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Forum Member Review - Paderson Shafts

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Hckymeyer's Paderson Review

 

 

Before starting this review I would first like to apologize to both MGS and Paderson for the delay in getting this posted.  Like some of the other guys life got in the way, but that's no excuse and I dropped the ball.  Now on to the review...

 

I'd like to start this review by telling you a story about a pair of shoes.  These are my favorite pair of shoes.  To be cliché I'd say they fit like a glove, but let's just call them the most comfortable pair of shoes I've owned in the last 5 years.  I went to the shoe store and they measured my foot, I tried on quite a few different pairs but this particular pair just fits perfectly.  It's getting to the point where these shoes are starting to look a little ragged.  I've owned them for a while and wear them every day.  It's time to start looking at a new pair of shoes.  I went online and found a good deal on a very nice looking pair of shoes so I pulled the trigger and bought them.  When they arrived at the house I couldn't get over how nice these new shoes looked, I got comments about how good they looked every time I wore them.  The only problem is that they just aren't quite as comfortable as my old shoes.  There was nothing particularly bad about them, but when it comes time to put on a pair of shoes before walking out of the house I keep putting on the old shoes.

 

As you can probably guess the old shoes is my current gamer shaft.  It's a Diamana D+ 62 stiff flex and I was fit for it at The Kingdom (TMaG facility) in California.  I know exactly what it's going to do when I swing it and it just works great for my game and swing.  The Paderson shaft is the new shoes.  It looks fantastic and I am capable of getting decent results with it, but in the end It's just doesn't feel quite right and it doesn't beat out my gamer. 

 

Launch Monitor

 

Let's start with a few launch monitor sessions.  I took these in Feb during the off season so my swing wasn't grooved by any means, but it's a fair comparison between these two shafts and gave me a sense of hope for the Paderson.

In the first session on an AboutGolf simulator the Paderson is Driver 1 and the Diamana is 3 Wood.  I used the same 10.5° SLDR head with both shafts set to 11°.  I also deleted a few really bad swings that weren't representative of how I usually hit the ball.

 

 

IMG_2655.JPG

 

 

As you can see I was getting faster ball speed and longer distance with the Paderson.  It was also less offline than my Diamana.  Spin was a little higher, but it went straighter.

Later on in the same session I was more warmed up and hitting the ball better so did the comparison again with two good shots each.  The Paderson is Driver at the top and Diamana is Driver 1 below it.

 

 

IMG_2656.JPG

 

 

This time the Paderson gave me a couple more yards, had less spin, and was closer to the center line.  I was getting pretty excited for the season to start and get this shaft on the course!

 

About a month later Golfspy Barbajo and I met at 2nd swing and put the shaft through its paces again.  We both tried a bunch of different combo's to see if anything clicked, but the two to look at in this graphic are Brian Paderson 10.5 SLDR and Brian Diamana 10.5 SLDR.

 

 

IMG_2664.JPG

 

 

I had less spin with the Diamana, but the Paderson was long in both carry and total distance.  This time the Paderson was also farther offline.  Either way i was excited that this could contend with the Diamana and I couldn't wait to get it out on the course.

 

On the Course

 

 

Now comes the time when I can finally get on the course.  I picked up a 9.5° SLDR head just so I could put both drivers in play and not have to swap shafts every hole to hit side by side shots.  I'd play the front 9 with each club and then swap the heads and play the back 9.  I played 4 or 5 rounds like that and decided to just stick with the 10.5° head.  Then I played another 3 rounds with just the Paderson in the bag and then alternated rounds for a couple more.

I never really noticed a distance increase or decrease with either shaft over the other.  I was hitting the ball to very similar spots on the course and places where I typically end up.  What I really started to notice though was that I could not hit a draw with the Paderson.  Every shot was a baby fade and it tended to go higher than I'm used to.  That's saying a lot as I'm a high ball hitter already.  Another big I noticed is the feel.  For some reason I just couldn't get used to it.  It almost seemed like the head was twisting on impact and I could feel it trying to open up.  As some other have stated it I dialed it back a notch or two on my swing the results were good, but that's not how I normally swing and I'm looking for a shaft that fits my swing, not a shaft I have to fit my swing in to.

 

Conclusion

 

In the end the Paderson is not in my bag.  I want to be able to hit a draw off the tee and the Paderson wasn't allowing me to do that.  I also just couldn't get over the feel at impact of the club head wobbling/twisting.  The Paderson I was sent is a stiff flex and I would be interested in testing an X-Stiff to see if that helps with the feel at all.  At the end of the day though I still put on my old comfy shoes when I head out the door and it would take a lot to remove the Diamana/SLDR combo from my bag.

 

I would still recommend adding this to your try list when you are testing out shafts.  The looks are amazing and the results are still pretty good.  If it felt a little more stable at impact I could see playing this shaft on a regular basis.  I also had some friends that hit it and really like the feel.  The smoother the tempo and swing you have the better this would do for you.

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I am super pumped to do my first review here at Mygolfspy. I would like to give a big thanks to Paderson shafts and everyone here at Mygolfspy for allowing me to this review. I would like to start off saying that its a good thing they awarded me member of the month before they had a chance to see me butcher this review ;) JK (I hope)

I must have checked the UPS tracking number for this shaft 100 times awaiting its arival. All I can say is that when it FINALLY arrived I was not disappointed! I was sent the KINETIXx IMRT Kevlar Green in X flex. I was a little concerned with this choice but Jason, the CEO of Paderson, told me that I would be pleasantly surprised. I am used to having some decent looking driver shafts over time such as my Matrix Red Tie, tour issue Miyazaki JDL and Aldila Protopype. They are all pretty good looking shafts but not even my sexy Diamana Ahina is as stunning as this thing.
paderson shaft redo2.jpgPaderson shaft redo.jpg
I may be slightly biased because I have a thing for green (see my whats in the bag post), but this thing looked good! I can promise that my pictures don't do it justice. BTW sorry for the terrible pics from indoors at night but we have had horrible weather. I will have to post some better pics from the course during my review. You can actually see the fibers from what I only assume is the kevlar on the butt of the shaft. This must be part of what sets the shaft apart as far as the Paderson manufacturing process. P1000321.JPG

I'm not sure if this thing will preform or not. If it doesn't then its at least my permanent alignment stick because it goes so well with my green bag, green push cart and green grips LOL. This shaft will be trying to beat my Diamana Ahina 80x. Both will be paired with my Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme in 8.5*.I cannot wait to put this thing through its paces and get back to everyone with the results!

