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PREVIEW: Carlton Vapour Trail Tour / Elite

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by kwun, May 8, 2009.

  1. Smithy88

    Smithy88 Regular Member

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    Got my Tour through the post today and on first inspection is a very sturdy yet light racket. To look at the thing you would think its an old steel frame as its so shiny but feels as light as a feather. Its strung to 28lb and has 2 grips on it which when i weighed it i got even more of a shock. It weighs 107g all together, it feels nothing like it. I used to play with a Powerblade Titanium which was 100g and this feels so much lighter. With the grips its balance point is about 275mm but still feels very very even. Done a few practice swings and it cuts through the air with ease. Can't wait to get whacking those birdies around :)
     
  2. Smithy88

    Smithy88 Regular Member

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    Played with the Tour tonight and wow, net play is amazing, the grip is longer than most grips so its easy to move quickly and get good control. Still getting used to smashing with it, need to get used to adjusting my grip to the end of the racket to smash. But an amazing racket, i think my Fireblade is going to start collecting dust sooner or later.
     
  3. dr_lager

    dr_lager Regular Member

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    Yeah - I like my Powerblade Tour, hated the Airblade Tour, but like the thought of the VTT but it sounds from what people are saying that the sweet spot is eeny weeeny, so maybe I'm just not good enough yet :)
     
  4. Smithy88

    Smithy88 Regular Member

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    It can be tricky but the rewards at the net are tenfold, i'll do a proper review.

    Okay guys , here is the Review. Sorry for a long delay i know. Hey i don't make money doing reviews.

    Review Date : Mid July 10
    Racket Type : Carlton VT Tour
    Strings: Carlton NanoPulse 68
    Tension: 26lbs , 1 Piece Stringing
    Grip: Karakal PU Super grip, Yonex 102EX Overgrip
    Technology : Read the website

    First Impression:
    SHINY, very shiny, more shiny than Peter Ebdons head when he lines up a shot. So shiny in fact it looks like its made of steel. I like it, its shiny. When you pick it up though you realise its not made of steel but of fairy dust it feels that feakishly light i had to put it on the scales (with my grips) and it topped 95g which i was not expecting. A few practice swings later and it was feeling good, cut through the air nicely and fast. Just how fast i was yet to find out.

    Warm Ups:
    Started knocking about with it and the nature of the racket being even and so light i wanted to see it smash. The first few were pitiful, that is until i realised just what a difference the longer handle and short shaft make. I repositioned my hand and with a short shaft its hard to unleash anything spectacular like a power racket but it does give something, you just really have to be in a position where a smash is going to work best.

    Game Time:
    First game with it was mixed, not the best to get used to this racket with as i was delt smashing duties but decided against it. Instead i wanted to find out what this racket could do in the way of drop shots. The answer is, everything, with a highish tension this racket is precise, the drops were floating down causing so much hassle for my opponents. Next game was doubles and straight away i went for the net. So much so than shots that were clearly my partners i was diving in for just because this racket gave me an amazing touch. I was playing shots i never knew i had in me. The one thing you cannot do with this racket though is force a shot or it will bite you in the arse. Just let it flow towards the racket and you will reap the rewards.

    Conclusion:
    This racket is a very defensive minded racket, great for reaction shots. It has some attack in it but takes some working out and adjusting to a longer handle. From the rear court 70% of the time you'll want to drop or clear, clearing is very good, but when you do get a good chance don't be afraid to smash. If you play the net a lot then go for this, its a long time since i felt anything this good. Everyone at my club was amazing at what i was getting from it.

    Feel: 9/10
    Control: 10/10
    Power: 7/10
    Defense: 10/10


    Pros : Fast racket, amazing control and defence. SHINY!!!

    Cons: Lacks a forgiving punch, needs good technique to get a smash

    Suitability : Intermediate/Advance. Doubles racket (mixed if you can get some power)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Flixor

    Flixor Regular Member

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    Well I am digging an old post by I wanted to add my 2 coppers.

    I bought the Vapour Trail Tour 6 months ago and I am very happy with it. It is fast, light in the hand, good at the net and the power is quite enough for my smatches.

