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Aldila RIP Prototype Iron Shafts - 18 Hole Review


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#1 markheardjr

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

Well, it's been 18 months since I first hit these beauties and finally a set is all mine! I played with some of Aldila's R&D and Sales staff back in May of 2011 and was teased with hitting a set of very early prototype RIP irons shafts in a set of TaylorMade MC's heads and have been drooling at the opportunity to get a set. Some of you may have saw a set popped up on eBay a few weeks back. And then just last week a set of Adam's MB2's popped up with a set. Well, Aldila hooked me up with a set of my own to try, 11 shafts, 2-SW brand new uncut.

I installed the day after I got them into my trusty David Tom's R7 TP's and took them out the next morning. First impressions on the range that day..."WOW, are these things straight!" The consistancy in the feel, balance, load, flex, etc, all felt great. Very solid shafts.  I have a pretty nasty little draw that can overcook more often than I like but these RIP shafts are so good. Ballflight was higher than my Nippon NS Proto's but then again when you drop from 136g shafts to 122g shafts what do you expect? Slightly higher yet still just as long. I was getting good yardage but I knew they were a bit on the light side swingweight wise. (Turns out they were only C3, more on that later.) So I took them to the course.

We played Sterling Hills in Ventura, CA. Usually a great track, excellent layout. Well the day we played someone thought it would be a good idea to plug the fairways after it rained overnight and then mow them short to spread the mud around. Uh, what? Gross! My cleats were 5lb's heavier caked in mud. It was a disaster. Zero roll, lift clean and place. I had to hit a lot of long irons that day, I think six 5-iron shots and 2 4-irons on Par 4 approaches. Not to mention the long par 3's. I think I only hit 4 shots under a 7i all day. Considering the conditions, 44° tempature, the RIP shafts felt great in my hands. No cold morning stingers. The trajectory couldn't have been better, medium height very flat, no balloon at all, none of the shots I hit ballooned. Hit a few 2irons just for fun and man was it pretty.

Short irons, when I did get to hit them were dialed in and controlled. One knock-down PW flew up a little high on me and came up short but knowing now they were too light makes sense. I know the green conditions aren't the same everywhere but my shots were hitting, bouncing out of their ballmark and maybe backed up 6" or a foot. I like the spin where it is, I don't need the ball sucking back 10 feet on short irons shots. I want it to drop and stop.

After the round I ran to the Thousand Oaks Roger Dunn shop and stuck them on a swingweight scale. All of them were under C6, woah. The lighter shafts and the heavy (50g+) grip with 3 wraps of extra tape made for a counter effect. So I grapped some high density lead tape and went home. I think I'll switch to a lighter mid-size grip, only do 1 wrap of tape and put on about 4 x 1" strips of lead tape and I should be up around D0. I can live with that with how great these shafts feel. I thought about tungsten powder but I know if you add too much weight the shaft will play weaker to flex. I did make them standard length which is how I like to play them even though I'm tall, my long arms make up for the height.

I wrapped the 6i hosel with the lead tape and took it to Golfsmith. On their launch monitor I was averaging around 16.8° of launch, 5200 RPM's backspin, 300 RPM's side spin, and 185 yards carry with 10 yards roll, 43° angle of decent.

I'm gonna take them out tomorrow weather permitting to see how they fair with the added lead tape. Haven't got the lighter grips yet, I'm gonna wait and see how they perform on a course with more favorable conditions. I can't wait to get a few more rounds in. I might just brave the rain to play these babies again. If you are in the market for graphite iron shafts then wait for the RIP iron shafts next year, they will be worth it! I was told they are in final graphics approval and then will be available for purchase. They've been on tour since the Northern Trust @ Riviear last year.

If you live in the SoCal / Los Angeles area and want to give them a try, shoot me a PM and we can try to meet up sometime. I'd love to get some more WRX'ers opinions/reviews for Aldila.

These are the original prototype graphics. There is another set of Proto's out with just the normal "R.I.P." graphic lasered into the shaft. I venture to guess the retail models will have the R.I.P. graphic and a skull and crossbones like the other RIP shafts. None of the proto's I've seen have the skull & crossbones yet.
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Edited by markheardjr, 16 November 2012 - 04:21 PM.

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#2 hayzooos

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:27 PM

Cool man! I'm guessing the next thing to conquer for companies is the graphite iron shaft. Looking forward to getting these out in the hands of more people so they can provide some more reviews on them and see how they begin to stack up against the best steel shafts.
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#3 freddyottawa

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

Nice writeup, thanks for that.

I'm seriously thinking about switching to the program 130's right now and some what what you wrote addressed some of the things that has me hesitating. I guess I better buy some lead tape if I do order them :)
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#4 markheardjr

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

View Postfreddyottawa, on 16 November 2012 - 02:41 PM, said:

Nice writeup, thanks for that.

