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KBS Tour shafts

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So I went to the range today with my new MP59 and saw 2 guys I usually play with there.

The 3 of us use KBS Tour shafts, but we noticed there were some differences:

 

1. One of them had metallic labels in black/red saying KBS Tour by FST and on the upper right corner "S" (flex I suppose)

2. One of them had the exact same label without the "S" on the corner

3. The 3 sets had different step patterns (number of steps and the distance between them)

4. There is nothing engraved on the shafts, it's just a metallic black/red label

 

Is there anyway to find out if any of those are fake shafts?

 

There should be a serial number under the grip, but rather not remove that.

 

I read somewhere that KBS Tour shafts have 13 steps and they have following distances between them (from butt to tip):

 

57mm , 57mm , 57mm , 54mm , 51mm , 48mm , 44mm , 41mm , 38mm , 35mm , 32mm , 29mm , 25mm

 

But none of them match what we have. Could it be that KBS has different versions, production lots, etc?

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I can't speak to the stepping measurements, but I wouldn't be too concerned about differences in labels. The shaft labels I've seen on big OEM irons have specified the flex (S, R, X). It wouldn't be unusual for the label to be generic (no flex indicator) if the irons have been hard or soft-stepped. It could also be that the builder simply uses unmarked labels.

 

I've got several KBS shafts here. I don't know about a serial number under the grip, but otherwise there are no markings.

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The difference in labels is understandable. What makes us wonder is having 3 KBS shafts and all 3 of them with different stepping patterns.

 

All of them were purchased from reputable authorized dealers.

 

Perhaps there are different versions for different countries, batches or time of production? Hmmm...

 

EDIT: To add some info, it appears that KBS also has "made for" shafts for OEM's which could be soft/hard stepped vs after-market shafts and that could be the difference in stepping pattern we see. Again, that's just info in some forum, so not sure if it's true.

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I doubt that they would put a flex on a label that is for parallel tipped shafts. The weight changes in the KBS Tour based on the flex you want. But a 'Stiff' could be 120g, 125g, 130g depending on the tip trim specifications. Here is the KBS Tour trimming instructions. http://www.kbsshafts.com/kbs_tourseries.php Parallel tips offer a whole new world in custom fitting someone with a specific shaft flex.

 

The other option is that they are older KBS labels that do not have flex on them or OEM labels where the shaft comes in the clubs stock. From what I recall that label is in the top right corner of the label (the C-Taper is in the bottom right sop it could be there as well on the KBS Tour i can't recall which is correct on the KBS Tour line)

 

Tapper tips have a raw length that are for a given club head 37.5" - 41.5" P to 1 iron normally, some sets have a 37.0" P shaft. So have the steps be different could be that you have different length shafts (if the steps are off by 9/16" to 1/2").

 

If they are parallel they all come in 43.5" blanks then tip trimmed to specifications. So the stepping pattern obviously would change based on the amount cut off the tip if the tip trim was slightly off this would put the steps slightly off for that frequency trim level.

 

In tapper tipped KBS Tour and Project X shafts they give a butt frequency of the coefficient to the frequency at 43" in length of a shaft. So in other terms they drop the 2 and then put a decimal between the last two digits. You would add 4.2CPM for each 1/2" shorter the shaft becomes in the set to get the correct CPM for the length of the shaft. It would be 2.1CPM roughly for a 1/4" or 8.4 CPM for 1" change. If you gon LONGER then 43" SUBTRACT CPM, if you go shorter ADD CPM.

R ~ 251 CPM @ 43"

R+ ~ 256 CPM @ 43"

S ~ 261 CPM @ 43"

S+ ~ 266 CPM @ 43"

X ~ 271 CPM @ 43"

 

If you have three shafts for a 3 iron that is playing to 39.00" then the CPM for all three should be roughly ((43in - 39in) * (8.4cpm)) + {base CPM here}

Stiff --> ((43-39.0)*(8.4)) + 261 ~ 294.6 CPM @ 39" for a 3 iron

Stiff --> ((43-35.5)*(8.4)) + 261 ~ 324 CPM @ 35.5" for a PW

 

Think you can figure out roughly what you need then test them using a frequency machine and tell the flex out of the gate.

 

NOTE: to test STEPLESS SHAFTS you need a 2.5" clamp on the frequency machine. Some companies test with 7.5" clamps, 5" clamp (most common), 3" clamps. Just a fair warning to get the right reading you have to use the right sized clamp. A 5" might spit out 250 CPM where a 3" on the same exact shaft would give a 235 CPM

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I noticed the flex desginator on a set of iron I was working on for a customer.

 

Since it is the only set I really noticed. I figured the"S was for one of two things:

1) to tell golfers and sale folk of the flex in the clubs

2) It is particular to taper tipped clubs,

 

I primarily work with parrallel tip shafts and have yet to see a designation of flex on the label.

 

If they would make it about 3/16 inch shorter all would be good

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This is a little off topic to the KBS Tour labels, but still along the lines of club building with the KBS series shafts.

 

The builder that I always go to loves to work with the parallel tipped shafts it gives you the opportunity to really fine turn the exact frequency for the players club head speed on each club. KBS Tour Parallel is 120g R, 130g S, 133g X i was slightly off on my previous post on the weight of parallel tips.

 

Only flip side to the coin is that the 3 iron in 0.370 shafts is heavier then the PW, more material removed the lighter the shafts get in the set. Majority of people could not tell the difference between a 0.370 and a 0.355T in a blind test with no labels and no measuring on the tip section in long irons, I am not sure about the short ones some people are more sensitive then others.

 

The 0.355T at least has in-between flexes in R+, S+ this helps fit golfers more using the 0.355T system. You can fine tune it a little more but soft stepping and hard stepping them. It also has the same weight in the 3 iron as the PW which a lot of player that can tell a difference prefer.

 

For a soft step or hard step it is about 1/3 in-between the two flex gaps. (1/3)*(0.5) ~ 0.167 coefficient change

For example a Taper tip that has a 6.5 (265 CPM @ 43") would become about 6.3 (263 CPM @ 43") Soft stepped one time and about 6.7 (267 CPM @ 43") hard stepped one time. The ball flight would change slightly in each one but not drastically, the soft step would go a little higher on launch angle, the hard step a little lower on launch angle.

 

It is pretty common myth that taper tip is 'more consistent' then parallel shafts... here is a quote from True Tempers FAQ...

Does a taper tip shaft play like a parallel tip shaft?

True Temper taper tipped shafts and parallel tipped shafts do play similar to one another. The only difference between the two is tip diameter and weight. True Temper taper tip shafts are constant weight, meaning that each shaft weighs the same from 1 iron to wedges, and parallel are descending weight.

 

There is a reason that the C-Taper hasn't released the parallel tip market yet. Kim Braly (KB) wants a very specific profile in the C-Taper, until he can achieve the same results with the parallel tip C-Taper as he can get in the taper tip, it is going to end up being brass shims and high shear epoxy to fit the 0.355T into the 0.370 hosel :)

 

The one weird thing about the KBS Tour is that you can count on it acting like it is counter balanced in terms of swing weighting. Everything else stays the same and a KBS Tour goes into the head you will drop about 2 swing points (D2 to a D0). They are not counter balanced but also don't have the extra weighting in the tip that the C-Taper has and other club companies have.

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soft stepping or even hard stepping are ways to achieve a desired flex or feel for a fine tuned set until you reach either end the set you are building.

 

The PW or the 3 iron for instance are typically using the same shaft as the one before it or after.

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