Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Racquet Balance; Head heavy, even balance, headlight

Head heavy balance racquets above has balance points above 285mm. E.g, Yonex AT900P & T, Voltric 80, Gosen Aermet 6900 and Ryoga Issen. Head heavy balance aka forehand biased racquets have more momentum for the forehand stroke. The racquet is also more stable, thus improving control. Quick racquet handling suffers a little.

Even balance racquets above have balance points around 285mm. E.g. Yonex Arcsaber 7 & 9 and MP99. The even balance racquets are a compromise.

Healight racquets above have balance points below 285mm. E.g. Yonex Titanium Mesh 10.
Headlight balance or backhand biased racquets are excellent for fast handling. The forehand stroke has less momentum compared to the head heavy balance racquets but the high swing speed makes up for it. Generally, most headlight racquet needs to be stiff for it to be useful. The stiffness makes the racquet more stable/accurate and also compensates in power generation.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tennis elbow

A very good video explaining the root causes of tennis elbow.

However, doczac is promoting this product Handmaster Plus which is an exercise tool to strengthen the finger extensor muscles.

In short, tennis elbow is chiefly cause by repetitive use of the fingers to grip the racquet. Particularly gripping it too tight.

The grip size is particularly important, the thinner grip usually cause one to grip more tightly than a thicker grip.

This website explained very clearly the rationale behind questions about racquet science. (biasness towards tennis, though)


Here Anna Rice explains some stretching that can help to alleviate this problem.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

racquetTune Apps for iPhone and iPad

Tested this app on my Apple device.

Ref: racquetTune

The app is relatively useful but one need to input lots of data like racquet size, diameter, string diameter etc. One also need some measurement tool to measure the dimensions before getting the app to work. A ruler,caliper and tape measure would be useful for precise measurement. Many parameters to input in order for it to work properly.

Besides, one also need an awl with a plastic handle to tap on the strings. The String or racquet have to be very close to the Apple device to register a consistent sound.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gosen Ryoga Issen review

Gosen Ryoga Issen
Review Date : 06 July 2011
Racquet Type : Gosen Ryoga Issen
Specs : 3UG5
Flex: Stiff+
Balance: 290+ mm
Strings: Yonex BG66
Tension: 25lbs , 2 Piece Stringing
Grip: Gosen Towel/PU grip
Technology : Aermet, M40 Carbon, reversed inner taper shaft, core stabilizer, Quadraxial carbon, vibeless grommet, carbon handle
Shuttles used: Apacs Aero-Flight 700

First impression: I'm eager to try this racquet, since this is one of the most expensive non-Yonex and non-Li-Ning racquet on the market. The racquet looks like a Li-Ning N90 Woods (1st Gen) and AT700 (2nd Gen) from afar. Upon closer inspection, the decals and paintwork of Ryoga Issen is very intricate. The overall color is bright red, with some matt black flanking the racquet at 5 & 7 o'clock and 10 to 2 o'clock. Some white color highlights the black colored region. The shaft color is composed of red and dark slate grey. The lower portion and the cone is highlighted with tribal like motifs. The word Ryoga Issen is emblazoned in gold on the shaft Ala Chinese brush work style. The racquet felt head heavy and felt rather stiff. The dry weight of the racquet is as advertised at 88g and the frame/shaft is somewhat slender/slim. The handle is made of carbon instead of softwood. The swing felt that it had momentum and weight into it. The swing speed is pretty fast owing to the very slim shaft.

