My Cobra Radspeed XB Driver Review
Adjustable, 9º, 10.5º, 12º
Cobra advertises the RAD for handicap ranges 5-15, but I would open this driver up to players at any handicap index. This driver is easy to swing and designed to get the ball up in the air consistently.
If the RADSPEED driver is the King of Spin, the Radspeed XB (“Xtreme Back”) is its friendly cousin that can help players of all types find the fairway. The design intention of this driver is to produce low spin, high launching balls to facilitate distance and give you an extra boost in forgiveness.
The XB still features an oversized 460cc head, but also plays to its girth. The slightly triangular shape extends deep onto the tee-box and is designed to inspire confidence behind the ball the same way a mallet putter would. The crown is glossy, bold, and fits well with the flashy underside design.
The Radspeed XB still retains radial weighting at the front and back of the driver but focuses more on balance and higher ball flights.
XB features 20g positioned in the back of the club, of which, 6g is interchangeable. It also has 8g of fixed weight in the radial fins at the face of the club.
The shift in weight is noticeable as you swing the club around and present at impact.
Rad Technology also includes the CNC Milled Infinity Face, the Thin-Ply Carbon Wrap Crown, and T-Bar Speed Chassis in common with its siblings.
As always, Cobra has partnered with ARCCOS to provide sensors stock in the grip with a trial period of their excellent shot stats and analysis platform.
It’s worth noting that the Radspeed XB driver has a “draw” setting that’s part of the adjustable hosel. While it doesn’t quite match up to the XD, it can help promote the corresponding ball flight.
- Fujikura Motore X F3
- Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Blue
- Project X Even Flow Riptide
Cobra recommends the above options as ideal pairings for shafts with the XB; however, all custom options remain available from the RAD selections.
The Radspeed XB Driver really is the RAD’s friendly cousin. I found that even from the first swing, the ball jumped off the face in a livelier manner than the RAD.
While the RAD feels like a hammer slamming into the ball and sending it downrange, the XB has a bit more pop/explosive feeling.
The sound signature is still very similar (near indistinguishable), but there’s something a bit more approachable to this hit; it feels, “safe”.
The RAD and the XB have one of the more market differences in feeling at impact I’ve come across in driver siblings this year.
With the RAD you get the impression that there’s great risk and reward after hitting a few balls. The driver is demanding, but effective in the right hands. Swing hard and fast, and you’re going to pound the ball downrange.
If you miss or don’t have the club-head speed to elevate the ball, it will still work out, but you may be stuck watching a lot of roll-out and praying you miss that short fairway bunker on the way to your final destination.
The Radspeed XB, in comparison, gives the impression that the ball will exit the contact zone high and fast to land deep. The fairway bunker isn’t even a consideration because the ball will elevate and the extra spin facilitated by the rear-weighting will carry out longer.
This was confirmed by the fact that my average ball speed jumped up to 160mph – 5mph faster than the RAD while using the same balls and RDX Smoke Blue shaft.
Ball flight for the XB is visually confirmed to be higher than the RAD without reaching into the clouds. The measured apex compared to the RAD was around 18 feet higher on average – a fairly significant difference – while backspin jumped up almost 400 rpms higher for an average of 2558 RPMs.
This improved my ability to control the ball and the flight paths that I wanted with the XB.
What I found most surprising is that the XB did not fall far behind, with respect to overall distance, coming in at an average of 297y.
While the RAD benefitted from extra roll out after hitting the fairway, the XB was more predictable in its landing zone. Generally, the ball would touch down and settle without having to worry about roll-out to the fringe or rough.
This is definitely due to the increase in angle of descent and backspin but, to be fair, I also found the center of the face more often with the XB.
The bottom of the XB driver shares the same characteristics as the RADSPEED family of drivers, and the only noticeable difference is on the back end…
When looking at the XB in profile, some players have noticed a bit more to the fin that houses the rear-weight system. Realistically, this is something you would never see at address, or even notice in the bag.
On the other hand, the top of the driver sports a glossy finish to the carbon fiber crown. Carbon fiber specs peek through the sheen but are only pronounced in strong sunlight— it’s quite a nice effect provided there’s no glare.
The shape of the head on this driver is a touch more on the triangular side.
While some players may prefer a traditional round head driver, the XB’s design elongates the look of the head despite retaining the same overall volume.
This optical effect gives the impression that there is more behind the ball and that the driver will be more forgiving in much the same manner as a mallet putter does at address.
