Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX & Blue RDX Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

The new Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX and HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX shafts are made of military grade carbon fiber for even higher consistency.  Black is great for the fast, aggressive swinger.  Blue hits a sweet spot of stability and kick.

Introduction

In five short years, Project X’s HZRDUS line has gone from brand new to a mainstay in the golf world.  It’s become one of the go-to shafts for players seeking low spin and total control over their tee shots.  In year five, Project X is releasing the third generation of HZRDUS – HZRDUS Smoke RDX.  Using military grade carbon fiber, it aims to be the strongest, most consistent HZRDUS yet.

Check out the newest RDX shaft, the HZRDUS Smoke Green RDX, HERE

Check out the Project X HZRDUS Black GEN4 shaft HERE

Looks

The new HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts maintain the overall look of the HZRDUS line while adding new base colors.  The change from HZRDUS Smoke Black to HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX is fairly small.  Instead of the matte charcoal grey, the RDX uses a sharp, high gloss black.  The branding is the same, save for the addition of “RDX” behind the “Smoke”.

What will turn heads is the base color on the HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX.  Blue is my favorite color, so I’m already in the tank for this one, but the finish is spectacular.  It’s rich, it’s shiny without having too much glare, and the blue changes tone depending on the light.

Sound & Feel

I’ll start with one of the reigning champs for stability, the HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX.  Like it’s predecessors, the original HZRDUS Black and the HZRDUS Smoke Black [review HERE], the HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX is rock solid.  My swing speed is as high as it’s ever been, my transition is aggressive, and I still couldn’t make this shaft twitch.  Like it’s immediate predecessor, it doesn’t feel boardy or harsh, it simply doesn’t move.  As someone who values consistent feel, I love this.

The HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX is a totally different animal.  Like the Yellow HZRDUS shafts of the past [review HERE], the differences start with it being counterbalanced.  The Blue feels notably heavier in the hands, and the head feels lighter.  Additionally, the stiff butt and tip sections sandwich a very soft middle.  This creates a pronounced kick through impact without the downside of a loose, torque-y tip.

Performance

My notes on the HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX make heavy use of the word “No.”  No torque, no kick, no surprises, no curve, no ballooning.  If you’ve liked previous HZRDUS Black shafts, the RDX will be everything you hoped for.  In addition to launching penetrating missiles off the tee, it feels surprisingly easy to swing.  Even in TX flex (which is a little ambitious for my speed), I never felt like I had to stand on it.  Normal swings, easy swings, and all-out swings all produced boring trajectories with virtually no curve.  For me, the launch and spin were a little too low to optimize my distance, but the accuracy and predictability were phenomenal.

Now, it may have something to do with the color, but the Smoke Blue RDX performed better for me than any Smoke Yellow ever has.  I liked the feeling right away – the heavier grip and lighter head.  Then I nuked the first ball, so I really liked it.  With the counterbalanced shaft and a little more kick, my angle of attack ticked up, my swing speed went up, and my launch angle and distance followed.  I lost a little predictability but not much, and I was happy to make that trade for the extra distance.

Let’s shift to a little tech talk about what makes the new Smoke RDX shafts different from HZRDUS shafts of the past.  The primary difference is the quality of carbon fiber.  Project X has worked with HexTow to use aerospace-grade carbon fiber.  Specifically, they’re utilizing HexTow HM54 and IM2C to give the shafts more strength, stability, and consistency.

Also, according to Project X, in the RDX line there will not be a “Small Batch” label as there was with the original Smoke.  All Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts will be the “real deal” whether they are stock or purchased aftermarket.

The Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX is available in 60, 70, and 80 grams.  At 60 and 70 grams, Project X offers 5.5 (regular), 6.0 (stiff), and 6.5 (X-flex).  At 80 grams, only 6.0 and 6.5 are available.  The Project X HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX comes in the same three weight classes, 60, 70, and 80 grams.  What is different is that the Blue RDX adds TX at 60 and 70 grams, drops the 5.5 at 70 grams. and has only TX at 80 grams.