I played mostly doubles (and half court singles)

TOC (time on court) when making final review:
4 x Warm ups (Half court singles) + 12 x (21 point doubles games) = total 10 hours game play

Racquets Specs: please see manufacturer's website

Review and breakdown of shots tried:

Power: 9/10

Synopsis: Felt that the racquet is rather solid and felt like a moderately head heavy racquet and hits relatively hard when clearing full court and smashing. Although the head (frame) is somewhat heavy, it does not feel tiring to use. The kickpoint of this racquet is rather higher up on the shaft. When hitting an overhead shot in full swing, the racquet felt rather stiff and it requires more effort to whip the frame forwards. The kickpoint is roughly similar to Kumpoo's Power Shot Nano Hexagon 2300. On the one hand, this kickpoint somewhat dampen the full power of the racquet but on the other hand makes it very accurate. Forehand clears are good and so is a forehand drive baseline to baseline.

Clear: back-court to back-court and crosscourt full length clear to opponent's backhand side.
Smashes: Straight and crosscourt
Drives: hard straight and forehand/backhand to the corners

Control: 9.5/10

Synopsis: Felt that the racquet is rather solid and stable while cutting through the air, hence it's easy to control shots to the four corners of the court. The sweet spot is slightly smaller than I anticipated. The accuracy of this racquet is excellent owing to the higher kickpoint of the shaft. I include netshots here as the stability and aerodynamics of the racquets allows it to play deceptively fast and well at the net. The combination of a stiff shaft, high kickpoint and slightly smaller sweetspot makes this racquet one of the more accurate racquets in the market.

Drops: checked/slice/reversed to the 2 front net corners
Netshots: Crosscourt net
Netshots: hairpin/tumbling netshot
Clears: to the 2 back court corners
Smashes: down the line
Push: flat and low to half court

Defense: 8.5/10

Synopsis: Surprisingly, despite the top heavy balance point, the racquet is easy to defend. I managed to backhand lift smashes to the backcourt easily. The sub 3U- weight helps allows this racquet to be comfortable to lift the shuttle both backhands and forehands. The aerodynamics of the racquet (very slim shaft) somewhat compensates for the heaviness of the head(since the racquet head moves very fast to intercept the shuttle).

Lifts: backhand and forehand full court
Drive: backhand and forehand drive return
Block: backhand and forehand straight

Maneuverability: 8.5/10

Synopsis: This racquet is surprisingly agile, though not in the class of a top headlight racquet. The racquet head speed is very high and the the swing is fast. The (slim shaft & frame) aerodynamics improved the handling of the racquet. This is true when near the net, like doing a netkill. I also find that catching body smashes and doing last minute double action shots are pretty fast and comfortable.

Crosscourt net shot
Crosscourt smash return block and crosscourt whip
Defending body smashes: reflex block, between the leg/behind the back defensive block
Tight netkills
Hold & flick shots

Feel: 9.5/10

Synopsis: The racquet felt solid owing to the high quality M40 carbon, stiff shaft and the metal T-joint. The stiffness of the racquet also helps to channel the bounce of the shuttle on the stringbed to my hand. The ping sound of the shuttle striking the stringbed is very crisp and no vibration is felt (owing to the vibeless grommet). This racquet (Shaft, strings/tension that I used) provides excellent feedback on the shuttle striking and leaving the stringbed. This racquet felt like an extension of my arm.

Total rating: 9/10

Cons: Price, as it is one of the costliest racquet in the market. Not suitable for beginners. Slightly smaller sweetspot and different kickpoint.

Pros : Excellent control and feel with above average power (the 3 parameters of a great singles racquet). The racquet is rather light at 3U- weight making it maneuverable and good in defense.

Suitability : aggressive attacking, all-around and control players. Need skill level of at least intermediate/advanced. Not suitable for beginners or defensive players.

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: Gosen website (accessed @ 01/06/11)
Badmintoncentral.com (accessed @ 01/06/11)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

APACS slayer 99 review

A high end APACS model. Roughly it has the specs of extra stiff and mid balance.

The specs of the racquet.
Temporary conclusion: A very stiff racquet with a mid balance point. The racquet is relatively fast in drives and flat play. Control is good owing to the stiff shaft. Power-wise, quite good but it's harder to flex this racquet and need good technique. More for high intermediate/advance players and not suitable for beginners.