    I wanted to try out the Elite to see if my backhand power could improve with it and saw an impossible to miss bargain on this racket : due to a typo, it was 2 rackets for the price of 1. (planning to sell the other one to a friend :p)

    Well, I discovered that this racket is really not for me : too heavy in the hand mainly. Power of my smatches did not improve and backhand was more or less the same.
    I guess my technique is too poor to exploit this racket to its full potential.

    So now, it is the Tour all the way and maybe the Elite for the occasional single as we play more double games than singles.

    Anyway, the Tour is really a nice racket to try. 2 of the girls at my club got one and their games improved a lot.
    I even succeeded in converting another one to get it !!
     
  6. greyes

    greyes Regular Member

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    Hey folks! I just tried the vapour trail elite today.. I was quite surprised how much it vibrated. Did anyone else notice this as well? I couldn't really get a good read on whether it's a good racquet or not because it was factory strung (probably 18 lbs or so). I had asked for it to be strung at 28 lbs (the max that www.tennisnuts.com would provide) but it certainly didn't arrive that way! My timing was all off & I ended up hurting my shoulder because of the tension being wayy too low. I'm getting it restrung at my regular 29 x 31 lbs tonight & hopefully will be able to say something more favourable about it.
     
  7. quezac

    quezac Regular Member

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    I've just broken my second air rage s-lite in 3 months. 1st ones strings lasted 2 sessions, and at 2 weeks I noticed a micro fissure, got it changed for free. 2nd one, strings lasted 2 weeks but racked broke after 2 months. I don't remember any serious collisions and they're he only rackets I've broken in years. Maybe the s-lite head is just too fragile. It's a shame as it was great for everything except smashing, I did find that when I searched for more power the more I put in the less I got out. Won't be buying another head light. Don't know what to buy now, I realy liked the Carlton and would buy another if I can find one less fragile and better for smashing. Carltons are well priced here (France), getting upto 50% discount off list on line. Any ideas?
     
  8. quezac

    quezac Regular Member

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    Has anyone tried the air rage tour?
     
  9. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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    My coach is selling a Vapour Trail Elite for £60 as he was previously sponsored by Carlton before moving to Forza. He has a Vapour Trail Tour on offer too at a similar price I think. Both are only slightly used, but the Tour still has it's wrapping on the cone and is in better condition. I'm going to test them out this Friday night hopefully (if I can swap my current shift at work) and I'll try and put a quick post on here about them. If I like them, I'll try and get him down to around £50 though;) They're only wasting away in his bag after all!
     
  10. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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    There's quite a few reviews on this thread of various Carlton rackets that you might like. Maybe the Vapour Trails? The Tour is good all round and will help your smashes I think. Otherwise I think there's a Vapour S Lite too?
     
  11. Sealman

    Sealman Regular Member

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    You should grab it. I got this racquet from Sports Direct for a friend back in April for £119.99

    http://www.sportsdirect.com/carlton-vapour-trail-elite-badminton-racket-722001
     
    #251 Sealman, Nov 21, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  12. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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    Yeah that's pretty incredible. I think the cheapest is still around £90 for VTE. I just want to have a test first and see which would suit me better..or whether to go back to Ashaway like I did in the past and get a new RepulsorTec or XT racket maybe. I did have a quick swing of the VT Elite though at our last session and it felt super quick through the air - just hope it isn't too hard to get a good 'feel' on my clears, drives etc. Also, need to get rid of stock strings!
     
  13. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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  14. quezac

    quezac Regular Member

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    Have had a good read through, danstevens has done a great gob (as have many others), bit odd that the reviewers don't agree with Carlton on which is the most flexible, maybe they(carlton) rely too much on the "machine" rather than on the "player" for their statistics?
    Several reviewers have questioned the power of the VTT, and although I'm no beginer I'm certaily no expert and am therefore more inclined towards iso rather than optometric (for the bigger sweet spot), that's why I'd like to find out more about the Air Rage Tour.
    Shame as a VTT here costs 79euros + deliv(good price I think), whereas the ART costs 35+ euros more and nobody can tell me anything about it.
    In a later post you talk about getting rid of the stock strings, well, you won't have a choice as they won't last! So whatever a Carlton costs it's allways necessary to add the price of a re-string.
    For me I don't have to go with Carlton, just don't want a Yonex (too common) or Babolat (french!).
     
