Friday, 24 October 2008

Apacs Badminton

You may remember i had trouble with getting in contact with Apacs Canada a good few weeks ago. Well Apacs UK left a comment on the original Apacs badminton rackets post mentioning the fact that they have new rackets in stock, and they could also get any Apacs model they manufacture to the UK. What they also mentioned was that they now have shuttlecocks in stock, both feather and plastic, and the best part is that you can have a sample tube for free. Yep, FOR FREE, just e-mail them at I have a feeling that this is only for UK residents, so if you live in the UK and want some free shuttles then drop them an e-mail.

Furthermore, Apacs badminton UK are sending me some sample rackets and clothing to try out from their ranges. Even better, they are going to string the rackets at my own tension preference. This is the kind of customer relations i like. Who knows, perhaps some other manufacturers will follow suit in the future. I will give the rackets a good testing and let you all know what i think.

A word of warning though. You know my opinions about racket reviews, and how subjective they are. So please, please, please, remember that fact. However, for this blog to provide more useful information than me just listing different badminton rackets and their specifications, i think it would be good to actually let you all know what these badminton rackets are really like when you play with them.

What do you think? Would you be happy with this? Please let me know. I don't know yet which Apacs rackets i am going to get, but i will give all the information on the one's i do get, when i get them. I will take some photos of them, so you can see for yourself what i will be testing. It will also be an honest, unbiased review, i am not being paid to do this. Apacs have faith in their products, and many others have recommended their stuff. I have also wanted to get my hands on their badminton rackets because of the cult following they already have, and now i have that opportunity. Stay tuned for more details, and don't forget to contact Apacs if you want those shuttlecocks, i don't know how many they have so i would advise you to get in quickly if you want them.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Babolat Badminton Rackets

Babolat made it's name from making strings, natural gut to be exact, and they started this a long long time ago.. They are also more well known for their tennis rackets, but fairly recently they have started making badminton rackets. Their rackets are distinguished by the two stripes on the lower part of the head. Babolat have gained a cult following in the tennis world for their rackets, with around a quarter of the world's top 100 using them.

The big coup for them was signing Rafa Nadal and Roddick, because no matter how good your product is, you need to market it to the masses, and what better way to do this than by having successful players using your stuff. Just ask Yonex, they have all the top players using their stuff, although i don't think some of the Asian players have much choice in the matter, their national team is sponsored by Yonex, so they use their gear.

The question is can Babolat transfer the success of tennis into badminton? It's a similar situation to the likes of Wilson, Head and Prince. All are the big players in tennis, but they are starting from behind when they enter the badminton world because of the domination of Yonex. What they do have going for them is that they are not trying to copy anyone else, they have their own ranges, with their own little variations of technology. There must come a point when these companies will exhaust the amount of variables you can do to a badminton racket.

All manufacturers must look at a badminton racket and sit down to see what can we change? how can we make it better, or different from the rest? The head shape has changed from a conventional oval shape to isometric, and Prince tried to Axis shape a few years ago. Are there any other shapes the head could be? The aerodynamics of the head have been looked at, remember the wide body rackets? The edges of the head have been curved to cut through the air better, with the promise of extra power. I bet the manufacturers would really like to make a racket head that had sharp edges, like a wedge shape, which would be even more aerodynamic, but in reality you would have players being sliced up by their partners if they get hit.

So what have Babolat done to make them stand out from the rest? Well in the UK there are two ranges to choose from, the Satellite and the Booster Max. Where do they think up these names from? Most manufacturers have names that conjour up thoughts of power, speed and movement. We have the ArcSaber, the Airblade, the Aeroblade, Powerflow, Muscle Power, Nanospeed, K strike, EdgeSaber, Armortec, Fireblade, Super Wave, Ripple Power, Nano Power, Quad Power etc. Some badminton racket makers now add "tour" to their products, which gives us the impression that these rackets are used by the touring professionals, so they must be good enough for us. You get the impression that you would be part of an exclusive club if you use a tour racket.

So Babolat have chosen the term Satellite for their most expensive range. It immediately makes me think of something going round in circles (movement), orbiting around the earth (out of this world!) and moving very fast (speed). Babolat have covered the power problem with the "booster max" range. I guess these racquets will boost your power to the maximum.

