KBS C-Taper Lite Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The KBS C-Taper Lite is very different than the standard C-Taper.  High launching with mid spin but feel similar to the original C-Taper.

Introduction

Every golf equipment nerd has unrequited love for some piece of gear.  Whether it’s a blade iron that your handicap just won’t let you play or a driver that looks great but goes nowhere, we battle to reconcile our wants with our needs.  For me, one of those pieces of gear is the KBS C-Taper shaft.  I love the feel, and I love the accuracy, but the launch conditions just aren’t meant for me.  Thankfully I’ve found a better match in the C-Taper Lite.

Looks

The C-Taper Lite has the same stepless, brushed steel appearance as the C-Taper.  To the extent that any steel shaft looks cooler than another, I like this look.  There’s no glare, and the stepless look has always appealed to me.  Beyond that, the C-Taper Lite can be identified by KBS’s trademark red label.

Feel

The feel of the original C-Taper kept it foremost in my thoughts despite the fact that it’s not a great fit for my swing.  Some people found it to be rigid, but it made me feel like I could hit the ball down a hallway.

The C-Taper Lite keeps most of that feel while adding a little more kick.  This shaft still gives me the sense of being very accurate and stable because of the stiff tip section, but there’s a little more action in the butt section.  Whether you liked the feel of the original C-Taper or not, I think the C-Taper Lite could suit your tastes.

Performance

I was fit for the C-Taper Lite during my recent iron fitting with Club Champion.  As I mentioned earlier, the C-Taper – a low launch, low spin shaft – is not a good fit for me, so I was surprised when I was handed the C-Taper Lite.  Though the two shafts share a name, they are on nearly opposite ends of the fitting spectrum.  The C-Taper Lite produces high launch and mid-spin, which is exactly what I needed to gain distance.

My favorite characteristic of the original C-Taper – the accuracy – is still present in the C-Taper Lite.  No matter how hard I swing, this shaft holds up and produces accurate shots.  I feel like the C-Taper Lite gives me the exact results that my swing deserves, which is everything I want in a shaft.

There are significant weight changes in the C-Taper Lite depending on flex and whether you use parallel or taper tip shafts.  In taper tip, the X-flex is 115 grams with the stiff and regular at 110 and 105, respectively.  The raw weights of the parallel tip shafts are significantly heavier at 125, 118.5, and 108.5 in X, stiff, and regular.  Make sure that you work with your fitter to find the right weight and flex for your swing.

Conclusion

If, like me, you love the feel and accuracy of the original C-Taper but need less weight or more air under the ball, try the KBS C-Taper Lite.  While the feel is similar to the C-Taper, the performance is entirely different, launching the ball high with moderate spin.  Best of all, it maintains the C-Taper’s trademark accuracy.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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33 Comments

  1. Patrick Doherty

    I made the switch a couple weeks ago from graphite and love the C-taper 105. At almost 60 years old, I was concerned about the feel on my elbows which had taken a real beating fromother steel shafts. So great to see an article on these. More senior players may want to look at this option. I feel like I have more consistency with this shaft. Thanks as always for the great articles.

  2. Mark Kuyawa

    Matt, how would you say this shaft compares to the Modus 105 in stiff

  3. surely the graphite is the material for light shafts and certainly would be better for the elbows

  4. Patrick, I may have missed it in the review, but what makes you believe these shafts will be easier on your elbows than graphite? I too, am just “north of 60” and leaning strongly toward graphite irons in the near future, just to tame the beatings on my elbows, especially when I am forced to hit balls off of a mat. Thanks.

  5. Great review as always.

    Do you find the c taper lite plays stiff to flex?

    For 95 mph driver swing speed I’m on the fence as to regular or stiff in these.

    Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Odie,

      No, if anything I would say they’re a bit soft to flex. At least that’s how they feel to me.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. C-Taper Lites are my favorite shafts. Played them and kept getting pain in my elbows at 35 and couldn’t figure out why til I read other threads. I regrettably had to make the switch. I went to the Steelfibers and the pain went away.

    • Matt Saternus

      Ted,

      That’s not good to hear. I’ve recently had a little pain myself (age 34), but I can’t really point to the shafts because I’ve hardly played. It is something I’ll keep an eye on – I appreciate the heads up!

      Best,

      Matt

  7. How would these shafts compare to the Project X or more specifically the Project X LZ , have been playing Mizuno 900 Forged LZ in stiff but have been hitting ball way too high an am thinking about switching to a slightly lighter shaft (to regain about half a club length distance lost) and slightly lower launching (to stop ballooning my short irons) … Would these or perhaps the regular CTapers be a better fit than the X or X LZ and given that you think they play a little soft to flex, a stiff or perhaps even XS ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Doc,

      To be blunt, you’re throwing together a lot of shafts that don’t belong in the same conversation. The Project X and the C-Taper are similar – heavy, low launching, tip stiff. The PX LZ – which I don’t have much personal experience with – and the C-Taper Lite are much more active and higher launching.

      I think there’s a lot of merit to dropping weight – I’ve done so myself recently – but I would do it with the help of a club fitter like Club Champion or True Spec rather than through self-guided experimentation.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. I also was fit into C-Taper lites. Interestingly, I am almost always an S Flex guy, but I was fit into X Flex for the C-Taper lites. They have been great and feel about the same stiffness to me as previous DG S300s. Not sure if that is just feel or whether the lighter weights are actually less stiff within each flex.

