Fujikura Ventus HB Takeaways
- Fujikura has added hybrid shafts to its successful Ventus line.
- The Ventus HB Blue is low to mid launch with low spin.
- The Ventus HB Black is low launch and low spin with a penetrating trajectory.
- Retail price is $200.
It’s probably understating things a bit to say that Ventus has been one of the most successful products in the history of Fujikura. Given that momentum, it makes sense the company would add the Ventus HB hybrid shaft to the lineup.
A little background
There’s an odd dichotomy in the shaft world. Like golf clubs, retail sales of shafts are usually highest in the first year after release. PGA TOUR players, however, are notoriously reticent to swap gear, so Tour use doesn’t typically accelerate until Year Two.
Well into its second year on the market, Fujikura’s Ventus is bucking trends. Not only does Tour use continue to grow but on the retail side, it’s an absolute juggernaut.
In the first six months of 2020, Fujikura sold more Ventus shafts than in all of 2019. Ventus has already sold 25 percent more in its first 18 months than ATMOS TS did in its first three years on the market – and it’s not like ATMOS was a dog.
On the Tour side, Ventus use continues to grow. As many as 40 have been in play at recent events.
With the release of the Ventus HB, Fujikura hopes to expand the momentum into a new category.
Ventus HB Hybrid Shafts
The Ventus HB stays true to the original Ventus design. Fujikura still gives you all of that full-length ultra-high-modulus Pitch 70 fiber VeloCore goodness and super-low torque (as low as 1.8 in X-flex models). If that’s Greek to you, all you need to know is that the design helps minimize twisting and ultimately makes your driver (and now your hybrid) more forgiving by delivering more centered contact.
Look for the VeloCore label near the tip of the shaft. VeloCore is the hallmark of the real Ventus design. It’s a good bit of the reason why the shaft has been such a success for Fujikura.
To be clear, the Ventus HB isn’t absolutely identical to the Ventus driver shaft. Fujikura made a couple of under-the-hood tweaks to make HB’s VeloCore work in a shorter length. Fujikura also did some work to account for the steeper attack angles of hybrid swings and the turf interaction that comes with them.
Give a Thought to Your Hybrid Shaft
Before we look at the specifics of the two Ventus HB models, we should probably try and figure out what you might be looking for in a hybrid shaft.
Is this the first time you’ve ever thought about it?
Even if you’re not going to go through a hybrid fitting (no shame, almost no one does), you shouldn’t limit yourself to whatever shaft happens to come in your hybrid. Fitting or not, your hybrid shaft shouldn’t be an afterthought.
With club fitting, the conversation often focuses on optimizing launch conditions. While that’s seldom a bad thing, it’s worth putting some purposeful thinking into the objectives for each utility, long iron or hybrid in your bag.
Is the shaft going in a driving iron or low-lofted hybrid that’s used primarily off the tee? If that’s the case, a shaft that provides a flatter trajectory and a bit more run likely makes sense.
For mid- and high-lofted hybrids or basically anything else you’re going to hit into a green with any regularity, the conversation becomes less about maximizing every foot of distance and more about finding the right balance of launch, spin and descent angles to enable scoring from long distance. Steeper, softer and plenty of stopping power. I like how that sounds.
With the new Ventus HB line, Fujikura provides options for both scenarios though, at $200 each, I’d still recommend getting properly fitted.
Ventus Blue HB
The profile of the Ventus Blue HB mirrors that of the Ventus wood shaft. The signature feature in the EI curve is the original Speeder-like soft mid-section which often helps with loading the shaft.
Of the two Ventus HB models, the Ventus Blue is likely to find the wider audience. It’s available in eight flex and weight combinations. Options begin at a 64-gram R2 (soft regular) flex and max out with the 102-gram 10X.
Fujikura classifies the regular flex models as mid launch and mid spin while stiff and X are listed as low launch, mid spin.
Your mileage may vary a bit but, flex for flex and weight for weight, of the two Ventus hybrid shafts, the Blue can be expected to launch higher, spin a bit more and ultimately land softer from long range.
Ventus Black HB
Fujikura says the Ventus Black HB is built for “Tour-level speeds.” There’s some room for interpretation here but I’d suggest you put on your big boy pants and grab your helmet because the Ventus Black HB doesn’t come with training wheels.
It’s available in 9TX (96 grams) and 10TX (105 grams) only. The TX (Tour extra-stiff) designation coveys that Ventus Black HB is stiffer than a standard X flex.
It’s also worth pointing out that most stock hybrid shafts top out in the 70-gram range.
Combine those details and you should get a sense of what kind of motor you need to get the Ventus Black HB moving.
In the same weight and flex range, the Black HB’s EI profile is a bit more linear with butt and midsections that are significantly firmer than the Ventus Blue HB. On a comparative basis, the Ventus Black HB should produce a lower, more penetrating flight.
If you’ve got the speed for it, Ventus Black HB reads like an ideal option in a low-lofted utility or hybrid.
Ventus HB Specs and Pricing
Ventus HB shafts are .370 parallel tip models. They should fit into most hybrid and utility designs on the market. They can be tapered to .355 for use in long irons.
Ventus HB shafts are available through any of Fujikura’s 600 Charter Dealers. The retail price for the Ventus HB is $200.
For more information, visit Fujikuragolf.com.