The big daddy of the Satellite range is the Satellite Nitro 09. Now why have they brought out the 09 range in 2008? Looking at the online store i am at, they also sell the Satellite Nitro 08, which happens to be £12 cheaper. You may be able to guess that the Satellite range features Babolat's new Satellite technology. The marketing slogan is "may the power be with you", says it all really. This technology will give you increased power and added responsiveness. And it does this because it has cone shaped grommets. Yep, that is the big deal here, the grommets are a different shape. Babolat have also made the frame slimmer, and have a revolutionary new stringing pattern which will cut stringing time by 30%. I can see all the stringers rubbing their hands with glee on this one.

Yet more amazing technology can be seen at the t-joint where the shaft meets the head. Babolat have turned this joint into a v-shape, with Kevlar positioned around this v, to reduce torsion. And the final bit of good news is that Babolat have designed the "pilot system" which is basically two strips of plastic placed on the cone, which will help you to grip the cone better, and act as a marker for playing drop shots, serves and drives. Most players just tend to put their overgrips over the cone to help with this, but now you don't need to, because of these "strategically positioned elastomer strips".

The Satellite Nitro has a medium flex and is slightly head heavy. It weighs 86g and has a "power head size". This means it has an isometric head shape. It is made from hot melt graphite, with a bit of Kevlar and Zylon thrown in as well. Price for the 09Nitro is £101.99, the price for the 08 is £89.99. The difference between the two is the paint job, and the 09 version has a thinner shaft, oh and the price as well. You may as well just buy the 08 version, i am sure you will not notice the 3mm reduction in the shaft that much.

By the way, how do you spell Satellite? Is that correct, or is it "satelite"? the online store spells it satelite, with only one "l" in it. What the hell, i will just spell it both ways, a bit like racket and racquet i suppose.

Now the price for this Nitro is very expensive, and when Babolat hit the tennis market they kept a close watch on the dealers to make sure they didn't devalue the Babolat brand by cutting prices, a bit like Yonex do. So i suppose this is why prices are high. However, the very fact that they are selling next years models in this year, and also offering small discounts on this years models, which are in fact now last years models? Confusing ain't it? leads me to believe they are not selling well. The fact that they are new on the scene would account for this, and they are not exactly flooding all the online retailers with their rackets.

On the plus side, Babolat have taken the tennis world by storm over the last few years, so they must know how to make good stuff, perhaps they can repeat this feat in badminton. I must admit i have never used any Babolat badminton rackets, nor have i even seen anyone else using them so i can't comment on how good or bad they are. It may be a different story in other parts of the world, but in the UK they have yet to catch on.

Next up in price is the Babolat Satelite Solar 08, which is £82.99. It has the same technology as the Nitro but this one weighs 82g and has a very flexible rating, it is also slightly more head heavy than the Nitro. This kind of breaks the mould a bit as far as top end models go because they are usually very stiff.

At £74.99 we have the Satelite Energy 08, with the same technology as the others, but this time we have a medium flex and slightly less head heavy balance. The weight is 86g. Also at £74.99 is the Satelite Star 09, which has the same balance and stiffness as the Solar, but weighs 84g.

Also in the Satelite range is the Comet. Now i have found another online retailer who sells Babolat gear and there is a quite a big difference in price between the two. One sells the Comet for £39.99 and the other is selling it for £76.49. The cheaper one is an 07 model, but they are basically the same except for the price. The Comet weighs in at 92g and is very head heavy, with a medium flex. This would probably feel very sluggish.

Finally we have the Satellite Chrono and Synchro which are the same apart from the weight, with the Chrono being 89g and the Synchro at 85g. They cost around £55.

OOPS, there is one more, the Babolat Satelite Brio. This costs £39.99, has a medium flex, weighs 89g and is head heavy. It also has an oval head shape, not isometric like the others in the range.

The next range is the Booster Max series, which is the economy range. This series does not have all the bells and whistles that the Satelite series has. The Booster Shock 09 costs £41.99, it has a medium flex, weighs 86g and has a more even balance. It is made from high modulus graphite, and you do get the revolution that is the pilot system, ie, two plastic strips on the cone. It is also isometric.

The Booster Ti 09 is next up, and this baby weighs in at 90g with a medium/stiff flex. It is also has the same balance as the Shock. Price is £33.99.

The Babolat Booster Force is from the same range, but i have had to look at a different online store to find any more Babolat offerings. What i can see is that it pays to shop around for the cheaper rackets because this Babolat Force costs £50.99, and this is much more than on other websites. There is not much info either, but it weighs 89g and has the isometric head shape. Finally there is the Booster Lite at around £34.99, with a more even balance, 87g and a medium to flexible flex rating.

