Today we’ll start a three part journey into the magical land of Unicorns and pixie’s. Otherwise known as wherever the Diamana line of shafts comes from.
In part one we’ll cover the three that get the most questions: Ahina, Kai’li and Ilima. In Part two we’ll look at the D+ and S+ and Part Three will cover the new generation, the W Series, B Series and soon to be R Series.
Diamana is perhaps one of the most iconic names in the shaft world and are recognizable to nearly everyone. They’re exceptionally popular as a fitting option and show up as a standard option in various clubs so they generate a lot of questions.
First, just a quick note on the way MRC sets up their shaft line ups. MRC likes to group shafts into families and then sets each family to target a certain type of golfer. The Bassara lineup for example is for the slower swinger or those who need more launch and spin. The Fubuki and Kuro Kage lineup are the middle families suited to those in the middling speed, power, launch and spin (again, that’s not exclusive. Just a general idea for a starting point). Diamana’s then were originally suited for those with more power and speed who want a lower launch and spin but that’s not as true as it use to be.
Have we meandered down the garden path enough? Probably. So grab a cup of tea and get comfy.
Ah, the Diamana Ilima. It’s instantly recognizable with a very sharp red paint scheme that grabs the eye. To me, it looks like a glorious sunset which is fitting because that’s where it wants to launch the ball. Within this Diamana Generation, this is the highest launching and spinning offering.
Weights range from 60 to 80 grams and from regular to X stiff (no regular at the 80 weight).
The butt section of this offering is fairly soft to give it a nice, fluid feel through the swing. The middle section is fairly firm through out to keep things nice and stable and then the tip is softer to give it more launch and spin. The “kick point” through the profile is what you would call mid.
So, who’s this good for? This is good for someone with a very smooth/fluid swing. With the soft butt and soft tip, you don’t need a quick tempo to load it. In fact, it doesn’t really like it. So smooth back to the top, set yourself then accelerate into the downswing and through contact. Anyone with a mid release or later (Release: Again, I’ll do a bigger article on this later but the gist of release goes like this: A what point does your wrist angle break in the swing. Notice when you bring a club back and set yourself at the top your wrists are cocked? The point where your wrists are no longer cocked is called your release point. The closer that is to the ball/contact, the later it is).
A final note. If you’ve played or tried the Diamana Red, this does differ in a very significant way. The Diamana Red was really high torque to give it a lively feel. The Ilima is not at all. Yes, the bend profile makes it feel fluid, but also very tight. Instead of swinging a dandelion, it’s more like swinging a bamboo stick with water. It does not want to twist which gives it a more consistent performance.
Within this Diamana Generation, this is the shaft that most people know and have likely tried a time or two. The reason for this is that it fits a lot of people’s swings quite well. The Kai’li is characterized by a stiff butt section, a stiff tip section and a soft mid section. What this gives you is a low/mid launch with low/mid spin. Why it’s really popular is that it provides all of that and does so with feel. It’s not lively like it wants to spring from your hands but it doesn’t feel dead either. More that you can feel that shaft unload and kick through the ball like your favorite TV police officer booting down a door.
Who’s this for? This is for those with a hard, aggressive transition and a overall quick tempo. That transition is what allows the shaft to load, if you don’t have it, this isn’t going to work for you at all. Now, the nice thing here is that describes most golfers. More by far have a quick, aggressive transition then not which is why you’ll see more people use this then the Ahina and Ilima combined.
Like the Ilima is ranged from 60 to 80 grams, Regular to X stiff and the 80 is again only offered in Stiff and X Stiff.
Ahhhhh. Now we get to the darling of Tour Players and Golf Forum members. The Ahina is the low launch, low spin, low torque shaft but manages to do all that and feel excellent. And when I say excellent I mean it. Put up against some shafts with the same profile designed to do the same thing, the Ahina will often be picked because people enjoy the feel more.
The profile is a soft butt, a stiff mid and a stiff tip section.
Who’s that good for? It’s good for those who take the club back at medium to even low speed then absolutely rip at it just the other side of the transition. You’ll hear this called being loaded on the “drop swing” by many people. It’s referred that way because with those types of players what it looks like is that they transition by actually dropping their arms once they hit the top of their backswing then start pulling the club as fast as possible. If this is you, you’ll know it very quickly.
Like everything else, weight ranges from 60 to 80 grams and regular to X stiff except for the lack of a regular flex at 80 grams.
A Note on Flex
Not that any of you will, but I’d like to make a note on flex in regards to Diamana’s. The flex to weight ratio is NOT consistent. What that means is that a 70 gram stiff flex Kai’li is much stiffer then a 60 gram stiff flex Kai’li, like a full flex stiffer. Ala a 70 grams stiff would match up flex wise to a 60 gram X stiff. Unlike other offerings, you can’t just swap between the weight ranges of the Diamana’s and expect things to stay the same because they won’t. Thus if you’re looking to match up your swing to a Diamana offering, please go see a certified fitter so they can give you a hand.
You can see the Diamana 2nd Generation shafts at MRC’s site HERE