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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yonex tennis backpack model 1429-review


Have been using this JP Yonex bag for about a month.

All I can say is this bag is well constructed and with clever allocation of pockets. It's deceptively bigger than it looks. The material is standard backpack polyester with the shinny part made of PVC.

The main compartment houses two tennis racquets or 3-4 badminton racquets. The top compartment allows you to store fresh clothing and the side pocket allows storage of keys or small items.

The middle compartment allows storage of wet clothes, shoes etc. There's also a small pocket for storage of water bottle.

The bag is made in Taiwan. The straps are secure on the shoulders, however, there is no waist strap like a backpack. Therefore, there is a limit on how much weight you can carry on this backpack.

Monday, December 16, 2013

KL badminton holiday continue

This time the players hotel is located at KL sentral.

The location is very isolated from main city attractions and nothing to do, perhaps walking through the KL highways to Brickfields aka Little India for some Indian food.

The hotel is called the Best Western Premier Dua Sentral.

Away from the matches

I went to the KL Bird Park
Apparently in the surrounding areas are lots of monkeys, pretty ferocious monstrous monkeys based on the photoshopped monkey biting a human hand.
I went on foot towards the Butterfly farm, braving the ferocious monkeys.
And then I went back to the Stadium to catch another exciting match featuring the Invincible M. Ahsan/H. Setiawan of Indonesia.
And then back to the hotel, but before that, filling my stomach with some local food.
Nasi lemak at a restaurant (Mdm Kwan's) with stink beans 

KL Badminton Holiday-POV entering the KL badminton stadium

video
Walking from the ticketpro.com.my's counter to the main entrance, to get my ticket stamped.

Was browsing through the Yonex merchandise before making my way into the spectator's seat.

Badminton Holiday in Kuala Lumpur 11-15 December 2013


The Superseries BWF finals was held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia last week.

Without hesitation, I booked my bus ticket to KL to watch the games.


Bought the badminton tickets at the Cheras KL Badminton Stadium.

The stadium was blacked out just like the Sudirman cup, with the spotlights shone directly on court.

This is also the 1st time, the Hawkeye cameras were installed and used during the matches.

It is only available on centre court. Players are allowed only 2 challenges to the call of the linesman.

 Killing  two birds with one stone, I took the opportunity visit the city and the local attractions.
At Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur.
A Hindu temple at Batu Caves
Near KLCC, Petronas twin towers

But going to KL goes without saying, the food is the main attraction.

Here are my pictures of my many meals in KL.
Breakfast at a traditional Malay Nasi Lemak stall. It's coconut rice served with toppings like Sambal chilli, peanuts, anchovies, fried egg, Rendang chicken and sotong (cuttlefish). A pretty standard Malaysia breakfast, complete with a teh tarik or 'pulled' milk tea.

A plate of mee rebus or (steamed noodles). It is then covered with gravy and boiled eggs, tofu and chillis are added. Ordered a teh tarik.
BBQ stingray/squid served with rice
BBQ stingray at KL's Jalan Alor
Or Western fast food in KL
Or course badminton shopping at the Yonex booth in the Stadium
Before going up the stairs to catch the live match
Of course, the matches would not be complete without fanatic supporters. 

An Indonesia supporter decked with mask, hat and costume with Indonesia flag colors. Comes complete with a drum and a loud voice. Joking and heckling with the Malaysia supporters provided comic relief.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Yonex warehouse sale 6-8 December

Attended the Yonex warehouse sales on the 6th December.
On the 1st day, it was supercrowded, many shoppers helping themselves to the many discounted Yonex badminton racquets. I queued up for about almost 2 hours to make my purchase. Many familiar faces greeted me as many in Singapore's badminton circle turn out in droves to scoop up irresistible deals.
The listed prices were significantly lower than the retailers. Managed to stock up on Nanospeed 9900s and AT900T.
Apparels and accessories were on sale, but did not help myself.
Sunrise Yonex provide Ikea style canvas bags to haul around their 'loot'. Many shoppers scoop up racquets at least 5-10 pieces. My arsenal of racquets is already full, so I can't take in too many...