I'm seriously thinking about switching to the program 130's right now and some what what you wrote addressed some of the things that has me hesitating. I guess I better buy some lead tape if I do order them :)
If I could go back I would have ordered Winn Lite Midsize grips first, they are like 23g. 1 wrap of tape. Only problem is the shaft tip graphite layers are so thick that you couldn't get a normal tip weight in there. I could have drilled the heads out deeper and put some tungsten weighting deep in the hosel but with the lead tape getting it closer to D0 they feel perfectly balanced and my swing speed and distance is just as high/long as the Adams CMB 6i I grabbed at Golfsmith with an C-Taper in it that was 1/2" over standard.
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#5 mrlongball

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

If your looking for guys to try them and some comparison, Ive got a set of Aerotech Player Specs I game so Id give the RIPs a good go and a comparison against the Aerotechs!


#6 tbowles411

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:01 PM

This is where companies are going now. There's so much more they can do with graphite than steel in regards to weight and bend profiles. Truly a new day in consistency of distance and accuracy.

#7 sevenputts

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:57 AM

Man.. I live somewhat local in Burbank ( San Fernando Valley ) Tempting...

#8 golf9596

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

Hey I tried to purchase that set of MB2s, but was afraid the swing weight was going to be too light. I will wait until these are released and get a set shafted up. Thanks for the info....
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#9 muxi87

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:39 AM

Boo had been playing them in his TM MCs pretty much all year...has said many times he absolutely loves them.

#10 PreppySlapCut

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:05 PM

I would love to try a set.

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#11 khuffman17

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

i would LOVE to try a set how do or can i go about getting them?????

#12 markheardjr

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:26 AM

View Postgolf9596, on 17 November 2012 - 10:24 AM, said:

Hey I tried to purchase that set of MB2s, but was afraid the swing weight was going to be too light. I will wait until these are released and get a set shafted up. Thanks for the info....
I messaged him and asked, he said his were D2.
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#13 markheardjr

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

View Postkhuffman17, on 17 November 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

i would LOVE to try a set how do or can i go about getting them?????
Not available yet, I was just offering for people that live near me to meet and swing mine.
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#14 jgpl

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:10 AM

Graphite shafts and irons WILL NEVER happen

I am not for or against graphite in irons, but these will fade away like all others...............

#15 hayzooos

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:06 AM

View Postjgpl, on 19 November 2012 - 05:10 AM, said:

Graphite shafts and irons WILL NEVER happen

I am not for or against graphite in irons, but these will fade away like all others...............

I think you're wrong on this one. Graphite shafts have advanced further than probably anything else in the past 5-7 years. Just look at the options we have when it comes to shafts for drivers. I think it'll take some time to be adopted, but the control they have in making graphite shafts are far greater than steel. Because of this, they'll be able to get performance on par with steel shafts in a short order, and surpass it shortly there after.

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#16 markheardjr

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:36 PM

Many companies already offer graphite shaft options, just not marketed at the crowd on here. Graphite in irons in the R flex aren have been huge since the Bubble shafted Taylormade's and Callaway Big Bertha irons. Just now we are finally getting graphite shafts that compete with X100's which is the gold standard on tour. With the groove change the shaft companies finally have the window of opportunity they needed. Aerotech Steelfibers, Matrix MFS/Program, Aldila NV, VS proto, RIP, and now UST Recoil shafts have been in tour players hands and have made it on to the big show multiple times. Even winning. I think we'll see a few more guys each year go to graphite.

Go back a 15 years and the same was said about cavity backs. Only a handful play them and they are never going to be the norm. Look at the tour now. Plenty of cavity backed irons in play now.
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#17 tbowles411

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:28 PM

+1

There's so much more you can do with graphite. I met with UST in September and they said the future is here.  Want something that plays XX flex, they can make it and the way they wind their shafts, stability and consistency are no longer an issue.

#18 freddyottawa

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

View Posttbowles411, on 19 November 2012 - 06:28 PM, said:

+1

There's so much more you can do with graphite. I met with UST in September and they said the future is here.  Want something that plays XX flex, they can make it and the way they wind their shafts, stability and consistency are no longer an issue.

exactly, these are not the graphite shafts you would find in irons 5-10 years ago. Sure, the price isn't friendly for most right now, but some of the offerings out there today are outstanding. I look forward to the chance to try these shafts.
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#19 tbomb

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:39 PM

I'll take this one step further....these will be a standard offering in 10 years. Cost of production goes down when you sell 200,000 sets of irons ;)

Thanks for the review ol chap. Always worth the read. (I tend to read all the names I know, lol)

#20 hayzooos

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:04 AM

View Posttbomb, on 19 November 2012 - 10:39 PM, said:

I'll take this one step further....these will be a standard offering in 10 years. Cost of production goes down when you sell 200,000 sets of irons ;)

Thanks for the review ol chap. Always worth the read. (I tend to read all the names I know, lol)

This wouldn't surprise me at all. I mean, we're talking an extra $10/shaft vs some of the premium steel shafts out there currently (PXi, C-Taper). That's not too much of a difference when you can get (probably) better results.