So there you have it. Time will tell if Babolat can make it in badminton, and it is fiercely competitive. The prices on the top end rackets are around the same as Forza, Carlton and Head badminton rackets, so i guess this is who they are competing against. But the market is huge as there are so many of us badminton players sbout so perhaps they have a chance.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

A New Badminton Racket

Well, the time has come for me to change my badminton rackets. The Carlton Airblades have done a good job for me over the past 4 years, but i feel like a change. The legendary Carlton quality problems are doing my head in. After adding my lead tape, they just don't seem to be capable of handling this extra strain. There is now large amounts of insulation tape all around the cones, to keep them in place. Every time i play the cone moves around, and it is getting on my nerves. The question is, what should i buy?

I have done a bit of searching on the internet to see what is out there. I have seen some decent deals on the Head Metallix 8000, which is now £50, down from £80. The Apacs rackets seem to be good value, but i hate paying more, just because i am in the UK. You may recall that Apacs are much cheaper in Canada, but trying to get a reply is like getting blood out of a stone. Yonex are too expensive, and even though the Muscle Power 99 is now selling for £60, down from about £100, it is too stiff for my liking. That racket should come with a warning on it for your shoulder.

The ever reliable Fleet website does look tempting. They always have special offers, and at the moment there are 2 which look interesting. The first deal is for the Fleet FT 85X. Now this racket has a flexible shaft and has the old nano technology in it. It has an isometric head shape and the balance point is 290-300mm. This means it is head heavy. A little guide for you here about these measurements, which do appear quite often in the various badminton racket specifications. 270-280mm will be head light balance. 275-285mm will generally be more even balanced. 285-300mm will be head heavy balance.

Fleet are offering two of these rackets for £65.99. I also want my own sting tension as well, so i contacted Fleet and they said no problem sir, i can have both these rackets strung with Yonex BG65Ti for an extra £8, which works out at just £4 per racket, which is about as cheap as you will find. These rackets can be strung up to 30lbs, and they will string up to that tension. This is great news for me because almost every online store will not string your racket to anything near this kind of tension, they just go with the manufacturers tension, which is a lot lower. I would have my tension at about 26lbs, because the racket will lose a few pounds as soon as i start playing with it.

The big dilema with higher tension is the possibility of breaking those strings if you mis-hit the shuttle, especially when they are new. The solution is don't mis-hit the shuttle, and if you are daft enough to have this tension then don't go crying when they break. I will take the chance, because i absolutely love the extra control you get with higher tension. The trade off is that you need that good technique, especially from the rear court, or you will not have any power. The strings will flex less, it is down to you to make them flex, and therefore get the power.

Of course you all know what i am going to do with these rackets as soon as i get hold of them. Lead tape baby! Forget the stated balance point because that will go out of the window. The flexible shaft will help with power a little bit, and i will have more control with the strings. Of course, control is all down to you. No racket can promise extra control, and i would like to see one that can. Nope, only your racket stroke production will give you control. The string tension will also help, depending on what tension you feel will help you best. If you feel you have more control at lower tension then all is fine, but for me, it is a little bit higher.

The second special offer is for two Yehlex badminton rackets. These being the Yehlex YX7000 Nano. It has nano technology and a woven kevlar shaft. It also has a triple taper racket head and has a medium flex. The balance point is head heavy again, but that will change with the lead tape that would go on it. Now what the hell all this triple taper and woven kevlar stuff will do is anyone's guess, i am not particularly interested. What i am more interested in is the price, which is £62.99 for two. These rackets can also be strung to 30lbs, which means that the frames must be robust to take the tension.

This all sounds really good, but there is one small problem and it is this. I have used Fleet twice before. The first time i had a couple of racquets, i cannot remember what they were called now, but they were good value and they did the job. The second time i was not impressed at all. I got two, Top Power models for £60 and they were crap, i just did not like them, they felt dead. I let a few of my mates try them and they all came to same conclusion, they were crap. So i have had a good and bad experience. Should i try them again? I could just contact Fleet/Yehlex ( they are the same company) and ask them if these two special offer rackets are decent. Not much use really because they are hardly going to tell me they are no good are they? I could just tell them the truth, ie, are these rackets as crap as the Top Power one's? This is not a very good idea either. I have not played with them before, so i can't get a feel for them before i buy them. As far as i know they don't let you try before you buy, but there is no harm in asking is there? As far as i can tell, this is the best option, because i would not be a happy bunny if i paid for them and found out they were shit.