Tennis racquets and Golf clubs were also on sale. But many shoppers just buy the badminton racquets...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Letting go...of RIP racquets

Serious badminton players sooner or later would have destroyed their favourite racquets.

Here lies a broken 1st Generation Titanium Mesh 10 (Ti-10)...ouch, breaks my heart looking at it.

Many people justify buying cheaper alternatives owing to the pain of losing their expensive investments.
Here is a cheaper APACS racquet costing 1/4 of the Ti-10's price.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Badminton Shoes Galore-How many shoes do you need?

                                          Yonex's SHB65s: From left, 65X, 65FT, 65CF

How many shoes does one need?

I believe like all athletic shoes, it depends on your frequency in engaging in the athletic activity.

For example, I played badminton about 3 times a week, so I purchased 3 pairs of badminton shoes, which I used regularly.

3 shoes in rotation for the 3 days. This has allowed me to wear the shoes for at least 2 years.

i.e. a $100 pair shoes ÷ 24 months = $4.2 per month spent.

$4.2 x 3 = $12.6 spent per month for badminton shoes.

After 2 years, the glue degrades, the outer soles wears out and the shoes fall apart...

Welted leather shoes (unlike glued shoes) on the other hand, can last up to 20 years when maintained properly. So far, no badminton shoes are welted, i.e. can be resoled.
A wingtip welted leather shoes from England.

Yonex SHB65FT Review



A replacement of SHB65CF, this shoe model was released in 2011.

Technology: Ergo Shape, Round Sole, 3-layer Power cushion, very cool mesh, hexagrip sole, Hyper msLITE, Power cushion Insole CF, outsole structure

First impression: This shoe is replacement for Yonex badminton shoe SHB65CF. Comes in two colors, shine orange and black/white. The shoe sits slightly higher up the ground but still low enough. The shoe comes with extra shoe strings.

Fit: The shoe fits well enough, feels like no break-in period is needed. Size fits as indicated. The shoes sit slightly higher up the ground than SHB65CF. Feels very comfortable wearing it, support is very good but felt a bit bulky/chunky.

Game time: Although the shoe felt bulky, this shoe felt bouncy when performing footwork (split step) to hit a shot (landing with the racquet foot). Lunging is easy and so is vertical jump, feels very cool even after 3 hours of game play.

Pros: Great looks, ventilation, cushioning, comfort and movement

Cons: Like most Yonex soles, easily builds up dusts and the sole may not be as durable.


Fit: 9.5/10
Ventilation: 9.5/10
Feel: 8.5/10
Cushioning: 9.5/10
Durability: 8/10
Movement/: 9/10
Grip: 9/10

Monday, November 4, 2013

BWF Superseries Finals

Next month in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur:

http://www.bwfbadminton.org/tournamentcalendar_event.aspx?id=16699

From 11th to 15th December 2013.

Hmm, should I go to watch?

Ever since Li-Ning sponsor BWF, the badminton shopping at the event is as good as the (ahem) previous sponsor. Li-Ning doesn't give good discounts...maybe I'm too cheap...

Location is at Cheras instead of Bukit Jalil.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Useful singles trick shot



Here Gade demonstrate a double action shot, at the net, fake a crosscourt net shot to lure the opponent to the front left court, while the shot is lifted straight to the back court.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Badminton training-TACTIC

Cool way to practise badminton strokes.

SPIN-MINTON from the company TACTIC

Monday, September 9, 2013

United Kingdom badminton shops

Managed to sneak in some window shopping in London. Didn't find the specific badminton shops, perhaps I didn't research beforehand. London is huge, was lost in Bond street.

Managed to see some badminton stuff in Piccadilly Circus, particularly Lillywhites. Lots of Carlton badminton stuff and some Yonex.
There is also the Badminton centre of the UK, at Milton Keynes, i.e. http://www.nbc.uk.com
It's pretty far from London, which I didn't have time to visit.
 
From what I see, Football (scoccer), Cricket, track/field, tennis are way more popular than badminton.

