Thursday, 12 June 2008

Prince Badminton Rackets

I am going to take a look at Prince badminton rackets today. They are part of the "big three" American suppliers, along with Wilson and Head. I must admit i am not a great fan of Prince racquets. I remember a few years ago when they entered the market with their x-axis range, you know the one's i mean with the funny shaped heads. A lot of my friends used these, and they were prone to string breakage because the string pattern made large gaps between each string. I was never convinced with this string bed, because large distances between each string does not equal control to me.

Prince still use this system in some of their models, the higher priced models use the quadraform system these days, which is an isometric shape. There are, however, two new badminton rackets that have proved very popular, the 03 Silver and the 03 Red. The technology in them is Prince's O port design. This means that the grommet holes are larger, instead of being like pin holes, as in every other racket. This gives more head speed, better aerodynamics and a larger sweet spot. These larger ports are placed at 12, 9 and 3 o'clock on the head, so they are not around the entire head.

The Prince 03 Red is aimed at power players as it has a flexible rating, and the 03 Silver is geared to more control, with a slightly stiffer rating. Prices in the UK vary quite a lot. I have seen £100 to £60, so shop around for these.

There is also the Triple Threat Bandit and Triple Threat Rebel in the range. Now i know that this has been nicked from Prince's squash range, they have earlier racquets called exactly this. They are lower priced, at around £40-£50. The "triple threat" comes from the fact there is titanium, tungsten and carbon in three places- the handle, and at 10 and 2 o'clock on the head. This improves the stability. I have never used these badminton rackets, but i have used the squash equivalent and they are very good indeed, so hopefully the badminton versions are too.

The Quadraform range is the budget range in the UK, and prices range from £9.99 for the Prince Lob, up to £32 for the Quadraform Graphite Classic.

The official Prince badminton website is focused on the US, and it seems a little out of date, there is no mention of the 03 series here at all. Do they not sell them in the US? They have the M+ range here, which have no drilled holes or grommets in the frame, which provides more control. This is the exact opposite of the 03 range, so perhaps Prince had a change of heart with the M+ design.

All the manufacturers seem to offer something a little different to the others, little gimmicks and designs that they claim are the best. The variety is there, but when all is said and done, it's still a badminton racket, and it is still up to you to get the best out of them.


tumpanglalu said...

hi there. i have Prince Titanium 5.0 series, which is 85g in weight, flexible shaft, medium kick-point, and isometric head shape. no info bout head balance but i think it is head light. i am an intermediate player and played doubles where i'm more into control but lately i'm trying to force my offensive mode more. my string now is at 26lbs. i know my game will not 100% improve by all the technical expect of my racket. my technique and ability is the key to success but for somehow we all know that the specification of the racket does affect our game so here i am asking your recommendation on how to customize my racket.

antony said...

Hi there

If you are happy with the racket then just keep going with it. I do think the racket is psychological, so if you are happy with it, you play better. As far as customising goes, well you can only really add weight to the head or to the handle, depending on which balance you prefer. More weight on the head will give you a little more power overhead, or at least the feeling of having more power. A bit of lead tape would do the trick.

tumpanglalu said...

thanks antony. appreciates it!