Sunday, 17 May 2009

Li Ning BadmintonRackets

I was watching the Surdiman cup finals today on the internet and saw the chinese badminton team kitted out in their Li Ning gear. They were also using Li Ning badminton rackets. I had heard some time ago that Yonex could not afford to sponsor the chinese national team and so they are now sponsored by Li Ning. In the UK, virtually nobody has ever heard of this brand, i certainly hadn't. The Korean team were also playing with Victor rackets and equipment, and they were previously sponsored by Yonex. It would appear that Yonex is losing it's dominance..

Is this is a good thing? I say yes it is because we may finally see some real competiton and this will help to make Yonex drop their prices. Here is another burning question for all those people who have been brainwashed by Yonex over the years- how can it be that these top players can still play at the same level without yonex badminton rackets? The answer is that yonex rackets have been hyped up for years and people automatically believe they must be the best because they are the most expensive.

How can Lin Dan beat Lee Chong Wei playing with a Li Ning racket, when Lee is playing with a yonex racquet? I have never even seen a Li Ning racket in my life, i didn't even know they made badminton racquets, but it seems this makes little difference to Lin Dan, or the rest of the chinese team. The same goes for the koreans who use the Victor rackets. This illustrates my point very well, that it depends on who is holding the racket, ie the player. This past year has seen the biggest shake up as far as sponsorship goes, with teams switching manufacturer, yet all these players are still playing at the same level. This means that the badminton racket is not that important, which is what i have been saying for the last year on this blog.

Will this mean the demise of Yonex? Will they become a second rate brand? Will they lose their market share? I think they will certainly see a drop in sales in China because people will start to use the Li Ning rackets. I bet that Victor will see an increase in sales as well because if they are good enough for the top players then they must be good enough for the rest of us right? This is what sells racquets. This is why the likes of Victor have paid so much money to sponsor these teams.

There will no doubt be interest from players in the UK about Victor and Li Ning. I guarantee that the online retailers will be looking to stock more of these badminton rackets. I bet central sports will be a little bit worried about this, as they are the biggest Yonex dealer here in the UK. But i bet the smaller shops will be over the moon because if Yonex loses it's grip on them, they can now just stock other brands who will not price fix everything, and so us players will get a better deal.

I may be wrong here, and it could end up being the same situation, just a different manufacturer, but i don't think so. It has always been the case that people view Yonex at the top of the tree, and every other brand comes behind them. Brands such as Carlton, Wilson, Head, Forza, Apacs, Fleet, Victor, and any other brand out there. The reason is that we have been brainwashed for years by Yonex, by clever marketing and high prices. I have used Yonex badminton rackets in the past but they were no better than the Carlton Airblade i used, or the Apacs rackets, or the Browning rackets from Racketworld. The only difference was the price, which is the biggest factor for me. There is now way on this earth that i would pay over £100 for a badminton racket and many others feel the same way too.

On another note, i am reliably told that i am getting some new Apacs rackets to test. Not sure what they are yet, but they are new for the coming season here in the UK. I am also getting some Apacs badminton shoes to try out, so hopefully i will post these reviews pretty soon.

14 comments:

Abel said...

Hello again Anthony :D it's been a while XD

Anyways, if you remember so, quite a while ago actually, i said i'd get back to you about theeee yonex nanospeed 6000 i had been interested in buying. I actually went with another, the 7700 which i actually only found out about at the store that i went to. It wasn't on the Yonex site and i don't believe you reviewed this racket actually....but yeah it definately feels better to use - in the sense that i can actually have a firm hold on my racket now and that i've gotten the hang of that good feeling one gets from hitting a good shot now that i've played with it for several weeks now. Anyways, i have another question regarding this, im not sure if it's my grip problem or not but on my grip theres about two spots on the grip that's getting really worn, and those two spots is where i hold the handle with my index finger and thumb. Is this normal? I asked a friend and he told me that his racket is also like that, however i noticed that even though he's been using his racket longer than mine, the two worn spots on his racket are significantly smaller than the ones on mine.....but that may just be because i grip my racket harder? @_@ and also, the last time i previously played, i had to also use the side of my middle finger to keep the racket in place in my hand while smashing, this has caused a callus to begin forming on my middle finger's tip @_@ I do not think this is normal....this hasn't occured before and i suspect that it's the worn patches that are forcing my grip to slip slightly and thus making my middle finger need to come and support my grip further...I'm currently considering adding an extra layer of grip tape to make the handle thicker? Do you think this would be a good idea?

And in regards to your latest post here, as not to completely go off topic :P, yonex has recently released a new nanospeed racket actually, as usual it seems to be a really good one, is it? Or is it just all marketing by yonex again? :P Cuz its quite costy @_@ And this is definately good, if Yonex drops its prices, im pretty sure a lot of people would be happier about buying their rackets actually, heck yonex might actually see a rise in sales if they dropped their prices XP cuz i know a lot of people who had considered yonex, but then they saw the price tags :P

antony said...