Down town London perhaps is not a good place to look for badminton stuff, but more towards high fashion, like Selfridges at Bond Street above.
At Harrods in Kensington/Chelsea area.
                                                 
  Burberry shop at Bond Street.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

World Championship 2013 Conclusion

The recently concluded World Championship 2013 in China saw a number of upsets.

The best games by far was the women's singles, with Thailand's Ratchanok Itanon beating Olympic champion Li Xuerui in a thrilling rubber game 22-20, 18-21, 21-14.

The other great game was the Mixed doubles which saw Natsir/Ahmad beating Ma Jin/Chen Xu 21-13, 16-21, 22-20.

The other games were status quo.

i.e. Women's doubles Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli beating the lower ranking South Korean opponent.

Boe and Morgensen were somewhat 'upset' by the Indonesian pair of Ahsan/Setiawan.

Lin Dan beat Lee Chong Wei in a rubber game which saw Lee Chong Wei surrendering the game before completion at 16-21, 21-13, 20-17.

Lee Chong Wei claimed he suffered from crams. There was some controversy with the game, as the reports states, that the air-condition in the stadium was switched off in the 2nd game. The reason was the air-conditioned created some draft inside the stadium.



Monday, July 22, 2013

Violence caught on video- personal insults spilled into badminton court


Two thai players came into blows following insults thrown at each other.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Singapore Open 18-23 June 2013

The journey to the Singapore Indoor Stadium was greeted with the choking Haze from Indonesia which can ranged from a mild 100 PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) to 400 PSI. Haze was at its choking worst around 1pm.

The journey to the indoor stadium was greeted with a cool and safe refuge from the merciless haze.


There are some games for enthusiasts to play.

Some notable incident happen during the games.

During the quaterfinals match on Friday night, saw a tired Marc Zwiebler v.s. Nguyen Tien Minh.
Prior to this match, Marc Zwiebler fought and won a marathon match against Du Pengyu of China.
Such was the effect of the match, that Marc Zwiebler of Germany conceded his game halfway giving the victory to Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam.

The other was on Thursday 20th of June, which saw Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand v.s. Wong Wing Ki of Hong Kong.
The handle of Wong Wing Ki's Adidas racquet broke in the middle of a vigorous backhand stroke.
The snap of the Adidas racquet drew gasps from the crowds.
The racquet used by Wong Wing Ki is the Adidas Precision Pro.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sudirman Cup 2013 @ Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, 19th to 26th May

My second trip to Bukit Jalil Kuala Lumpur.
The view of the soccer stadium at night from the Sri Petaling Rail Transit line.

The official poster of the Li-Ning Sudirman Cup 2013. It's the first time Li-Ning is supporting the Sudirman cup.
The venue, Stadium Putra (indoor stadium)

Linesman walking up to court in a mostly empty stadium.
An autograph signing session from a Chinese National player, Xu Chen (徐晨).

Impression of the 1st Sudirman cup I attended;

Very quiet on the 24th, 25th and 26th. The local team, Malaysia was eliminated early. So was Indonesia, a provider of massive fan support.

The stadium was quite empty, barely 1/10 capacity.

On the 24th, morning session, even on a Wesak public holiday, the stadium was practically empty.
The Wesak day (24th)  matches were a meaningless games where the eliminated teams from Europe, North America, Ocenia and Asia were playing. Perhaps it's for future ranking points...

The merchandise sold by Li-Ning was pretty expensive, with no discounts enjoyed by spectators paying for watching the matches.

Fans who watch are mostly nationalistic supporters and not genuine badminton fans. Fans cheer the country just like World Cup soccer.

The stadium was dimly lit like the All-England super series.

Despite some problems, the trip was overall quite enjoyable seeing a special team event like the Sudirman cup up close and personal.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Deceptive backhand drop

Here Lee Chong Wei executes a reverse backhand drop.

Shuttle is sliced horrizontally, but racquet head is moving to the right, creating an illusion of a crosscourt drop.

GIFSoup


Sunday, April 28, 2013

India Open 2013

Conclusion of India Open 2013.

The finals features 3 upsets.