  15. Sealman

    Sealman Regular Member

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    The owner of the racket is bc member 'mongoose'. Paging mongoose....

    I bought myself a VTT which imho was light, maneuverable and powerful. Surprised that Nathan Robertson uses such a light racket (my guess is his racket's specs is different).
     
  16. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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    Ahh, I've seen the so-called 'optometric' and I personally don't see much difference, but I guess it's different for everyone. I'm certainly no expert either! But apparently it means the sweetspot moves slightly higher and doesn't actually decrease the real size of usable sweetspot...again it all depends on personal preference I'd guess. That price for a VTT is definitely good - I'd try and test the racket out and see for yourself because it's the only way to be sure and you might find it's the best racket you've ever used.

    I've tried looking for reviews of the Air Rage Tour on the net, but can't find anything. As I'm sure you know, it's rated Medium/Stiff and Medium Balance with 87g weight, which sounds pretty standard all round. It sounds a good price too. What other rackets can you get around there?
     
  17. quezac

    quezac Regular Member

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    There's only a couple of sports shops near here (it's very rural, every other person is a farmer!), and the choice is very limited. For an intermediate or + player perhaps a couplle of Yonex and a couple of Babolat and they ask top dollar. Most people buy online (so it's very hit or miss (groan) ), and almost allways buy Yonex or Babolat. I've had a hit with a few and nothing's jumped out as being at all interesting. Lots of people at BC are talking about APACS/SOTX etc. and what good value for money they are, but is there a good model for me? Tried asking for advice but I think my post was badly worded so I've had no replys. I think I'll ask again with a more specific question.
    Back to the VTT, I'm guessing the reviews were done with the stock strings (which aren't good), and it's so light that with a restring and some tape to protect the strings adding a gram or 2 to the head the power could be greatly increased. If no one gives me a strong push towards another racket I think I'll be going for the VTT.
     
  18. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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    Ahh that's unlucky! There are very few shops where I live in England (York) so I stick to online and people's advice - usually it's hit and miss like you though, which can be frustrating. I've never had a racket I just love 100%, but I've never spent big bucks either. I don't believe spending loads will mean I get a great racket that feels perfect though, especially as I'm not that advanced! However, I am interested in this Vapour Trail Elite at the price offered by my coach and it did feel quite good in the palm initially so I'm looking forward to Friday testing session. Plus, if I don't like it I can sell for my money back easy enough I'm sure!
    As for SOTX and APACS I looked at them a lot and they get great reviews. Ashaway and Forza are fairly highly regarded by whoever I've played with too (including our group coach). Just depends on the balance and weight you like I guess.. You sound like you want something more powerful and head heavy than you currently have, but still light and not specifically head heavy?
     
  19. quezac

    quezac Regular Member

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    You've hit the nail on the head, both for what I'm looking for "something more powerful and head heavy than you(I) currently have(air rage s-lite), but still light and not specifically head heavy", and that in the end my choice will be "hit and miss", let's hope it's a hit this time.
    I'd be interested to know how your first proper session with the VTE goes.
     
  20. jin_uk

    jin_uk Regular Member

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    I'll definitely put a quick review on here if I get the chance and I get enough playtime. I'll also be having a quick go with the VTT too. Looking at the Air Rage Tour it seems it'd be what you're after..more even balance (S Lite is more headlight), supposedly suitable for hard hitters and all round players alike, same length as your S Lite, only slightly heavier overall to pack more punch, and a stiffer shaft. All would suggest it's what you're after..though whether it's 'The One' is another thing I guess. I still wouldn't forget the Vapour Trails as I don't think the slightly narrower head shape will have any negative impact, but I'll let you know on Friday hopefully
     

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