Hi Abel
I think you should consider adding either a layer of over grip to the one you already have on the handle, or put a complete replacement grip on there. When i get a new racket i just take off the leather factory grip completely (so the wood is showing)and then add a replacement grip on there instead. If you are playing with the factory leather kind of grip, then this may be the reason why you are getting calluses and losing grip. Everyone will grip the racket differently with different amounts of pressure, and so you will have different amounts of wear on the grip- this is normal. Go with the extra overgrip, you should find your fingers will get more grip, and not start blistering.

The new Yonex nanospeed racket is very very stiff, so beware of that. The old nanospeed 9000 was a good racket, very good indeed, but so very expensive. Same problem with the new one- too expensive, but i cannot say how it plays because i have not played with one yet. My guess is that it will be virtually the same as the old 9000, just with a bit different paint job.

Sam said...

Hi, Anthony,

Here in Malaysia we heard that the Li Ning line very-very expensive. The high-end Lining is more expensive that the Yonex latest high-end. To add salt with it, Sunrise is the franchise holder ( same as YY). My take, will not see YY price come down anytime soon.

antony said...

Hi Sam
I as afraid that might be the case. I guess that Li Ning have poured a lot of money into this sponsorship and so they need to get some cash back by charging high prices. It would appear they are just another Yonex in disguise. I have not seen any on sale here in the UK yet, and i bet it will be quite a while until we do.

Abel said...

Hey Anthony,

hmmm i see, well that makes sense but i already added a yonex "super grap" to the one that came with the racket, and as i said before i might just add a third layer on top of it...XD and just to clarify, overgrips are the thicker ones that are meant to replace the original right? :O

annd another question, you said the reason that i'm getting calluses and am losing grip is because i'm using the factory one? Is this because the leathery one is bad? Or because the grip the comes with the racket is relatively thin?

Thanks again for all the advice and help :D

antony said...

Hi Abel
The overgrap is a thinner grip that is designed to go over te grip that is already on the racket. I am guessing that you have added your yonex overgrap to the original leather grip? If you are still losing grip and getting calluses then i would look to completely change these grips with a replacement grip. The replacement grips are much thicker than the overgrap type, and offer better comfort. These are the kind that i always use, and they are a bit more expensive than the oivergrips/overgraps.

Abel said...

Hello again,

ahhh i see now
annnd yup
in total i now have the original leather one, and two more overgraps on top of that XD (i just added the third layer last week)
annnd yeah with three layers, it seems to be doing me ok as when i played this weekend, i didnt notice any particular friction/strain on my finger anymore
although the next time i get a racket, i'll try out the replacement grips :D
thanks again^_^

Ville said...

This seems to be rather cheap place to buy the top rackets from Yonex, Victor and Li Ning www.shanghai-corner.com

They deliver the rackets from China.

Daniel said...

Hi guys. I too am from Malaysia. And sad to say, Sam is right. A bottom of the range Li-Ning in Malaysia starts at a *ahem* humble price of only USD$150, whilst the one that Lin Dan uses costs around USD$400. Whilst the most expensive Yonex racquet (Nanospeed 9000) is at USD$350 here. Funnily enough, the previous racquet used by Lin Dan was the Armortec 700 LE, which is actually the same price as the NS9000. Lin Dan now uses the Li-Ning N90 if I am not mistaken. But to what I have heard...rumours say that Li-Ning is actually not manufacturer, but a marketing company that bought over Carlton. Hope someone can confirm that.

Rebecca said...

hello i think you will find the reason you find other brands of rackets equally good as yonex is due to these other brands just simply copying them! has it not occurred to you that they all look exactly the same! the reason yonex are seen as number 1 is due to them having the technology and science first and inventing these rackets then other brands copying them. my friend the other day had a copy of a nano speed 7000 and i was amazed by the flex, instead of flexing in the shaft like a racket should it flexed in the T - joint some how i don't think that is right!

antony said...

Hi Rebecca

Some companies do copy yonex, no doubt about that. Yonex just do a good job of marketing their badminton rackets, better than the rest. If you look at Head, Wilson and Prince in tennis, they are the big players compared to yonex, and they are at the forefront of technology driven rackets. Yonex are not the only company with a research and development department.

Anonymous said...

when you get the racket , check the cover, you will find the checking code:


scratch out the "Li-Ning logo", you will see the code.

open the link: http://www.li-ning.com/fwcx/

then input the code,enter. you will see the congratulate information if your racket are geniune.

any question, contact me again.

Kenny said...

Hello Anthony. I live in Indonesia and I'm using Li Ning now. I used to have Yonex Carbonex 10 and Carnobex 8. But now i switch to Li Ning. I bought 3 different series which is N55-II Flame,Super Series 68 and Tour Series 50. I must admit that Li Ning has good quality but the price is as high as the sky. Personally, it's quite difficult to adapt with Li Ning when you first use it. It's totally different with Yonex. However still no one could compete with the Li Ning technology.

Anonymous said...

If you live in India, then you can try www.mysportcart.com. This site gives you very good discounts and deal on li-ning rackets.