Miyuki Maeda/Satoko Suetsuna def. Christina Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl in a thrilling rubber game;
12-21, 23-21, 21-18.

Miyuki Maeda directly gives her Voltric 70 racquet to fans.

For a moment I thought the crowd will grab her instead of the racquet. It's best to throw the racquet into the crowd rather than giving it directly to the kid or person.

GIFSoup

The other upsets are rising Chinese MD Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan upsetting Lee Yong Dae/Ko Sung Hyun
 in straight sets 22-20, 21-18.

The other is WS, where 3rd seat Thai Ratchanok Intanon def. 2nd seat German Juliane Schenk 22-20, 21-14.

The other games are status quo;

MS: Lee C.W. (Mas) def. Tago K. (JPN)
XD: Ahmad T./Natsir L. (INA) def. Ko S.H./Kim H.N. (KOR)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Brief ArcsaberFB demo review


Yonex Arcsaber FB
Review Date : 13 April 2013
Racquet Type : Yonex Arcsaber FB SP version
Specs : F(73g) G5
Flex: Stiff
Balance: 280 mm +(Headlight Balance)
Strings: Yonex BG66
Tension: 25lbs, pre-stretched using Yonex ES5PROTECH
Grip: Karakal super PU grip
Technology : (New) Nanometric and CS Nanotube
Shuttles used: Apacs Aeroflight 700

First Impression:

I won't described the colors or the looks of the racquet as the manufacturer's website and badmintoncentral.com has plenty of those.
A new twist to the arcsaber line, with ultra light weight. Swingspeed is increased and whipping power is enhanced using nanometric material on the shaft.
Similar in shape and flex to Arcsaber 11 but having different materials at the frame and the T-joint.

Final review

I played mostly doubles (and half court singles)
TOC (time on court) when making review:
total of 4 hours of game play.

Warm Ups:

Warming involves baseline to baseline forehand clears.
Clears are long and far owing to the aerodynamics, lightness and the flex of the racquet.
If one word is to describe this racquet is 'quick'.
Drives are pretty fast owing to the weight of the racquet. 
The racquet shaft is similar to Arcsaber 11 and felt that the stiffness is the same but the kickpoint is very different.
A very fast swing is generated when whipped for overhead shots.
The major difference I felt is that Arcsaber 11 have a more solid feel and more repulsive string bed.


Game Time:

I won't go into detail each and every shots tried.
Generally since I am playing doubles, receiving of serve and serve are great as expected for a fast and stable racquet.
The ease of use of this racquet is apparent, as one can comfortably whip the racquet to hit shuttle gently or violently. 
Initially a lot of mishits using this racquet as the racquet is 'too fast'.

Front court: Aerodynamics of the racquet and the lightness of the racquet allows quick and fast reaction to perform netshots, netkills and crosscourt net shots.

Midcourt: This racquet shines best in the mid court range area as it is both good in attack and defence. As for drive shots, this racquet can rival the Nanorays in fast reactions, with comfortable control support cap helps in using finger power (Thumb and grip tightening) for sharp compact backswing in backhand drives.

Back court:
The control and power suffers a tiny bit as it it not heavy nor stiff enough like Voltric Z-force for power smash and power clears to the back court.
Nevertheless, the sweet spot is rather large and felt very easy to whip this racquet as the kickpoint is leaning towards the frame.The fast swing and kickpoint makes up for the lack of momentum of a heavier racquet.
Control is good, slicing (normal and reverse) and checked drops are precise, fast and accurate.

Conclusion:
This racquet's playability is great as it is very comfortable to wield this racquet both forehands and backhands. A dedicated doubles racquet where speed is the name of the game.

Feel: 7/10

Control: 9/10

Power: 8.5/10

Defence: 10/10

Maneuverability: 10/10

Pros: Fast and easy to use racquet. 

Cons: Perhaps durability and lack of 'heavy' solid feel 

Suitability: intermediate/advanced doubles racquet

Player type: Doubles fast counterattacking

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 @ 29/3/13)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Arcsabers Kaizen

The arcsabers are revamped this year like Arc11 and Arc FB. Last year, there's arc i-slash.