  9. David Petrie

    I recently got fitted.the Mizuno DNA shaft optimiser. First choice was Project x lz 5.0 shaft…..second was the KBS c taper lite tour 105 regular…..Third was modus 3 105 stiff. Strange that Matt reckons my second and third shaft choice are not comparable…not true according to my fitting.

  10. I switched to C Taper Lites and really liked the performance but after a few months playing with them, by the 6 – 7 hole my elbows hurt to the point that I couldn’t play. I’ve never had that problem before with Dynamic Golds, KBS , etc. It hurt to the point that I played the next few rounds with my other sets with KBS Tours and DG300s and the elbow pain was nonexistent. Switched my gamers to KBS Tours and never had elbow pain again. Might not a problem for sweepers but if you’re a digger like me, stay away from these shafts.

  11. Hi Matt,

    I am looking at either the MP 18 fli hi 3 iron or Srixon Zu65 3 iron for approach shots from around 220, so I am looking for a shaft that is as high launch/spin as possible for stopping power. (not a fan of hybrids)

    Would you say this is it? if not what would you recommend?

    Thanks
    Tom

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      The C-Taper Lite is not as high launch and spin as possible, but it is higher launching. What weight are you looking to be around?

      Best,

      Matt

      • I currently play project X 6.5 rifle shaft in 4-pw, so ideally looking for something a little lighter than those to increase SS?

        Thanks for responding!
        Tom

        • Matt Saternus

          Tom,

          You might look at the True Temper AMT Red or the XP models. I haven’t tried the Red but the DG AMT was impressive to me.

          Best,

          Matt

  12. Matt, i play the C taper lite 105r, What would be your thoughts for wedge shafts to match? 54 and 58 degree. I have read about soft stepping a 8 iron shaft but i would like your thoughts. Not to much out there that i specific. Thank you

  13. Matt, what would you say is the iron shaft that would promote the highest launch?
    Steel and graphite?

    • Matt Saternus

      Stan,

      That’s going to depend entirely on the fit to the individual and the weight you want to be in. Nippon has some great higher launching options, True Temper has the flighted Dynamic Gold series now, KBS has some good options. If you need more launch, make an appointment with a good fitter to find the best option.

      Best,

      Matt

  14. Hi Matt,
    I am playing the KBS Tour 120 gr. Which for me gives me a good dispersion. Getting older, I would like to play a lighter shaft.
    I tried the KBS c taper lite stiff and loved the fell. They have more kick that the KBS Tour for me.
    I have a quick transition and I do not want to increase dispersion.
    I know that you always like heavier shafts in past. Now you are doing well with the 115 gr.
    Did you have to adjust to them or it was easy? Are they as precise that the Heavier kbs shaft?

    • Matt Saternus

      Richard,

      The transition from a 120+ shaft to 115 was not a big deal for me. For me, the C-Taper Lite has been as accurate as any iron shaft I’ve played.

      Best,

      Matt

  15. CARLOS MORALES BLANCARTE

    HOLA MATT , ES UN PLACER CONTACTARTE, TENGO EN MIS MANOS UN EQUIPO MIZUNO Y LA VARILLA ES KBS TOUR C – TAPER LITE 110 S , MI HANDICAP EN 13 Y MI EDAD RONDA LOS 55 , SI PUDIERA DARME UNA OPINION YO LOS SIENTO MUY RIGIDOS Y PESADOS, GRACIAS.

  16. I’ve recently being fitted for KBS C TAPER 120 S in new MIZUNO 919 Hot Metals. They are what i would consider very heavy compared to what i previously played….. Project x 5.5 rifle.
    3 prizes won in 3 weeks….Great…. but here’s my problem….I am hitting 7-PW brilliantly but longer irons 6, and especially 5 & 4 iron, heavy and very poorly compared to the shorter irons., so my question is do you think i would benefit from C Taper lite S 110/115 X in the 4,5 &6 irons….?
    They are a higher launching shaft with more kick in them yes…?

    • Matt Saternus

      Ray,

      Yes, the C-Taper Lite is higher launching and lighter than the standard C-Taper. As to whether or not that will solve the long iron problem, there’s no way to know without testing them. If you’re inclined to tinker, you could buy one C-Taper Lite and put it into your 4I and see what happens. If not, I’d suggest meeting with a fitter to figure out if the Lite is a fit.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Ray Whitty

        KBS C Taper 120 S too heavy query.
        Hi Matt,
        Happy St Patrick’s Day from Ireland, and thanks for your response. In fairness to the shop where I was fitted they said any problems, then come back and they will work through any issues so I think maybe your advice on the 4 iron might be the way to go..? Or I suspect they’ll try c taper light in a 7 iron..(that’s how I was fitted , on trackman). I like to feel where the clubhead is in my backswing but in the longer irons its like I can’t feel where it is…? I really haven’t been fitted ever before, bar my driver, so I’m no expert. Driver swingspeed is 104mph and 7 iron is 84mph with the C Taper 120 S….at the fitting. Up from 81mph with project X 5.5 in my previous set. (Not fitted for those) . Thanks again for responding to my question.
        Regards,
        Ray

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