Sunday, 8 June 2008

Head Badminton Rackets

Today i want to look at the Head badminton racket range. Head are a huge player in the tennis and squash world, and have a very good reputation for making quality stuff. Last year they finally decided to enter the badminton market and rolled out their products including rackets, bags, footwear and clothing lines. Now i have used a few head squash rackets before and i can tell you that they have produced one of the all time classic squash bats in my humble opinion, the Head 110i. I know i keep banging on about the 5% advantage any racket will give you, but this 110i really gave me that. I am at a decent standard at squash now, it has taken me a few years of learning i can tell you. I had gone through loads of cheaper squash rackets, and decided to try the 110i, by the way you can get hold of it for about £40 nowadays.

Jesus, this thing did feel different to all the others, i knew right then and there i had found just the right one for me. And it's not just me who thinks this, ask any squash player and they will tell you that the 110i is a very very good racket, it has gained cult status in the squash world. It weighs just 110 grams, you could play badminton with it, which i have done! So you see, i have a lot of time for Head equipment.

Anyway, back to the badminton. From looking at the official Head website, yep they do have one unlike Carlton, still can't quite believe that, there are four ranges to choose from, these being the Metallix, Nano Power, Airflow and Titanium series. The flagship series is the Metallix range. The technology in this series is Head's patented Metallix technology. This is a specially designed matrix of carbon fibres and crystalline metal alloy which creates lighter, stronger frames. The top rated rackets have more of this stuff in the head than the lower rated one's, which i suppose is why they are more expensive.

Head Metallix 2000

Flex Index: Medium Flex
Head size: 360 cm²
Weight: 88 g
Balance: 282 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: silver/blue
Benefit: Power
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Full Carbon Graphite
Shaft: Full Carbon Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 20 - 26 lbs

This is the entry level racquet and follows every other manufacturers offerings, ie, lower priced models have medium flex shafts and are generally heavier, so it's designed for beginners to intermediate. Best price i can see for this is £29.99 with free delivery, not bad really.

Head Metallix 4000

Flex Index: Medium Flex
Head size: 360 cm²
Weight: 87 g
Balance: 284 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: black/silver
Benefit: Power
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Full Carbon Graphite
Shaft: Full Carbon Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 22 - 28 lbs

This is a fraction lighter with the same flex as the 2000, but the string tension can be higher in this one. This is quite scary really, 28lbs tension is high for a racket aimed at novice to intermediate level. The frames must be strong to take this tension, but Head must know thay can take it. New technology eh? Expect to pay about £39.99

Head Metallix 6000

Flex Index: Medium Flex
Head size: 360 cm²
Weight: 87 g
Balance: 286 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: black/silver/orange
Benefit: Power
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: High Modulus Graphite 50, 50 Graphite
Shaft: High Modulus Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 24 - 28 lbs

Looks the same as the 4000 to me, can't really see what the difference is. Although the recommended stringing tension starts at 24lbs, this is a fairly high tension to begin with, all the stringers will be rubbing their hands with glee from the extra custom!! Prices are around £54.99

Head Metallix 8000

Flex Index: Medium Flex
Head size: 360 cm²
Weight: 86 g
Balance: 285 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: black/silver/gold
Benefit: Power & Speed
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: High Modulus Graphite 70, 30 Graphite
Shaft: High Modulus Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 24 -30 lbs

Again, very similar to the others, but this one is lighter so Head say it is designed for power and speed. String tension has now gone mad, at 30lbs, one mis hit shot and you can easliy break the strings, and perhaps the frame as well. Prices are about £62.99.

Head Metallix 1000

Flex Index: Medium Stiff
Head size: 360 cm²
Weight: 85 g
Balance: 288 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: red/silver/black
Benefit: Power & Control
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) Ge (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: High Modus Graphite 80, 20 Graphite
Shaft: High Modulus Graphite, 3-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 24-30 lbs

This is the top of the range, it has a stiffer flex and is lighter than the others, so Head say it is aimed at power and control. The control comes from the extra stiffness and it should also say it is designed for speed with it being lighter. The extra power will only be generated by your technique and racket head speed. Expect to pay around £79.99 for this one. If you compare these badminton rackets to the Yonex range you will notice they are a lot less expensive, i mean the ArcSaber costs a whopping £130, and i can tell you that there is not much difference between them at all, except the price. The choice is yours.

