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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Badminton shopping in Japan

Just concluded my shopping for badminton stuff in Tokyo.

I would say, badminton is not a rather popular sports in Tokyo, it's behind tennis and (Japanese) soft tennis.

Prices are similar across many shops. Most major badminton specialty shops can be found near major train stations, like Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno etc...

There is also a major sporting shopping area in  (御茶ノ水) Ochanomizu train station where they sell every sports goods under the sun you can find, i.e. golf, skiing, hiking, camping, tennis, etc.

A Mizuno boutique shop that have the complete range of badminton, tennis and soft tennis stuff.

Racquet brands are rather limited, mostly common Japanese brands like Yonex, Gosen, Toalson, Kumpoo and foreign brands like Prince, Wilson and Babolat. Li-Ning is rare and Victor is non-exsistant.

Shoe selections are wide, but as Japanese players have rather small feet, size above 28cm is very difficult to find. Ditto for socks, with size limit up to 28cm.

Badminton bags however are a different story, Tokyo has a good selection of Badminton bags.

Otherwise, customer service is very good.

Prices are fixed and rather high, but the good thing about Japanese products is quality; you get what you pay for!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Conclusion of Badminton 2012

The year 2012 of badminton draws to a close with the completion of the BWF Superseries Finals 2012.

The surprise of the day was the win by Danish pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christina Pedersen over the olympic champs (Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan) in an exciting rubber game 17-21, 21-12, 21-14.

Another Danish pair of Moe/Mogensen won the men's doubles. The rest were swept by China.

2013 is next...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lee Chong Wei's Autobiography

I just managed to get a copy of Lee Chong Wei's book, 'Dare to be a Champion'.

Publisher: Bukuganda
ISBN 978-967-10843-2-8

Front book jacket
                                                                    Back book jacket

Review: coming soon...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to smash using the Nanoray 800!

 One needs a particular style of play to harness the unique qualities of the Nanoray 800.

Recently, Bodin Issara switched to Nanoray 800 from VTZF.

A 25kg smash won't do it as VTZF doesn't enhanced the sound of the smash.

You need to SHOUT or SCREAM when you smash, the sonic metal will enhance the power of your smash.

That's why Bodin Issara shouts and screams a lot. He can turn a 100km/h smash into a 200+km/h smash. 

 One can also scream after the smash to rub the salt in (after a smash winner that is)...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Badminton version of Harlem Globetrotters

Rexy Mainaky the star of the show entertaining Japanese fans a few years ago.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Denmark Open Finals 2012

The men's doubles was a very entertaining game, except for the 2nd set.

The second set saw Koo and Tan trailed by a wide margin with no hope of catching up. So both sides played nonchalantly to conserve energy.

Instead of fast drives or jumpsmashes, both sides played high clears and even backhand clears.
The offenders were rebuked by the officials.

Here in the 3rd period, Koo and Tan, having poor communications on court based on their body language, scrambles for a loose shuttle to smash.

The Koreans won, arguably by luck. Perhaps they have better tactics and discipline as well.

Here Yoo Yeong Seong of Korea celebrating by dancing Gangnam Style, a popular dance move, which has gone viral in YouTube.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Badminton philosophy?

A nice philosophical comment (or rant) by coach Lee.

In summary, what you do in court echoes who you do in life.

Respect is important, especially your respecting opponent who give you his/her time and sincere effort to play you.

Super Series European tour

The BWF Super Series begins this week in Denmark and the subsequent week in Paris, France.

The month of November, the Super Series shifts to China, Shanghai and then Hong Kong.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Yonex Nanogy 99 (NBG99) 0.69mm Badminton String

The latest Nanogy type badminton strings, Nanogy 99.

I haved used NBG95 and NBG 98, so naturally I am curious to try out the NBG99.

This string has a thick gauge of 0.69mm.

The string is marketed by Yonex as a string optimized for control.

Currently, I am playing primarily with BG66 Ultimax and BG80 Power.

My current impression of this string, it's a somewhat different string compared to other Yonex string.
The sound of the strings is somewhat muted compared to the thinner BG66 Ultimax.

Powerwise, this string is somewhat lacking compared to BG66 Ultimax, perhaps owing to the tautness of a freshly strung strings.

Touches around the net is wonderful, especially net shots.

This string is rather thick, hence should have good durability.