Edited by Undershooter30
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I would like to start by telling you all a little about myself. I am a fairly decent player with a low single digit handicap generally hovering around scratch. I'm not a very consistent player in that I can do everything well at times and everything very poorly at times. I suppose this is because golf is not my first sport. I always was and had been a baseball player. I even gave up golf completely for a couple of years while playing college baseball. Since my return to the game things haven't always been easy but I have definitely found my replacement for baseball. I love the sport that is golf. I have a pretty strong golf swing, which I can only assume is a product of swinging baseball bats for so many years. I hit the ball very high, with a lot of spin and generally do well with heavier/ stiffer tipped shafts. I would say my normal driver swing is 117-124 mph. I go passed parallel, my transition is abrupt and my release is extremely late. My go to shot is generally a baby fade although it's almost straight if I'm swinging it well.

I had high hopes for this shaft. I had heard from the beginning that a lot of long drive guys were loving the Paderson shafts and that a lot of them were even swinging the exact same shaft that I had been given to review, the KINETIXx IMRT Kevlar Green in X flex. I thought that if the long drive guys were a big fan of this shaft then I would probably love it. I was wrong unfortunately. First let me start off by saying that I do not think this is a bad shaft by any means because I don't. Everyone that I let hit the shaft liked it a lot and I still say it's the best looking shaft I've ever seen. It just didn't fit my swing very well. From the beginning I had issues while doing this review. The first 3 times I had this shaft installed in the adapter it slipped (twisted in the adapter) and I had to pull it from play mid round or while on the range.  Finally I told my club guy to do whatever he needed to do to get the shaft to stay in the adapter. “Sand it, use different adhesive, weld it, bewitch it, whatever, just get it to stay.” He changed adhesive and sanded it down much more than he had the first few times. Apparently the tip could've used a little more prep from the factory. FYI I know the testers covered this but for those who haven't read up on these shafts: DO NOT TIP TRIM THEM AT ALL! That is from the CEO of the company. I'm sure it has something to do with the Kevlar that the shafts are wrapped in. Of course, the weather was terrible for the first 6-8 weeks of reviewing this shaft so limited play at first. And to make testing even harder, the shop I used to go to use their flight scope LM closed. The only other place in the area that rented out a launch monitor was having theirs replaced with some great new system. That great new system was supposed to be “up and running in 3 weeks,” back in march/april. I called this week just for fun and guess what? They have a great new LM/simulator coming and “it will be up and running in 3 weeks.” Riiiight…

The driver head TESTING was done with is a Callaway Razr Fit Xtreme in 8.5* set open so the loft is actually 7.5 degrees. The Diamana Ahina 80x played at 45.5 inches which is a bit long for my taste. The Paderson played at 44.5 inches which is my preferred driver length.(Edit: 6-8 weeks in I had to cut the Ahina down to make them the same) After my honeymoon period with this shaft, I came to notice 1 definite thing. IT LIKEY DA FADE! I know that a fade is my go to shot but I can't do anything else with this shaft. The only thing I can try and do is to determine how much the ball is going to fade. If I miss it's going to be a high spinney slice off to the right. Hell some days I had to try and hit draws just to get it go straight-ish. My miss with the Paderson became way too common. I got to the point where I had a nickname for it, “the flare.” Now this flare didn't make an appearance every time out but if I had a miss with this shaft, that was going to be it. The Diamana on the other hand gave me the ability for me to move the ball both ways, fade or draw if needed. For the most part though, I just tried to hit the ball straight with the Ahina. There was a slight two way miss with the Ahina (compared to the Paderson), but that's the cost of doing business if you want to be able to shape it both ways. We can just blame that on my underdeveloped swing.

BALL FLIGHT seemed to have the Ahina being the lower launching and spinning of the two shafts. The Paderson liked to get up in the air quickly and would do some ballooning if there were wind in my face. The Ahina generally didn't have this same issue. I also felt like the additional spin led to less yardage with the Paderson. The carry distance may have been similar but there was definitely very little roll out with it. The launch monitor data backed up my initial thoughts about both spin and launch. Sadly I don't have my original LM data because all of the pictures capturing it was on my old phone which was broken a couple of months ago. Don't worry though I do have new LM data which will accompany the follow up.  

FEEL is a very subjective thing so I don't always enjoy commenting about it. Comparing it to the Ahina is probably the best I can do. I will say that the Paderson had an extremely smooth feel to it. I very much enjoyed it even if it didn't love me back. Comparatively, the Ahina has a very boardy feel when being swung. At impact the Paderson was very light like you could barely feel the ball impacting the club head and continued to be smooth. The Ahina tends to be very different in this regard. Impact has a very heavy feeling to it and kind of springy. The heavier feel at impact makes it seem as though I am making a better strike. I would give the nod to the Diamana in the feel category but only because I like boardy. I don't want the shaft to feel like I can easily overpower and I definitely feel like I can do that to the Paderson.

THE SAVING GRACE for the Paderson seemed to be that the less that I “went after it” the better this shaft performed. As I noted at the beginning, I have a harsh transition and very late release. I don't think this shaft does very well with that. If I took smooth swings and concentrated on having deliberate tempo then the Paderson performed much better than if I took my normal hack. LM data proved this was correct as well. One of the first warm up swings I took with the Paderson gave me absolutely great results because I was being smooth.  Even though it was only 114 mph club head speed the ball launched and 12* with around 1900rpm to end up being just over 330 yards after roll. This shaft seems to be a smooth swingers shaft not a hitters bashing stick. Sadly though hulk like to smash :blush:

OVERALL I would have to say I'm sticking with the Diamana because it fits me better.  I 100% recommend that people try Paderson though because they are a great company that produce a solid product. I wish it had worked better for me but that's life. Jason their CEO was super helpful to us testers and I would like to thank Paderson KINETIXx for the opportunity of testing their product. I would also like to give a big thanks MYGOLFSPY for choosing me. I'm very appreciative to both for being so patient with me taking so long on this review. On top of the difficulties mentioned above I have also changed jobs and have had some crazy things going on in my personal life while testing. MYGOLFSPY helps keep me sane sometimes :)

