Monday, 16 June 2008

Forza Badminton Rackets

Forza, or should i say FZ Forza, are the number one badminton racket manufacturer in Denmark, with about half the market share. This is big news for them, and they have now branched into the UK, ith a new range of rackets, clothing, footwear and other things you might need to play badminton.

The Forza UK website has got to be one of the most annoying sites i have ever visited. To view the product catalogue you are faced with huge pages which you have to zoom in and out of to see what is on them, this is a stupid idea, it just complicates things, all i want to see is the rackets they make, not spend ages zooming all over the place. I can tell you that there are a hell of a lot of rackets to go through, with three ranges as far as i can see. A lot of these models are not on sale in the UK, but the most expensive one's are.

I am currently looking at Forza's 2007-2008 racket range, which is grouped together in a big triangle diagram, presumably to make things a bit clearer. First up is the Forza Kevlar N Power range, and there are 8 models to choose from.

Forza use Kevlar because it is 5 times stronger than steel and very elastic and lightweight. All the Kevlar N Power range are wide body frames which gives more smashing power. I remember Yonex introducing wide body frames a good few years ago, so this is not a new technology, many tennis racquets are wide bodied. Anyway, the range topper is the Kevlar N Power 200, which also has the power plus system that allows the strings to be closer together, giving more power and higher string tension.

Material- Nano Graphite/Kevlar
Head Shape- Isometric
Shaft- Long
Weight- 88 grams
Flex- Stiff
Balance- head heavy
Max Stringing Tension- 26 lbs
Player Type
Advanced Offensive

We can see that the N Power 200 is designed for power, with the head heavy balance, long shaft, extra weight and the isometric head shape. The stiff flex will aid control. I imagine you can string this racket a lot higher than 26lbs, but Forza will obviously not recommend this, even though it has the poer plus stringing pattern. I don't know why not, Head recommend 30lbs tension, so good for them, and good for you if you want shoulder injuries. The best price i have seen for this is £75.62, but if you don't look around you could pay as much as £115.

Next up is the Forza Kevlar N Power 150, which is alomost exactly the same as the 200, but is marketed as an all round racket as it has aslightly more flexible rating. Not many of these on sale at the more popular badminton retailers on the net, but i have seen it priced at £110, i am sure you can get it much cheaper than this though.

The Kevlar N Power 110 is next and again, it is similar to the other two, with not quite as much technology in it. It still has a stiff flex and weighs the same, the only difference is that it has a little less weight in the head, so it's designed as a bit of an all-rounder. Prices are around £62.50 if you look hard enough.

There is also the Forza Kevlar N Power 90,70,50,30 and 10. These rackets will no doubt follow the same pattern as do all ranges, with less technology and more weight as you move down the range. I have not seen these models on sale at the big online retailers, but the top of the range bats are very prominant, and quite a few stockists are awaiting stock, so they must be a popular choice.

The next range is the Forza Titanium N Forze series. The top racket here is the Titanium 45 N Forze. This has nano technology in it, and the power string technology which gives upto 20% more power. It has the isometric head shape and weighs 88g, with an even balance. Price is around £75 from central sports, who seem to have the lowest prices for Forza badminton rackets.

The Titanium 40 N Forze is basically the same as the 45, but has a medium flex and has the SPS control string technology, which gives 10% extra feeling. Designed for control, this is an all-rounder. Expect to pay £65.72 for this one.

The Titanium 30 N Forze has super T technology, which gives minimum torsion, maximum control. Stiff flex rating, head heavy and 88g, make this another all round badminton racket. Price is also £65, so it's the same as the Ti 40.

There is also the Titanium N Forze 28, 24, 22, 20CF, 18CF and the 16CF. The 24 is a light racket designed for reaction shots, and you can get it for £52.

The third range is the Nano Forze series, which goes from the 9000 to the 1000. The Nano Forze series is designed for players who want control and quick reations. These all have very slim shafts and frames to reduce air resistance. I have not seen any of this range in the UK at present, but i am sure this will soon change.

All in all, i think Forza is an exciting new brand, and competitively priced. They could well be a good alternative to the higher priced Yonex models. Many Danish internationals use Forza, and they are gaining a good reputation here in the UK. I may well get my hands on some of these and give them a try out. Forza also allow you to customize your racket with your own writing on them for £7.99. This may help you to identify yours if you lose it, or if someone else has the same model as you, although you could just do it yourself for nothing. I can usually spot mine by the colour of the grip, or the amount of sweat on it. New manufacturers come and go, but i have a feeling that Forza badminton rackets will be around for a long time.

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