With the latest launch of C-Taper Lite, THP wanted to sit down with KBS and discuss the line in its entirety, where the company is headed in the future and what makes them unique.
THP: This year saw two launches of shafts in KBS Tour V and C-Taper Lite. Can you tell us why these launched a little bit about them?
Kim Braly: I first look at the segment of the end user so we can gauge how to best fit that group. Much of this knowledge comes from what I have learned over years, as well as the club fitters themselves. In this case, the C-Taper Lite was derived from exactly that: a huge demand from fitters. Fitters wanted the C-Taper feel but we frequently heard it was too much shaft for a lot of players. Developing the C-Taper Lite assisted in filling out the C-Taper line, and honestly, this shaft turned out even better than I had anticipated. Despite this being a lighter weight shaft, the C-Taper Lite actually fits a large amount of stronger players. Five Tour players (mostly on the Web.com) currently use this shaft, and we just had one of those players win a Web.com event earlier this year.
The Tour-V shaft was designed with two elements in mind: 1. We wanted the shaft- in terms of feel- to resemble the KBS Tour, 2. We wanted less spin and a slightly lower trajectory. This was designed for the player that likes the feel of KBS Tour but prefers the aforementioned attributes.
THP: Previously, KBS had KBS Tour, KBS Tour 90s and C-Taper on the market, how do the two new lines fit into the family of shafts for people?
KB: The shafts mentioned- KBS Tour, Tour 90 and C Taper- are going to fit a very large segment of the market. The Tour-V is for the player who loves his KBS Tours but would like a slightly lower trajectory, lower spin and a little tighter feel. The C-Taper Lite is filling the need of a lighter weight shaft with extremely tight dispersion, while also filling out the C-Taper line.
THP: What can you say about the step pattern that makes the feel of KBS shafts so unique?
KB: What makes the KBS line unique is the noticeable difference in the transfer of energy. This is partly accomplished through the unique design of KBS shafts; each shaft has an equal deduction in stiffness throughout the length of the shaft. Once the shaft is loaded, there is nothing to disrupt the transfer of energy through impact.
THP: In our blind testing, most golfers preferred lighter weight when testing in terms of feel and performance. How does a company combat the average golfer’s thoughts that heavy and stiff are the way to go outside of fitting?
KB: It is a bit difficult to give a concrete answer to this question. Almost 100% of the time, regardless of what the shaft band has on it, lower weight = less stiffness. An ‘S flex’ in a lower weight range will not equal an ‘S flex’ in a higher weight range. I believe best results come from fitting the player in the stiffest shaft they can load, notably for distance gains but even more so for the dispersion benefits.
THP: What does the future hold for the KBS line and can we expect more innovation on the horizon?
KB: This is a great question and, of course, we will continue to be innovative. My goal is to be the most innovative designer in this field, to bring products to the market that will continue to stick over a long period of time. Innovation is the life blood of what we want to accomplish at KBS and we have some great things to come in the near future!