Written By: Tony Covey
Ride the Wave to Greater Distance
Shameful puns aside, let this serve as your introduction to one of the more interesting shaft products that has come our way in…well…maybe ever.
It’s called the Wave. It’s from Hiskei golf which, as you all are certainly aware, is a well-known Japanese component brand rapidly gaining popularity in the US.
What’s that? You’ve never heard of Hiskei?
Ok…all cards on the table, no BS, I had actually never heard of Hiskei either until John Muir of clubmaker-online.com reached out to see if we’d be interested in taking a look at a couple of Hiskei products.
The most compelling of those products is unquestionably the Hiskei Wave shaft. To call it unconventional would be a bit of an understatement.
The Wave actually gets its name from undulating rippled wave pattern that starts about 10” from the tip and roughly 7” back towards the tip. For lack of a better description, it looks almost as if the shaft was left too close to a fire, melted and became slightly deformed.
So what’s the deal with those waves?
“The Hiskei Wave shaft has multiple kick points about 10" from the tip of the shaft. Below the wave section, towards the tip, the Wave design offers a more stable tip for control and stability. The tip flexes less than tradition shafts".
Above the tip section, the Wave design minimizes vibration so shock is relieved.
You get a smooth feel/feedback, great for golfers suffering from arthritis.At the Wave section (about 7") the shaft flexes more and the shaft accelerates for increased distance.”
We had a couple of our more consistent swingers put the Hiskei Wave to the test. The Wave (58g, stiff flex) was outfitted with a TaylorMade tip and tested side by side with our control shaft in a 9.5° TaylorMade SLDR head. Both loft and SLDR weight placement were set to the standard/neutral position.
Watching the numbers come up on the launch monitor swing after swing, we found ourselves slightly confused.
Compared to our reference shaft, the Hiskei Wave produced an average ball speed that was 4.79 MPH faster than our reference shaft, and an average distance increase of 6.31 yards.
Also noteworthy is that that the wave reduced the distance from the target line by 2.77 yards.
Given what we were told about the Hiskei Wave’s performance characteristics, we weren’t surprised to see it launch a bit higher and spin a bit more than our reference shaft.
Looking at the numbers; if we added loft of the head with the reference shaft such that it produced roughly the same launch angle as the Wave, the spin numbers would likely level out as well.
The point is that the Hiskei Wave isn’t inherently a high spin shaft on a comparative basis, but rather a shaft that for which there is a likely a direct correlation between that higher spin and the higher launch angle.
Simply put, we were more than pleasantly surprised by the performance of this strange looking, $125 shaft from a company we had basically never heard of.
The Wave is not currently available in an X-flex, and weight maxes out at 58 grams which obviously isn’t going to work for guys who generally fit better into heavier and stiffer shaft.
And while perhaps it shouldn’t, that talk about arthritis probably isn’t going to help sell the wave shaft to those of us who fancy ourselves too manly for anything that can potentially reduce fatigue.
While I wouldn't classify the Hiskei Wave as whippy (based on stiff flex), it may play a bit too soft for those who prefer a stout shaft. It offers a relatively smooth kick, and you will definitely notice the added pop on a well-struck ball.
In general, there isn't much to distinguish the feel of the Hiskei Wave from most other mid-mid offerings. Given the unique design that's probably not a bad thing, as you can make use of whatever benefits the wave offers for your particular swing, without having to concern yourself with any wonky feedback.
Initially I wasn't a big fan of the visual presentation offered by the Hiskei Wave, but it has grown on me just a bit.
The plain silver that runs from the tip to the mid-section is fine and actually transitions well to the polished graphite finish on the TaylorMade SLDR. I suspect it would blend well with other silver accented heads like the Wilson FG Tour M3, PING i25, TaylorMade SLDR S, Tour Edge XCG7, and even a Callaway X2 Hot.
The maroon with gold accents at the butt end of the shaft reminds me a bit of those silly tribal tattoos that were all the rage a few years ago. It's not bad, although not as subtle as I like, but for those who concern themselves with matching shaft to driver the Hiskei wave might look out of place in something like a blue or orange Cobra BiO CELL.
While the graphical design isn’t dissimilar from the dragon design found on Mizuno’s Fujikura Orochi shafts (which I don’t love on the orange background either), it strikes me as overly-elaborate for elaborate’s sake, but given the Japanese market’s fondness for bling, I get it.
Given the performance, it’s not a deal-breaker, but I’d certainly prefer something a bit cleaner.
Making shaft recommendations is tricky business. With all that makes us different (swing speed, tempo, transition, angle of attack, etc., etc., etc.), what works for one generally isn’t going to work for all.
That said, for those looking for a solid mid-high launching shaft with what should prove to be mid spin, the Hiskei Wave is an interesting proposition.
At $125 it’s a relative bargain compared to a good bit of what’s available in the aftermarket, and the ball speed gains we saw are certainly compelling.
For more information, or to order the Hiskei Wave, contact John Muir at clubmaker-online.com.