This string unfortunately is rather expensive.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New racquet arrives but alas not what I hope for

Had a swing with the Nanoray 800 today. As a consumer, it didn't fit my taste, (was hoping for racket with a Ti-10/NS9900 specs)

Well, held the  real thing with factory strings. It's just like the official Yonex chart which states it's a stiff flex racquet.

In other words, it's basically a NR700RP shaft with a different frame(head). Instead of fullerene, the material is a Titanium composite rename Sonic Metal.

I was dreaming to get that elusive extra stiff/even balanced Nanoray (indicated by the red arrow). Won't be reviewing this racquet anytime soon.

Ref: http://www.yonex.com/nanoray/nr800/

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Energy Drink for badminton?

An interesting sports Jelly drink from Weider Japan.

In addition to salts lost thru sweating and glycogen used during sports, vitamins are expended?

Hence, a need to replenish vitamins?

Fine print: For those people that do not eat enough vegetables in their daily diet.

Meaning meat eaters/carnivores need this drink.

Lee Chong Wei was previously seen drinking this drink in competition as pointed out in the forum.

Reference: here

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Completion of Olympics finals, men's singles and men's doubles-an autopsy

One of the better Olympics finals in badminton was the men's singles.

Final Score: 15-21, 21-10, 21-19

Lin Dan ended the hope of Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei's quest of a gold medal and successfully defended his gold medal.

This final lived up to its billing with a closely fought battle unlike the one-sided fiasco in Beijing 2008.

The top best players displayed all the skills of players at the top of their game.

Cautious probing, sudden attacks, miraculous saves, even trick shots, diving return of smashes and everything in between.

Unlike 2008, Lee Chong Wei managed to execute his deadly crosscourt smash, which is difficult to read.

Unfortunately, I realized the mistakes made by both Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei were cause by some draft in the stadium.
Lin Dan muttering at his mistakes.

Both the finalist misjudged the shuttles owing to the draft.
Lee Chong Wei misjudged an inbound shuttle.

One side of the court had a draft (downwind) and the other court slightly upwind.

The game have so much in stakes that chief coach (kingpin) Li Yongbo sat at the end of the court to yell instructions to Lin Dan.
The 1st game was all Lee Chong Wei as Lin Dan was unusually cautious, making mistakes and rarely attack.

The 2nd game was all Lin Dan as Lee Chong Wei gave up the game as he trailed Lin Dan too far.
Lin Dan executing his deadly signature jumpsmash, arguably the most lethal in setting up winners in men's singles today.

The 3rd game was probing match, each cutting down mistakes and only attacking when there's opportunity.

The game was neck to neck until suddenly at 19-18, when Lee Chong Wei left an incourt shuttle thinking it was out. That changed the momentum. Li Yongbo was so tense that he stood up after that point.

At the end, Lin Dan took more risk in the final points doing smashes.
(It's quite risky to smash too much as it risk hitting the net or increased recovery time compared to the defender)...Sad for Lee Chong Wei, 3 points to win the gold medal and he can almost win it.

Later that day, Fu Haifeng and Cai Yun beat Boe/Morgensen to win the gold.

When Fu is at the back and Cai in front, the combination is lethal.

Boe and Morgensen resorted to drive and placement tactics to negate the power of Fu Haifeng and speed of Cai Yun at the front court.

But their mistakes at flat play was costing them dear points.

The set plays, a strength of the Danes that defeated Lee Yong Dae/Jung Jae Sung, was countered brilliantly by the Chinese pairs who moved faster around the court.  

At the end, the Chinese pair earned their victory in a convincing fashion.

China sweeps the gold medals in badminton.

Attention to the national anthem of China, March of the Volunteers...义勇军进行曲.

Lin Dan's parents and wife at the stands.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

New Yonex Nanoray 800 spotted in the Olympics

Credit to a BCer who posted the info first.

Here is a case of indirect marketing by Yonex. Mystery, oh! the mystery...

The new Nanoray 800 was used by Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark as the picture above indicated.

In addition, Laybourn and Pedersen were also spotted with the nanoray.

Judging from Thomas Laybourn whom used a nanospeed 9900 before, this new Nanoray should perhaps be an stiff+ flex with slightly even balance rating.

If I were to guestimate this racquet, logically it should be a stiffer flex racquet than Nanoray 700RP, perhaps balance point roughly towards even balance.