Conclusion

With just two offerings, the new Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX line covers a wide array of golfers.  For the super aggressive, high speed player, the Smoke Black RDX is ideal.  It provides tons of control while keeping the launch and spin low.  For everyone else, the Smoke Blue RDX provides a balance of stability and kick in a counterbalanced package that may help to boost swing speed in some players.

Visit Project X HERE

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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.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

63 Comments

  1. Is it me or are those spin rates completely unplayable on an actual golf course?

    • Matt Saternus

      Why would you think these spin rates are unplayable?

      -Matt

    • I agree. At those swing speeds, your ball flight won’t be super stable and the launch will be low. Per Trackman, optimized ballflight at those swing speeds would be achieved by adding spin – 2000-2300 rpms. 27 and 32 yards of roll is a lot. You’d be running through a lot of fairways if you’re not extremely straight or you’re not shaping it perfectly to suit the hole. While you may give up a touch in total distance raising the spin, that would allow you to play these just about anywhere. If you got the Smoke Blue in 6.5x instead of the TX, that would prob be a perfect pairing.

      • Matt Saternus

        Ben,

        I appreciate your contributions, but for anyone else reading these comments it needs to be said that there is very little merit in the idea that dropping down a flex will either A) increase spin several hundred RPM or B) do so without affecting other elements of performance. Fitting is a mix of art and science with many moving pieces. Oversimplify it at your own risk.

        -Matt

      • Hi! My driver swing speed is between 95 and 100 mp with ~150 mp for ball. I have a TM5 driver with Fujikura Ventus Blue 6S shaft. My friend has a TM Sim2 with a Project X Black 60 gr 60 shaft and I love it cause I gained 10 yards with his driver (290 compared with 280 mine, on total distance). Which one do you recommend me, black or blue?

  2. Not my experience of the new smoke rdx. I played the Titleist TS3 8.5 Deg with smoke 6.0 last year or so. Loved it. Swing speed approx 103mph. Loved the wee kick but stable feel. Got fit recently for the Titleist TSI3 and found the Black smoke RDX to be very soft compared to the original smoke. Felt like a totally different shaft and launched much higher. Ended up going with Graphite Design Tour AD XC. Felt much more stable than Smoke RDX. Smoke RDX is not a straight replacement to original smoke so get fit and compare.

  3. Actually the RDX in 5.5 is a reg+ which half way between reg and stiff

    • I totally agree with you, but the company who makes the shafts seems to refer to the 5.5 as “Regular” flex, even though the number of cpm’s say it is a half flex shy of their “stiff flex 6.0”.
      So it isn’t just Matt who is referring to them as “regular”.

  4. Tom Duckworth

    The Blue sounds something like the Project X LZ. I have then in my irons in graphite. What do you think about having that softer middle in both irons and driver?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      If that works for you, that’s great. I certainly think there’s merit to having similar profiles in your woods and irons.

      -Matt

  5. Per-Erik Olsson

    Still using Ping 410 driverhead?

  6. douglas terry

    Nice review Matt, thank you. I have no problem with those spin #’s. For me with ball speeds around 145 and 15/16* launch I get good carry and roll. I DO play my golf on firm Texas bermuda fairways.

  7. Shooter Mcgavin

    Hey Matt did you like the the Hzrdus Blue better than the Ventus Blue?? Sounds like Project X is trying to accomplish the same thing with these shafts as Fuji did . Thanks for all the great reviews and insight!!

    • Matt Saternus

      Yeah, probably by a small margin I prefer the HZRDUS Blue RDX. Over a bigger sample size, maybe it would tilt the other way, but all my sessions with the HZRDUS were a lot of fun and the highs were really high.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. EatShtPitt304

    How does RDX Blue launch and feel when compared to Fujikura Ventus Blue, given the Ventus has “Velecore” and RDX is using “Hexacore”

  9. Hi Matt, wondering if the RDX blue is right for me. I swing at 105-107 mph. I hit down on the ball aliittle so launch angle is on the low side. That being said my spin rate is a little on the high side. In my irons I play the project X LS 6.0. Thank you , great review

    • Matt Saternus

      Greg,

      The only way to know for sure is to get a fitting. Anyone who tells you they can fit you on the internet is lying at worst, misrepresenting their abilities at best.

      -Matt

  10. Hi Matt- So are you saying all Hazrdous RDX shafts are the same- Meaning getting a stock RDX Blue shaft in the SIM2 is the same shaft as paying $300 for an individual hazrdous RDX blue shaft? Or is there a difference between the stock shaft and the aftermarket premiere shaft? Would love to know only because Ventus gives stock shafts that don’t compare to the aftermarket ventus velocore shaft. Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Deon,

      In the review, I said that ACCORDING TO PROJECT X all of the RDX shafts are “real deal.” I cannot personally affirm or reject that statement.

      -Matt

  11. Hi Matt,

    How does the blue feel compared to speeder evo ii and iv.

    Thanks
    Liam

  12. Looks like the RDX sold in “box stores” do not have the “Hexcel” on the shaft. I have to assume made for is different aftermarket…. Misleading? Thoughts? Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      LJ,

      I haven’t been in any “box stores,” so I can only speak to the driver that was sent to me which does have the HexCel markings on the shaft.

      -Matt

  13. How would you compare the HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX to the Smoke Green TX? I’m looking for something that’s stiff in the mid but without the stiff tip.

  14. Dear. Matt
    what length did you play in test?
    and swing weight?

  15. Do you like the HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX better than the Diamana ZF or TB? I read where you really liked those two shafts was wondering where this ranks

    • Matt Saternus

      Laban,

      If you’re asking strictly about my preference, I like both Diamana shafts more than the Blue RDX. The Blue RDX is very good, but there are very few Diamana shafts that I’ve not loved.

      -Matt

  16. Thoughts on HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX vs Tensi white raw stiff shafts ?

  17. Hi Matt,

    After testing the RDX black and Ventus Black, which did you like better? And is the Ventus black still in the bag for you?

    Cheers!

  18. Hi Matt-

    Great review as always. We’re seeing the beginning of a trend on tour to guys going lighter and softer: think autoflex and Louis’ 55 Alta cb. All of that being said, I know previous versions of the hzrdus line sorta played plus half flex so 6.0 was more like a s+. Do you still think that is the case with the RDX line? My understanding was tipping a 6.0 would play a lot like a softer or standard x flex. Again, understanding each shaft is different and feels are unique, would you say that it’s fair to say the RDX models still play stiffer than stated flex when compared to most other models?

  19. Matt,

    Informative review. Regarding the Blue RDX- would you say its characteristics are similar to those of the Graphite Design Tour AD-BB? Your description of a stiff butt and tip with a softer middle section suggests so but wanted to get your thoughts concerning how those two shafts compare and contrast.

    Thanks,

    Howie

    • Matt Saternus

      Howie,

      I haven’t reviewed the Tour AD BB, so I can’t knowledgeably compare the two shafts.

      Best,

      Matt

  20. Is the RDX Blue more like a new version of the Evenflow Blue instead of the Riptide CB ?

    I really like EF Blue, and thinking of switching to the RDX when I get a new driver. Thanks for the review !

  21. Randall Siedschlag

    So is the TX fairly stout in the Blue or do you still have the feel (and more stability) in it since a SS of 108 (i know a person’s transition is also important when looking at flex) seems like the TX would be harsh

  22. Ray Williams

    Hi Matt – How would you compare the HZRDUS Black RDX to the Ventus Blue (both in stiff)? Considering the two to go into my Titleist TSi3 9 degree Driver. Swing speed between 100-105 and I am looking to lower my spin. Thx!

  23. Kinda funny

    Bored on a Friday night and while researching and noticed your SS has increased over the past seven years. But flashback to your testing of the fubuki zt you had a lower swing speed (100), yet produced a 259 carry and a 285 net…

    You should dust that shaft out and give a test run against all the latest and greatest

  24. Chris Rose

    Hey Matt,
    Just recently bought a tour flex project x hzrdus rdx black graphite, can you tell me how many grams that shaft is? I cant seem to find the weight associated with “tour flex”

    Thanks

  25. Andrew Tucker

    Hi Matt,
    Great review as always.
    Im a lefty 18hcp with a bit of left-side fade/slice tendency.
    I recently bought a new RadSpeed driver with RDX Blue 70g 6.0, moving from previous Aldila Rogue Pro Silver 110 70g in a previous Speedzone but have noticed my miss has been accentuated and I’m wondering if the RDX is a bit softer in mid-section and it’s not helping. I swing about 107-109mph. I feel like the Rogue was helping manage the miss little better and was giving me more consistently straight shots.
    Thanks

    • In my personal experience a slice is always accentuated by a shaft that is too stiff as the shaft cannot load and unload properly, thus leaving the face open.

