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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.

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

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)