Should be a deadly racquet in the front court and mid court area...

This is similar to Lee Chong Wei's used of the new Voltric Z-Force 2 months before the official launch. Lee Chong Wei won the Malaysia Malaysia Open with a mysterious racquet early in 2012.

The racquet is marketed by Yonex as the king of drive.

Drive here means the low fast and flat shots used in doubles.

The selling point is the speed in drive, i.e. machine gun drive.

The emphasis is the drive shot, essential in doubles for forcing the lift or changing defence into attack.

Reference: here and Yonex Japan. (in Japanese)

Olympic Infamy in Badminton

Badminton made the headlines yesterday for the wrong reasons. 

The crime: World no.1 pair of Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli 'threw' the match against a weak Korean pair so that they don't have to meet their compatriots in the knockout stage. Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli promptly lost. The jockeying of position to avoid stronger opponents set the stage for another kangaroo games involving potential opponents of  world no. 1 Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli. This time it involved the Korean and Indonesian pair who both play 'marco polo' or truth or dare. "You win please? Oh no you win please...Both wanted to lose to avoid the dreaded world no.1. 

The punishment: 4 pairs, total 8 players were suspended. 

Aftermath: Eliminated pairs of Russia, Canada, Australia and South Africa took their place. 

The crime scene:

Here Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli allowed a flick serve to hit home without even moving to try to intercept the shuttle.
The BWF/Olympic official had to enter the court and told the players to play properly and threatened to disqualify the 2 pairs.

Post mortem
Yu Yang quits badminton for good, the head coach, Li Yongbo apologized to the media. 

Badminton dive in doubles

A wonderful game was played today, in the quarter-finals match of Malaysia's Koo and Tan vs. the upstarts from Thailand, Maneepong and Bodin.

The game have everything; fast driving, creative placement, desperate saves, high emotions, jump smashes and youthful exuberance.

The Thai pair have undoubtedly became an exciting pair to watch from now on.

In the picture above, both Bodin and Maneepong dive in sync to save a non-chalant drop by Koo KK.

Even in defeat, Bodin and Maneepong gave the traditional wai salute to the fans.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Yu Yang doing a jumpsmash

The jumpsmash is hardly used in women's doubles especially when the shuttle is lobbed to the backcourt.

Here a jumpsmash is executed by Yu Yang, when Mizuki Fujii returned a weak lift which is at half court.

A juicy half court lift is killed by Yu Yang with a jumpsmash.


VT80 vs. VTZF

These two racquets are currently the most popular Yonex racquets in international circuit.

VT80 has a rating of stiff flex and head-heavy balance. The VTZF has a stiffer flex and slightly more head-heavy balance.

The stringing pattern of the racquet is different as well. VTZF has an extra cross (grommets) on the frame than VT80. The head of VTZF is slightly narrower than VT80.

In addition, the VTZF has a longer handle/cone than VT80, perhaps in the order of mm.

Playability: I think both racquet are in the same niche. The VTZF is slightly harder to wield than VT80. On the other hand the stiffer shaft increases accuracy but maybe harder to get more power. The VT80 is overall an easier racquet to use (at least for me) than VTZF.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Li-Ning Singapore Open 2012 semi-finals 23rd July

The lack of big names in this years open didn't prevent exciting badminton being played.

Many backups and youngsters are given the chance to play and gain experience.

Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, South East Asia's stronger badminton nations did not field their best teams but are well represented.

There was a lack of European participation, particularly English players, understandably given the Olympics is just round the corner.

Japan did sent their main players in full force and so did Chinese Taipei. Many of them advanced to the semi-finals.

The Li-Ning booth sales is not too bad, but generally with much higher prices than Yonex (in Malaysia Open).

Some free gifts from Li-Ning.

Lin Dan's face on a clapper

 Back view

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Customizing the thickness on badminton grips

Badminton handle grip diameter can be customized to comfortable thickness.

For thin tacky grip, normal overgrips can be used.

For example, Yonex and Karakal overgrips.

To provide extra cushioning, cushion wrap can be used to thickened the grip size whilst provide better cushioning.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Quaterfinals at YONEX-SUNRISE Malaysia Open GP Gold 2012

At the Stadium Bandaraya Johor Bahru,

Today's start was 4pm. Court 1 (centre court) was the main highlight with the camera/video crew zooming in on the matches.

