Fitting with the new Nippon Zelos 7 and 8
With the Zelos 7, Nippon already had an extremely light steel shaft in their product range for quite some time, which we also like to use. This shaft is characterized by a low kickpoint which makes the launch much easier. Furthermore the Zelos is an absolute lightweight for a steel shaft. The Zelos can be used for players who for various reasons do not want to play with graphite shafts in the irons and still need less weight.
With the Zelos 8, Nippon has added some weight and is now competing with its own Nippon NS Pro 850GH which is in a similar weight class. However, the bending profile is different and the Zelos 8 also has a very low kickpoint. The kickpoint in the NS Pro series, on the other hand is much higher. With the Zelos 8 there is now another shaft option in the 80g shaft range. One thing has to be said at this point: light steel shafts are anything but easy to produce and many manufacturers have problems with durability. This is not the case with Nippon. Despite their light weight, these shafts are of very high quality and have proven themselves over many years.
It is time to compare the two shafts. Our test player received the identical club head with the same shaft length and had the task to hit a target 145m away.
Differences between Zelos 7 and 8
The differences can be seen by the player quite early. For him the Zelos 8 is much more playable which can be seen in the Smash Factor (Efficiency) alone. In short: The player hit the balls much better with the Zelos 8. With a much lower club head speed he achieved almost the same ball speed. It was harder for him to accelerate the Zelos 8 but the hitting pattern was much cleaner.
There are no differences in launch and spin due to the identical shaft profile. The small difference in the launch is only due to the hit pattern. For example, with the Zelos 7 our player also procuded thinner shots. Therefore, the Zelos 7 has a slightly higher spin.
Of course, every player is different and it is not possible to determine a generalized limit between Zelos 7 and 8, e.g. a club head speed. Anyway, the test gives a good guideline that for players with more than 80mph clubhead speed, it is more likely that Zelos 8 instead of 7 is the best choice.