Friday, 5 September 2008

Badminton Racket Update

Well, it has been just over a week since i added the lead tape to my badminton racket, and in that time i have played about 6 times, so i can now give you an update. The result is that i think it has been a complete success, the fact that i have been able to play so much in just over a week is testament to that. The badminton racket is just as easy to swing, even with an extra 10grams of tape on the bottom of the handle. Now 10 grams may seem a lot of weight, but you don't feel it at all. The racket science research works is all i can say.

The balance point is now just one inch from the cone on the handle, which makes my racquet extremely head light now. Remember i have modified a Carlton Airblade Tour, which was head light to begin with, it's just a whole lot more powerful now. This is my own personal thoughta here, but it is a hell of alot more easier to clear the shuttle from back to back, i would say about 10% easier to me. That is a massive difference, and it has made a massive difference to my shoulder as well. This badminton racket is now 10% more efficient to use. Don't believe it? Give it a try. My practise partner has now got in on the act and has also noticed a huge difference. He is now struggling to keep his clears in court, because his racket is also easier to swing.

The lead tape cost me around £3, and it is the best £3 i have ever spent, period. The badminton racket is now doing more work, not me. Will it improve my game? Well, the fact is that i still play the same shots, i am still the same player, with the same footwork, fitness and racket skills. So i doubt it will make me a better player, it's just now easier on my shoulder. I can achieve the same power with less effort, so that is certainly an improvement. I have also noticed i can get a bit more power on smashes, with the same effort. It works for me.

There is one drawback to this, the extra weight does make a difference when you are playing fast reaction shots. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but there is certainly a trade off here. In time i will get used to it, but if you try it please bear this in mind. I suppose practise makes perfect, and if you do experiment with your racket, try adding only small amounts of lead tape at first, and build it up over time. I have a feeling i have gone straight in at the deep end by adding around 10g to my badminton racquet, but it is only an experiment, although i have no intention of taking it off now, the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.

I am going to experiment with 5g on another racket to see what happens. In the future i am going to get a head heavy model and modify that, to make it head light with the extra mass at the top it should provide the best results. I have still not heard a thing back from Apacs Canada about the Edge Saber racquets. What kind of customer care is that? It doesn't fill me with much optimism about them, that's for sure. They will not sell much badminton equipment like this.

I suppose it's all about being professional. The first thing you look for if you visit a website is how it looks. First impressions count, it gives you a certain feeling about a retailer, and this matters if your going to actually buy anything from them.

If your searching for a new badminton racket, what do you look for from a website? You need all the specific details about it, you need quality pictures about how it looks, all the technical stuff about weight, flex etc. You probably want to read some sort of review about it, although you do need to view these with a little caution. The site must be easy to use, you don't want to be searching around too long to find what you want. Most important, you want a good deal. Most badminton retailers will show you the recommended retail price, and then show you their own special price which invariably is lower, to give you the impression you are saving money. The fact is that the recommended retail price is always very high, no badminton retailer would sell many rackets at that price. The final piece of the jigsaw is the delivery. You want your goods delivered quickly and in one piece. If all this happens, chances are you will buy from them again, and also recommend them to your friends. If you need to ask a question about any badminton racket, you want a quick reply, it's all about us, the customer, and if they don't provide all these things, well, there are plenty of other places we can buy our stuff from.

It's no suprise that the most successful online badminton retailers offer the best customer care, and have professional looking websites. Another thing they are good at is getting your name when you purchase anything. In the future you will receive brochures about their new stock, they will market their goods better. I suppose you are looking at this blog and thinking, where are the stunning graphics and the professionalism? Yep, i know it ain't the most interesting site you have ever been on, but i am not trying to sell any badminton rackets. Perhaps i should? There are adsense ads at the top of the page, and most people who visit this blog usually click straight off it, or click on one of those ads. Most people don't actually read all of the stuff on here. There are however, a few people who do, and i hope i can give a little bit of information for anyone who is thinking about buying a new badminton racket. There are a few places i have reccommended in previous posts, but these are all based on my own experiences. How could i recommend a place i have never used myself?

I have given out the technical stuff for hundreds of badminton rackets, but it is impossible for me to personally review every racquet, and i stay away from reviews because they are all personal, what i think is a good racket, you may think is a load of crap. How would you feel if i was to recommend a certain bat, you go out and buy it, and find it just doesn't suit your game? I imagine you would not be too happy. If you know your own game inside out, it makes things a bit easier, because you will know what type of spec could suit your game, ie, the stiffness and the balance etc. But remmember, it is all about the person who holds the racket, not the racket itself, that will improve your game.


Owen said...

Just added lead tape to my racket today, to the handle like you did. At the moment I'm unsure if I feel any difference or not, though should get a better feel after my longer session later on in the week.

antony said...

Hi Owen

Make sure you add a little lead tape to start off with, you can always add more if you don't notice much difference. When you get the right amount you will notice a difference.

Owen said...

One thing I certainly noticed today was that due to the added weight at the bottom, I can comfortably play while holding the racket pretty much right at the bottom of the handle now, where as before it felt a little awkward during the swing and I held it more centre of the handle. My clears feel so much better now and I think even travel a bit further also.

antony said...

Hi Owen

That is what i found when i added the extra weight. For the same amount of effort, the shuttle should travel a bit further because your racket is now a little bit more efficient. The idea is that you hold the racket near to the bottom of the handle when you are at the back of the court, and hold closer to the top when you are at the front of the court.

The only downside to adding this extra weight is when you are holding the handle near the top, as you will feel it more, and it will work against you. However, you will soon get used to it.