Since its launch in Japan in 1997, the Fujikura Speeder 757 has become one of the most recognizable names among shafts.
Such acclaim has come the old-fashioned way: It has been earned with more than 50 victories worldwide. The company hopes to add to that tally with an updated Motore Speeder 757, a tour-caliber shaft, and will be launching three additional models in the Speeder franchise in October. For Speeder fans who’ve had their trusty shafts in their driver and fairway woods for years, the new products have been much anticipated.
All four reflect the classic Speeder design, although the shafts have been re-engineered and are made with modern materials. The biggest change in materials in the past 20 years is the quality of the prepreg used to make graphite shafts. These modern graphite shafts, in essence, contain more carbon fiber and less resin than previous shafts. The result, Fujikura officials say, is significant: The Speeder shaft has been stiffened in key areas, helping to create more speed.
“We have maintained the integrity of the Speeder 757 profile and updated the shaft at the same time,” said Dave Schnider, Fujikura USA’s president and chief operating officer.
The new Speeder shafts make more use of Triax Core technology. Fujikura is placing its Triax three-directional woven graphite material on the inside layer of the shaft, enhancing its contribution to increased speed and stability.
“The new Speeder will coil and uncoil faster,” Schnider said. The four new models are(suggested retailfor each is $350):
Motore Speeder 757 – 75 grams, designed for Tour-type players; Motore Speeder 661 – 65 grams, designed for above-average players; Motore Speeder 569 – 55 grams, designed for average players; and the Motore Speeder 474 – 45 grams, designed for golfers with slower swing speeds.
Much of the new Speeder discussion is expected to focus on the 757 versus the 661.
“The 661 will fit a wider variety of players – average to better players,” Schnider said. “It’s not nearly as stout as the 757.”
From a historical standpoint, the Speeder 569 always has been a good fit for many individuals. The 474, meanwhile, was never introduced in the U.S. because of durability issues. Now, however, this lightweight shaft has been strengthened and is expected to appeal to many golfers seeking a driver shaft weighing less than 50 grams.