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In the last 7 or so weeks I have moved away from the Diamana/Razr fit combo. For the last 7 weeks I have moved on to a combination of a Matrix Black Tie 7m3 in XX flex paired with an 8* tour issue SLDR with an actual loft of 8*. I have set it fully open which causes it to play at 6.5*. Let me just say this thing is a monster! When I hit it CORRECTLY... Which isn't all the time... See the club championship thread.
During this time I have also being trying to change my swing slightly to try and improve my driving, which has been very hit or miss the last year plus. This swing tweak has lead to less spin, slightly lower swing speed and a nasty little two way miss that likes to stick its head out when I'm -4 or in the final round of the club championship.
The passed two weeks I have been playing around with the Paderson and Diamana Ahina in the Razr fit Xtreme head. Everything that I previously thought about them came rushing back. This week I took them to the driving range and then on Tues/Wednesday had some LM sessions with them. Everything I previously thought about them seemed to be spot.(prolly since I took so long to write the review) Since my initial testing, the local dicks sporting goods has started renting out time on its CG2 LM. I went in both days to see if my numbers were still the same with both shafts. They basically were. This CG2 does not gather smash factor and assumes 1.45 on all shots so take that into mind. Also I have noticed that it generally adds draw spin to all shots and they tend to end up left of target. Example: I hit 10-12 balls with my 3 wood all which I thought were baby fades turned into baby draws. The club tech told me this was because the CG2 was on the ground and you were slightly elevated on a hitting mat. I don't know if its correct or not but lets go with it. The numbers below are all with the same exact golf ball. Not my gamer but a Maxfli U3. Decent ball just not what I use. The Diamana proved to be the much longer of the two. It also generally went a little left which adhere to my theory that the mat influences the spin reading slightly(adds draw spin). The spin rate avg with the Diamana even show a slight draw tendency which isn't the case in real life. The Paderson on the other hand still moved left to right even though the LM "added" some draw spin to the shots. Overall the Paderson launched higher, spun more, didn't carry as far or roll out as much. I also noticed that yet again the Paderson performed better on slower more controlled swings than all out hacks. To try and keep testing as even as possible I threw out the same amount of bad shots for both shafts. The data is listed below.

 

PLEASE ask any questions you might know about the Paderson. Just because it wasn't the best fit for me doesn't mean it won't be a good fit for you. I have very few shafts that work well for me and this did better than most.

LM data2.jpg
LM data.jpg

 

Edit: I would like to mention that the Diamana/ Razr Fit Xtreme combo are back in the mix against my current gamer the 7M3/SLDR combo.

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I should have never signed up for the UPS Delivery my choice. Delivery day was probably the longest day I've had to endure at work in a long time. Once I got home and saw the box waiting for me I started doing my patented dance to the golf gods to thank MGS and Paderson for providing me the opportunity to review this product.

 

The shaft was packaged securely and right on the outside address label of the triangular box in colorful letters “PADERSON KINETIXx”. I couldn't wait to get this thing open. The shaft was in a plastic sleeve tucked in one of the corners of the box with packing paper holding is in place. My inner kid was released as I pulled out the shaft from the box just like a Knight would draw his sword. There is a lot to take in when you first look at these things; Colors, patterns, sparkles, words all crisp and clean.

Picture 1.jpg

 

I would say the first thing that draws you in is the “rhombus grid” as Jason worded it in an email. The visible fiber pattern is quite hypnotic. I found myself following the lines all the way down the shaft a few times. That pop of “Paderson” green fades into view and your hit with a red flame and PADERSON in a sparkly paint, which comes alive in the sunlight. The branding and lettering are crisp, the edges cut thru the “Paderson” green paint. Slowly you begin to fade back into a trance with the fiber pattern again all the way down to the end. You think man what did I just see? 

Picture 2.jpg

Picture 3.JPG

 

So I started again at the butt of the shaft, I would say the first thing that draws you in is the “rhombus grid” as Jason worded it in an email. Wait, is this groundhog's day? Bill Murray isn't on the forum is he?

 

My first overall impression of this company and this product is that Paderson is doing it right. From the communication with the CEO directly to a stunning quality product that visually exudes confidence; I hope that same magic carries over to the Phase 2 and the testing portion. Until next time, “may the fade be with you.”

 

 

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Paderson Shaft Review

By RevKev

 

Unboxing

I am very excited to be selected as a reviewer for the Paderson Kintex Green driver shaft.  Thank you Paderson and MGS.  The initial call for testers indicated that a variety of swing speeds should apply and that there would be some sort of survey to fill out to determine what shaft would best fit.  

It should be noted that there was an understandable delay in receiving the shaft as early January includes the annual PGA golf show.  I was disappointed at the lack of a survey or fitting process.  However Jason from Paderson was able to discern what shaft would fit me best based on the equipment listed on my MGS signature.  He sent an email informing me that my shaft had been shipped, along with instructions for proper preparation and installation of the shaft itself.

Unboxing1.jpg

 

 

 

The shaft arrived on Monday February 9 exactly as promised in the email.  It was carefully packaged.  Its unique appearance made the unboxing process very exciting and the anticipation of installation and testing was exacerbated by a rare Florida cold snap coupled with a tight work schedule.  So the shaft sat in a safe spot waiting throughout the work week.

 

Unboxing 2.jpg

 

Initial Impressions

 

There are two groups of testers from MGS.  I fall into the sub 100 mph testing group but I'm a low handicapper.  I'm very consistent, if not long, off the tee.  My AoA is plus 3 and I typically hit a high baby draw that carries 210 yards on average.  My current gamer is a 12 degree SLDR set standard with the weights three towards fade.  For my first range session I pulled the stock Fujikura shaft and dropped the Paderson in.

