Adidas is a newcomer to the badminton equipment market. 2+ years in the planning Adidas is finally ready to reveal their badminton lineup to the world. The Adidas adipower series of badminton racket is characterized by their offensive characteristics. Stiff powerful shaft combined with a head heavy feel is suitable for powerful badminton player who likes to penetrate their opponent by attacking.
There are 4 models in the adipower series that is designated as “advanced pro” models, basically these are the cream of the crop of the adipowers and have the most technology and advanced materials behind them. The 4 model spans a spectrum of heavy weight, balance and shaft stiffness. Covering any top level offensive users’ requirements.
The Adipower Duoforce is labeled as their attacking doubles racket. We will see in this review how it lives up to that.
The racket I received from Adidas appears to be a production model as there is no sample tag on it.
The adipower duoforce is rated as a stiff doubles racket for power attacking player. The spec weight is 89g +/- 2g with a balance point of 283mm +/- 3mm. A 7.0mm straight shaft rolled together with top quality Japanese made graphite give the racket it’s powerful designation.
Being the top of the line doubles racket means that it is packed with cutting edge technology from Adidas. A “Dual Force Frame” consist of both titanium mesh at the 4 corners and Zylon fibers to reinforce the frame structure. Zylon is a material made by Toyobo company in Japan and is supposed to be 1.6 times stronger than Kevlar. More Zylon is strategically place around the frame as part of the adipower duoforce’s “Vibration Control System”.
Structurally, the frame is a non-tapered frame that measure approximately 10.5mm in depth throughout. The top of the frame has some minor arches for string support.
Another unique feature is the 78 hole pattern. The Adidas 78 holes pattern is similar to the 76 hole pattern drilled into most modern badminton rackets. In addition to the 76 holes, an extra pair of non-shared holes is found in the 4/8 o’clock which makes it much easier for the stringer, as well as letting the engineers align the outermost main string to be completely parallel with the rest of the mains, resulting in a tidy and uniformly laid out main strings across the frame.
As with any modern rackets, single and double pass grommets are used in the appropriate locations to maximize frame strength.
Aesthetically the adipower duoforce is rather unique even among the Adidas family. The off-white base color is subtly blended with a pearlescent mix. An asymmetrical design is accomplished with the 1 to 3 o’clock colored medium brown, finished with 7/11 o’clock accented with the silver Adidas triband.
The shaft follows the same off-white base color and only interrupted by the “adipower duoforce” model name.
A metallic texture handle cap encased in clear plastic is found in the other end and the whole racket completes with a cone that has pronounced flat surface for the thumb to rest during a drive or push. The Adidas logo is only subtly found on the cone and the handle base.
Overall the design is a blend of modern bold contrast as well as a slight retro motif, the blend is subtle and slightly playful to my eyes. Unassuming but when looked upclose shows some thoughtful details.
Having strung 4 Adidas rackets before I didn’t have much issues with the Duoforce. The 78 holes stringing pattern is now familiar to me. While stringing it with Ashaway Zymax 65 @ 23/25.3lbs i see no sign of frame deformation at all.
I only have red colored Zymax 65 in stock so i may have spoiled the color scheme of the duoforce with the red strings. Upon examining it I thought adding red grip will make a nice match with the strings. The result is probably going to make the designer angry at me and I apologize for that, but I think the end product isn’t that bad. I will go back to white strings with a more subtle color grip color once this string breaks.
On dry swings the Duoforce is medium balance racket. One would associate the feel of it being closer to a ARC10, or perhaps slightly less head heavy than ARC10, close to a Ti-10. The feeling of the meat of the racket balance being around the T-area. The initial perceived balance and swing weight give it the potential to be a very good all arounder.
As with most racket testing, I started off with a few drives to familiarize myself with the racket feel and balance, and immediately I had a big grin in my face. I have never ever tried a racket with such a lively and crisp feel. On each impact, the shuttlecock impact so crisply and immediately just flies off with a “zip” sound back to the other side. I have tried many very good rackets but I have never felt something as lively and fast as the Duoforce. The shaft feels medium stiff which matches the response of the Zymax 65 perfectly, fast, lively, with lots of feedback. All that took was a slightly snap of the finger and that’s it.
Compared to the Adipower Pro which I also liked, the Duoforce trumps it in the lively department by a small margin.
Stability is also very good. Flexurally the head is weighty enough to not have any deflection at impact, but light enough that it is still maneuverable. Torsionally I perceived very little deflection as well. The result is that the racket is very easy to control. Drives hits the desired target with ease and never erratic.
Sweetspot of the racket at this tension is large. Off center shots are well handled and more than often still goes off with enough repulsion to not spoil the rally. Maneuverability is very good, esp during midcourt drive with sudden change of direction.
Hitting clear too shows how lively the racket feel. A slight more emphasis is needed to propel the racket but once the proper finger motion is applied the shuttle flies deep into the baseline into the other end of the court.
The shaft is put to its paces on smashes, the feeling of a smash with the duoforce is more of a heavy “wham” then a deep “boom”. The shuttlecock don’t stay on the stringbed for too long before it gets propelled back and fast across the net. Stability and explosiveness is not as good as adipower pro but very close. The lively and crispness really shows on a wrist smash, which is more common in doubles. On outright full power smash I never felt i ever overpowered the racket, there is much more headroom for the hardest of smashers.
I feel that the dampening is optimal with the Duoforce, slightly leaning toward feel and undamped but without any hint of over vibration. This makes control shots (drop, push, net) that is dominant doubles and mixed an ease to perform.
With all its stability and medium stiffness, the Duoforce is also very good at defense. While not as maneuverable as its adizero force cousin, I was able to defend some of the hardest smashes from my opponent with it. Stability is well controlled that makes placement of the shuttle under pressured situation quite easy.
I love the Adipower Duoforce.
There. I said it.
During the few weeks that I have tested the racket, I tried to find faults with it and it was difficult to do. While it is not perfect in all categories – it is not as maneuverable as the adizero pro, not as powerful as the adipower pro, and not as stable as adipower force – it performs everything so well, 9/10 and sometimes 10/10 that it would be hard to find any other racket so well balanced in every department. The crispness and liveliness of the racket, and the well placed balance and swing weight made it one of the most enjoyable and addictive racket I have ever used. And trust me that I have tested more rackets than most badminton players. It is a better ARC10 than the ARC10 and a better Ti-10 than the Ti-10. To my hands, it ranks among the best racket that i have tried.
As a result, I find it hard to put down the duoforce. It has been staying at the top of the stack in racket in my bag every time I go the gym, so much so that I have inevitably delayed much of my other reviews for it.
What disappoint me though is that initial reports from different retailers around the world indicates that many markets are not bringing in the Duoforce in an attempt to do a controlled and simplified range for the launch. I do hope that it will be brought in slowly in these markets so fans can have a chance to try out this truly excellent racket.
Now all I need is to get a few more copies of it for backup.