Fujikura’s New XLR8 Line
For 2016, Fujikura isn’t releasing a new family of shafts – they’re supercharging the existing models. The new XLR8 models will be counterparts to the SIX, Pro, and Speeder Pro lines, meaning there will be an SIX XLR8, a Pro XLR8, and a Speeder Pro XLR8. The XLR8 models will be similar to the originals, but tuned up for extreme distance. Think M Series BMWs or AMG Mercedes.
The Pro XLR8 and Speeder Pro XLR8 will be available in 50, 60, and 70 gram versions, with flexes ranging from R2 to Tour X. The SIX XLR8 will, of course, only be available in 60 grams, but in flexes from R2 to X.
5 Questions about XLR8 with Alex Dee, Fujikura Vice President and Engineering Lead
What will be the performance hallmarks of the new XLR8 shafts?
XLR8 shafts consist of a combination of shaft characteristics which make them built for speed. These characteristics are:
- An EI profile which maximizes shaft kick at impact (proven through enso analytics)
- A higher balance point and lower shaft weight compared to their non-XLR8 siblings
- Multi-axial mid-section reinforcement to prevent ovalization and promote efficient energy transfer (Pro XLR8 and Speeder Pro XLR8 only)
- Stiffer torque values
XLR8 shafts have the highest balance points we have ever designed into a shaft. And like their siblings, the XLR8 line up is “flighted”, meaning you can fine tune your ideal launch conditions within each product line. Lower spin and launch angle are achieved as a function of increasing flex, increasing weight, and/or jumping to Tour flexes.
How much counter balancing will the XLR8 shafts have – just enough for ease of club building/decreasing swing weights or a will it be completely changing the club’s feel?
Both. For one, it’s always easier for a club builder to add weight to a club head than remove it. So, we expect club builders to have an easier time building clubs to a desired swing weight with variety of club heads. Club swing weight definitely change a club’s feel. Modern golf heads are trending heavier and clubs are getting longer, and both factors increase club swing weight. Gram for gram, a club builder can reduce club swing weight most efficiently by removing club head weight. But this messes with the club head’s intended mass properties which reduces energy transfer to the ball at impact and affects ball flight in unintended ways.
Will the XLR8 shafts have a signature look that separates them from the standard line?
They’ll have a different color compared to the standard line as well as an XLR8 badge on the shaft graphic. The Speeder Pro XLR8 also has a different graphic texture.
Will the XLR8 shafts be better for all players or is it better to see them as another fitting option that will work best for certain players?
XLR8 shafts compliment their siblings by offering a different profile and an ability to fit a broader variety of golf swings and preferences. Anyone looking for distance above all will benefit by our XLR8 products. Not everyone can handle so much shaft kick, and those folks will prefer our non-XLR8 offerings.
What will the price difference be between the standard versions and the XLR8 shafts?
XLR8 models to be about $50 more than 2015 models.