Now if i was mr Fleet i would and i had a potential buyer asking me to try before they buy, and also knowing the buyer had had a bad experience in the past, i would offer a trial, wouldn't you?

There is another alternative, and that is Browning. My playing partner uses Browning, the Oxylite 80 to be precise. He got them from Racketworld, which is just about the only place you can buy Browning badminton rackets. This is not a problem because they are extremly cheap and offer good customer service. I am going to try my partners rackets out, so i can see what they are like. Hopefully i won't break any of them, and i am sure he is hoping i don't either.

I will mull over these options for a few weeks and come up with a solution no doubt. However, if by some miracle anyone from Carlton is reading this, then sending me a couple of replacement rackets would be a great exercise in customer relations. In fact if anyone from any of the hundreds of online retailers is also reading this, then sending me a few rackets would be great, and it would do harm at all for your customer relations as well! Hell, someone could sponsor me, and the couple of hundred people who read this blog every day would get to know just how great your shop really is. I won't hold my breath though eh? If anyone has any suggestions as to what badminton racket i should get next then feel free to comment. And for something completely different, a little shout out to one of my friends who has a fantasy baseball site, not related much to badminton rackets, but fantasy baseball has a huge following over in the US.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Badminton Singles Advice- Serving

Most, if not all of my previous posts have been on badminton rackets. However, there is a limit as to the amount of information i can give out about rackets. I have covered many of the major badminton racket manufacturers, there are still a few more to look at, and i will do this in due course. By now you should be familiar with the technical fluff that goes with buying racquets, what to look for when buying, and how to find the right racket for your style of play. This is all well and good, but you now have to play with your chosen racket. I keep banging on about how it is you, and only you that can get the most out of your racket. Rackets will only ever give you a small advantage, about 5%. But what about the other 95%? This is the hard part. Badminton is such a difficult game to master, you never stop learning.

I have been playing badminton for many years, both singles and doubles. This post is about singles. It is my take on this discipline. I was coached by a respected England coach for about 5 years, when i was younger, so what i tell you is based on what i was taught, with some of my own ideas thrown in.

Singles badminton is based on moving your opponent around the court, so you can play winning shots. The pre-requisite for being able to play singles is fitness. Without fitness you cannot play singles effectively. So i am going to assume you already have a good level of fitness. I am also going to assume you can play your shots. If you cannot hit a clear to the back of the court consistently, or any other shot consistently then get on the court and practise. Go to a coach. This is essential. Spend your money on coaching and learn the basics before you spend money on rackets. I cannot stress this enough.

Once you can play your shots consistently you will come up against players who are of a similar standard to you. This is where you will find out about yourself and your game. There is not much use in playing inferior players. This may sound a bit ruthless, but if you want to improve, you absolutely have to test yourself against players who are of similar standard. You may be a beginner or intermediate player, but try to find opponents of similar standard. Once you reach a certain standard, you will realise that you can't hit winning shots for fun, your opponent will be able to reach these shots, and this is the essence of singles play.

Now, let's begin.. Singles is about using shots to put your opponent out of position. It is all about movement, this is why fitness and shot consistency is essential. The serve is the first shot you will play. If you use a high serve, then make sure it reaches the backline, or very close to it. This will put your opponent right to the back of the court. It will put pressure on their movement right from the start. If you cannot hit your serve consistently to the back tramline, then practise until you can. Look at where you stand when you serve, and then look at where the shuttle lands. You can do this on your own. Adjust your serve position. If you find your serve is landing short, then move closer to the service line and hit your shot with the same amount of power, see where it lands now. Alternatively, if you hitting your serve too long, move back a little bit, and see where the shuttle lands now. This is basic stuff, but so many singles players fail to hit the high serve consistently to the back line. Weak serves put you under pressure right away, so make sure you can get good consistency.

This is the base point for serving high. What you also need to do is realise what your opponent is doing, and where their base position is. A high singles serve can have different trajectories, and be placed either straight or to the side tram lines. If your opponent stands close to the service line, then a flatter serve will put their movement under more pressure to get behind the shuttle. Make sure you hit it high enough so they cannot intercept your serve.

The most common high serve is to the centre. This choice of serve will narrow the angle of your opponents replies. If you hit the serve high enough, it will make sure the shuttle is falling down vertically when your opponent hits their reply. This makes it more difficult to hit the shuttle cleanly. Most players cannot play winning shots consistently from the extreme back line. Aim to make them play from this area.