The main event began with Shinta Mulia Sari/Yao Lei (Singapore) v.s. Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan (Korea). The experienced Singaporean pair attacked with aplomb and won in straight sets 21-12, 21-17.

A total of six matches were played at centre court. The match that drew the loudest applause were the home stars, namely Lee Chong Wei and the pair of Koo/Tan.

Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Thailand fielded a lot of youngsters to blood them to gain tournament experience.

Tomorrow's match starts at 6pm.

There have been some controversy regarding the 2nd day of the game, e.g. The #1 seed Lee Chong Wei was forced to play one match early in the morning at 9am vs. Michael Fowke of Australia, followed by a game later at 7.40pm v.s. India's Sai Praneeth B.

The game was also postponed from 1st May (labour day) to 2nd of May 2012.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Badminton shoes-trend towards lightness

The latest Yonex shoe like the F1LTD marketed as the lightest shoes in the market.

It is a trendsetter, imho is a good direction.

There's always an interplay between cushioning and lightness.

Lightness for less fatigue and increase speed in the explosive first step, especially in competitions.

Cushioning for comfort and protection of joints and perhaps durability.

Fortunately, this new shoe has both in very good balance.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Brief Demo-Review on Yonex Carbonex 50

Yonex Carbonex 50

Racquet Type: Carbonex 50 JP version
Specs: 2UG4
Balance: Headheavy (290mm)
Flex: Stiff
Strings: Yonex BG80 Power
Tension: 27lbs
Grip: Karakal Super grip
Technology:  Box frame, ultra PEF, new built in T-joint, solid feel core, GUM METAL
Shuttles used: Apacs Aero-Flight 700/Yonex AS40

First impression: 
The first thing that strikes you about Carbonex 50 is the length of the handle, it's arguably the longest in the Yonex range. Another thing that strikes you is the thickness (rather boxy) structure of the shaft and frame. The frame and shaft are rather thickly constructed. The racquet looks non-descript and have a rather Plain Jane look (which may suit the strong silent type of players).

Game time impression:

Won't go into details on each and every shots tried.
Generally, this racquet feels like an updated Carbonex 30MS than Carbonex 35.
This racquet has a 'long' designation, with an exceptionally long handle, which could be held two handed if one so wishes.
The shaft in effect becomes shorter.
This made the racquet rather stiff to flex.
The thick shaft with Ultra PEF made sure the flex is stiff.

Power: 9.5/10

The boxy frame and the weight of the racquet (2U) gives this beast plenty of power.

Control: 9.5/10

Owing to the stiff shaft, I felt and during shots played, this racquet has excellent control, the smaller head (although inciting errors) improves on accuracy provided; contacted on the sweetspot.

Feel: 10/10

Might be the strings/tension, might be the racquet, might be the grip, but every comes together and this racquet felt SOLID.

Defense: 7/10 (3U may be better)

Defense isn't a strong suit of this racquet chiefly due to the (2U) weight and small sweetspot.

Maneuverability: 7/10 (3U may be better)

The maneuverability of this racquet as expected isn't too great owing to the boxy thick structure (poor aerodynamics) but holding it higher the cone (an advantage of a long handle) compensates for its shortcomings.

Pros: Solid feeling, excellent power and control

Cons: smaller sweetspot and rather un-aerodynamic design (relative to latest models). May cause sore joints especially the 2U version.

As solid as it comes, old school control/feel adapted to the modern game. 2U version is a great singles racquet while the 3U racquet by hypothesis would be a doubles version.

Player type: Old school control freaks-I mean control type players...and the smash based players

Official YONEX/Sunrise sports recommendation for player type:

For advanced players looking for control & high repulsion power

Yonex rating 1-5

Power 5
Control 5
Flex 5

(Ref: Yonex badminton chart)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yonex Voltric Z-Force Review

Yonex Voltric Z-Force
Racquet Type: Voltric Z-Force SP version
Specs: 4UG5
Balance: Headheavy (310mm) with strings/grip
Flex: Stiff+++
Strings: Yonex BG66 Ultimax
Tension: 26lbs, pre-stretched using Yonex ES5 PROTECH
Grip: Karakal Super grip+Toalson overgrip
Technology: Nanopreme, Tri-Voltage system, new built in T-joint, solid feel core, isometric head and new grommet pattern.
Shuttles used: Apacs Aero-Flight 700/Yonex AS40

First impression: 
Hmm, a semi-oval frame and the 'Z' classification on a Voltric series racquet.
Throw in an extra stiff shaft and a head heavy balance.
My first thought was another difficult racquet to wield.