I started the session as I normally would with stretching between 5 to 10 minutes and then hitting shots up the bag to the driver.  Typically I will only hit 2 or 3 drivers and then some short irons to finish it off but I saved enough balls to hit 15 drives with the test shaft.  I was very pleased with the results.  The first two drives were hit on the screws, flew high and straight which meant they were a bit right because I was setting up for my draw.  By the third drive I was able to hit my little draw, despite the wind being left to right and into me.  The balls at this range are not consistent but overall my ball flight was and I had little trouble finding the sweet spot of the club.  I was aiming at the middle of a 30 yard wide target on the other side of the range and only had two balls finish outside the target area, one was an over cooked draw and the other was healed, the only real miss hit of the 15 shots.

I will be playing golf over the weekend and would like to get another range session in the beginning of next week with at least one more round before hitting the LM for some hard numbers. I have data for my current gamer so it will be easy enough to compare.  

Typically the SLDR is not a good feeling or sounding club.  Despite that I bag it because it works for my swing, I'm very accurate with it and it's very forgiving for me – go figure.  Both feel and sound were much better with the Paderson shaft.  The guy hitting shots next to me even remarked at how good the ball sounded and looked coming off my driver.  I rarely get that on the range or even on the course, more often I get, how did you shoot 74?

As an addendum I went to the course today.  While warming up I noticed that the feral had separated on my adapter so I brought it to the repair guy at Chi Chi Rodriquez Golf Course in Clearwater, FL.  He said he'd fix it for me while I was playing which of course meant that I was unable to test the driver on the course.  The four warm up drives that I hit were dead on perfect, three bullets with a little draw all carrying well past the 200 yard marker and then scooting and then a nice high straight ball, exactly what I dialed up for the last shot before heading to the course so I was really bummed.

When I went to pick up the club after the round the head pro said, “You have to wait. I want to talk to you about that shaft.”  He obviously knew his stuff and wanted to know how I got the shaft and how much I cost.  I told him about the test, that I thought the retail was $199 and gave him the website so that he could look it up.  He was very appreciative and also excited that Paderson is marketing an aftermarket shaft at a competitive price.

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     It seems like such a long time ago that we were selected to participate in this test when reality it was just four months ago.  As already noted the annual Golf Show in Orlando plus other factors caused a delay in all of the testers receiving their shafts.  Mine arrived in early February and after installation I took it out to the range at Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club in Largo FL to begin the testing process.

 

Rev 1.jpg

   

  I was very pleased with the results on the range.  After a short time I was able to flight the ball up or down, straight or with a slight draw.  My normal ball flight is high draw and I don't like to hit fade with the driver, ever.  I was also pleased to see my shots running out.

 

Rev 2.jpg

   

  While launch monitor numbers are not the end all be all I took a trip prior to Fore Seasons indoor golf in St. Petersburg Florida in order to develop numbers with my gamer shaft.  My swing speed is in the high 80's to low 90's.  My average carry with the stock Fujikara shaft in my SLDR was 205 with a 16 yard run out for a total of 221 yards.  It should be noted that for the purposes of this testing I “kept” every drive hit.  Prior to taking the driver out on the course I did an informal session on the same LM at Fore Seasons and found the numbers startling,  214 yards average carry, 19 yards average run out for an average of 233.

 

Rev 3.jpg

    

Even after two months those numbers are holding.  My swing speed remains the same but my ball speed is consistently at the top end of my capabilities.  My launch with the Paderson Kinetix Green shaft in is high 16.9 while spin rate low, right around 2,000.  The balls at Fore Seasons are not my regular gamers but they are consistently the same.  I'm confident that using my Bridgestone B330 RX ball will yield slightly better numbers still.

 

Rev 4.jpg

    

As always the most important part of any test is how the club or in this case shaft actually performs on the course.  I've played half a dozen rounds with the Paderson Shaft three of which stand out because they were on courses that I play frequently.  The late winter/early spring weather in Florida has been beautiful this year.  Mild temperatures and generally dry but a bit more rain than normal.  That means lusher conditions and a bit less roll.  Still I have hit several drives at each of these courses that have approached or in one case exceeded my career best. This is extremely significant as I have lived here for 9 years.  During that time I have become a Senior Golfer for competitive purposes.  Between a bit more age and a serious illness I've lost some distance.  The combination of the SLDR head and Paderson shaft have helped me regain some if not all of what I've lost.  On two of the courses I was able to track my drives and I averaged 239 on 26 drives.  Typical driving average pre-illness was right around the same.  I would have to say that this shaft will stay in as my gamer.  I'm just about maxing out my capabilities with my current head/shaft combo.  I have tried messing with the loft but find that my best results to date have come with the driver set at neutral (12 degrees) and the weight towards fade.  I have yet to try and hit an intentional fade.  I probably could but let's face it,  when you are hitting the ball a bit south of 240 you need every inch that you can get.  Clearly Paderson is allowing me to do just that at this point.

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Follow up review:

 

At this point we are well into the golf season for those who live up North. As I reminder I'm a part of the under 100 swing speed group. I replaced the stock SLDR Fujikura shaft with the Paderson Kinetix last February for this test.

 

 

 

Since I live in Florida I was able to practice, assemble data and play frequently early in the initial testing period. Overall I had a nice gain in yardage with my new shaft, about nine yards in carry, a very important number for course conditions here this time of year. As a side benefit the reduced spin numbers have helped my accuracy by all but eliminating the duck hook from my game.

 

Poor weather last week and this forced me to have a session at Foreseasons Indoor golf in St Pete. The managing Pro, Don, actually remembered me from being in for the test. "You're the guy who maxes out his numbers!" My instructor Jeff made my day by nodding his head in agreement.

 

While there to work on my middle iron play I did hit a few drivers and they were spot on my earlier results. I also played golf on an empty course on Tuesday. I hit 20 drives, all plugged (seriously), 17 in the fairway between 204 and 221 carry, obviously. The wind conditons were 10-15 mph.

 

So to the big question: Will the shaft stay in my driver?

 

What do you think? I'm 9 yards longer primarily because I hit more shots in the center of the club producing a high launch angle and low spin rate. I'm hitting in excess of 75 percent of my fairways and most of the misses are playable. The shaft makes my driver look, feel and sound great.

 

 

 

image.jpg

 

Yes! Thanks Paderson, you've given me a winner. I've had several friends try my driver and they come away impressed by the shaft often hitting it longer than their current gamer. As always thanks MGS for the testing opportunity. It's been a blast.

