KBS C-Taper Iron Shaft Review

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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16 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.

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  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

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