor, I decided to go with the devil I know instead of the devil unknown. Although I had been testing the RocketBladez Tours for several months, they had no game time experience, as we had a pretty long winter in Pennsylvania this year. Indoor launch monitors are good for certain things, but not for true comparisons.

For that reason, the TaylorMade Forged MB/MC combo was the clear choice. I played them for half of a season in 2011 and most of 2012. I love the feeling of forged, and for that reason was hesitant to put graphite shafts in a forged iron. Surely this breaks an unwritten USGA rule, or at least a man law right? If you are good enough to hit blades, you don’t need graphite, right?

The Build

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First off, I must say that Saf Joshi and Mike McCall at Nventix are really good guys who are extremely helpful when it comes to their product. I can’t thank them enough for the information shared with me regarding the build and the properties of the shaft. I had several questions about not tipping the shaft, frequency and possible flatlining of the progression.

Note: Actually, I’m not that smart. Those questions were from my club builder.

Joshi was able to explain it to him, and even had McCall chime in on the specifics and what I should expect to see. They explained it to my club builder — Sean Mullen, the club tech at Golf Galaxy in Robinson, Penn. — and I cannot say enough about the incredible work he does. I know big box stores get a bad rap for the repair work they do, but Sean is a diamond in the rough.

We selected Golf Pride BCT grips in white, logo down and Sean spined all of the shafts to the 3 o’clock position per my preference. The painted logos of the shafts were all over the place, but I care more about consistent performance than looks, so that did not bother me. Here was the interesting part of the build — I prefer a little lighter swing weight, as my shoulder still tends to nag me. So D2 was the goal at standard length. Being 5-foot 10-inches tall, I struggle with shafts that are any longer.

Sean called me and said that the swing weights were going to be a little light, so 2-gram weights were added on the 4, 5, 6, 7 and PW. Four-gram weights were added on the 8 and 9 irons. They all came out to D0, with the exception of my lob wedge, which came out right on D2. Sean offered to load the head down with lead tape to bring it up to D2, but I’m not much for lead tape, so I opted to play them as is. As Sean predicted, all iron frequencies was between 318 and 322. I must admit, I was a little concerned with the high number, but I believe in performance instead of numbers.

I started my testing with indoor launch monitor to see the different in the numbers compared to my old setup. First thing I noticed is how solid they felt. The feedback was there, but the shaft didn’t feel like graphite at all. It felt stable like steel.

The Numbers

Long Irons: The long irons flew like lasers. They were launching a little higher and carrying forever. With my steel shafts, the 4 iron was a 200-yard carry for me on stock shots. With the Nunchuk’s, I was carrying my 5 iron 202 yards — a full club farther. The 4 iron was only carrying 206, because I was launching it a little too low. But both clubs were spinning more than my previous setup.

Middle Irons: The middle irons felt very workable, and also very solid? They were very good through the ball, with almost no vibration on mishits. This is actually my favorite part about these shafts. I get the feedback of a well struck shot and mishits without punishing my hands and joints. I prefer to work my middle and shorter irons, so consistent workability is my key factor. These performed quite well, and the distance was roughly the same, plus about two or three yards.

Short Irons: My initial thoughts were not very good. The shafts felt loose, and they were very spinny and high launching. I did not think I was going to be able deal with them, but I waited to get on the course before I made a judgment.

On-Course Performance

After our long drawn out winter, including snow on April 2nd, I was able to get out and enjoy these shafts on the course. The first couple of rounds out were as expected. The long irons had tight, consistent ball flights that felt very powerful when struck. I went for a par 5 from 230 with the 4 iron, and although it landed short it chased on the front.

The mid irons were solid and accurate with ease of workability both ways, and the short irons surprised me. As much as I didn’t like the indoor trackman numbers and feel, they really performed. I was able to flight the wedges accordingly, and the spin was just right. I could really yank the chain when I was trying, but my 1 hop and stop was normal for shots of mid distances.

Overall, I would recommend these shafts highly as a light weight alternative, as the raw weight was 104 grams. I would tell you that adding these to your current irons could require some lead tape or a lighter grip to get the swing weight just right.