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I would love nothing more than to have some real world info on this shaft--but this stupid snow precludes it from happening. I was happy to get the box, unhappy with the forecast!
 
Shaft certainly looks good. My 9 year old son asked if he could have it in his Callaway driver. I laughed. If distinctive looks was one of the goals, they achieved that. I, however, am the sole remaining "I could not care less what it looks like" guys I know. Need some melt, and fast.
 

This will be tested against an Oban Tour Proto v430 x-flex, and a Graphite Design P9003x. Love them both. It's going to have to be damn good to jump into the rotation! Gotta say, fingers crossed!

IMG_4812.JPG

IMG_4811.JPG

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This became a one time review, as opposed to review and follow-up. WIfe has cancer. Didn't play much. End of shitty part of the review...

 

Back to the review. I said I'd give it a full run. I played it at 44.75" in a 12* R11s. Normal shaft is a Oban Tour Proto, 44.75", X-flex.

 

Read to the end. This review changed as of 7:15 this morning.

 

I am the worst driving 1hdcp player in the world. SS averages 110-115. I'll hit drives in places you can't believe, and in a bad way. I want straighter. I have a violent transition. There is nothing flowing or leisurely or "hey, nice tempo" in my swing.

 

I hate LM's. I want to play golf--not a video game. Especially of the LM in indoors. A waste of time. And I say that as a guy who fit and built for tour pros. Trackman indoors is a complete and utter waste of time. Thankfully, my buddy brought his with me to the range.

 

All balls were ProV1X, fresh from the box.

 

Oban, 10 hits. SS avg-113. Launch angle-14*. Spin-3100. Average carry--268.

 

Those numbers indicate I was missing the sweet spot. Smash factor too low. But pretty normal for me.

 

Paderson, 10 hits. SS-112. Launch angle-14*. SPin-2800. Average carry--273.

 

Again. Not exactly maxing out smash factor.

 

Like I said--I hate the LM. WHo cares what the numbers are. I know on the course how it's behaving. I loved it. My misses were brought closer together. It actually seemed to be a little shorter in the real world, but that was OK. Loved it. Had some low rounds with it. Was very happy.

 

Then it happened. I couldn't hit it on the planet. The misses were the same as before. BIIIIG misses when I missed. THIS was what I expected. I knew I had been perfectly fit into the old driver. There was no way a different shaft could make a huge difference for me. I had access to every shaft available, and the resources to test them, for 15 years. I wasn't leaving yards on the table. I then lost confidence in it. But I played it anyway. Played it on a couple dozen different courses. Didn't switch, even though I wanted to.

 

I hate commenting on feel. Hate it. It's so subjective. But I swear I hated the feel. When I didn't make perfect contact the shaft felt "wobbly." Now you know why I hate "feel." You can't possibly know what I mean, and I cant describe it better. But it felt wobbly. Decided after being reminded last week that I was late to the review that I was taking it out of the bag.

 

About a week ago a wood designer who is a friend of mine at a major OEM sent me a text and said that they were in trouble, that he had just tested the best driver head they had ever tested---but it wasn't their driver. We talked about it, and I told him I had this shaft that I had been testing (he reads the site here, and reads all the info posted here after I told him we were testing it.) At his urging, I got a tip from the other OEM, and pulled the TM tip and put the new one on.

 

7:15 this morning, my home club. It was a bit chilly, and very wet (lots of dew.) 10.5* Great Big Bertha driver. I played 2 drives off of every tee. The 10.5 demo from the club with a Rogue 60X, and my own 10.5 GBB with the Paderson in it (having contacts in the biz has it's advantages...). Holy hell. The shaft GLOWED WITH FANTASTIC WONDERFULNESS. After 9 holes I went to the trunk and got my R11s. I was hitting the Paderson consistently 8-15 yards farther than the Rogue. In places I have NEVER been on a course I play very often. Like I said--my home club.  It was 8-15 yards farther than my R11s. I know I hate the LM, but I have to see the numbers and see whats causing it. I'd say it's head only--but head to same head it was much longer. The "wobbliness" was gone. There is no way I'll take this combo out of the bag. None. Measurably straighter and measurably longer is a combo I can't ignore.

 

I was set to come on here and not be excited at all. It's just a shaft in the R11s. Nothing at all special. My opinion may have changed today. I will keep this updated.

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MarkB's Unboxing and First Impressions -

 

What is there to say about unboxing a shaft?   It's a shaft in a tube, nothing more.   For this reason I didn't take any photos of the unboxing and I'm glad now that I didn't since I'm the last in this daisy chain of reviews and who the hell wants to see 12 pictures of a cardboard box?!  I will say that the box sent was SUPER sturdy and it came FAST.   I was the first to get mine and the last to post -- sort of a reverse LIFO accounting system.  
 
Nor do I have any photos to add of the raw shaft.   All the other ones posted by my predecessors are better than any I could have taken anyway.   I'll try to keep this short and limited only to things that are additive, not repetitive
 
I can say this, however -- The Paderson Kinetix IMRT Green shaft (in Stiff) is prettier in person than it appears to be in the website's stock photos.   In website photos I thought it had a rather cheesy, distracted sense of style.   But I like holding it in my hands and I was impressed with the basket weave of fibers that is not merely cosmetic, but integral to the build.   They should keep that and accentuate it.   It gives a sense of strength, like the Roman fasce.
 
I'm not impressed with the website and I can't say I love their long complicated names for things, or their product differentiation.  I confess, I really still don't know what this shaft should be called.   So I'm calling it the Kevlar Green, nuts to you if you don't like it.
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Part I - First Trip to the Range -

 

 
Preliminary Note on trimming and adaptor application if you do it yourself -
 
Those Kevlar fibers are not just for show .   My Dremel could feel them while butt trimming.   Most graphite shafts cut like butter, and this kevlar still cuts, but you can actually feel the Kevlar resisting while cutting.
 