Sound and Feel
The RADSPEED line of drivers all share a very similar sound and feel, with the XB sounding marginally “higher” pitched and a bit more hollow feeling.
Feel wise, players that have hit the XB and the RAD will notice the shift in weight from the front of the face further back.
If I didn’t hit the RAD driver in the same session as the XB, I would label the XB as one of the more solid drivers in the 2020-2021 lineup of available products. The XB finds a nice balance between feedback off the face, and the solid comfort of a Cobra smash.
Due to the shift in weight towards the back of the head, this driver plays a full point heavier with respect to swing weight.
With the RDX Smoke Blue shaft that I sampled, Cobra rates their setup at swing weight D2.5.
While it’s a slight difference and can easily be modified, I found that the heavier swing weight allowed me to find a better tempo towards the top of my swing.
- Consistent ball speed throughout the face
- Ease of getting the ball into the air
- Controllable spin production
- Great balance between distance and forgiveness
- Price point
- ARCCOS is built in
- Massive amount of stock shaft options available
- Sound/feel are polarizing
- Aggressive looks are polarizing
The Bottom Line
The XB is an all-purpose driver that works very well and is largely customizable at a fraction of the price some of Cobra’s competitors charge.
I was hard pressed to think of any negatives after reviewing this stick. If the flashy looks are appealing and you don’t mind its unique feedback, this is definitely a must-get.
Other Drivers in the Radspeed Family
If you like the Radspeed driver family, but aren’t sure the XB is right for you… check out the more adjustable/low spin option in the RAD, or the Draw biased version in the XD. Our Cobra Radspeed Driver review is right here, and the Cobra Radspeed XD Driver here.
Alternative Choices to the Radspeed XB
If you’re looking something similar in forgiveness to the Radspeed XB, BUT you want the latest and greatest that Cobra has to offer – the LTDx is Cobra’s newest offering in their driver lineup. Check out the new cobra driver for 2022 here.
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max
The maximum forgiveness option from TaylorMade is going to be their SIM 2 Max driver. Check out our TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Driver review right here.
Ping G425 Max
The Ping G425 Max is Ping’s designated version for their maximum forgiveness option. Our full review of that club can be found here.
Callaway Epic Max
The Callaway Epic Max is Callaway’s most forgiving driver in their lineup.
Cobra Air-X Offset
The more budget friendly Cobra option is the Aix-X driver, offered both in offset and a straight neck versions. Check out our review of the Cobra Air X to see if it’s right for you.
Note – Some of these FAQs were covered throughout the article, but I still get these questions a lot… so here are the “short and sweet” answers to the most common questions:
What is the difference between Radspeed and Radspeed XB?
The difference between the Radspeed and Radspeed XB is that the XB is MUCH more forgiving… meaning that you won’t suffer as much distance loss or sidespin when striking the ball outside the sweet spot of the driver face.
How do you adjust a Cobra Radspeed XB?
To adjust a Cobra Radspeed XB driver, you’ll need a golf club specific torque wrench (the brand doesn’t matter honestly) to loosen the hosel screw and remove the club head from the hosel.
Using the chart below, decide which setting you’d prefer, and then simply line up that loft with the little open “window” on the driver head and re-tighten the hosel screw.
*IMPORTANT* – You must use a golf club specific torque wrench when tightening the screw or you could risk damaging the clubhead and/or hosel.
Cobra Radspeed XB Driver Adjustment Chart
|-1.5°||Subtracts 1.5 degrees from the Stated Loft||Standard|
|-1°||Subtracts 1 degree from the Stated Loft||Standard|
|-1°D||Subtracts 1 degree from the Stated Loft||Draw setting|
|STD°||Stated Loft (loft stamped on the clubhead)||Standard|
|STD°D||Stated Loft (loft stamped on the clubhead)||Draw setting|
|+1°||Adds 1 degree from the Stated Loft||Standard|
|+1°D||Adds 1 degree from the Stated Loft||Draw setting|
|+1.5°||Adds 1.5 degrees from the Stated Loft||Standard|
Here’s a video that shows and explains how to adjust the hosel, as well as the front and back weights across the bottom of the clubhead:
What is the Cobra Radspeed XB?
XB stands for “Xtreme Back” on the Cobra Radspeed XB. It means that there is additional weight towards the rear of the driver to produce a higher launch and a more forgiving face (as compared to the RAD driver).
What year did the Cobra Radspeed XB driver come out?
The Cobra Radspeed XB driver was released in 2021. Here are the release years for each Cobra driver ever made if you want to check that out.