Study your opponents replies to your serves. Don't just hit the serve into court to get the rally started. Do they have a favourite reply from a certain position? If they do then you can start to anticipate their return by moving your base postiton a little to where you think the reply will be. An example of this is when your opponent plays a straight forehand smash reply to a serve hit out wide. You can move over more to the side they tend to go to. Always study your opponent, this is vital. Better players will learn and adapt quicker, so you can't always depend on anticipating their shots, they will vary their shots from any postiton to keep you guessing. This is where the fun starts!

Against good players, serving out wide will put you under pressure. You open up the possible angles of reply, straight or cross court. However, even good players may still tend to have a favourite reply, so think about this, try it and see what happens. Remember, you are constantly probing for any weakness, right from the first shot, to gain any advantage you can get.

The low serve in singles can also be an effective choice. In my experience i tend to play two types of low serve. The first one is a serve that lands close to the front service line. The second is played a bit harder, and i aim to land it a few feet in court. Which one depends on my opponent. If their base position is futher back in court, then a tight low serve to the front service line will put a little more pressure on their movement, and they will take the shuttle later, giving you an advantage. This could be the difference between them hitting the shuttle below the level of the net, giving you a slight advantage.

If your opponent stands closer to the net, then i tend to play my service further into court. This makes it more difficult to reply with a tight net shot. If they stand even closer to the net to receive serve, then a flick serve is an option, to keep them guessing. Which serve you play will also depend on your opponents replies. If they like to play net returns, then the slightly harder hit serve will make it more difficult to play those tight net shots. However, if you are strong at the net, then play the softer serve and invite them to play a net shot.

If you do serve low in singles, then you must be able to cover the whole court very quickly. This puts pressure on your movement so you need to be able to cover all the corners quickly. If you struggle with this, then serve high, but always look for what your opponent does.

It may appear as though this is a complicated thing. Afterall, i have only described the very first shot you play. But this is the kind of detail that can mean victory or defeat. Badminton is a thinking game underneath, just like any other sport, and just a little bit of understanding will help you improve faster. It is not just about hitting shots, it's how, where, when and why you hit them. Every opponent is different, and you need to be able to adjust accordingly. This is why you need to be able to play all the shots from all the many positions you will find yourself in.

Now i ask you- how important is your badminton racket? Your racket does not make these decisions as to how and when to play different shots. It is all down to you and your ability to think during games. You can have the world's most expensive badminton racket, but if you can't hit a high serve to the back of the court in singles, or be able to analyse your opponents game, and your own, then what use is it? I will cover more topics on both singles and doubles in future posts, with more racket manufacturer stuff thrown in as well.

The next time you read about how this badminton racket and that racket will give you the power and control you have been wishing for, just take a step back, and realise just how much it is all down to who is holding that badminton racket.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Back Up Badminton Rackets

We all have them, and they are sometimes different, but if you play a lot of badminton then you need a back up badminton racket. There is nothing worse than seeing your racket strings break and then realising you don't have a spare in your bag. Or worse, seeing your racquet break on your partners, and wondering why only yours has broken. It may not be so bad if their's had gone as well, but it only ever seems to be your own that breaks.

This leads on to what spare racket or rackets you own. Personally, i like to have the same rackets so i know that everything is the same for me. This goes for doubles and singles, always the same. I have been caught out in the past when i have broke strings and had to borrow from my partner. This is when you find out that their racket is nothing like what you play with, and the string tension is miles apart as well. This means you have to adapt, and quickly as well. I can hear the ready made excuses already if you lose. " We would have won, but i just couldn't get used to the weight, or the tension".

There are a lot of people who have all kinds of badminton rackets in their bags, for all sorts of occasions. Some have different rackets for singles and doubles. Some have different string tensions, depending on all kinds of things. Some have different tensions because their other rackets have just been left in the bag and they didn't have time to get them strung. You may have a few rackets with broken strings, just sitting there. You may have racquets in your bag that you played with and just didn't like, so they sit there, only to be used in emergencies. If it sounds like you, then don't worry, the only way i know this is because i have been guilty of all of the above in the past!

We all know what we like, and the point of having a variety of back up rackets seems quite logical. You may like that heavier racket for playing doubles, so you can get a bit more juice on the smash. Alternatively, you may like that lighter racket for doubles, so you can play fast reaction shots at the net, or fast, flat driving rallies from the mid court. You can have your own individual rackets for your style of play in mixed or level doubles.