Oddly, my first attempt at setting this shaft in its Callaway tip adaptor resulted in a failure.  The epoxy somehow pushed its way down overnight, forcing the shaft up and out of the adaptor tip about a quarter of an inch.  I had to torch it off, re-sand it and re-apply.   This was the first time this has EVER happened to me in hundreds of shaft gluings.   Regardless, I was able to extract it and reset it again without damaging the tip.
 
 
The Contestants –
 
I tested four shafts and two different heads as a part of this experiment.   They are:                
  1. 2013 Callaway Optiforce 440 -  9.5 degrees – weighing 196 gr total with 8 grams of lead tape heel and crown weight

      2. 2014 Callaway Optiforce 460 – 10.5 degrees – weighing 196 gr total with 8 grams of lead tape heel weight
 

All the following shafts were cut to 45 and 3/8” length, playing to about 46.5” in the Opti heads overall when inserted):

  • 2015 Aldila Rogue Black 60, 95 msi, @ 65 gr, Stiff, torque 3.6
  • 2015 Aldila Rogue Silver 60, 110 msi, @65 gr, Stiff, torque 3.4
  • 2015 Paderson Kinetix IMRT Kevlar Green, @75 gr, Stiff, torque 4.5
  • 2009? Fujikura Z-Com TW74 t-29, @75 gram, Regular, torque 2.9

 

shafts to compare.jpg
 
The Fujikura shaft is my gamer.  I've played it almost exclusively for 4 years now because nothing beats it.  Although it is a regular flex, it feels stiffer than stated flex.   Conversely, the two Aldila Rogues both feel softer than stated flex to me.   The Paderson shaft feels correct to its stated stiff flex.
 
 
First Hits:
 
Temperature in Utah was a brisk 39 degrees with significant wind chill.   I should not have been hitting balls at all, especially rock hard range balls, but I did it anyway.  None of these shafts seemed to hit the ball very far and I can probably thank the cold for this.   I hit about 30 balls with each shaft, about two total buckets.  I started with the Paderson in order to find its groove.   This didn't prove hard.  It was as easy to swing and as consistent as any of the four shafts on the day.    I was able to get plenty of good center strikes with it and no swing tweaks were required in order to get comfortable.  This was a very pleasant surprise.
   
With two heads and 4 shafts and a host of adaptor settings to choose from, most of my first day was spent finding the combination of shaft head and setting that favored each shaft.   All these shafts produced some pretty straight shots, and all produced my usual smattering of smother hooks (about one out of every 10) that occurs when I don't get my takeaway steep enough.   No shaft was any wilder or hookier than the others. 
 
Some salient points that I gleaned from this first range test:
  • The two Rogue shafts launched noticeably higher than both the Paderson and Fujikura shafts.  Too high for my liking, but in fairness their arc is not terribly conducive to ballooning.   It is more of a smooth dome shape, rather than a steep ramp up, followed by a peak and a steep drop.   Perhaps this high flight is needed to accompany the low spin these shafts are supposed to produce.  I dunno.  Either way, I have not seen any significant distance increases with either Rogue shaft.   Oddly, both are remarkably similar to each other.   Aldila's specs state that the Black & Silver should produce very different spin and launch numbers, but 'm not seeing it.  While the Rogues are very straight and very consistent shafts, both launched too high to be used in the Opti 460, even when it was turned down all the way.   (The Opti 460 is a notoriously high launching head for just about everyone and I almost always have to dial it down.)
  • The Paderson shaft really seemed to like the Opti 440 head set to standard loft and a draw bias.   I quickly found its groove with this club and could not shake it once I found it.   Here's a picture of my last seven impacts with the Paderson on the 440 before I quit.  That's as good a 7 strike cluster as I ever produce.   The Paderson's trajectory was perfect to my eye in this club at this setting and its dispersion was as good or better than any of the others.   I don't think there is any more tweaking I can do to get the Paderson shaft set up for optimum results.   Now I just need to take it to a monitor and see what the numbers say.
face strikes.jpg
  • The bad news is that to my eye, my old Fujikura Z-Com in the 460 head was still the best combination of the day.   It seemed to produce the longest hits, and the only ones that felt like they had real snap to them and caused me to exclaim, “Now that's the stuff!”   We'll have to see if this impression is confirmed or contradicted on the monitor and the course. 
 
Summary of first impressions –
 
The Paderson looked and felt fine.   It was very easy to get used to and it launched “correctly”, meaning it had a healthy mid flight.  It felt true to stated flex.   It had fine dispersion and offered good control.   It seemed to easily beat both of the Rogues in terms of both distance and preferred ball flight, however, it did not look like it was beating my current Fujikura gamer.
 
 
 
Part II - First Trip to the Course -
 

Guys, we might just have something here with this Paderson shaft.

Contrary to my intentions, I took my Paderson Kevlar green shaft mated to the Optiforce 440 set to standard 9.5 loft and draw bias to my home course today and played 36 holes with it head to head against the Fujikura Zcom shaft in the Optiforce 460 head, set to -1 or 9.5 degrees, draw bias.   These were the two combinations that looked the best in my previous day of range testing.   I left the two also-ran Rogues home.  (In fact, they performed so poorly in all aspects of this test that both have already been sold off.)

Since my course was empty, per usual, I was able to hit each driver on every hole, making for 21 total drives with each club.   It was a very cold day, so cold that my golf towel froze stiff by the 5th hole.   My home course is a canyon layout where the wind blows either up the canyon or down it, so you are always either playing into the breeze or against it.   This proved to be a useful condition because it revealed a very interesting feature in the Paderson --its lower spin plays very well into the wind.

Balls really weren't traveling well in the cold, so I set no distance records on the day.  This was just a day of trying to survive.    I shot an 8 over 79 in the morning with only 1 birdie, followed by a 1 under 70 in the afternoon with 3 birdies.   I took photos of all my impacts on both heads (using good old Dr. Scholl's) so you can really see that my swing was ragged in the morning and it started to come together in the afternoon.   Here are the impact photos:

 

paderson impacts 1.jpg

paderson impacts 2.jpg

paderson impacts 3.jpg 

 

Another interesting aspect of the impact fotos is the shape of the ball impressions left on each club.   Note that the Paderson face shows larger, crisper impressions that have big clean lattices.   But the Fuji head shows smaller impressions that have somewhat smeared lattices.   The large size of the impressions on the Paderson is due to the fact that I was using yellow Wilson Duo's with it and I since didn't have any white Duos, I used Prov1x's with the Fujikura.   The Duo's are soft and squish flatter, resulting in the bigger impressions, but curiously they also seem to come off the face more crisply, which I'm guessing results in less spin.   You can see that the ProV1's are compressing less with the Fuji and sliding on the face slightly before they leave it, resulting in more spin.  

