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This is a review of the Cobra RADSPEED XB (‘XTREME Back’) driver.
The RADSPEED XB (or KING RADSPEED XB) benefits from all the technologies that make Cobra’s RAD driver line shine including RADIAL WEIGHTING technology, but it’s more forgiving than the original RADSPEED with an oversized profile and more weight shifted back.
How does the RADSPEED XB actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare to the other models in the RAD line? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out 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 Cobra RADSPEED XB driver won a gold medal on the 2021 Golf Digest Hot List and has earned high marks from critics across the board.
What People Like
- easy to hit solidly
- surprisingly good workability
- moveable weight allows for experimentation
- helps golfers with slower swing speeds get it out there
- more forgiving than the Speedzone
- bold looks
What People Don’t Like
- lacks a front adjustable weight
The technologies that go into the RADSPEED XB driver are the same as the original RADSPEED, namely:
- RADIAL WEIGHTING: this technology consists of weight in the extreme front and back of the driver, producing lower spin, fast ball speeds and great forgiveness all at the same time.
- CNC-Milled Infinity Face: created using Cobra’s proprietary CNC milling process, this face design expands the milled area by 95% and wraps around the body in an effort to increase the zone of maximum ball speed.
- T-Bar Speed Chassis: 7g lighter than the previous generation, this enables weight savings which are redistributed forward to reduce spin and increase ball speed.
- Carbon Wrap Crown: this light, thin-ply crown design is made of a carbon fiber material that is 30% thinner than the previous generation, saving more weight which is redistributed to further improve performance.
- Arccos Sensors: the purchase of Cobra golf equipment like the RADSPEED driver immediately makes you eligible to receive free Arccos Smart Sensors and a one-year free trial to the Arccos Caddie app.
The key differentiating factors are:
- a total of 20g of weight is positioned in the back (14g of fixed weight and 6g of adjustable weight) instead of 10g with the RADSPEED
- the front lacks an adjustable weight and only contains 8g of fixed weight
- the head is slightly altered to have more of an oversized profile at address
The RADSPEED XB driver is available in 9°, 10.5° and 12° standard lofts at 460 CC.
The driver comes with a MyFly adjustable hosel that has eight loft settings: -1.5°, -1°, -1° Draw, STD, STD Draw, +1°, +1° Draw, and +1.5°.
Sole weights with gram values 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 16 can be purchased separately.
Several premium aftermarket shafts are available with the RADSPEED XB. The stock options are the:
- Fujikura Motore X F3 (mid/high launch, mid spin)
- Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Blue 60 (mid-low launch, mid-low spin)
- Project X EvenFlow Riptide (high launch, high spin)
The stock grip is the Lamkin Crossline Black.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips and their specs can be found here.
Below are the specs of the RADSPEED XB driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
There were a lot of surprises for me on the performance side regarding the RADSPEED XB.
At the end of the day, total distance for the RADSPEED XB was nearly the same as the RADSPEED in my test, perhaps coming up short by a few yards.
Although the XB is not the low-spin model in the RAD line, I simply don’t see higher spin rates compared to the RADSPEED. If anything, the RPM readings are coming out even lower.
Results may vary, but despite the surprisingly low spin, it does seem easier to get sufficient hang time and carry distance on shots, even with slower swing speeds. Really fast swingers could run into issues with ballooning depending on which weight is in the sole port.
The RADSPEED XB driver is impressively resistant to sidespin, meaning it’s relatively easy to keep the ball on a straight course without slices or hooks.
Forgiveness (particularly directional) is certainly better than the RADSPEED, although that model is quite forgiving as well. Putting more weight in the back sole port tends to improve mis-hit performance by a small but noticeable amount.
The excellent forgiveness of the RADSPEED XB is really thanks to the back weighting as well as the technologies packed into the driver that are designed to increase ball speed across the face. Together, they preserve both direction and ball speed on mis-hits.
On an absolute scale, the RADSPEED XB driver certainly ranks up there as one of the most forgiving drivers I’ve ever tested.
Given that the theme of the RADSPEED XB driver is more weight shifted back, you might guess that the launch and trajectory should be higher than the RADSPEED.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t the case during my tests. Launch was the same if not slightly higher, and with the lower spin rates, the result was a mid-high, penetrating trajectory very similar to the original RADSPEED. It speaks to the fact that the XB isn’t excessively back-weighted like other drivers.
That’s not to say that slower swingers will have trouble getting the ball airborne. In fact, unlike the RADSPEED, the XB’s trajectory is much more achievable without a 100+ mph clubhead speed. But I definitely would have liked to see a higher peak in the arc.
I do suggest lofting up to the 12-degree in the majority of cases.
Take a look at the RADSPEED XB driver and it immediately becomes apparent that it’s built for forgiveness, with a large footprint and more length from front to back compared to the RADSPEED.
Like the original RADSPEED, the RADSPEED XB comes in two different colour schemes:
- Black/Turbo Yellow: black crown with white and vivid yellow accents on the sole
- Peacoat/Red: deep navy blue matte crown with red and white accents on the sole
The bold, progressive design of the driver seems to try to cater to a younger demographic looking for some flare, although that’s not at all to say older folks wouldn’t be interested.
The shape of the RADSPEED is sharper and more triangular than other brands, and this is especially apparent when looking down at address.
The Cobra logo alignment aid on the crown, the infinity face, and the raised crown accents help keep the ball in visual focus, which can help golfers hit the sweet spot more consistently.
The Sound & Feel
The RADSPEED XB driver feels similar to the RADSPEED, with a decent firmness and solidness, but it’s a little more resonating and hollow which is typical for a GI driver. The sound is medium-pitched and more percussive.
More than anything, the driver feels extremely stable through the hit. One of the things I hate most with other drivers is when you mis-hit the shot and feel like the face twists around it; this is not the case with the RADSPEED XB.
In fact, with the exception of the worst strikes off the toe or heel, mis-hits feel almost the same as sweet-spot strikes. This is really what you would expect from a GI driver, and the RADSPEED XB doesn’t disappoint.
I spent some time experimenting with different weights in the heel, and the feel would get a little more solid and the sound would become slightly lower-pitched as I inserted heavier weights.
Where To Buy This Driver Online
The RADSPEED XB driver is not a current-season model, so ordering it custom is difficult.
A fantastic place to snatch up this driver at low prices (new or used) is eBay. Some of the listings there allow you to choose colour, shaft, flex and loft.
I also recommend looking at the stock available on Global Golf, PGA TOUR Superstore, and Rock Bottom Golf. These vendors may offer club trade-ins, performance guarantees, and/or financing plans to help you minimize the financial hit and maximize peace of mind.
The Cobra RADSPEED XB driver is, shall we say, a bit unconventional, and not what you would expect from a typical game-improvement driver.
During my testing, I found the spin to be lower than anticipated, yet the forgiveness is very good. At the same time, the launch is not noticeably different from the RADSPEED.
The end result is a driver that is not much different from the RADSPEED with the exception of improved forgiveness and lack of a front sole weight port. If that sounds good to you, then you should absolutely give it a try, although performance is highly individual and will depend on a variety of factors unique to the golfer.
Are you interested in the RADSPEED XB driver? Have you tried it yet? What have your results been? Let us know in the comments below.