Diameters reviewed: 12mm and 12.5mm
Tip: Navigator Soft Tip
Taper: Defy Hybrid (per McDermott)
Construction: SmacWrap, originally designed for the aerospace industry, absorbs vibration and dampens noise resulting in a confident hit with a soft feel and quiet sound. Our super-smooth coating reduces friction, allowing the shaft to glide through your fingers with ease like a wood shaft.
Retail: $395.00 + Tax
Review: So I have to admit that I had not touched or was able to acquire a Defy carbon until after the distribution this past January 2020. I attended the BCA Show in late 2019 and I had the opportunity to test the Defy there in the booth, I was with a colleague and we were both VERY surprised and impressed with the Defy when we tested it on the floor booth at BCA in Vegas. . I am going to do a two part review and hopefully this will shed light on this carbon.
Part 1: Upon hitting the exhibit floor on the first day at the 2019 BCA in Las Vegas I immediately raced to the exhibit floor and was excited to see the Cuetech and McDermott booths with buzz about. I was pleasantly surprised to see Shane holding ground at the Cuetech booth and demoing his cue and shafts and that was when I caught out of the corner of my eye the Defy on the floor in the McDermott booth. I quickly made a B-line to the McDermott demo booth and as I stood there waiting for the McDermott rep to finish his diatribe I then steeped up and asked if I could purchase one on the floor at the show and he chucked in hysterics as if I had never attended an industry trade show in my life.. I do not know what possesses the boot staff to be so condescending. We as buyers purchase thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of product that stems from our engagement and rapport that we build with our suppliers and manufactures and as he may not have realized is that I am no slouch in terms of what our shop purchases and resells throughout Northern California and the greater Bay Areas to my Silicon Valley customers who are DEEP POCKET POOL AND BILLIARD MONGERS some so filthy rich that they own many carbons like underwear. So yes as this may seem to be a cry for help, it is more of what I hope roaming eyes will view for next year as I also feel McDermott has dropped the ball in fulfillment for their carbons. Sorry to meander yet this all will come full circle.
So as I stood in front of the rep at the booth, he asked if I would like to take it for a spin and I agreed. I promptly chalked and executed a series of shots that allowed me to do what I always do, test for feel.. that feeling of absolute rhythm that only a tactful play or proficient musician inherently knows and lives by. The shaft has to be an extension of ones thoughts in ones head and only transmit that to the ball in a very graceful and precise execution of every shot. I also then tried a series of very ambitious and somewhat reckless shots that we all know and have tried yet have only nailed on the best nights or when the moon was right and planets aligned… I then attempted the ever so boring deflection shots and I must say that at the time I was feeling as though I was on another planet.. everything aligned and that shaft felt magical. I was amazed and excited. I don’t know what it was yet it all came together with that shaft in that 15 minutes.
Part 2: The reality of distribution. 5 months later I finally received my shipment of Defy shafts and I have to say that I was flabbergasted (I never use that word in all of my dialog yet it seemed appropriate now especially for this review) The shafts that were sent to me seemed somewhat different. I cannot pinpoint it exactly yet they seemed different now as opposed to then. Now don’t get me wrong, the Defy shafts are a great shaft yet they seem a little less solid than what I felt on the demo booth at the BCA. I have sold all of the Defy shafts that I had ordered and I am awaiting my new shipment which I hope will be a better run. Again don’t get me wrong, I am hoping to be convinced that the new shafts will live up to what I felt in my initial demo results from the BCA. Therefore I will not complete the latter part of this review until I get my next shipment which I am told is any day now (I’ve been told this for three months now). In semi-closing please note that from first batch I did feel that the Defy felt great and shoots great! I am excited despite the grousing that I am doing yet we will see if McDermott delivers.
Feel: Test 1 August 2019 pre-production. Felt great, rigid, had forgiveness that I thought was even superior to the Cuetech Cynergy shaft. I liked that the Defy was just different and yet in line with what a carbon should feel like. This is somewhat hard to explain unless you have shot with a few or many of the carbons as I have and understand how each one does somewhat the same thing in terms of reducing deflection and yet how they each have their very own very subtle or obvious characteristics.
UPDATED REVIEW (8/12/21)
Over the past couple of months I have received Defy shafts and was able to do some more testing. I am pleased to say that I am happy with the consistency of their product and to also see more availability of the Defy shafts.
Hit: After a brief PANDEMIC break I was able to get a hold of more Defy shafts. Upon reviewing for a third time I have to say that McDermott is on when they claim that the Navigator soft tip dampens and yet the technology behind the Defy produced consistent energy in the hit even though the feel is much like that of a wood shaft. Yet, I would like ot break this down as I find this to be an area that most manufacturers are olverlooking. When demoing a Revo CF you immediately know it is rigid and true, and to some extent NOT forgiving. Many Revo owners state that it took them time to get used to it and NOW they really like it (HUH??? So what they are saying is that they had to adjust or change their stroke or process to get used to the shaft, I find this a little disturbing). The Defy on the other hand is much like what we have all been used to playing with for decades, maple wood shafts and the feel of the hit with some variation on characteristics that greatly depend on the configuration of the shaft, and wood quality, none the less a natural feel. Well to me the Defy feels much like that except with that CF consistency and CF force or physics. I also found that I didn’t really have to compensate or alter my stroke, technique or style. This is a good thing!
Deflection: Once again the D word. As I try my best to not digress on the lunacy of application for some and not others with style and deflection (see my front page explanation on Deflection) I feel that some with find it obvious and others will still find it to be voodoo. We all know that deflection is alive and well with wood shafts and one piece cues, and if you ever shot with a Muecci long ferule tapered shaft then you know the devil in disguise and once you reflect on the benefits of the CF shafts and I say ANY CF shaft it will be obvious that there are benefits, yet depending on the shots you choose. Needless to say I will state that the Defy has great low-non deflection when testing the limits of squirt and English trickery. Again I have to say that I wish there were an easier way of measuring deflection that everyone would understand and agree to when comparing various manufactures. For now I will step off my soap box.
Summary: Given the lower cost when compared to other CF shafts the Defy is a great value for the money and given that it is not a far stretch from the feel of a traditional wood shaft, I would say that the Defy is a great purchase if you want to try new technology and all the benefits of warp resistant, ding resistant, smooth feel, forgiving yet rigid unbelievable hard-soft hit, low deflection and just an overall great feel shaft.