Reviewed by Mike Lawson — “xerpro” in the forums

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Robert

    Jul 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I have an nVentix Nunchuck driver shaft for sale for over a year – nobody wants it.
    It’s somehow misses the mark, not that it’s a bad shaft or a bad idea, it just seems to work better for flippers (most folks are flippers, even those who can play a decent game, whether they want to believe it or not).
    But for those of us who can compress the ball, go to the gym to stay in shape, actually spend time practicing a minimum of 3 times a week and play at least that much this shaft concept is a turn in the wrong direction.
    More and more we are seeing technology bend to the steep planed (I know, plane is baloney) flipper. If they would only apply themselves and spend on lessons instead of flavor of the week equipment, the rest of us would’t have to suffer with a widening range of weird equip designed specifically for mediocre swings. Joints hurt because of shafts??! Not if you are hitting the sweet spot brother. Find out why you chunk, hit fat, hit toe FIRST before buying new equip. Steel shafts are harsh??! Next time you regrip all your shafts just slide a 10″ piece of tubular weatherstripping foam down the butt end – total cost, about 5 bucks. But you won’t need to do that if you stop flipping. The inventor of these Nunchuk shafts, Gerry Hogan, is/was a FLIPPER and that is a solid fact as there is video of him swinging out there and it’s as plain as day. So if you disagree that these shafts aren’t designed to benefit the ‘flipper’ think again. Again if you are having trouble squaring up the club face and are listening to them talk about ‘stability’ well brother you need to look no further than your swing. I will give a pga pro a set of steel shafted ladies clubs and a shovel to putt with and he will beat you every time on the course of your choosing. Spend on some lessons for yourself – because investing in yourself is always a great idea.

  2. TWShoot67

    Oct 26, 2013 at 3:50 am

    First thanks for the review Mike. I would like to try a set of graphite iron shafts as most I’m not getting any younger and being a plumber since age 10 ( working with my Pop) the old joints just don’t work like they did when I was in my 20’s. Now approaching 50 and i mean real fast like a few months I think its time to give a graphite iron shaft a try! Anyways it’s real hard to pick a set that is of the quality i’m looking for and now their so many OEMs bringing graphite iron shafts to the forefront now. You have these you’ve mentioned and you have Aerotech’s steelfiber, UST Mamiya’s Recoil line, there’s Graphite design to name a few. It’s hard to chose the proper shaft and I don’t have the funds to buy 3/4 different sets at prices going from 75.00-135.00 a shaft to do my own graphite iron shaft shootout. So thanks for giving us some idea of the pro’s and cons to this brand in particular. Hopefully Golfwrx.com can get a few more reviews of all the other Graphite iron shafts out there. It really seems like graphite will be the future of iron shafts as it will in my opinion only be a matter of time before steel shafts will become the dinosaur in irons just like they did oh so quickly with the woods not that long ago. I heard so many good things about Aerotech steelfiber and UST’s recoil, but this is the first I’ve seen a review about nVentix Nunchuk graphite shafts. Thanks again for the write up.

    • Xerpro

      Oct 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the write up. It was fun to test these, and have become my go to shaft. Although I didnt realize it, I played most of the year with a torn rotator cuff. While playing these XI shafts, I had no discomfort at all. It was only when I broke out the ctapers, did I find myself laboring after a round and hurting the next few days. I plan on sticking with this shaft for a while, especially after surgery.

      Mike

  3. TheLegend

    Oct 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Very good review. Iv been looking into this kinda of iron shafts. Iv been wondering who really makes the best graphite iron shafts. I sure would like to see a review of the best iron graphite shafts. Thanks for this one it helps. I cant wait to put on in a 3 iron to see how it preforms.

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Shaft & Grip Reviews

MRC Shaft Shootout: Tensei CK Pro White, Kuro Kage XT and Diamana BF-Series

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The Tensei CK Pro White is the latest release from Mitsubishi Rayon Composites (MRC), a low-launch, low-spin shaft with a multi-material design that the company says improves the performance and feel of the shaft. Whereas most golf shafts use between 3-6 different materials in their construction, the Tensei CK Pro White is made from 11 different materials, giving MRC engineers greater precision in the shaft’s design.

Like MRC’s Tensei CK Pro Blue shafts, which produce a slightly higher-launching, higher-spinning ball flight, the CK Pro White uses MRC’s Carbon Fiber DuPont Kevlar Weave in the handle section of the shaft. The company says it increases the strength and stability of that part of the shaft, leading to better feedback.

carbon-fiber-dupont-kevlar-weave

On the other end of the shaft, the tip section, MRC uses a boron-reinforced fiber. All low-launch, low-spin shafts have stiff-tip designs, but the addition of boron puts the Tensei CK Pro White in a class of its own when it comes to lowering launch angle and spin rate. The boron fiber also reduces torque, which can offer better energy transfer, more accuracy and better feedback — especially for skilled, high-swing-speed golfers.

