KBS C-Taper 90 Iron Shaft Review

KBS C Taper 90 (1)

50 Words or Less

The KBS C-Taper 90 iron shaft is different from the standard C-Taper, but it does have the signature KBS feel.

KBS C Taper 90 (3)

Introduction

KBS is regarded as one of the premier “feel” steel shaft makers in the business and had blockbuster hits with the KBS Tour and C-Taper shafts.  In an effort to diversify the KBS portfolio, they developed the C-Taper 90 shaft which shares some key characteristics of the original C-Taper while offering a much different feel and ball flight that may make it easier to hit for more players.  Though the C-Taper 90 is supposed to be comparable to the C-Taper Lite, there’s actually very little published about this shaft at this time, so this review is purely based off of our experience with the shaft and no outside knowledge of the product.

Feel

I had actually played KBS C-Tapers in my irons for quite awhile because I loved the feedback the shaft gave me on every shot in addition to its low spin and ball flight.  The C-Taper was a great shaft, but frankly, I just don’t think I had the game to match it, and we went our separate ways.  When I found we had a set of C-Taper 90’s coming in, I took a look at the specs of the shaft and got really excited about them because they seemed like a better fit based on my previous experience with the original C-Taper.

The original C-Taper shaft felt a little stout for me, but the C-Taper 90 has a little softer feel.  It has some similarities to the KBS Tour 90, but with the consistency of the C-Taper.  Being a lighter weight shaft, the C-Taper 90 felt easier to swing and like a lot less of a “battle” than the original C-Tapers were for me.  I found myself with a little bit more of that “just swing the club” feeling when I was using the C-Taper 90 shaft. 

KBS C Taper 90 (3)

Looks

The appearance of the KBS C-Taper 90 is more traditional than the original C-Taper while maintaining the same stepless design.  Rather than the rigid satin finish of the C-Taper, the C-Taper 90 has a nice polished chrome finish with the classic white KBS Tour shaft label (for my money, one of the best shaft labels in the game…even if that is a strange accolade).  It’s not a loud shaft, but it certainly looks classic and like a high performance piece of equipment.

KBS C Taper 90 (4)

Performance

With lighter weight shafts, you’re supposed to see an increase in swing speed which should result in higher launched shots.  As mentioned before, the original KBS C-Taper shaft was notorious for being low launching and low spinning which was true.  In fact, Matt and I frequently commented that we could hit a ball down a long hallway with the C-Taper shaft.  With the C-Taper 90, this changed quite a bit.  I wasn’t ballooning shots with the C-Taper 90, but I was hitting the ball considerably higher with much softer landings.  The higher flight helps the ball stop faster, but there’s also an increase in ball spin which contributes to the ball stopping as well.  The slight sacrifice of shot feedback from the lighter shaft was worth the performance gains I received by a long shot.

Conclusion

The difference in iron shaft weights is one of golf’s biggest debates.  In fact, you may see a piece on PluggedInGolf.com in the near future.  Many think the lighter shaft weights are the secret to unlocking the secrets to better iron play whereas others feel it’s total blasphemy and there are just flat out too many disadvantages to such a decrease in weight.  At the end of the day, the on course results speak for themselves.  I liked the KBS C-Taper well enough, but the C-Taper 90 helped me hit better shots and flat out get around the course in fewer strokes.  From my personal experience, I can’t tell you I can make a valid argument against a high-quality lightweight iron shaft because the results were there for me.  As one of the finest engineers in the game, KBS made a nicely tuned shaft in the C-Taper 90 and truly opened doors to more golfers looking for a new option in the high-performance shaft market.

Price & Specs

The C-Taper 90 is not available at retail, but its counterpart, the C-Taper Lite is available for $40.95 a shaft.

C-Taper Lite Specs:

Tapered Tip Specs
Flex Wt. Iron # Tip Dia. Butt OD. Length Torque Traj
Regular 105g 2i – PW .355″ .600″ 37.5″-41.0″ 2.2 Mid-High
Stiff 110g 2i – PW .355″ .600″ 37.5″-41.0″ 2.1 Mid-High
X-Stiff 115g 2i – PW .355″ .600″ 37.5″-41.0″ 2.0 Mid-High
Parallel Tip Specs
Flex Wt. Fm Tip Dia. Butt OD. Length Torque Bal. Pt.
Regular 108.5g 4.0-4.5 .370″ .600″ 42″ 2.2 50%
Stiff 118.5g 4.5-5.0 .370″ .600″ 42″ 2.1 50%
X-Stiff 125g 5.0-5.5 .370″ .600″ 42″ 2.0 50%
Shaft Lengths
1i 2i 3i 4i 5i 6i 7i 8i 9i W Parallel
Raw Length N/A 41″ 40.5″ 40″ 39.5″ 39″ 38.5″ 38″ 37.5″ use 9i 42″
The following two tabs change content below.

