KBS C-Taper Iron Shaft Review

KBS-C-Taper-7

50 Words or Less

The KBS C-Taper iron shaft is amazingly accurate, responsive, and easy to control.  Low spin and stout feel make it a “must test” before installing.

KBS-C-Taper-6

Introduction

I’ll go ahead and say it: the KBS C-Taper is not an iron shaft for the faint of heart, but man, is it a killer shaft.  While low launch and low spin shafts generally feel stout and boardy, the C-Taper feels firm, direct, and smooth.  Golfer beware, the C-Taper is going to be very low launching with very low spin, but we like to say “you can hit a 4 iron down a long hallway” with it.

KBS-C-Taper-5

Looks

In a world where the only thing differentiating the look of a steel shaft is its label and whether or not it has steps, the KBS C-Taper has a much different appearance and texture than typically found in a set of irons.  The finish is a matte or brushed silver giving the shaft more of an industrial look as opposed to the usual sleek chrome look of a steel shaft.  The shaft is stepless and has larger shaft labels than the usual small KBS rectangle.

KBS-C-Taper-4

Feel

I believe the hallmark of the KBS C-Taper is its exceptional feel.  The C-Taper is easily one of the most stable shafts on the market with an extremely stiff tip section but a smooth overall feel.  Most shafts with similar characteristics tend to come off boardy, dead, and difficult to play with a lack of any “action.”  The C-Taper is exactly the opposite.  You still get the feeling of unloading the shaft but with extreme control and response making for more accurate shots.  One of the best parts of the C-Taper is the range of playability.  What I mean is that the shaft performs well on a smooth light swing and holds up great on a faster and more aggressive swing which would commonly result in a loss of control.

Of course, as we always say, it’s important to get fit and test the C-Taper first.  Many players find the C-Taper to play stiff to flex and have to make some equipment adjustments to maximize the performance of the shaft.  I originally played an extra stiff set and really struggled.  I wasn’t buying the C-Taper hype.  Then I went down to the Stiff+ (between stiff and extra stiff) and really unlocked the benefits of the shaft and became a believer.  For my money, there are fewer better feeling steel iron shafts out there.

KBS-C-Taper-8

Performance

To the point of getting fit for the KBS C-Taper being an absolute requirement, this is extremely apparent in the performance of the shaft.  I really don’t think you’ll find anyone that would argue the C-Taper isn’t a low, piercing shaft with very little spin.  The degree of these characteristics is going to change depending on the iron head and the player of course, but getting the right setup in your clubs is going to be crucial.  When I played the aforementioned extra stiff set of C-Tapers, I was hitting the lowest flying shots I’ve ever hit through the entire set and nothing would hold a green.  I was struggling to get wedges to come down and hold.  When I switched to the lighter flex I saw a very strong improvement.  My ball flight was  low but it had more carry and drop and less of a parabolic flight.  I also saw improvement in spin where my shorter irons were stopping on greens and the longer irons had more appropriate rollout.

Flight and spin aside, the KBS C-Taper is easily in the top three most accurate iron shafts I’ve ever hit in terms of choosing a target line and hitting it.  It almost feels like you lock in on the line you want to hit the ball and it’s like shooting a laser right at it.  Of course, you still have to get shape, distance, and location correct, but hitting on your intended line almost feels built into the shaft.

KBS-C-Taper-2

Conclusion

We’re very big fans of the way the KBS C-Taper plays here, but it’s important to make sure you get the right fit in your irons or else it can be a lot of shaft to contend with and difficult to tame.  If you get the combination right, you’ll be playing some of the most accurate iron shots you’ve ever hit with low spin, flight, and exceptional feel.

Bill Bush
Latest posts by Bill Bush (see all)

31 Comments

  1. Sandy Ussery

    I’ve been playing Mizuno MP H5’s since March of this year…with the KBS Tour C-Taper Lite 105 R shafts with the silver finish. Love the clubs and shafts, BUT I’ve recently noticed a lot of light rusty-looking spots in the finish of the shafts. Can’t feel anything on the surface of the shaft, but I’m concerned about what is happening. I’ve played about 105 rounds in that time frame (plus a whole lot of practice sessions), and the clubs are stored in my locker at a TPC facility. None of my Vokey wedges stored in the same golf bag (Sun Mountain H2NO stand bag) show any signs of shaft rust.

    Would appreciate any constructive comments you can make. Thanks for your help!

  2. I am looking at buying a set of taylormade 2017 m2 irons with these shafts,I hit the ball jason day high and i dont want to lose that because i think it looks cool,what would be a good mid flight shaft for these clubs or do u think i could use these.

    • Wait, I need some clarification around “because it looks cool.” So you could have a more optimal performance with a lower flight, but you prefer what looks cool? I’m really just trying to clarify the question, I know it has to read more negative than I intend it.

  3. Ryan McNamee

    Bill,

    I’ve struggled with feeling as if my iron shots balloon and have a lot of spin, which makes playing in any type of wind extremely difficult. I’m considering trying these shafts to help combat those undesirable characteristics, but I’m worried about not being able to hold firm greens. How much harder do iron shots land with these shafts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Ryan,

      There’s no way to answer that universally. If you’re having problems with spin, I would suggest working with a good club fitter to find a better shaft.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Fanie Terblanche

    Good day Bill

    Taking in consideration the iron head / shaft ratio… will the KBS C-Taper stiff shaft performance work on a Titleist AP1 iron head. Or is it to much shaft for the club?