Connecting and reinforcing those areas of the shafts is MRC’s low-resin content (LRC) prepreg. Prepreg is carbon fiber that’s been reinforced or “pre-impregnated” with resin, a glue that holds the material together when it’s formed into sheets and rolled into the form of a shaft. MRC says that its LRC has 15 percent more carbon fiber and 13 percent less resin than traditional prepregs, which allows MRC to make the Tensei CK Pro White stronger without adding extra weight to the shaft. MRC also uses high-modulus, 40-ton prepreg in the Tensei CK Pro White’s design, which like LRC is thinner, stronger and lighter than traditional prepregs.

The addition of boron helps MRC make the tip of Tensei CK Pro White shaft stiffer and lower in torque.

The addition of boron helps MRC make the tip of Tensei CK Pro White shaft stiffer and lower in torque.

In the EI chart below, you can see how the Tensei CK Pro White’s bend profile compares to the CK Pro Blue. The main differences are its slightly stiffer tip and mid sections, as well as its slightly softer butt section. That gives the CK Pro White a higher “kick point” than the CK Pro Blue. Generally, the higher the kick point of a shaft, the lower its launch conditions. That’s why the Tensei CK Pro White is a lower-launching, lower-spinning shaft than the Tensei CK Pro Blue.

Tensei_Ck_Pro_White_comparisonThe Shootout 

Just how much lower launching and lower spinning is the Tensei CK Pro White than MRC’s latest premium driver shafts? I put it to the test against the company’s Kuro Kage XT and Diamana BF-Series, which like the CK Pro White are PGA Tour-quality shafts that sell for about $400 each. All three shafts tested were built to my spec: 70TX, tipped 1 inch at a finished length of 45.5 inches.

I tested the three shafts on Trackman 4 at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. After warming up, I hit 10 drives with each shaft, and whittled my shots down to the most similar five to help illustrate the differences. Premium balls were used for the test, and results were normalized.

MRCShafts2016_ArrowAs expected, the Tensei CK Pro White was the lowest-launching, lowest-spinning shaft in the test. That’s impressive in its own right, but what will really excite golfers when they try a Tensei CK Pro White is the shaft’s feel. It’s noticeably smoother than the MRC White Board shafts I’ve played in the past. You could likely duplicate the launch conditions of the Tensei CK Pro White with similar products from other premium shaft makers, but I’m not sure its smoothness can be replicated in the category. It’s something special, and I expect a lot of serious golfers with above average club head speeds will be willing to pay a premium for it.

MRC’s Kuro Kage XT uses a stouter iteration of the company’s famed “Blue Board” bend profile, and in that regard it’s quite similar to the Diamana BF-Series. That’s what makes the shafts a little higher launching and higher spinning than the Tensei CK Pro White. The Kuro Kage XT has a much different feel than both, however, due to its use of an elastic wire made of Titanium and Nickel that MRC calls “TiNi” wire.

TiNi_Boron_Tip

Related: Learn more about the Kuro Kage XT

In the Kuro Kage XT, the TiNi wire is added to the bottom 13 inches of the shaft, where it adds stability, but it also serves another purpose. Its elasticity allows the bottom end of the shaft to better load and unload during the downswing to help improve energy transfer. That’s what gives the Kuro Kage XT its more active feel, at least compared to the boron-infused tip section of the Tensei CK Pro White, which by design offer no elasticity.

The Diamana BF-Series also uses boron in its tip section, and its combined with a new, aerospace-grade fiber called MR-70 to create what MRC says is a first-of-its-kind hybrid prepreg. MR-70, which is manufactured by parent company Mitsubishi Chemical, is 20 percent stronger and has 10 percent more modulus than similar fibers, MRC saysThe handle section of the BF-Series is reinforced with MRC’s Pitch Fiber, which functions to boost energy transfer like the CK Pro White’s Carbon Fiber DuPont Kevlar Weave.

Diamana_BF_logo

Related: Learn more about the Diamana BF-Series shafts

In terms of launch conditions, the best fit for me was the Diamana BF-Series. It launched the ball a little higher than the Tensei CK Pro White, and added a little spin to help keep my drives in the air. It was also easier to swing than the Tensei CK Pro White, helping me more easily hit a draw while offering an even smoother feel due to its less rigid tip and mid sections.

To recap, if you need to lower your launch conditions, the Tensei CK Pro White is one of the most intriguing new MRC options to help you do so. Need a higher ball flight? Try the Diamana BF-Series. And if you want a radically different feel, give the Kuro Kage XT a try.