I know DG is the current "standard" in stock shafts, but that's already changing too. Callaway is putting the PXi as their stock shaft in the X-Forged, and I have a feeling that's going to be a trend we're going to see continue over the next few years. Maybe not so much in some of the SGI irons, but certainly in the GI/players iron market.

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#21 ToysRUs

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:16 AM

View Postjgpl, on 19 November 2012 - 05:10 AM, said:

Graphite shafts and irons WILL NEVER happen

I am not for or against graphite in irons, but these will fade away like all others...............

Same guy said...
Graphite shafts and Drivers will NEVER happen.......

LOL
:cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy:

#22 jgpl

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

View PostToysRUs, on 21 November 2012 - 08:16 AM, said:

View Postjgpl, on 19 November 2012 - 05:10 AM, said:

Graphite shafts and irons WILL NEVER happen

I am not for or against graphite in irons, but these will fade away like all others...............

Same guy said...
Graphite shafts and Drivers will NEVER happen.......

LOL
:cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy:

Lets wait and see............

By this time next year the market share won't have increased by 0.001% and no OEM's will be putting them in to their mainstream offerings (except for a few super game improvement hybrid irons aimed at 80 year olds)

#23 freddyottawa

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

View Postjgpl, on 21 November 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:


Lets wait and see............

By this time next year the market share won't have increased by 0.001% and no OEM's will be putting them in to their mainstream offerings (except for a few super game improvement hybrid irons aimed at 80 year olds)

Likely true, but I think more OEM's are going to start offering graphite iron shafts aimed more towards players who would normally play a S300/X100 type shaft at an upcharge.
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#24 hayzooos

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

View Postjgpl, on 21 November 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:

View PostToysRUs, on 21 November 2012 - 08:16 AM, said:

View Postjgpl, on 19 November 2012 - 05:10 AM, said:

Graphite shafts and irons WILL NEVER happen

I am not for or against graphite in irons, but these will fade away like all others...............

Same guy said...
Graphite shafts and Drivers will NEVER happen.......

LOL
:cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy:

Lets wait and see............

By this time next year the market share won't have increased by 0.001% and no OEM's will be putting them in to their mainstream offerings (except for a few super game improvement hybrid irons aimed at 80 year olds)

I'd agree 100%....at this time next year. Graphite shafts in drivers didn't magically take over dominance in one year either, it took a little while. Let's say at this time five years from now. I think that would be a bit better of an idea if graphite vs steel shafts in irons, as that's a bit more long term thinking than simply 12 months from now...that's still short term.
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#25 jgpl

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

Just to clarify - I am not against graphite shafts in irons

Its just I don't see them making any significant impact on irons, even over the next five years

The exotic shafts today and what they offer in woods is astounding, but irons are so much about feel, crisp feedback and distance control.

Despite the marvelous properties of graphite and composites they just don't offer this, even though they have come a long way over the past 5 years

Can you ever, ever imagine Tiger or Rory playing graphite in their irons (I know all tour pros are on a different planet to us)

99.9% of all WRX members play steel

The dedicated ho's (me included) experiment with Tour Issue X-100's, PX, PXi, KBS tour, C-Tapers, Nippon Modus 3, etc.) hoping to find the holy grail and never include or even entertain the though of ho'ing with graphite in irons.

Why???

If I am proved wrong then I will eat a set of graphite shafts (Just putting a set away in case!!!)


#26 blink3665

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

I saw that set you mentioned on eBay!  I thought about purchasing them...  I hope I'm not threadjacking, but it seems there are alot of people on here that know about grahpite iron shafts.  I just bought a set of Aldila Prototype X shafts.  They are not cinnamons.  They are the same color as the VS Protos.  However, they do not say VS anywhere on them.  The ony thing they say is "Aldila Prototype X".  Any ideas about these things?
Ping Anser 12* Kusala White TI 61S
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TMag UDI #3, Adams a12 Pro 23* RIPd VS
714 AP2 5-PW KBS Tour R+ 1*up
Cally Jaws MD 50/54/58
Slighter Proto #9HT long neck

#27 markheardjr

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

View Postblink3665, on 21 November 2012 - 12:40 PM, said:

I saw that set you mentioned on eBay!  I thought about purchasing them...  I hope I'm not threadjacking, but it seems there are alot of people on here that know about grahpite iron shafts.  I just bought a set of Aldila Prototype X shafts.  They are not cinnamons.  They are the same color as the VS Protos.  However, they do not say VS anywhere on them.  The ony thing they say is "Aldila Prototype X".  Any ideas about these things?
You pretty much have it. They are a VS proto profile iron shaft. Similar to the NV MLTI shafts but with the VS Proto bend. Probably a tad more spin and smoother feel than the NV. I think the red Cinnamon versions are supposed to be NV performance with much better feel. So low spin without the harsh stiff tip.