      Conversely, a shaft that is too soft will result in hooks, as the shaft overloads and unloads too much closing the face at impact. Best thing to do is get fitted.

      I swing a 72 gram extra stiff shaft and attempted swinging a friends 55 gram regular flex in the same head. I found with very moderate tempo controlled swings I could hit very high bombs that seemed to stay in the air forever. However, any deviation from this swing and I was hitting aggressive pull hooks that I could not control. I also tried hitting a 44 inch HZRDUS black shaft in my same head that had been tipped one inch and all I could manage was a low bullet that often times sliced on me, showing that I could not get that shaft to load properly. My experience is anecdotal so your mileage will vary, but I always say get fitted if you’re unsure of your particular tendencies and how a shaft will perform for you.

  26. Hello Matt,
    I have a swing speed of 120 MPH, bought the Titleist TSI 3 with the RDX 6.0, could bomb it reasonably well, but went and purchased a Aldila Rogue MAX 65 x flex today from 2nd swing and OMG laying out bombs 330, can you tell me why the RDX with a torque of 3.5 would be better for me than the Aldila Rogue MAX with a torque of 4.2???

    • Matt Saternus

      I’m not sure I understand your question. It seems like the Rogue MAX is working better for you, unless I’m misreading something.

      Best,

      Matt

  27. I was playing the black 6.0 RDX in my SIM2 and it was ok, tried to go with the blue 6.0 RDX thought I would get more pop, instead got crazy hooks and pulls. Decided to get a fitting and I hit the Ventus black 6.x better, with club speed only 101-103 not sure about that. I am 6’4 and fitter thinks my height plays a part in it. Thoughts? 16 HC

  28. David Doyle

    Hi Matt
    Great review, very informative.

    Matt I am a 55 year old of 4 handicap, don’t have the club head speed I used to, it is around 97 now
    ( bad back), would the Blue shaft be better suited for me than the Black at about 70g at 5.5 flex?
    Regards
    David 😎🕺

    • Matt Saternus

      David,

      My best advice is to get a fitting. Swing speed alone is not going to determine whether you would do better with the Blue or Black.

      Best,

      Matt

  29. Hi Matt,
    Appreciate all the reviews here. Just a question of curiosity when perusing your numbers. Of particular interest are the low spin numbers you seem to manage with any shaft – is this due to a highly positive angle of attack?
    You seem to mention in your reviews that you prefer a tip stiff/stronger flex shaft, I’m guessing this is for face control rather than maintaining low spin?
    Appreciate your response.

    • Matt Saternus

      Chris,

      You’re correct on both counts. I like the feel of softer shafts, but accuracy usually goes out the window.

      Best,

      Matt

  30. Christher Lenander

    I got the RDX Smoke Black 70g/6.5 in my 300 mini driver.

  31. Michael Paul

    Hi Matt, great review. I spent the last 3 months deciding which shaft compliments the taylormade stealth plus. I concluded that the mid launch character of the stealth head was optimised with the project x Hzrdus black 60g hdx 6,5 flex shaft. It performed best in the fitting bay and I was able to try the shaft/head combination on the course, prior to purchase. I appreciate you describe the black hdx as a stable but smooth shaft, its certainly not a telephone pole like the Ventus black 6x. A very happy plus 4 handicapper.

  32. Chris Gatti

    Curious if anyone knows the situation with pricing for these shafts? Many oem’s offer them as stock offerings, but to buy them aftermarket they are approx. $225. This doesn’t make sense to me and I have followed the stock, made-for and aftermarket golf shaft industry for about 25 years.

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