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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Badminton defense basics

A good basic defense tutorial by a coach.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Elbow position

Another great tip by Coach Lee Jae Bok.

Using the position of the elbow to get more power for the smash.

Now I realised in toto the analogy my former coach used to describe, the posture is like drawing a bow (to shoot an arrow)...

Catching a shuttlecock in gentlemanly manner

Coach Lee Jae Bok's demo is as good as always.

Looks impressive. I remember Rafael Nadal scooping up the tennis ball in mid air.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Li-Ning Woods N90 (1st Gen) vs Yonex VT80

The VT80 and Woods N90 above: Comparing with equivalent grip size, weight and string tension.
Woods N90 is a 3U (Li-Ning S2) and strung with Yonex BG80 at 27lbs.
VT80 is a 3U G5 and strung with Yonex BG80 at 27lbs.

The Woods N90 is made famous by its adoption by the China's top player Lin Dan.

The Voltric 80 on the other hand is made famous by Lee Chong Wei who currently uses this model.

Both racquet have very head heavy balance. The voltric 80 is a fraction more stiffer.

Both are excellent singles racquets as examplified by the adoption of them by Professional singles players.

Being great singles racquets, both racquets have excellent power, control and feel.

The Voltric 80 being a newer racquet has better aerodynamics than the Woods N90. Aerodynamics is meant by being having a slimmer frame and shaft.

The racquets are roughly equal in power, feel and control. The slimmer Voltric 80 has the edge over N90 in terms of speed.

The VT80 is a younger model than Woods N90 (produced two years ago).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Victor SW35 vs Yonex Voltric 80

Battle of the head heavies (& stiff) racquets

The Superwaves 35 is made famous by its universal adoption by virtually the entire Korea men's team. The Superwaves combined the balance of head heaviness and a very stiff flex.

The Voltric 80 is a new top end racquet from Yonex. It also has a very top heavy balance with a moderately stiff shaft.

In terms of head heaviness, the Voltric 80 (in my hands) felt a fraction more head heavier. In terms of stiffness (in my hands) the SW35 is much stiffer.

In my rating, the SW35 is one of the best racquets made by Victor. It certainly was one of the top racquets in 2010.

As a top flagship racquet released by Yonex, in All England to boot, VT80 promises to deliver. It does.

No doubt, having dissecting SW35, Li-Ning N90 I and II, Yonex did their homework.

I can safely say that, that VT80 is (in non-quantitative terms) a better racquet vis-a-vis SW35. To be fair, Victor did not release a stiff and head heavy racquet in early 2011. A VT80 competitor on the horizon?

Victor Spira 22 and Spira 21

Above 4U Spira 21 and 4U Spira 22 Victor's forgotten top of the line racquet, the Spiralwind series.

The hype of the Spira is less than the Meteor MX80 and Braveswords or the Superwaves.

But I find these racquets very good for doubles, the chief reason is the head isn't too heavy (mid balance point).

The Spira racquet is pretty fast for defense and for intercepting fast crosscourts drives.

The specs on the Victor cone for
Spira 22: flex 4/5, balance 3/5
Spira 21: flex 5/5, balance 4/5

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Li-Ning Badminton

Previously, I have not given my thoughts on the Chinese giant, Li-Ning.

I do not own any Li-Ning racquets unfortunately/fortunately.

However, I have demo'ed a few of them.
Namely Woods N90, Flame N50 and N55, Storm N70 and N77 and Rocks N33 for about at least 1 game each. From my brief encounter, I like Flame N55 the best followed by Flame N50.

The strings and tension were different from my Yonex BG66 and my range of 24-27lbs. Therefore I cannot properly reviewed them.

My impression of Li-Ning racquets especially the N series are they are (majority)on the head heavy side and about stiff-/medium flex. The perception of vibration is probably owing to the unknown string tension and different string type (i.e. Li-Ning strings)

Li-Ning last year in Singapore agressively promoted their products and also allowing customers to demo their racquets.

Above, Demo racquets

In justice to Li-Ning, I feel they make high quality sports apparel and the sizing fits the Asian body type better.

Don't make the 'made in China' label fool you as the sports apparel of Li-Ning is top notch. However, the design is more on the traditional side (which reflects the more conservative taste/fashion of Chinese people in general)
Li-Ning's strength is also its shoes which have very nice cushioning and ventilation (in the higher end models)

The only downside of the Li-Ning brand is the price/cost to the consumer. This is to offset the cost of sponsoring professional and junior players.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lee Chong Wei's charity match with Taufik Hidayat

An exhibition match between Lee Chong Wei and Taufik Hidayat to raise money for Tsunami affected Japan.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Badminton clothing

Basically badminton clothing simple.

All you need is a shirt and a shorts. (no cup, shoulder pads or shin guards etc, since badminton is non-contact sports)

But, the shirts or shorts need to be comfortable and absorb sweat from the body quickly. The absorbed sweat should be evaporated quickly.

Fig 1: Asics navy/light blue 100% crew neck cotton t-shirt

A 100% cotton t-shirt like the one above is fine for everyday wear, but once sweats starts to build up, it becomes heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Modern sports shirts and jersey are currently made from polyester.

Many badminton companies made shirts from a combination of microfibers, polyester and spandex. Shirts comes in different types, for example a crew/v-neck, a polo-t and a sleeveless shirt.

Fig 2: Li-Ning black v-neck 88% polyester 12% Spandex badminton shirt

Fig 3: Gosen beige 100% Micropolyester polo shirt

Fig 4: Victor black 100% polyester sleeveless shirt

Top it off with a simple shorts

Fig 5: Yonex black 100% polyester shorts

Cotton (natural material) vs Polyester (man-made material)

Cotton Pros
comfortable under ambient/normal physiological conditions

Cotton Cons
need to iron
can be eaten by moths
retains sweat longer

Polyester Pros
Less maintainence, no need to iron
absorb and evaporate sweat away from the body better

Polyester Cons
maybe a bit uncomfortable under normal conditions (sleeping etc.)