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In this review, I’ll take a comprehensive look at the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver.
The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast is marked by a lightweight configuration which helps slower swingers generate more clubhead speed and distance off the tee. This is supplemented by high MOI and a stretched profile at address.
How does the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare to the other models in the Paradym Ai Smoke family? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Here’s what will be covered in the review:
Read on to learn what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver has been received very positively overall, although it’s understandably not as popular as the other Paradym Ai Smoke models, so the sample size is relatively small.
The driver won a gold medal on the 2024 Golf Digest Hot List in the performance, innovation, and look/sound/feel categories.
What People Like
- great option for increasing clubhead speed
- packed with cutting-edge tech
- looks awesome at address
- extremely forgiving
- easy to launch
What People Don’t Like
- won’t suit many golfers
The Paradym Ai Smoke drivers, including the MAX Fast, revolve around the idea of having “multiple sweet spots” via an Ai Smart Face. Callaway really honed in on optimizing performance in mis-hit areas.
This driver packs more or less the same core technology as the MAX model, namely:
- Ai Smart Face: a variable-thickness face, developed from over 50,000 face iterations and using data from over 250,000 swings from real golfers, that promotes optimal launch and spin as well as tight downrange dispersions.
- Micro Deflections: part of the Ai Smart Face, these occur in mis-hit areas, improving spin and launch to achieve results similar to sweet spot strikes.
- 360° Carbon Chassis: an internal titanium support structure is added to make the carbon chassis 15% lighter than the previous generation. The mass is redistributed to enhance launch and forgiveness.
Like the MAX D model, the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver has a stretched profile from front to back and a high MOI for added forgiveness. Where it differs is in the lightweight design, which includes:
- weight savings from a fixed hosel instead of an adjustable one
- a lighter 4g back weight instead of 7g
- lightweight stock shafts and grips
The lighter swingweight of the driver allows players with slower swing speeds to generate more clubhead speed, launch, and distance.
The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver is available in 10.5°, and 12° standard lofts at 460 CC. While the 9.5° loft is unsurprisingly absent, what’s particularly notable is that there is no LH availability.
Also available is the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver for women. The women’s version has the same head technologies, but the swingweights, lengths, shafts and grips are tailored to women to maximize their performance.
The stock graphite shaft is the Mitsubishi TENSEI Blue/Silver 40, and the stock grip is the Winn Dri-Tac Lite. Custom options are available.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips and their specs can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
In the sections that follow, I’ll summarize my experience with the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver. Let’s jump right in.
Ball speeds and smash factor are pretty much the same as the MAX D driver.
The difference lies in the lightweight configuration, which may cause you to gain or lose clubhead speed depending on your swing speed and swing type. Slow swingers who generate clubhead speeds of around 75-90 mph will be most likely to see gains over their previous gamer.
This is not just because of clubhead speed alone, though; it can also result in a more optimal launch, and moreover, the draw bias will likely help you produce straighter shots that fly farther.
Based on my field test, the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast is about as forgiving as the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX D.
The back weight of the MAX Fast is a little lighter, suggesting that the CG might not be as far back and hence the MOI might be slightly lower. I haven’t been able to confirm this, but I personally didn’t notice a difference in forgiveness.
Dispersions are tight, and ball speed retention on mis-hits is excellent. This driver is also forgiving in the sense that it’s easy to get the ball airborne, even if you don’t make your best swing.
The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver tends to produce a high launch. Spin is rather high for a driver, which is expected given the forgiveness profile.
Like the MAX D driver, the MAX Fast has an internal draw bias. If lightweight drivers don’t typically suit you due to your strength and swing speed, you’ll probably have to step off the gas a little bit in order to keep the ball flight down.
The MAX Fast is relatively effortless to swing, making it an ideal choice for many seniors and beginners. Workability is below average, so those who want to shape shots are better off looking at the Triple Diamond or MAX models.
The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver is largely similar in looks to the MAX D, with the same elongated shape, striking grey smoke texture that marks the Paradym Ai Smoke family, grey carbon crown texture, back weight port, and new face geometry.
With the MAX Fast, you have a bonded hosel in place of the adjustable OptiFit hosel found in the other three models. I understand the weight savings rationale for removing the adapter, but I personally prefer the look of a hosel adapter on oversized drivers like this one, as not having one makes them look a little bare.
It’s also worth noting that the Forged Carbon Sole texture is different from driver to driver, meaning each Paradym Ai Smoke driver is unique and one-of-a-kind.
I find the smoke texture to give the club an added sense of premium and luxuriousness, although I would have liked more contrast and pop between the logoing and the smoke texture surrounding it.
The Sound & Feel
The Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver basically feels like a lighter version of the MAX D. It’s well-balanced throughout the swing, and solid and responsive at impact.
Impact produces a satisfying “crack” sound that makes no illusions you’re swinging a driver with a carbon body, in contrast to the more reverberating and metallic sound of a titanium driver.
The sound in mis-hit areas is less crisp than center strikes, but the difference isn’t particularly dramatic. Feel is remarkably consistent across the face, with mis-hits resembling center strikes more than previous models.
Where To Buy This Driver Online
The natural place to go to order a Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver with custom specifications (loft, length, shaft, grip, etc.) is this page on the Callaway store. If you’re looking for the women’s variant, go here.
If you want to save some money, you can find discounts on eBay.
Optionally look at what’s available on PGA TOUR Superstore, Global Golf or Amazon. The first two vendors may offer club trade-ins, performance guarantees, and/or financing plans to help you minimize the financial hit.
A great way to describe the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver is that it’s a lighter version of the MAX D, appealing to many beginners, seniors, and women.
Like the MAX D, it has incredible forgiveness, a stretched profile, and an internal draw bias. But for slower swingers who might have trouble getting enough launch with the MAX D, the MAX Fast is definitely worth a try.
I wouldn’t think of the driver as having “multiple sweet spots” as this is mostly marketing hype, but ball speed retention in mis-hit areas is certainly outstanding.
Are you interested in the Paradym Ai Smoke MAX Fast driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Tell us about it in the comments below.