Have a question? Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can. 

Weights and Flexes

  • Tensei CK Pro White: 60 (R, S, TX), 70 (S, TX), 80 (TX)
  • Kuro Kage XT: 50 (R, S, X, TX), 60 (R, S, X, TX), 70 (S, X, TX), 80 (S, X, TX)
  • Diamana BF-Series: 50 (R, S, X), 60 (R, S, X, TX), 70 (S, X, TX), 80 (S, X, TX)

Related: GolfWRX Members review the Tensei CK Pro White

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Reviews

Review: KBS Tour FLT Shafts

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Pros: FLT shafts use a flighted design, which helps golfers launch their long irons higher and with more spin. The FLT short-iron shafts provide a more penetrating trajectory for more control.

Cons: FLT shaft flexes correspond with weight, so golfers may not be able to match their desired shaft weight with their desired flex.

Who They’re For: Golfers who need more spin or more launch from their long irons to optimize their trajectory. Everyone from beginners to PGA Tour players can use the shafts effectively, but they’ll be most popular with golfers with moderate-to-slow swing speeds, or any golfer who generates low-spin launch conditions.

Overview

Selecting the proper iron shafts is one of the most important equipment decisions golfers make. It’s an issue of quantity. Most golfers carry about 7-8 irons in their bag, so if they choose the wrong iron shaft, they’ve made the game harder than it needs to be with half or more of their clubs.

The good news is that there’s a wider selection of quality iron shafts than there has ever been, with recent growth in models that are designed to help golfers hit their iron shots higher and farther, while still maintaining PGA Tour-quality consistency and feel.

KBS is one of the leading steel shaft manufacturers, and already offered a wide variety of models prior to its newest shaft launch. Company representatives felt KBS was lacking a product for a particular segment of golfers, however, so it developed its new FLT shafts.

KBS_FLT

FLT shafts ($31.95 each) have a flighted design, which helps certain golfers optimize the performance of each iron their bag. The long irons shafts have progressively softer tip sections, which helps golfers increase their launch angle and spin rates with those clubs. For the right golfer, the design will help them hit their iron shots farther, and stop shots on the green more quickly. In the short irons, where height and spin are easier for golfers to generate, the FLT shafts are stiffer, which creates the flatter trajectory most golfers prefer with their scoring clubs. The crossover point between the higher-launching long irons and lower-launching short irons is the 7 iron.

Like all KBS shafts, FLT models have a constant weight, which means that long iron shafts and short iron shafts will be roughly the same weight through the set. Shaft weight is dependent on flex, however, as softer-flex models are lighter than stiffer-flex models. So if you’re looking for a really heavy, regular-flex shaft or a really light, extra-stiff-flex shaft, these aren’t for you.

FLT Specs

KBS_FLT_Shaft_Specs

Keep in mind that KBS shafts do not have reinforced tip sections like many other iron shafts, which gives them a slightly higher balance point and can decrease swing weight by 1-2 points. I personally like the feel of KBS shafts and their slightly higher balance point, but some golfers won’t.

The Test

For this review, I tested the new FLT shafts head to head against KBS Tour shafts of the same flex and weight (130X) in 4 irons, 6 irons and pitching wedges. Each of the shafts were installed in Callaway’s Apex Pro ’16 irons, and were built to my specifications (standard grips, standard length, 1-degree strong lofts, 1-degree flat lie angles).

KBSTour130Shafts

I performed my testing at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where I hit the 4 irons, 6 irons and pitching wedges on Trackman IV with premium golf balls. I hit 3-6 solid shots with each iron, and then removed the outliers from the final data in an attempt to compare only the most similar strikes. Results were normalized.

As you can see from the data, there was a significant difference in the flight of the 4 irons with the two different shafts, but less of a difference with the 6 irons and pitching wedges.

Apex_Pro_Test_heads

As expected, the FLT shafts caused 4 iron shots to launch higher (0.8 degrees) and with more spin (729 rpm) than the KBS Tour shafts. I’m not a low-spin player, which is one of the target audiences for this shaft, so the added launch and spin of the FLT shafts caused my 4 iron shots to fly shorter. Golfers who launch their irons too low or with too little spin, however, will likely see a distance increase when using the FLT shafts.