Some people have their rackets all strung at different tensions for singles or doubles. I do this, i have my racket strung at a slightly lower tension for singles than for doubles. Singles often involves being put into difficult positions, especially in the corners, and you need all the help you can get to get the shuttle back into play with a good length, to get you out of trouble. My idea is that the lower tension will help me do this, because it slightly increases the sweet spot, and adds a bit of forgiveness to shots. In doubles, i need control, especially around the net, so the higher tension gives my touch shots more accuracy. At higher tensions, the shuttle comes off the string bed quicker, and this helps my reaction shots, and sends the shuttle back faster.

My regular readers know about my lead tape experiment, and i have two rackets with this tape added. One has just about as much lead tape as you can add, the other has just a little bit. I use the heavier one for singles, as this gives me a little more power overhead and also makes it easier to hit full length shots, it makes clearing the shuttle much easier, and this shot happens much more in singles then in doubles, for me anyway. Now, the combination of lower tension and overall heavier weight helps that little bit to enable me to get out of sticky situations without flogging my shoulder to bits.

In doubles i choose the lighter racket because i have found that the heavier racket is a bit more of a handful in playing fast reaction shots. There is only a slight difference, but that small difference in doubles is the difference between winning and losing sometimes. Despite this, i know that this heavier racket is actually helping me, because it is training my forearm and wrist as i play. When i use the lighter racket, it seems much less cumbersome, because i am in effect, strengthening these muscles as i play. It is much like training with the head cover on, when you take it off and use the racquet without the head cover, you mis-time the shuttle at first because it seems so light.

Whatever set up you prefer is down to you. I have seen players who constantly change their rackets throughout a game, they never seem to be able to find the right set up that suits them. The result is usually a poor performance with a ready made excuse. Now who's fault is that? I guess what i am trying to say is, be prepared. The higher the standard you play, the more prepared you need to be. This means spending a bit of money on badminton rackets and all the other stuff that goes with it.

Good shoes being the most important of all. If you start entering tournaments, make sure you have good shoes, because your feet will take a pounding all day long, and there is nothing worse than getting blisters or sore ankles because your good old, worn out shies just aren't up to the job anymore. I know this from experience, i have played with my big toe sticking out of my shoes. Good grip is another huge factor. Many sports halls are slippy, and your worn out tread will make sure you slip and slide all over the place. Another ready made excuse.

Take care of your feet. I recently bought a pair of Yonex shoes, the SHB100 LTD, the best that Yonex has to offer. Although i give the cost of Yonex rackets a bit of a battering on here, i do use their shoes, and i don't mind paying the money for them because they are very good. However, one thing i have noticed is that these SHB100 shoes have a weird insole, which has little ripples in them. Yonex claim this is a revolution in comfort, and helps to cushion your feet as you play. It is known as the "air cushion insole". At first it seems to do the job. But i have noticed that if i give them a good hammering by playing singles for a few hours, my feet start to get "hot". By hot, i mean the skin on my feet is stsrting to go red, due to rubbing on this insoles ripples. The solution is to get rid of the insoles for one's that don't have ripples. The problem was cured instsantly.

I don't know if any of you have had this problem, but it seems a shame that Yonex have messed up a really good badminton shoe with a stupid insole. Just put a normal one in please Yonex. The rest of the shoe is fine, and i have given them some stick recently. They do a good job, which is what i am after in a badminton shoe.

Whether you have an army of 10 badminton rackets at your disposal, or just a couple, make sure you are prepared for string breaks and racket breaks. Look at what overgrip you have. I went through a phase of sweaty hand syndrome, and no matter what i used i could never feel comfortable with the grip. I used Karakal, towelling and then made a big mistake of trying supergrip, which it supposed to help you grip better. The towelling grip is good for a few games and then it goes hard, so you have to keep replacing it. There is also many forms of powder you can sprinkle on your hands to keep them dry. These work on towelling grips, but not so well on Karakal grips, they just make the surface even slippier for me.

One thing i found quite funny was a whole thread in a forum based on someone's review of all the types of overgrips from the manufacturers. This review included cost, sweat absorption over time, tackiness etc. What the hell is all that about? How on earth can i relate to somebody elses sweaty hand? That had to be one of the daftest reviews i have ever seen. I can only give one piece of advice regarding overgrips, and that is to buy a dark coloured one, because if your anything like me, if you buy a lovely white one, within one hour it will not be white, and everyone will be able to see just how much sweat your hand gives off.

Ok this post is going off topic yet again as usual! Look after your badminton rackets, don't throw them around when you lose, they break very easily, and remember if you blame your racket for a poor performance your really blaming yourself, it ain't the rackets fault.