Bill Bush

Co-Founder
Bill is a true golf gear nerd by definition who loves making custom club creations in his garage with tools like sledge hammers, blow torches, and his bare hands. By day, Bill is a technology manager living in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and kids. Bill plays Scott Readman Concepts putters and accessories.

Latest posts by Bill Bush (see all)

20 Comments

  1. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the review!

    Do you know how these compare to the retail version, the KBS C-taper Lite? Which according to what I’ve seen on the website have the exact same specs?

    http://kbsgolfshafts.com/shafts/kbs-ctaper-lite

    Luuk

  2. I am not sure if I am late asking for an advice.

    I play of 7 Handicap in Scotland. I want to buy TM SRi2 with KBS C-Taper 90 replacing my Rocketbladz stiff KBS tour shaft that served me well for the past year. I don’t hit the ball long but I have a good control on the ball and course management does add that missing bit. would C-Taper C90 give that little bit extra in my game. Thanks for any advice in advance.

    • It all depends on what you’re looking for. It’s a lower trajectory, stout shaft. At the end of the day, you need to hit one and see how your swing fits with it. I personally can’t play KBS Tours, but do great with C-Taper a flex lower.

  3. Neil Stephenson

    Do you know why the KBS Tour c taper 90 shaft isn’t available at retail?

    • Unfortunately no, I can’t speak to that. The only thing I can think of is that they didn’t want to cannibalize their own shafts in the market…aka, they’re trying to keep the options simple. Of course, that’s pure speculation.

  4. Shahid Mauladad

    can c taper ninety fit on rs2 and rsi tp?

  5. I have a set of the new Adams Xtd irons. Do you know if the .370 or .355 tips fit them?

  6. Hi there,
    I’m looking to buy the Talormade SLDR irons, that come with the Taper C 90 shafts as stock. Do you think that the T C 90s will be easy enough to hit for the higher handicapper? Also I normally play a stiff shaft in game improvement irons, do you think that I’ll need to drop down to a regular flex in the T C 90s, considering that I’m a higher handicapper?
    Thanks.

    • That question is tough to answer since I can’t make educated comments about your game. I would guess you’d be fine in stiff flex, but you have to decide if the shaft characteristics are what you’re looking for if you’re not going to get fit. That said, just because a shaft is SUPPOSED to perform a certain way doesn’t mean it will for each individual’s swing.

  7. Douglas Meyers

    Bill, I sure enjoyed your article and commentary. You mentioned that the specs are supposed to be indentical regarding the C-Taper 90 and the C-Taper Lite. Is there an OEM spec sheet for the C-Taper 90 that verifies this?
    I have called KBS 12 times and cannot get anyone to answer or call back.

    Thank you.

    • Unfortunately I was never able to find a spec sheet either. I was only able to write was I told verbally by reps and what I read in a few different places.

      Bill

  8. Hi,

    I am going to buy SLDR Irons online/ebay as im currently in Cebu, Philippines with no chance of a fitting, Im an x very low handicapped and even playing once a month i play off 9. I have a quick swing speed which i have no idea exactly, but a regular hit 300+ drives and hit a 8 iron 165/170. I am confused by these new KBS Tour C-Taper 90, i do look for more control in my irons, i do hit a high ball but thats because of my power maybe, so will these irons suit me and control my straighter ball or am i better off with the KBS tour V, kindest regards

    • Obviously, it goes without saying that I can’t accurately answer that question without direct data relating to each shaft. If you can’t get fit, your best bet is to research the desired effects of each shaft and take your chance with the one that’s most in line with what you’re looking for on paper.

      This article covers the idea that specific swings will react differently to shafts so it’s impossible to blindly guess what is the best fit for someone.

  9. Adrian Bradshaw

    I recently broke my 5 iron shaft (Taylor Made SLDR) that came with the KBS tour c-taper 90 shafts. I understand from reading above that the shaft can’t be purchased from retail. Do you know of any way I can find/purchase a replacement shaft? I love the 5 iron, it’s my most hit club in the bag other than my putter so would really like to get it repaired.

    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Adrian,

      I would suggest contacting TaylorMade about having it repaired through them. They should be able to offer some solutions.

      Best,

      Matt

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*