Friday, 22 August 2008

Badminton Rackets and Lead Tape

Ok, i am in the process of adding some lead tape to the bottom of my badminton racket, specifically to the bottom of the handle, to see if this will help to make the racquet easier to swing, and hopefully save my shoulder from more pain. The tape i ordered from ebay arrived after about one week, and cost me £3.25 delivered. It was a little bit smaller than i thought it would be, but for some reason i was sent an identical roll of tape two days later. There must have been some mix up, but i am not complaining.

This tape is approx 36 inches long and about as wide as your little finger, and i reckon it weighs about 10 grams per roll. When added to my badminton racket it should give me an extra 10 grams in weight, so it will take my carlton airblade tour up to about 88-90 grams, and also make it more head light than before. Remember, more weight and head light balance will give the best performance, and also have a lower swing weight, making it easier to get power with less effort, which is the main aim of this whole experiment. And the fact that it will make things easier on the shoulder joints.

I added the tape around the base of the racket handle and upwards to about one third of the way up, then i put the grip back on over this. Because the lead tape is very thin, it has not made a noticeable bulge on the handle, so it does not feel much different to normal. I have three airblade tour badminton rackets, but i only have enough tape to do two of them, so the third racquet will do as a reference to see if there is a difference. At the time of posting this, i am about to go off and play an hour of singles with these racquets and put this experiment to the test. I will post the outcome in my next post.

On a different note, it was good to see the badminton at the olympics. Once again Yonex badminton rackets dominated the tournament, and i think i am right in saying every single medal winner used yonex racquets. Asia won all the medals, and most of the asian players are sponsored by Yonex, hence the domination. I saw quite a few ArcSabers on display, and many Armortec 900's as well. There was only one ArcSaber 10 on show, unless the models used had different paint jobs. I know that Lin Dan had a special edition badminton racket just for the olympics.

That men's singles gold medal match was good to watch, in fact it was a career defining match for Lin Dan, and more than made up for his first round exit four years ago. It is the ultimate goal for any athlete to play the best they can when it matters most, and he totally destroyed Lee Chong Wei with his best ever performance on a badminton court. He was a yard faster than i have seen him before, and the shuttle seemed to make a different sound as it left his badminton racket. In my opinion, that performance was the second best i have ever seen, behind Zhao Jianhua in the All England final against Joko Suprianto in the early 1990's. That match was as close to badminton perfection as you will ever see, and is why i rate Zhao as the best player of all time. I would put Lin Dan second now, after that olympic final performance.

One thing that got on my nerves was the way the chinese intimidated the line judges, it smacked of desperation to me, and should not have been allowed, especially when the coaches get involved as well. It is not good for the game. On a happier note, it was good to see Lee Yong Dae win an olympic gold medal at only 19. It looks like we have another potential Korean legend on our hands, in the same mold as Park Joo Bong and Kim Dong Moon. The future looks bright for him. Well that's it for now, so keep swinging that badminton racket and enjoy this great game of our's.

No comments: