Cobra RADSPEED XB Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The Cobra RADSPEED XB driver is the most forgiving option in their new family.  Bold looks, as expected from Cobra.  Easy to hit straight and long.

Introduction

As has become their custom, Cobra struck first in the war of 2021 products with the announcement of the RADSPEED line.  Included in this family are three new drivers, each targeted at a different type of golfer.  In this review, I’ll be examining the RADSPEED XB (Xtreme Back) driver, which is designed for maximum forgiveness.

Looks

After an autumn of reviewing traditional, minimalist players irons, the Cobra RADSPEED XB driver was a welcome change of pace.  Cobra is never afraid to go bold, as you can see in the black/white/neon yellow color scheme.  On the headcover and the sole, the yellow screams off the black background.

At address, the RADSPEED XB driver is very long from front to back with a rounded triangular shape.  There’s a lot going on with the crown – patches of carbon fiber at the edges, white trim around the perimeter, and the “C” alignment aid.  It could be seen as distracting, but, for the Cobra player, I expect it to be a welcome break from the norm.

The one element that stands out in almost every position is the face milling.  Even at address, the infinity symbol and mill lines are visible and make the RADSPEED XB markedly different.

Sound & Feel

With such a bold look, I was fully prepared to hear a very loud impact sound.  While the Cobra RADSPEED XB driver isn’t quiet, it’s far from the loudest driver out there.  Impact creates a staccato, mid-pitch sound with slightly above average volume.

The amount of forgiveness in this head is evident in the feedback.  Unless I hit a ball on the outer edges of the face, I could barely feel it.  Similarly, the sound of pure strikes is almost indistinguishable from mishits.

Performance

The name “RADSPEED” refers to Cobra’s new RADIAL Weighting.  Cobra has increased the distance between the front and back weights to “unlock faster ball speed with high forgiveness.”  In my podcast with Tom Olsavsky [listen HERE], I also learned that Cobra aimed not to maximize the rear weighting but to find a balance between front and back weighting that optimized performance.

All of that is a preface to me saying that the RADSPEED XB is the best feeling, best performing Cobra driver that I’ve ever hit.  In the past, many Cobra drivers felt excessively back weighted to me, which made them awkward to swing.  The RADSPEED XB feels “normal” during the swing but still has huge forgiveness.

During my launch monitor testing, I was impressed with the consistency of the ball speed and distance.  As I worked into the testing session, I was hitting a lot of shots that were good but not pure.  Despite that, my smash factor never dipped below the high 1.4s.  When I finally got in rhythm with the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX shaft and started finding the dead center of the face, there was a pleasant 5-10 yard boost.

While reviewing the data, what caught my eye was the accuracy.  The RADSPEED XB is a mid-spin driver that really wants to put the ball in the short grass.  Whether it was those good-not-great shots, the pure ones, or the unmentionables, my drives didn’t curve much.  Every shot feels solid and ends up being at least a little better than expected.

Conclusion

Last year’s SPEEDZONE drivers got a ton of love from a lot of people I respect, but it wasn’t for me.  The RADSPEED XB driver, however, has me joining the chorus to sing Cobra’s praises.  This driver is impressive both for its top end performance and its forgiveness.  When you’re testing drivers for 2021, this is one you cannot overlook.

Visit Cobra Golf HERE

Cobra RADSPEED XB Driver Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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18 Comments

  1. Great review and looking forward to trying out these new Cobras! With those numbers, it looks like a strong contender to go in your bag. Question, did you test the XB with the stock shaft or with an aftermarket?

    • Matt Saternus

      Brandon,

      I tested with the stock PX HZRDUS Smoke RDX.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Seth+Peterson

        Matt,

        According to the RDX reviews there is no difference between the “stock” and “aftermarket” anymore with the elimination of small batch, no?

        • Matt Saternus

          Seth,

          I think this enters the realm of “technically true but somewhat misleading.” If you look at the stock shaft in the RADSPEED XB, it’s a black finish with blue lettering. It does not look like either of the aftermarket versions (review here: https://pluggedingolf.com/project-x-hzrdus-smoke-black-rdx-blue-rdx-shaft-review/ ). So, my assumption is that the stock shaft is a different product than the aftermarket Blue or Black. Also the stock shaft doesn’t feel like either of the aftermarket shafts that I tested, though feel is subjective and can vary over time, so I think that’s the weaker of the two pieces of evidence.