The next range in the series is the Nano Power rackets, and we have six in this range. This is similar to the Yonex nanopower series, they have probably nicked the idea from them to be honest. Head say that these badminton racquets have a head light balance.

Nanopower 500

Flex Index: Flexible
Head size: 364 cm²
Weight: 87 g
Balance: 288 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: green/black/white
Benefit: Power
Gripsize: G0 (3 1/8) G1 (3 2/8) G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Full Carbon Graphite 100%
Shaft: Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 20 - 26 lbs

Entry level bat aimed at beginners, with a flexible rating, but still the stringing tension can go up to 26lbs. I could not find this racket anywhere in the UK! They do sell it in the USA and it costs around $59.99.

Nanopower Rave

Flex Index: Flexible
Head size: 364 cm²
Weight: 87 g
Balance: 288 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: black/grey
Benefit: Power with fast response
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Full Carbon Graphite 100%
Shaft: Full Carbon Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 20 - 26 lbs

This is the same as the 500 as far as i can see, but this is available in the UK, and you can get it for just £10.71 if you look hard enough. This is interesting, there is a big price difference between the UK and the US.

Nanopower Heat

Flex Index: Flexible
Head size: 364 cm²
Weight: 87 g
Balance: 288 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: white/green
Benefit: Power & Control
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Full Carbon Graphite 100%
Shaft: Full Carbon Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 20 - 26 lbs

Same as the others, but harder to find in the UK. I could only find this on ebay, and it sells for £37.55, which is too expensive if you ask me, i would suggest digging a little bit deeper than i have, you will find it cheaper somewhere else i bet.

Nanopower Fire

Flex Index: Flexible
Head size: 364 cm²
Weight: 87 g
Balance: 288 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: silver/yellow
Benefit: Power & Speed
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Full Carbon Graphite 100%
Shaft: Full Carbon Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 20 - 26 lbs

What is going on here? All these rackets have the same spec, what the hell id the difference head? Well they do differ in price but that's sbout it. Best price for this is £22.99, which is cheaper than the Heat.

Nanopower 600

No point mentioning the spec as it is the same as the others. Could not find it on sale in the UK anywhere, but is available in the US for about $70.

Nanopower 700

Flex Index: Flexible
Head size: 364 cm²
Weight: 85 g
Balance: 290 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: silver/black/white
Benefit: Power & Speed
Gripsize: G2 (3 3/8) G4 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Hot-melt Graphite 60%
Shaft: Graphite 2-piece molding
Rec. String Tension: 22 - 28 lbs

Finally the spec has changed for the 700, with this being lighter and now having hot melt graphite technology which Head use in their current squash racquets. Not on sale in the UK as far as i can see, but expect to pay around $79.99 in the US.

Next we have he Airflow series with three rackets in this range, the Airflow 3 and the 5. These are very lightweight indeed, with the 3 weighing 80g and the 5 at 79g. Head have aimed these at lady players, and i assume this is because they are so light. Prices start at about £32 for the 3 and i could not find the Airflow 5 on sale in the UK.

The Titanium series has four badminton rackets in the range, these being the Ti Power 60, Ti Power 60 junior, Ti Power 80 and the Ti Power 90. This is the budget range and prices range from just £8.99 for the 60, to £12.99 for the 80. Here is the spec for the Ti Power 80:-

Flex Index: Stiff
Head size: 364 cm²
Weight: 102 g
Balance: 305 mm
Length: 675 mm
Colors: white/grey/black
Gripsize: G0 (3 1/8) G1 (3 2/8) G2 (3 3/8) G3 (3 4/8)
Headshape: HEAD Power Frame System
Frame: Aluminium Alloy
Shaft: High Tempered Steel
Rec. String Tension: 20 - 22 lbs

As you can see it is made from steel and aluminium and is very heavy, but has a stiff flex rating.

So there you have the entire Head badminton racket range, my impression is that they are affordable and decent quality too.

2 comments:

joe.labu said...

hi.. good day..

just wanna ask... what this actually means?

Balance: 286 mm

may be u can give some description?

antony said...

Hi there Joe
Take a look at my most recent post titled "a new badminton racket" read down a bit and you will find what this means.