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VA Composites enters the premium shaft space with Raijin

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There’s a new premium golf shaft company led by a familiar face in the industry: Victor Afable.

Afable has worked for several shaft companies in his career, but is best known for co-founding Oban Shafts in 2007. Early this year, however, he left the company to start a solo career as Founder and CEO of VA Composites, which is based in Pinehurst, NC.

Raijin

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In Japanese mythology, Raijin is the god of thunder, lightning and storms.

This fall, Afable sent 10 VA Composite shafts he designed to the European Tour, where they were tested by several players including Alejandro Cañizares. His favorite was the company’s Raijin 64X shaft, which he used for the European Tour’s final four events of 2016. He recorded a T3 finish with the shaft at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Portugal Masters - Day One

Alejandro Cañizare using a VA Composites Raijin 64X shaft with early graphics.

Afable has designed a full line of Raijin shafts, which are currently available at select custom fitters in four different weights and five different flexes for metal woods. Raijin hybrid and iron shafts are also available.

“The shaft profiles are unique and the composite materials used are second to none.” Afable says. “The S and X flexes will use more of a player’s shaft profile, while the softer flexes will offer a higher launch and mid spin. It’s a shaft series that will fit a wide range of players.”

Afable says another VA Composite shaft line will be revealed in February.

Raijin Specs

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2 Comments

  1. russell platt

    Jan 6, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    that is for hybrids

  2. Bob Pegram

    Dec 31, 2016 at 1:08 am

    How can the R/S/X iron shaft be only 42 inches long? If it is tip trimmed enough to be X-flex, it would be too short for long irons.
    My irons are shafted with a shaft that started as as R/S/X flex depending on how much it is tip trimmed, but it started at 44 or 45 inches. (I forget which.)

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Whats in the Bag

Scottie Scheffler’s winning WITB: 2024 Masters

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Driver: TaylorMade Qi10 (8 degrees @8.25) Buy here.
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X (45 inches)

3-wood: TaylorMade Qi10 (15 degrees) Buy here.
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Irons: Srixon ZU85 (3, 4) Buy here, TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW) Buy here.
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 Hybrid Prototype 10 X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-12F, 56-14F) Buy here, Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T) Buy here.
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour X Buy here.
Grip: Golf Pride Pro Only Cord

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 Buy here.

Check out more in-hand photos of Scottie Scheffler’s clubs here.

 

The winning WITB is presented by 2nd Swing Golf. 2nd Swing has more than 100,000 new and pre-swung golf clubs available in six store locations and online. Check them out here.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Danny Willett’s winning WITB, 2016 Masters

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Driver: Callaway XR 16 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana W-Series 60 X
Length: 45.5 inches

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3-wood: Callaway XR 16 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana W-Series 70X

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5-wood: Callaway XR 16 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana W-Series 80X

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (2, 4), Callaway Apex Pro (5-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

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Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (47-11 S-Grind) Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind (54-11, 58-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

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Putter: Odyssey Versa #1 Wide (WBW)
Lie angle: 71 degrees

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Ball: Callaway Speed Regime SR-3

Check out more photos of Willett’s equipment from 2016 here.

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Equipment

Project X Denali Blue, Black shaft Review – Club Junkie Review

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Originally, Project X was known for low-spin steel iron shafts. However, the company might now be known for wood shafts. Denali is the newest line of graphite shafts from Project X. With the Denali line, the company focuses on feel as well as performance.

There are two profiles in the Denali line, Blue and Black, to fit different launch windows. Denali Blue is the mid-launch and mid-spin profile for players who are looking for a little added launch and Denali Black is designed for low-launch and low-spin. Both models are going to offer you a smooth feel and accuracy.

For a full in-depth review check out the Club Junkie podcast on all podcast streaming platforms and on YouTube.

Project X Denali Blue

I typically fit better into mid-launch shafts, as I don’t hit a very high ball so the Denali Blue was the model I was more excited to try. Out of the box, the shaft looks great and from a distance, it is almost hard to tell the dark blue from the Denali Black. With a logo down install of the shaft, you don’t have anything to distract your eyes, just a clean look with the transition from the white and silver handle section to the dark navy mid and tip.

Out on the course, the Blue offers a very smooth feel that gives you a good kick at impact. The shaft loads easily and you can feel the slightly softer handle section compared to the HZRDUS lineup. This gives the shaft a really good feel of it loading on the transition to the downswing, and as your hands get to impact, the Denali Blue keeps going for a nice, strong kick.

Denali Blue is easy to square up at impact and even turn over to hit it straight or just little draws and most of the flex of the shaft feels like it happens right around where the paint changes from silver to blue. The Blue launches easily and produces what I consider a true mid-flight with the driver. While it is listed as mid-spin, I never noticed any type of rise in my drives. Drives that I didn’t hit perfectly were met with good stability and a ball that stayed online well.

Project X Denali Black

When you hold the Denali Black in your hands you can tell it is a more stout shaft compared to its Blue sibling by just trying to bend it. While the handle feels close to the Blue in terms of stiffness, you can tell the tip is much stiffer when you swing it.

Denali Black definitely takes a little more power to load it but the shaft is still smooth and doesn’t give you any harsh vibrations. Where the Blue kicks hard at impact, the Black holds on a little and feels like keeps you in control even on swings that you try and put a little extra effort into. The stiff tip section also makes it a little harder to square up at impact and for some players could take away a little of the draw from their shot.

Launch is lower and more penetrating compared to the Blue and produces a boring, flat trajectory. Shots into the wind don’t rise or spin up, proving that the spin stays down. Like its mid-launch sibling, the Black is very stable and mishits and keeps the ball on a straighter line. Shots low off the face don’t get very high up in the air, but the low spin properties get the ball out there farther than you would expect. For being such a stout shaft, the feel is very good, and the Denali Black does keep harsh vibrations from your hands.

Overall the Project X Denali Blue and Black are great additions to the line of popular wood shafts. If you are looking for good feel and solid performance the Denali line is worth trying out with your swing. Choose Blue for mid-launch and mid-spin or Black for lower launch and low spin.

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