          Best,

          Matt

          • Ok so we’re looking at a potential “made for” situation here like many manufacturers. Thanks

  2. Hi Matt-how do you compare this with last year’s (this year’s?) Speedzone/ Xtreme driver?

  3. Matt,
    How would you compare this new Cobra with your trusted Ping G410?
    Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      Both are very forgiving, and the Cobra is an impressive driver. It will certainly get a look in 2021 alongside the other drivers.

      -Matt

  4. Hi Matt, thank you for the review!

    As a SpeedZone driver user, I’m very intrigued after I read that RAD XB is the best feeling, best performing driver Cobra has made. That also raises the question, have you tested the Rad Speed version yet? Many YT channels have been impressed by the sound of the Rad Speed, not so much of the Rad XB.

    Quote from RDX review you made: “All Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts will be the “real deal” whether they are stock or purchased aftermarket.”

    Sad to see Project X lie about this.. If I understood correctly, you tested the TX versions of the real deal RDX & RDX Blue, maybe that has something to do with the feel difference? I’m assuming the stock RDX Blue you tested does not come in TX?

    Does the Rad RDX Blue have the Hexcel Hextow lable in the tip? If it’s missing, could be Cobra did a Taylormade SIM Ventus triggery here with a watered down version of the shaft.

    That also raises the question about the Fujikura Motore F1/F3 that comes in RAD drivers not being a proper version..

    Michale Newton Golf said in his review that the stock shaft is now 46″ long, is that the case or still 45,75″ like written here?

    Thank you and sorry for asking so many questions :D

    • Matt Saternus

      I have not hit the standard RADSPEED, just the XB.

      Regarding the quote from the RDX review, please don’t ignore the prior sentence which starts with “…according to Project X.” I am making no claims about authenticity, real deal, etc, just reporting what I’ve been told and sharing my experiences. I would agree that the difference in flexes could account for a large part of the differences that I felt.

      The stock shaft in the RADSPEED XB does have the “HexTow” branding near the tip.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Hi Matt, thank you for the answer!

        I did also refer to Project X as the claimer “Sad to see Project X ..” not you.

        I know your integrity and I trust in your words. Your reviews are the reason I keep returning to the site, you always seems be able manage the difficult task of putting your testing findings into words. Many times I have agreed with your findings while doing my own testing in real life.

        Since the tip has the Hexcel Hextow branding I assume this is not the same type of case as the SIM Ventus mess-up was, where branding is almost identical but a key incredient of the tech inside the shaft is missing. In my opinion the way Taylormade/Fujikura did that was missleading the consumer and lowered the value of their brands.

        Excited to test the Cobra Rad drivers and looking forward to the Radspeed test from you guys!

        • Cobra is known for always using the real deal shafts lately. They have to, because they are not a top tier company. They have the best value in golf right now. They kept the price at $450 when others have hit $530.

          I do agree with you about the SIM Ventus without the Velocore but it didn’t hurt their brand. Those of us that know the difference paid extra for the real deal shaft. The ones that don’t couldn’t care less and when someone searched for that Fuji Ventus shaft, they saw the $350 retail price and thought the SIM was a great deal. I doubt they researched what Velocore does and that it was missing.

          I’m going with the XB Tour Length with the Moto F1 shaft. All heads are practically the same, pick the more forgiving, more workable, etc. but get a great shaft and you’re good. Cobra is giving out great shafts this year.

  5. I am shopping for a new driver. Torn between the Radspeed and the Speedzone Extreme.

  6. Brent Danforth

    I really enjoy your reviews Matt! There are so many great drivers coming out. I’m planning on doing a driver fitting this spring and I’m wondering who to see in the Chicago area. Do have any suggestions? Perhaps, no one is even open because of Covid-19? Thank you!

  7. Brent Danforth

    Thank you Matt!

  8. “In the past, many Cobra drivers felt excessively back weighted to me, which made them awkward to swing.”
    This!!!
    I have felt the same specifically about cobra drivers and to the point where if I missed the center it almost felt unstable for how much back weighting there was. Can’t wait to try this version, as I have always loved the performance and feel (when struck good) of cobra drivers.
    Great review

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