As I moved closer to the short end of the set, the two shafts started to perform more similarly. Theoretically, the 6 iron shots with the FLT shafts should have launched slightly higher and spun more than 6 iron shots with the KBS Tour shafts, but I actually saw a slightly lower launch angle (0.5 degrees) with the FLT. The spin was higher, though, by 211 rpm. With the pitching wedges, the results were again quite similar. The FLT launched 0.9 degrees higher, but actually spun 271 rpm less than the KBS Tour shafts.

Takeaways

KBS_Tour_KBS_FLT

Stepping back from the numbers, I was impressed with how similar the feel was between the KBS Tour and FLT shafts. Yes, I could feel that the FLT shafts were more active in the tip with the 4 irons, but they felt nearly the same in the 6 irons. By the time I got to the pitching wedges, the two shafts were indistinguishable. The KBS Tour is considered one of the better-feeling iron shafts currently available, so KBS’ ability to replicate that feel in the FLT will be a plus for the majority of interested golfers.

Looking more broadly, trends in shaft design tends to go hand-in-hand with trends in club head design, and the FLT shafts are no exception. Equipment manufacturers continue to strengthen the lofts of their distance irons; they have to in order balance the launch equation, as their faster ball speeds create a higher launch angle and more spin.

While the improvements to iron design have allowed golfers to hit their mid and short irons farther, many golfers continue to struggle to hit their long irons high enough or consistently enough for them to be effective. And based on my testing results, it’s clear that the FLT shafts can make long irons more playable for certain golfers, and maybe even keep long irons in a golfer’s bag that might otherwise be kicked out for higher-flying hybrids or fairway woods.

As always, I recommend that golfers get properly fit for iron shafts, which means visiting a reputable club fitter in your area. So if you’re in the market for new irons or iron shafts, you can get started by going through KBS’ Online Fit System, which upon completion lists KBS-certified dealers in your area.

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Reviews

Review: Paderson Driver Shafts

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Pros: Four distinct driver shaft profiles are available in a wide range of flexes. Paderson’s filament-wound construction (used in three profiles) offers a unique feel. By premium shaft standards, these are a bargain at $199 each.

Cons: Limited weight options.

Who They’re For: Anyone can play a Paderson shaft.

The Review

Buying a golf shaft is like buying a new pair of running shoes. If the shoes don’t fit your foot, it doesn’t matter how good their technology is. You’re going to run slower, and you’re not going to be as comfortable as you could be.

A golf shaft is the same way. If it doesn’t fit your swing, you’re not going to hit shots as far or straight as you could. A mismatched shaft won’t give you blisters like mismatched shoes, but it will wear on your confidence. For golfers, that’s arguably even more painful. So the challenge for premium shaft makers like Paderson, which is targeting both professional and average golfers, is two-fold. The company has to create several types of shafts in an effort to fit as many golfers as possible, but also include technology that has its shafts stand apart from its competition.

While not a household name now, Paderson has the traits of a shaft company that could be. That’s thanks to its filament-wound manufacturing technique, which is used in three out of the four driver shafts the company produces. It’s unique to the industry, and also used in the company’s fairway wood, hybrid/utility and iron shafts. To learn more about Paderson’s claims and technologies, you can read this in-depth Q&A we did with company CEO Jason Horodezky. For the purposes of this review, however, I’ll do my best to explain the company’s technologies as simply as possible.

Paderson_Shafts_Feat_2

Most graphite shafts are made from several sheets of carbon fiber and resin, a glue that holds the fibers together. To create a shaft, these sheets, called “pre-preg,” are wrapped tightly around a steel rod called a “mandrel,” which sets a shaft’s geometry. Different types of pre-preg have different characteristics, and sometimes exotic materials are used to change those characteristics, which generally drive up the cost. It’s the thickness, stiffness, torsional qualities and orientation of the materials used that determine the weight, stiffness and bend profile of each shaft. Once the wrapping process is complete, the shafts are put in a special oven, where the sheets are laminated, or melded together, to create a graphite tube. The shafts are then sanded smooth and painted, creating the finished product.

Paderson’s shafts are formed on a mandrel, too, but the filament-wound process used for three of the driver shafts tested (KG860, KG860TP and the upper part of KG972) is much different. They are, in essence, “braided” from two continuous strands of carbon fiber and kevlar, which the company says allows its shaft to not only be more consistent, but create superior energy transfer when compared to other shafts. Paderson says it can actually “pre-load” tension in its shafts, harnessing the energy of the vibrations created during the swing to increase ball speed.

Paderson_Shafts_weave_1

The visible weave is evidence of Paderson’s filament-wound construction.