I won't described the colors or the looks of the racquet as the manufacturer's website and badmintoncentral.com has plenty of those. This racquet occupies the same niche and has the same specs as the Armortec 700 2nd generation which has an extra stiff flex and headheavy balance. It is also hailed as a successor of Voltric 80, which in turn was a successor to Armortec 900 Power. To put things into perspective, I am benchmarking this racquet against Armortec 900 Power and Voltric 80. The AT900P and Voltric 80 are somewhat difficult racquets to use for the majority of non-competitive players.

Final comprehensive review

I played mostly doubles (and half court singles)

TOC (time on court) when making review:
total of 20 hours of game play.

Review and breakdown of shots tried: 

Power: 9.5/10 (3U may be more)

Synopsis: This is a headheavy racquet and hitherto has the highest balance point towards the head, based on current Yonex racquets (ok, sans AT700).  Being a 'Z' type racquet, the aerodynamics of this racquet is based on the Arcsaber Z-Slash. Combine with a head heavy balance and an extra stiff shaft, this racquet packs a punch when hitting the shuttle downwards. However, based on initial testing  I find that the power I generated  is roughly equal to Voltric 80 and AT900P at the 4U specs (the basis of my comparison). Perhaps it's the extra stiffness of the shaft that requires more effort to unleash the full power of this racquet. The sweetspot is slightly smaller owing to the smaller frame but the repulsion on the sweetspot is more focus. The classification by Yonex is that this is a repulsion type racquet, meaning the shuttle strikes and leaves the stringbed immediately upon impact. This is the biggest difference between AT900P and Voltric 80 which are 'hold' type racquets. This racquet has a high momentum during the follow through of a swing. 

Clear: Forehand back-court to back-court, crosscourt full length clear and punch (low) clear
Smashes: Straight and crosscourt
Drives: hard straight and forehand/backhand to the corners

Control: 9.5/10

Synopsis: The claims by the manufacturer that all their high end racquets have a rating of  5/5 in terms of control. For this model in particular, it didn't refute their claim, but lending support to it. Fact is, this racquet has a extra stiff shaft and a focus sweetspot in a semi-oval shaped frame.  Owing to these parameters and materials, this racquet doesn't flex that much when swung overhead. Therefore, the placement of the shuttles (or accuracy) is excellent. Placement of smashes is more accurate than Voltric 80/AT900P owing to the stiffer shaft. Similarly for clears and drives. For netshots and underhand shots this  racquet is slightly more rigid than VT80/AT900P owing to the stiffness. 

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 (3U version may be less)

Synopsis: The aerodynamics of this racquet meant that it is cuts through the air very fast and is very responsive. Coupled with a repulsion biased frame, this racquet can repel fast attacking shots and accurate at returning the shuttle with interest. Surprisingly, even though it's head heavy, I did not feel lactic acid building up or the cramps, then again it's a 4U racquet. It is still better to defend with the forehand than the backhand with this racquet.

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

Maneuverability: 9/10 (3U version may be less)

Synopsis: At the 4U weight, this racquet is easy to manipulate both forehand and backhands. Cuts through the air like a knife cuts through hot butter. Nothing to complain really. It is what it is; a racquet that is easy to maneuver.

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

Feel: 9/10 (3U may be better)

Synopsis: This racquet has the standard plastic internal T-joint and the solid feel core (resin/foam) type material [According to Yonex]. Based on my string of BG66 Ultimax at 26lbs, the repulsion of this string/racquet combination is pretty accute. The racquet felt solid with little vibration. The tapered frame, the rigid repulsion type frame and the thick frame in general gave this racquet some 'meat' and hence has a good feel to it. One can feel the impact of the shuttle striking the stringbed, given the more focal sweetspot of the racquet.  

Total rating: 9.1/10

Pros: Excellent control and power, coupled with great feel and maneuverability. Good defense as well. The aggressive smash based player's weapon of choice.