Is this due to the ball, the head, or the shaft?   I don't know.   And sadly, since I introduced too many variables of ball and head and shaft in this test, I can't tell where the responsible factor lies.  I'll have to repeat the test, eliminating the ball and head variables.

But it's interesting, isn't it?  I'll tell you one thing that I take away from it.   When it's cold -- USE THE WILSON DUO!

I also note that over the first 6 holes, my swing was crappy with the Fuji, but it got MUCH better than the Paderson over the last 15.   Oddly, these better impact locations for the Fuji over the last 15 holes using the more forgiving 460 clubhead did NOT translate directly into wins for it.   Several times what felt like weaker contact with the Paderson resulted in a better outcome.   In any event, here are the results of the head to head matches over 21 driver holes.

Paderson holes won            Fujikura holes won                Ties            No. of smothered hooks
10                                            5                                               6                 3 for each shaft


Except for the fact that my personal demon (the smothered hook) appeared 3 out of 21 shots with each club, I hit the ball fairly well with both clubs in very blustery conditions.  I was content.  I used basically the same swing with each club.  

 

Summary of On Course Impressions -

 

When hitting into the wind, the Paderson had a distinct advantage due to its more piercing ball flight and what appeared to be less spin.   When hitting downwind, the Fujikura's higher ball flight and more spin produced slightly longer shots.   I liked the shot shape with Paderson much more.    IGNORE the fact that the Paderson has higher reported torque numbers.   It did not feel torque-y at all.  I've played some high torque Miyazaki shafts before and I simply couldn't control them.   No problems here.  The Paderson seemed very resistant to fades or draws.  If I didn't smother hook it, it went pretty straight.  I really like this shaft and can't wait to get it on a monitor for another test run.

 

 

 

Part III - Launch Monitor Testing -

 

I've got good news and bad news.   The good news is that I was able to get a guy named Joe at my local shop who knew how to work the GC2 and he acted as my operator.   We set the smash to 1.45, hit the elevation to sea level and went at it using Wilson Duo's, the same ball I'd used on Sunday's on-course rounds.  

The bad news is that I had a hard time adjusting to the cage, as usual.   I never know where I'm aiming and what's worse, I don't know how to adjust my swing from shot to shot to correct errors.   So it's all just a blind guess.   My swing arc was passing less than six inches from the netting and I constantly felt I was going to hit the nearby Taylormade fitting carousel with my back swing.   My SS dropped a good 3 to 5 mph from the last time I used this same machine, either through my hibernation fatness, or increasing age, or the fact that I dialed myself back last fall when I was missing too many fairways.   Probably a combination of all three.   At any rate, I had a hard time cracking 102 today and I started out at around 90!  (It turns out that the drop in SS was probably due to a difference in the preset smash factors input into the machine during both my sessions.  I won't bore you with the details, but club head speed is a calculation with a pre-set in the GC2, not a measurement of the club head.)

Regardless, the only thing that matters was the comparison of relative numbers as I shifted between heads and shafts, and this I was still able to do.   To recap, I have an Optiforce 440 and 460 head, with a Rogue Silver and a Rogue Black shaft, plus a Fujikura Zcom TW74 shaft, and the Paderson Kevlar Green.    I tried them all in combination with each head.

Right away Joe and I determined that the 460 clubhead generated about 1000 more rpm of deadly spin.   It was spitting out RPM's in the horrible 3000's, regardless of the shaft used.   And it launched about 2 degrees higher than the other head, even though it was dialed down to -1 degree or a 9.5 equivalent.  These numbers were simply awful and produced very short distances on the monitor.  Frankly they were much worse on the monitor than they appeared on the range or the course (although I did suspect I would get somewhat higher spin with the 460) and this gives me yet another reason to take indoor monitor data with a lump of salt. 

 

Anyway, the 460's numbers when mated to the Rogue Silver and Black were just awful -- very high launch (20+) and very bad spin (3500+).   Curiously, the Rogue Silver was no better than the Black in either spin or launch angle.   This confirmed what I had been seeing on the course.   For me, the case is now closed on the Rogues and both have been sold off.  

 

Things significantly improved when I switched to the 440 head.   Spin plummeted into the 2000's instead of the 3000's.   Once again the Rogues were relatively higher launching and spinnier, not to mention shorter than either the Fujikura or the Paderson.  As for the showdown between the Fuji and the Paderson, the race was neck and neck all the way.   Each cluster of five balls I hit would be slightly faster and less spinny than the one before it, so it's hard to give either shaft the nod because I saw gradual improvement as time went on and my sinews loosened.   (This is a testament to the fact that I should always warm up on the range for at least 25 balls before I hit the course.) 

In the end, I saw no statistically significant difference in clubhead speed or spin between the Fuji and the Paderson, hence the reason why I haven't bothered to post a chart of the output.   If there was a concrete difference in those numbers, I'd post them, but there just wasn't.   Where there was a clearer margin of victory for the Paderson was in dispersion.   But this slight lead for the Paderson in the subjective category of dispersion is kind of a gut call.   You can't go by the + or - left and right numbers on the GC2 chart because one shaft that hits a shot -27 yards left and the next +27 yards right could appear to be statistically better than another shaft that hits everything consistently 3 yards left.   So it's a gut call you make after looking at the "bush" of overlaid yellow flight paths of one shaft and comparing it to the green bush of the other shaft.   I also compared these two shafts' impact points on the clubface.   As with the on-course review, I thought my impact cluster points with the Paderson were wider and worse than the Fuji, yet the results it produced from those poorer strikes were as tight or tighter than the Fuji.   This tells me the Paderson is the better shaft and that it has more in the tank.

At the end of the day I asked Joe the operator which shaft I should hit when it counted.   He said the Paderson with the 440 head.  