Previously there's new technology to augment Arcsabers (even balance racquets) like the Z-slash, 8-DX and now the FB. Surprisingly, there's constant improvement or in Japanese, kaizen (改善).

I reckon, even balanced racquet need the extra (even infinitesimal) boost to the playability. Even balanced racquets are harder to use compared to head heavy racquets (or forehand biased) or headlight racquets (backhand biased racquets).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Yonex Arcsaber 11 Review



Yonex Arcsaber 11
Review Date : 3 March 2013
Racquet Type : Yonex Arcsaber 11 SP version
Specs : 3UG5
Flex: Stiff
Balance: 285 mm (Even Balance)
Strings: Yonex BG80 Power
Tension: 27lbs, pre-stretched using Yonex ES5PROTECH
Grip: Yonex cushion wrap+ original grip + Toalson overgrip
Technology : (New) Sonic Metal, T-Anchor and CS Nanotube Neo
Shuttles used: Apacs Aeroflight 700


First Impression: 
I won't described the colors or the looks of the racquet as the manufacturer's website and badmintoncentral.com has plenty of those.
A successor to the flashy but difficult to use Arcsaber 10.
Similar in shape and flex to Arcsaber 10 but having different materials at the frame and the T-joint.
This racquet occupies the same niche and has the same specs as the Arcsaber 10 i.e. stiff flex and even balance.
To put things into perspective, I am benchmarking this racquet against Arcsaber 10 which is 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.


Warm Ups:
Warming involves baseline to baseline forehand clears.
Clears are long and far owing to the aerodynamics, repulsion and the flex of the racquet.
If one word is to describe this racquet is 'comfortable'.
Drives are pretty fast owing to the 'repulsive' (Sonic metal) frame. The handle of the racquet is the same length as the Nanospeed and Nanoray range, hence very good for holding the racquet higher up the handle for faster reaction.
The racquet shaft is similar to Arcsaber 10 and felt that the stiffness and kickpoint is the same.

The major difference I felt is that Arcsaber 11 have a more solid feel and more repulsive string bed.
Perhaps it's the effort of the designers to improve the somewhat lame duck feel of the frame of Arcsaber 11.
Cup stacked nano tube was originally design like (a spring) to provide a trampoline effect whilst (improving control?).
Quote,'Increased durability and improved flexibility allow the frame to return back to its original shape faster. Positioned at the sides of the racquet, CS Carbon Nanotubes improve the frame’s elasticity, holding the shuttle on the string bed for enhanced control at the point of impact.' -Yonex.com.


Game Time:
I won't go into detail each and every shots tried.
Generally since I am playing doubles, receiving of serve and serve are great as expected for a fast and stable racquet.
The ease of use of this racquet is apparent, as one can comfortably whip the racquet to hit shuttle gently or violently.

Front court: Aerodynamics of the racquet and the long handle of the racquet allows quick and fast reaction to perform netshots, netkills and crosscourt net shots.

Midcourt: This racquet shines best in the mid court range area as it is both good in attack and defence. As for drive shots, this racquet can rival the Nanorays in fast reactions, heck (it shares the same material as the king of drive aka Nanoray 800) Long handle and comfortable control support cap helps in using finger power (Thumb and grip tightening) for sharp compact backswing in backhand drives.

Back court:
The control and power suffers a tiny bit as it it not heavy nor stiff enough like Voltric Z-force for power smash and power clears to the back court.
Nevertheless, the sweet spot is rather large and felt very easy to whip this racquet as the kickpoint is leaning towards the handle.
Control is excellent, slicing (normal and reverse) and checked drops are precise, fast and accurate.

Conclusion: 
This racquet's playability is great as it is very comfortable to wield this racquet both forehands and backhands. An improvement to Arcsaber 10 with better repulsion and ease of use.

Feel: 9/10

Control: 9.5/10


Power: 8.5/10


Defence: 9/1
0

Maneuverability: 9/10

Pros: Ease of use and generally an all rounder racquet.

Cons: Almost none.

Suitability: intermediate/advanced players 3U and 2U

Player type: All rounder.

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 @ 24/2/13)