Cons: The extra stiff shaft married to a head heavy balance may not agree (with nature's) human joint. Repetitive smashes coupled with a 19kg impact (as claimed by Yonex) means there's an equivalent force absorbed by the joints. Elbow, wrist and shoulder pain may result from lack of follow through or from the stiff shaft.

Suitability: Doubles racquet at 4U and singles racquet at 3U. For aggressive smash based player.
Skill level of at least high intermediate/advance. Quench your smash bloodlust, but please eat plenty of beefcake or egg nog for more gain and less pain.

Conclusion: Highly advanced racquet designed for advanced players. Extra stiff shaft for improved controlled smashes, heavier head heaviness for higher racquet head momentum. Smaller but more focus and repulsive sweetspot. Can be tough on joints without proper follow through and the extra stiff flex doesn't help.

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: Yonex website (accessed @ 12/03/12)
Badmintoncentral.com (accessed @ 12/03/12)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Initial impression of Yonex VTZF

Yonex Voltric Z-Force

Managed to secure the correct specs of a 4UG5.

Weight: 85 grams (stringless with plastic wrap)

Balance point with strings:  centre of gravity around the 'Z'.

With a tape measure, my playing balance point (with strings + grip) = 310mm

Wielding the racquet: 
The racquet felt heavy and the flex felt stiff.
The racquet felt like a stiffer Voltric 80.
Lactic acid builds up easily after holding/swinging it for 5-10 minutes.

Miscellaneous Thoughts: 
It's great that Yonex incorporate Green and White colours into their racquets which give an instant brand recognition.
It's similar to the Yonex YY White letters on green background.
Blue is synonymous with Korea team (Victor) whereas Red/Yellow is sort of synonymous with Li-Ning.

Hmm, so what is this racquet? an attacking racquet, control racquet, doubles, singles play etc?

A review coming soon...

First impression:

The paint quality departs from the Yonex standard glossy/metallic paint to a matt/plastic-like material.

The tribal motifs of the voltric series now combines with futuristic metallic highlights. 

The racquet is not photogenic but looks much better, even stunning in your (or my)  hands...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yonex Voltric Z-Force

There's a huge buzz in the badminton world about Yonex latest racquet, Voltric Z-Force.

Preliminary specs suggest it has a very head heavy balance. Another thing is the new shape is in the mold of Arcsaber Z-Slash.

One can hypothesize that it won't be a racquet that suits the majority of players (social/amateurs at least) especially the 3U version.

Yonex marketed it as, 'Massive heavy smash' racquet.

The maximum recommended tension is similar to Voltric 80, i.e. up to 27lbs for a 3U version.

So most likely, a 4U version will end up wielded by my G5 hands...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Badminton 2012

Barely two weeks into the new year 2012, witnessed the completion of two major Super Series open, the Korean and Malaysian Open. 

As always, new year, signify the release of new racquets, by racquet manufacturers. Namely we were teased by Lee Chong Wei's mysterious new Voltric. 

Victor and Li Ning also has a new range coming up...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fischer Badminton racquet impression.

Coming soon. Tested a couple of Fischer badminton racquets.

The thing that strikes you is the weight of the racquets, Fischer makes very lightweight racquets, in the 4U and 5U range.

Surprisingly, the racquet can be strung at high tensions above 25lbs.

A brief review of Fischer 4UG2 Black Granite Comp

Balance unstrung, 285mm.

Strung + Grip/overgrip = 288mm

Grip: Yonex Aerotec + Toalson overgrip

String: Yonex BG66 @ 24lbs

Control:  8
Power: 8
Defence: 9
Maneuverbility: 9
Feel: 5


For its price, one should expect a compromise.
An even balance racquet, this racquet is good in backhands and forehands.
Basically this is a light weight racquet, hence great defence and maneuverability.
It's very fast and easy to swing.
Power and control is very good.
Clears, drops and drives are very good.

However, I found this racquet to have a flaw in the feel when smashing.
There is a problem of excess vibration where I can feel it up to my joints (wrist/elbow).
Perhaps it's the lightweight of the racquet and lack of a Yonex style internal T-joint that cause the bad vibes.
The vibes is enough to throw off the control of the the smash wide.

Best use by players playing defensive players or aggressive front court doubles player.
It's not a back-court smasher racquet but more of mid-court racquet and frontcourt.