Fujikura Speeder Evolution Golf Shaft Review

Fujikura Speeder Evolution Driver Shaft

Russ Ryden, Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

FujiSpeed15 vs 14The Fujikura Speeder 757 was my introduction to premium driver shafts many years ago. The Speeder brand name disappeared for many years. It was brought back a few years ago as the Motore Speeder, a complex matrix of 26 shafts, featuring 3 launch designs, each in an array of weight and flex. In late 2013 the Speeder brand was reintroduced with 8 shafts, numbered like the original Speeder. The Fujikura Speeder Evolution came to the golfing public in 2015. It is designed to handle the heavier driver heads we are now seeing. As you can see in this illustration, the tip is stiffer and there is a tip-mid stiffness adjustment as part of the design update.

Like all of the Speeder models from Fujikura the profiles are consistent throughout the model. As the weight increases so does the stiffness. The Speeder 474 R2 weighs 48 grams uncut. The weights and stiffness ascend from a 4″ deflection yielding 5.8 lbs for the 474R2, and 8.6 lbs for the 79 gram 757X.  The raw shafts are 47″ long, not the typical 46″.

Lets take a look at the profiles, they vary by model: 

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

The Speeder Evolution is a classical design, mid soft in relation to a stiffer butt and tip.This design is a good fit for the majority of golfers. We can see the research done on the 3D ENSO system shaping the butt to create softer handles.

FujiSpeed15HoopAn interesting aspect of these shafts stood out during hoop stiffness testing. A significant ‘bump’ of hoop stiffness in the high midsection of the shaft. If you look at the EI curves you will see this is where the shaft is quickly descending in stiffness. At that point, an ultra high modulus hoop ply was added to preserve shaft stability.

Hoop stiffness is a function of wall thickness. near the tip, where the wall of the shaft are thick, the hoop stiffness is high. This graphic shows hoop deflection measurements. The less deflection, the stiffer that area of the shaft is. This is hoop stiffness, not bend stiffness. Hoop stiffness relates to the shaft ovalizing. The lower the number, the less oval deformation I measured. So, the dips you see are increases in hoop stiffness. The design objective in the Fujikura Speeder Evolution is to create shaft stability, and hence feel, in the section of the shaft where to majority of the load related bending occurs. What you see is the result of engineered wall thickness and high density pitch fiber pregreg in the hoop orientation, stabilizing the mid/butt region of the shaft.

An interesting discussion on another golf forum contained this comment, “This is the answer to all the “profile is profile” theorists – whose claim is that if I match bend pattern, weight, balance point and frequency then my $12 shaft is the same as your $175 shaft. Torque progression and distribution aren’t as handy to quantify but are essential elements in any high-performance design, and aren’t to be had for peanuts.”  We see in the Speeder Evolution design is what this writer was talking about. A highly evolved design using the latest high density fibers, fiber orientation and wall thickness control to create a performance enhancing golf shaft.

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Fujikura Speeder Pro Driver Shaft Review

Fujikura Speeder Pro Driver Shaft

Russ Ryden, Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

SpeederProDriverRollingImageFujikura adds a Diver model to the Pro lineup, the Speeder Pro in 2015. I like the graphics on the Fujikura Pro Golf Shafts. The roll over from positive to negative on opposite sides of the shaft is great shaft art. The Pro line is available only through Fujikura charter dealers. This line of shafts is unique, within the line are 4 different profiles, each tuned to a particular swing type. That is an important aspect to understanding this shaft model.  Overlaying all the profiles is a confusing matrix. Sorting them as shown in the graphic below into their weigh groupings reveals the product strategy.

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

The Speeder Pro uses high density material in the butt section to raise the balance of the shaft. That is seen in the positive numbers in the chart above. Balance numbers shown here are relative to the center of the shaft. A positive number is a balance toward the butt, a negative number toward the tip. These points are about as high I we see in current production. And as seen in the graphics and explained in the discussion with Alex, this was done without excessively stiffening the butt section of the tip. This was further aided by using high modulus material in the tip of the shaft. This created adequate tip stiffness without adding wall thickness and weight. All this speaks to the technology now being used in golf shafts.

Lets here what Alex Dee, from Fujikura has to say about these shafts. This is a segment of a 30 minute conversation about club fitting in general and about the 2015 Fujikura Shaft Models.

To see the entire discussion with Alex, click here.  Not shown in the numbers presented here. The Speeder Pro has a slightly larger butt than we typically see. These will make the grips a little larger. Something I find enhances the consistency of most golfers. Larger grips make it easier to hold on to the shaft.

If you are interested in this shaft, find a Fujikura charter dealer near you.

 

Oban ISAWA Golf Shaft Review

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

ObanISAWAImage

Oban ISAWA Driver Shaft

A box of the new Oban ISAWA shafts arrived and as I was preparing them for measurement I was wondering just where Oban would go with a new design. They already have 5 shafts in the premium Kiyoshi family covering a wide range of profiles . They have the the Devotion in the in the high mid price range and the Revenge in the lower mid price range. Just what was the ISAWA going to bring to the party. The first thing I noticed was the MSRP, $199. Putting it in the same price range as the Devotion and the Revenge. It is a different profile from all the other Oban shafts.

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

This profile is a classic low launch design. I do not do comparisons between brands here. But, I know this profile. It is new for Oban, but it is not new in the business. This is a great addition to the design matrix offered by Oban fitters.

Aldila Rogue Golf Shaft Review – Driver

Aldila Rogue Driver Shafts

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

I first heard about the Rogue at the PGA Merchandise show in 2014. At that time is was a tour only shaft, made exclusively at Aldila’s California facility. Aldila has always had a huge presence on the PGA Tour. That presence became more visible when Jordan Spieth won the 2015 Masters with the Aldila Rogue in his bag. Lets start with a look at the numbers:

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

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Mitsubishi KuroKage XT Shaft Review

Mitsubishi KuroKage XT

By Russ Ryden, Fit2Score, A Dallas Fort Worth Club Fitter & Club Maker
The Golf Center at the Highlands, Carrollton Texas

KKXT_Image

The first version of this review was of a single shaft, others have arrived, prompting this update. There has been some buzz about the KuroKage XT. It quickly became popular on the PGA tour. Mitsubishi’s dealers have been snapping them up as soon as the shipments arrive.

TiNiThe KuroKage XT is another of the Mitsubishi shafts to incorporate highly elastic Titanium Nickel wire into the tip section of the shaft. The wire, shown here, is embedded into the prepreg and rolled into the tips section much like any other flag of prepreg would be.

In looking for a profile match, only Mitsubishi shafts were close. An interesting phenomena I never see. It hovers around the Diamana ‘ahina and the first generation Diamana white. The third generation Diamana White has moved on to a different design, which departs from the original profile. I see a variation on the ‘ahina. The flavor is there, the rough edges softened a bit, but if you were a fan of the original Diamana White Board or the second generation ‘ahina, you are going to like the KuroKage XT. The brittle hardness of the Diamana White and the ‘ahina have been softened by increasing the torque of the shafts. Yes, you heard that right, the overall GJ torque profile has been progressively increasing from the White to the ‘ahina and now to the KuroKage XT.

This video was shot at the 2015 PGA merchandise show. Meet Tsutomu Ibuki, the genius behind the Mitsubishi golf shafts. As we talk about this shaft late in the interview the feel of KuroKage XT design is discussed.

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Enjoy and Good Golf,
Russ