    • Matt Saternus

      Fanie,

      Bill is not writing for PIG at this time, so I’ll answer for him.
      There’s no reason the C-Taper couldn’t work with the AP1 as long as the combination fits your swing.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Richard Hong

    Hi,
    I’m thinking of getting these with the 718 CB titleist clubs?
    What are your thoughts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Richard,

      If they fit your swing, it’s a great shaft. I would make sure I spent some time with a quality club fitter before I spent over $1,000 on a new set of irons.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Hi, I’m currently using the C-Taper 130X but I’m finding my ball flight a bit low with the 4,5 and 6 iron. Would it be a good idea to change the shaft in these to an C-Taper 120s or 125s+ to help with higher launch and less roll out?

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      It’s certainly worth testing out, but going softer can also lead to issues. I’d suggest working with a fitter to find a solution to the ball flight issues.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. I replaced Project X 6.0 Flighted in my Callaway prototypes with Ctaper 120S soft stepped one time. Talking about shooting darts with lasers is an understatement. I highly recommend if someone is looking to play this shaft to get the correct flex and even look into soft stepping.

  8. I have both C Taper lite 110 and the 130 X stiff. Best iron shafts I’ve ever hit. I was hitting the lite decent but I figured I would have control issues considering my swing speed is roughly 123. Found the 130 C tapers and now putting in the heads I like. Like waking up to Christmas every day.

  9. Pingback: 2019 U.S. Open Recap - Plugged In Golf

  10. I can agree with the bit about the ball falling down right at the target. It’s unreal how accurate these shafts are. I just got a set of ping i210s with ctaper s+ shafts and they are pure as anything. I actually am launching the ball a lot higher but they aren’t spinny at all. I was lasering 9 irons at the range yesterday to the 155 flag and the trajectory was awesome they just shoot right up to the apex, fall straight down and sit! Awesome shafts

  11. Matt

    I’m curious what your swing speed with a 6 iron is. I recently got fitted and bought the c taper x 130 with jpx921 forged heads. I have 96 to 97 swing speed with 6iron and was unfittingly playing true temper stiff 105 shafts. The new c taper x 130s feel a bit heavy and stiff, especially with the longer irons(launch and spin seems good). Is it something I need to get used to coming from and ultra lite shaft or should I think about going down the the S+? I believe I have a 90 days period to make adjustments through club champion.

    • Matt Saternus

      Eddie,

      I’m in the low 90s with a 6I.
      You’ve added a lot of weight and stiffness, so I would give the change some time. I’m a big proponent of trusting what happened in the fitting rather than getting overly concerned about a couple bad sessions with new clubs.

      -Matt

  12. currently playing brigdestone j 40 with kbs tour 130x looking to purchase titelist t100s with kbs ctapers plus 125 how does this set up sound

  13. Are these 370 parallel or 355 taper tip! Has anyone talked about ball fitting for spin flight and dispersion since everyone seems to be hitting bullseyes! I picked up a set of C-taper 130x on eBay and will soft step these monster’s from your view and many other blog’s! They are going in my 1958/59 Hogan Saber Sunburst that has never been shafted! As for weight I feel like it’s just a getting use to period as you explained! In the 90’s my student put in graffaloy x blues and might as well of hit with a telephone pole ! So weight was of no concern since the ball goes exactly where the left wrist is at impact for a right handed swing and vice-versa for a left handed swing! I have a trap draw and feel like I’m hitting down a bit much at times that this will help with feel throughout my turn! I will give a reporter’s view of missed the cut at the Beamer by —— that much!

  14. Nate Magee

    If I soft step a set of C-taper 130X, how would it compare to the 125S+ shafts?

  15. Im thinking of getting the callaway rogue pro with Kbs Ctaper 110 R shafts…. a good combination for a 10 – 12 handicapper?

    • Matt Saternus

      Nigel,

      If you were fit for that combo and it worked in the fitting, I’d say it’s a good one.

      -Matt

  16. I am a fairly beginner golfer. I’ve been playing the last year pretty much every other weekend. I currently use Titleist DCI that got me started & looking to purchase the Titleist T300 4-P with the C-Taper shaft. My driver is good & putting is solid, but iron game is hit or miss. I’m currently hitting about 100 on the course but looking to upgrade. Any advice would be great!!

    • Matt Saternus

      Daniel,

      I would strongly recommend that you get fit before buying new irons. The C-Taper is a very extreme shaft; it’s not a fit for the majority of golfers.

      -Matt

  17. I put the C Taper shaft in a set of 1980 “The Haig” heads. I must say they are smoooooooth feeling. Also get excellent ball flight and spin. Not over spinning, but checking nicely. I’m thinking of doing another set of Wilson button backs as well. Experimental mix of vintage heads and newer shafts seems to be a sweet Combo. Do you know if this is a common thing to do? Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Bill,

      I don’t know that it’s common, but it’s something I see every now and again when I’m at Club Champion – a player who loves their old heads but uses modern shafts to optimize them.

      Best,

      Matt

  18. Luke Warmwater

    I’m curious, would the C-Taper be considered a high balance point shaft? Are there other shafts that would be considered to have a higher BP than the C-Taper? Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Luke,

      It’s been quite a while since I wrote this review or gamed the C-Taper. I don’t recall it being particularly counterbalanced.

      Best,

      Matt

Leave a Comment

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