Another interesting tidbit I'll mention is that as I was warming up, I hit one drive with a bouncing ground strike off the mat behind the ball and I said, "Toss that one out, I bounced it."   Joe said, "Why, that was one of your best and lowest spinning hits so far!"   So I tried to do it again.   Sure enough, those bouncers were good, I'm guessing it was because they produced much better AoA, and a lower spin, with resulting longer distances.   Soon I was trying to get behind and scoop them all like the bouncers.  And yet another reason why indoor testing off of mats is suspect.   I don't think a ground strike bouncer on the real course is going to be one of my better hits of the day.

Summary of first three sessions -

 

My three segments of testing (range, course, and monitor) all indicate that the Paderson Kevlar Green is as good, if not slightly better than, my current gamer.    It is not orgasmically better, mind you, but it is a serious contender that bears much more scrutiny to see if it should stay in my bag long term.   I usually don't make these kinds of decisions without much more testing, so for me, the follow-up section will be the most important.

 

This, in itself, is quite a victory for the Paderson because I've tested dozens of shafts over the past two years and NONE has even come close to kicking this Fuji out of my bag.   The Paderson is the first one that's still in the running and that alone is a ringing endorsement from me.

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First Follow-up 3/8 -  On Course -

 

I played another 18 with the Paderson in the Opti 440 and this time I dialed it down to 8.5 because we had another coldish breezy day.    This time the day was also coupled by melting slush banks and lift clean and replace fairway conditions, so drives went absolutely no where.   It was a testament to why it is useful to do these tests head to head because you can't compare results from one day to the next.   If I were a robot, I probably could, but things change day to day..   If I didn't have my old shaft and my other head with me today to hit comparison shots and watch them fall even shorter, I might have fooled myself into thinking that the Paderson was short and hard to hit.   Nope, it was just me and the conditions, it did pretty well by comparison.   I didn't hit anything well today and the conditions were putting me 30 yards behind my "spots" regardless of the shaft and used used.   (The balls used today for all shots were Bridgestone 330 RX's, it was warm enough to toss the Duo's aside.) 

 

After 3 previous sessions of nearly brainless point and shoot with the Paderson, today I struggled mightly to find the center face.   I hit a bunch of shots low and heely in the early going, much to my surprise.   After I ascertained that it wasn't going to be a freak thing, I started to tee the ball up higher and moved a bit further away from the ball and things got better for the second nine.   I hit a few that were piped, but they too didn't really go anywhere special.   But that's okay, the piped ones with my old shaft went nowhere too.   The Padersons were always seemed to go a little bit better.   Shot somewhere in the high 70's as I wasn't really keeping score with snow on the course and everything muddy.  Once again, the Paderson did real well into the wind.   Downwind it was again nothing special.   Curiously, I thought some up wind shots went further than downwind.

 

I do like the Paderson's tiny curling fade at the end of its ball flight.   It moves right just a tad eight out of ten times   It never seems to hook.   Even my smothers are more pulls than true hooks.   This is nice.

 

I'm posting this final follow up here at the end of the thread, rather than re-edit my place-holder, because guys look at the end for their chronological updates.    And this post is all about the shaft, hopefully nothing that will distract.

 

Temp's here in Utah have been in the 70's with light winds and firm, although winter-killed fairway conditions.   So no abherrent variables to influence distance or dispersion results.  I've played three more rounds using only the Paderson Kevlar Green as my driver shaft.   It has been, in a word, superb.  After noticing its tendency to hit the ball low and heely with my normal set-up, I changed my tee height and address position ever so slightly to correct the average impact more towards the center face.   This took a bit of range fiddling, but it finally worked.  Now it's really cooking.

 

I can say confidently that this shaft is clearly better than my gamer and leaps and bounds better than the vaunted Aldila Rogue Silver and Black that I was testing simultaneously.

Let me see if I can put my enthusiasm for the shaft in perspective.   In my last round, played on my home course (that has remained unchanged for 40 years of my life) I had 2 personal bests out of 10 total driver holes.   I have literally played this course thousands of times, I play it 50 to 100 times per year.   To get even ONE new personal best drive PER year would be significant if I was in my 30's or 40's.   But I'm not.   I'm in my fifties and getting older every day and I had 2 in one day.   That's really something.  I also hit 9 of 10 fairways.

 

Here are the things that impress me most about it:

 

1) It's very stable.  It rarely puts any curvature on a drive, either left or right.  I've never hit a true slice with it and the hooks are more "pulls" than true hooks.  

2) Its higher torque numbers are misleading.   If I didn't know and you'd have asked me what its torque rating was after I've hit it, I would have said "under 3".   Some people are going to be scared by its higher torque rating, but they shouldn't be.  I don't know how Paderson should get that point across to its consumers, but they need to work on it.  Guys look at club and shaft spec's blindly and the torque rating will scare them.

3) It has excellent dispersion.  If I can avoid my smother pull hook flaw, I know exactly where this one is going with a very small margin of error.

4) It's definitely longer, but I think this length is due to a combination of factors for me.  

  • First, it has lower spin combined with a lower tendency towards "sidespin" (of which we know there is no such thing, just spin on a different axis, but regardless it has less of it.) 
  • It delivers a consistently lower, more piercing ball flight, which allows me to tee it up higher or even dial the club up a degree, and also take a bigger sweepigng cut with a more positive AoA.   This also helps.
  • Since I have more confidence in where it's going to go (see the previous point), I can also take a larger more confident cut.

Do you see what I'm trying to say here?   I'm saying it goes further because all of its attributesallow me to "dial it up to eleven" more so than with my other shafts.  

 

Anyway, it stays in the bag with me.   This is perhaps the greatest compliment any golfer can pay to any golf product  --  "It stays in the bag."   

 

You have no idea how many shafts and clubs I try every year that can't claim that honor, so when I find one it really means something to me.   I could care less what any of the other testers think of it, or what its LM numbers or specs are, or even that the company's marketing approach is a little too complex and confusing.   They could paint pink polkadots on it and call it the Hello Kitty Lollipop Snuggle shaft and I'd still play it.

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Thread bump.

 

With the old placeholders, which we edit instead of adding to, I can't find the thread in the stack of fresh content and the thread isn't getting any views.

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