The RIP shafts I have are so smooth. They don't have that super kick feel that other graphite iron & hybrid shafts have had that I've tried. The weighting feels pretty good considering they are 14g lighter than my NIppons, but those were the heaviest you could get, even on tour, 136g. Very DG X7 Tour feeling. The RIP shafts feel more like a S400 but they can handle my quick transition better. The ball has almost no sidespin. If I had too give some criticism on the RIP shafts I'd say. 1. They are a tad light feeling in the longer irons still and I sort of lose a feeling of where the clubhead is, fixing with more lead & tungsten, possibly going to lighter grip. 2. They seem to be lower spin than I'm used to and sometimes the ball rolls out too much on me. This is a good problem to have as I am usually a high spin player. The difference is playing a ProV1x vs. a ProV1 and I have been playing the X but may switch to the regular. I have hit a few succesful knockdown shots and controlled the flight nicely so I will check that off my list now that the short irons are weighted up.
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#28 wrmiller

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

Guess I'm part of the 0.01% around here. Just glued a set of VS Protos into my MB heads and will be giving them a try over the next few days/weeks. Learned a long time ago to 'never say never'.
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#29 markheardjr

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:06 PM

View Postjgpl, on 21 November 2012 - 11:58 AM, said:

Just to clarify - I am not against graphite shafts in irons

Its just I don't see them making any significant impact on irons, even over the next five years

The exotic shafts today and what they offer in woods is astounding, but irons are so much about feel, crisp feedback and distance control.

Despite the marvelous properties of graphite and composites they just don't offer this, even though they have come a long way over the past 5 years

Can you ever, ever imagine Tiger or Rory playing graphite in their irons (I know all tour pros are on a different planet to us)

99.9% of all WRX members play steel

The dedicated ho's (me included) experiment with Tour Issue X-100's, PX, PXi, KBS tour, C-Tapers, Nippon Modus 3, etc.) hoping to find the holy grail and never include or even entertain the though of ho'ing with graphite in irons.

Why???

If I am proved wrong then I will eat a set of graphite shafts (Just putting a set away in case!!!)
There are tour caliber graphite shafts. Pro's play them and have won PGA events with them. I have tried almost every shaft you listed and a few more beyond that. I think my holy grail set is a tie between these RIP irons and Nippon NS Prototype 2S14 Stiffs. I had the 2S14 stiffs and traded them for a set of X's thinking they'd be better but the X's are more stick than even I can handle so the S's hardstepped would be it for me. I've hit over the years DGS300, S400, X100, Dynalite's, PX 6.0, PX6.5, PX 7.2, Rifle 6.5's, Rifle 7.0's, TTTC, DG Tour X7's, KBS Tour 6.5's, Black Gold's, Nippon Super Peening Blue & Orange, Nippon NS Pro Prototype 2F15's X, 2S14's S & X, and good ol' Apollo's. So I've had pretty much everything out there in my hands. Graphite is the final frontier simply because X flex graphite iron shafts is hard to come by. The old GAT shafts have been around a for a while and the Matrix MFS neon orange shafts too. Those were pretty pricey and didn't have today's technology. Now people are fine dropping an extra 2 fo 3 hundred on a set of high end steel shafts so if the OEM's can get their graphite shafts down to near $300-$450 a set I think it isn't out of the question. TM has offered Matrix Program shafts for a while now. It just takes one company to offer a decent set in their players irons to get them out there in the publics hands to actually try a good set of graphite shafts to change enough minds to make the experiments work.
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#30 mrlongball

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

Dont know how anyone can say that graphite shafts in irons is going to fade away. From last I know Kuchar is STILL playing Aerotechs and is one of the most consistent and solid players on tour, Brandt Snedeker won the Tour Championship and the FEDEX cup this year playing Aerotech in his irons along with some solid play all year...oh and BOTH were on the Ryder Cup. Not too mention you are seeing more and more guys on tour testing them out and using them in tournaments.

Graphite iron shafts are the thing of the future. Aerotechs provide the consistency, stability of steel with the power of graphite with better dispersion of steel and NO vibration on miss hits. Companies will continue to perfect graphite in irons. its where the industry is going iron shaft wise. Pros and amateurs still are hesitant with graphite from the past that was weak, everywhere on the course with NO consistency and bad ball flights. Its changing. Try them.....oh yeah, and they come in X....


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