According to the company, one of its four driver shaft models will work for any golfer, as they’re available in a variety of flexes ranging from Ladies to XX-Stiff. Unlike many shafts on the market, however, golfers can’t pick the weight and flex of Paderson shafts independently. Each flex is constructed with a specific weight the company says optimizes ball flight, so weight options depend on shaft model and flex.

Bolstering Paderson’s consistency claims is that the filament-wound process does not require its shafts to be sanded, so the texture seen on its shafts is not cosmetic, but rather the actual appearance of a shaft’s fibers, sealed with a layer of clear-coat.

Paderson_Shafts_Weave_2

Both Paderson’s KG860TP and KG860 shafts are fully wound from butt to tip.

Paderson also makes shafts that aren’t fully filament-wound, and claims its lamination technique is superior to typical processes. Its KG972 shaft, for example, uses a filament-wound upper portion and a laminated lower portion. The company’s Amorphous shaft, on the other hand, is 100 percent laminated. What’s different about Paderson’s lamination process, according to the company, is that it uses vacuum-curing, a temperature-controlled process that pulls resin through the shaft to minimize resin content, which allows for more fine-tuned designs.

Intrigued? So was I, so I put Paderson’s shafts to the test.

The Testing Data

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I sent my launch monitor and swing profile information to Paderson, which in turn sent me four of its latest shaft models to test. My results are above, but I feel that the numbers don’t tell the whole story. For that reason, I’ve included an individual write up about each shaft below.

Dispersion

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Testing Procedure: I took the four Paderson shafts, as well as my gamer shaft I was fit for in the fall of 2015, to Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I tested all five shafts at its Launch Pad custom-fitting facility on Trackman. I used a TaylorMade M2 driver (9.5 degrees, set to neutral) and each of the shafts tested measured 45.5 inches.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 860TP

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Right now, the graphite shaft market is trending toward the tip-stiff, low-torque designs shafts that are regularly finding the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour. If those shafts have worked successfully for you, then the 860TP could be the Paderson shaft that fits you best. It is the lowest in torque of any Paderson driver shaft, and has also has the stiffest tip section. That makes it a good fit for golfers with an aggressive transition, or those who tend to hook the ball.

I tested all the Paderson shafts in a D40 flex, which equates to an X-flex, and more than the others, the 860TP felt very stout and stable. I was impressed with how smooth and balanced it felt for a high bend-point shaft, though.

With the 860TP, I had the highest average swing speed, which gave it the greatest potential for maximum distance. I struggled to find the center of the face, however, which is why I didn’t generate as much ball speed with it. The shaft did create the highest launch angle, and like all the Paderson shafts, it outperformed my gamer, a low-torque, tip-stiff 70X shaft that was most similar to the 860TP.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 860

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The Kevlar Green 860 is Paderson’s “baseline” shaft. It fits the widest segment of the golfing population as a whole, and suited my swing better than the 860TP due to its slightly softer tip section and higher torque. I liked the way it felt, and as you can see in the dispersion graphic above, I hit it the most consistently.

My angle of attack was also the most up, or positive, with the 860, which helped me create the longest total distances with the shaft. If I was playing in a tournament tomorrow, this is the shaft I would play.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 972

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To me, the the KG972 is Paderson’s most interesting shaft, with a filament-wound upper half and a laminated lower half. The multi-construction approach gives the shaft a slightly higher balance point than Paderson’s other driver shafts, or “counterbalancing” effect. It tends to fit golfers with a smooth transition, according to the company, and felt extremely easy to swing in testing.

While the 972 created the fastest ball speeds and longest carry distance, its comparatively softer-tip design didn’t suit my swing. I felt a lot of “kick” at the bottom, and I felt as though it had more draw bias than the others.

KINETIXX VMT Vacuum Cured KVMT870

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The 870 has gained traction in the long-drive community. It’s a fully laminated shaft, and does not use the company’s filament-wound technology.

The 870 has a dual kickpoint, according to Paderson, which causes the shaft to bend low in the butt and high in the tip to improve energy transfers for certain players. At 66 grams, it was also 5-10 grams lighter than the other Paderson shafts I tested. The 870 felt more active than all but the 972, however, and I preferred the heavier weight and more stable feel of the 860 and 860TP shafts.

The Takeaway

At $199 each, Paderson’s shafts are more affordable than most premium shafts, and my testing showed that one of the company’s shafts has the potential to meet, or in my case exceed the performance of your current shaft. If one of Paderson’s shafts suits your swing, and one likely will, it deserves serious consideration — even among shafts that cost hundreds more.

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