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Monday, November 8, 2010

Victor Super Waves 35 review

Super Waves 35
Review Date : 09 November 2010
Racquet Type : Victor Super Waves 35
Specs : 3UG2
Flex: Stiff+++
Balance: 295+ mm
Strings: Yonex BG66
Tension: 25lbs , 1 Piece Stringing
Grip: Karakal contact PU grip + Victor overgrip
Technology : Aerodynamic Frame, E-Titanium, Super Waves and Nano-tec
Shuttles used: Yonex AS40, speed 2

First Impression: Am eager to try this racquet, since practically the whole Korean men's team are using it. This racquet looks like a marriage between Yonex Nanospeed 9900 and ASG Tornado 800. It has the shaft that looks like NS9900 and the frame of ASG Tornado 800. The shaft is overall black whereas the frame is black at the bottom and red at the top with white and silver color in between. The racquet felt head heavy and felt rather very stiff. The dry weight of the racquet is rather heavy close to 90g (sub-2U) and the frame felt solid and very heavily constructed. The swing felt that it had momentum and weight into it.

Warm Ups: Warming involves baseline to baseline clears. However, owing to the new/high tension of the new string, I have to adjust to the timing. Initially the racquet felt too stiff to hit a defensive high long clear, instead produce a short and flat clear effect, like a punch clear. Without proper technique like pronation of the forehand, the racquet felt like 'deadwood'. But adjusting to the weight and flex of the racquet with proper forehand pronation, this racquet felt really solid.
Clears are long and far owing to the solid frame and weight of the racquet. If one word is to describe this racquet is 'solid'.

Game Time: The racquet has a good feel to it and solid feel owing to its weight and stiffness. It took me a few games to get use to draw some conclusion. I'm still trying to get a feel on the timing and hitting the sweetspot when hitting shots. This racquet definitely need good arm power (pronation) to handle well and definitely not a wristy player's racquet who uses a lot of backhand (supination). The 3U racquet doesn't handle fast near the net or halfcourt position especially push shot and fast flat drives...possibly the 4U version handles better. Generally, overhead shots using forehand (pronation) is excellent...owing to the weight/stiffness it is very good like drops and smashes. The smash (power) of SW35 is one of the best amongst mid to high-end racquets in the market. It is very good in control like sliced shots and checked drops. The defensive strokes like lifts are slighly less responsive as expected by a head heavy racquet. For drives, this racquet maybe weaker/slower owing to the weight. Nevertheless, as a niche attacking racquet it is one of the best...as must be recognised as such so that one is not disappointed.

Conclusion:This racquet's playability is excellent owing to its feel, control and power. The thing that strikes you quickly when wielding a SW35 is how stiff and heavy it felt. As such it has loads of power for smashes. It's an attacking racquet meant for singles or backcourt players who need power for baseline clears and smashes. The stiffness also made this racquet accurate as well, handy for singles player aiming for the tramlines or the corners. Definitely not beginner friendly racquet as the stiffness of the racquet discriminates against weaker badminton players. Oh...come'on? the pros like Lee Yong Dae, Park Swung Hwan etc...are using it. Oh wait!...they are pros. Lastly, I also find that SW35 plays roughly similar to Yonex AT900P as well for comparison sake.

Feel: 9/10
Control: 9/10
Power: 9.5/10
Defense: 6.5/10...(possibly 4U is better)
Maneuverability: 7.5/10... (possibly 4U is better)

Pros : Reasonably priced, excellent power, control and feel (the 3 parameters of a great singles racquet)

Cons: almost none, except for slightly sluggish in backhand defence and halfcourt drive. Not suitable for beginners.

Suitability: intermediate/advanced players for singles 3U...(4U for doubles)

Player type: attacking and aggressive player for singles and doubles

Footnote: this review was done as a hobby and as an interest to inform fellow badminton enthusiast. This is my personal opinion and in no form to promote this racquet.

Conflict of interest: None

Reference: Victor website (accessed @ 09/11/10)
Badmintoncentral.com (accessed @ 09/11/10)

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