Four weeks ago, the FZ Forza distributor in the United States, www.badmintonian.com, sent me the newest FZ Forza gear to review, including the four new rackets under the FZ Forza Titanium 11.000 name. The four models of rackets designated by the FZ Forza Titanium 11.000 name are under a common goal: to provide sublime control. The 11.000 rackets are all designed for the high-level tournament play, while providing a gamut of racket characteristics to choose from. Series Overview The Titanium 11.000 uses 40 T U-HM CNT Graphite in the shaft. 40 Ton Ultra-High Modulus Graphite is a proven lightweight, highly rigid, material that is stiff and durable. The frames share the same 40 T U-HM CNT Graphite, with a titanium mesh. These materials justify a 26 to 30 pound maximum recommended stringing tension, depending on the retailer. FZ Forza uses the 88-hole stringing system, which eliminates shared holes, benefits the life of the racket frame, and adds tension to the stringbed. This stringing system requires no more string than any 76-hole racket. These rackets use the 826 aerodynamic frame, purposefully designed to give the racket more power and speed. This sharp frame also plays host to some rounded archways, reminiscent of Yonex’s Muscle Power series, giving the racket additional unity. Visual/Artistic Design The basis for the design of the Titanium 11.000 series was the popular FZ Forza Ti-10000 racket. Most of the rackets feature a gleaming white base, while the stiff version features an elegant copper color. The Ti-11.000 has four colorful and bold markings on the sides of the racket, which match the base of the shaft. The black and white (or copper and white, on the stiff version) leave room for the bold markings to accent the racket. On the outside, the rackets are traced with titanium netting and metallic bands. Overall, the accents and base sum to make aesthetically pleasing rackets. The computerized shaft lacks refinement. With a couple of the rackets, the shaft design fails to align with the cone and head. It’s a shame that the shaft couldn’t live up to the high quality finish on the frame. Overall, the racket design seems more on the cutting-edge side of things when seen up close. Bold markings and 3D elements combine to give a futuristic design, with a very solid paintjob. Stringing with FZ Forza’s Titanium Line I didn’t have the opportunity to string the Ti-11.000 myself, but it seems to be a more refined version of previous Titanium models, which I can identify with. The shapely, smooth grommets are very minimalist and thus easy to work with. The lack of shared holes make these rackets very convenient to string, and comforting, knowing that the frame can take high tensions. The racket was strung with Fleet Ultimax Turbo Nano 66, at my usual tension of 22/24 by www.badmintonian.com. General Performance of the Titanium 11.000 Lineup The Titanium 11.000 series varies in shaft flexibility and balance point, but is justifiably the same number racket. The common element between all of these rackets is the accurate, rigid racket head. Despite the balance point varying slightly by racket, the feeling of the Ti-11.000 rackets is largely the same: in a word, comfortable. The weight is balanced and distributed well so each racket is proper and very effective for any discipline. The racket frames are noticeably isometric, giving more forgiveness for a little speed. That being said, drives will be accurate while relying on the player to generate some power, more so than on less isometric rackets, for the same speedy drives and fast shots. Net drops give great security. The extra tension on the string bed given from the 88-hole string power system allows for more leeway and feeling when netplay must be precise. Backcourt drops are also very effective because the wide stringbed slices the feathers optimally while allowing for sublime accuracy: a deadly combination. Clears come with general ease especially because the very isometric frame gives solid shots even if the user is off-balance. Players with good form will be rewarded with very easy clears, exploding from line to line. Smashes vary greatly by racket, but are all extraordinarily accurate. The following descriptions describe variation along these general guidelines for performance. FZ Forza Titanium 11.000 F The flexible version offers a racket that dissipates the speed on the shuttle for an accurate dropshot. In terms of the whole line, the racket offers the best late net drop performance because it is accurate and tolerant at the net. This racket performs very well when attacking or dropping the serve for these reasons. Drives rely less on the player for power while delivering high accuracy shots, with a flexible shaft to help push through the opponent. The clears and smashes are very powerful for those who need additional power. Clears easily go to the back even without balance and form, and half smashes definitely excel when full-power smashes aren’t available. The accuracy is a plus and will reward any intentionally placed smash or clear. Recommendation: This racket is suitable for juniors, front players, and tournament-level women, as well as people who find themselves offbalance. Women who prefer very hard smashes may opt for a stiffer option. FZ Forza Titanium 11.000 M The medium offers a touch at the net similar to the flexible racket. This racket is the most accurate at spinning netdrops, and very balanced in general. Fast shots are just finger turns away with the aerodynamic frame, giving very effective blocks, just as the flexible racket does. Drives are helped some with the medium flexible power, but are slightly harder to push through the opponent. Jump smashes feel fluid and natural, while generating more power than the flexible racket. It is very easy to find the lines, too. This racket also delivers easy clears, which can be placed anywhere on demand. Recommendation: This racket suits juniors, strong women, and front players, but not very serious smashers. Any player who prides himself or herself on netshots will enjoy this very much. FZ Forza Titanium 11.000 S The stiff racket has a confident feeling at the net for tight net drops, and still offers very accurate dropshots as the others do. Although it is focused on offense, the stiff racket also offers incredibly confident complex defense shots (like the crosscourt drop) because of its even balance. Unfortunately, as the rackets get stiffer, generating power for drives is more difficult, and it is up to the player to provide power. However, the drives seem to place themselves with even better accuracy than flexible or medium. Jump smashes and clears provide easy power to those with good form, even for junior players. This racket could handle the full extent of my power. The strength of the racket comes through with booming smashes, but cannot match the swift power of very stiff, head heavy rackets, like the very stiff version. The stiff version offers even more accuracy for heavy smashers. This racket attracts doubles players because of its duality of powerful and accurate offense, and capacity to defend ably. Recommendation: This racket suits anyone with strong form and body. Advanced-level defenders will enjoy the even balance while serious smashers will enjoy the power and surprisingly deft drops for such a strong racket. FZ Forza Titanium 11.000 VS The very stiff version is the only racket with a head heavy balance. Netplay without the even balance, as with other head heavy rackets, is slightly more difficult with the very stiff version. The accuracy is undeniably present, but the shots aren’t as consistently close to the net without spin. Again, with the stiffest racket, drives rely on the player’s wrist and finger strength. The attack drive feels a lot faster and offensive with this racket because it is head heavy. The head heavy racket feels singles-oriented. The balance point change does not force a commitment to offense. Mixed doubles driving was fast and powerful enough. The clears were very accurate but definitely required proper form to make it to the other end with ease. The head heavy balance is only slight and is sometimes barely noticeable, but offense is not one of those times. Even with the large sweetspot, smashes fly off of the racket, making 22 pounds of tension seem like 28 for a special occasion. Power smashes feel clean and committed. The combination between accuracy and power is quite impressive. Even smashes sacrificing power for placement really do thunder down. Clears, as with any offensive/very stiff racket, require good form to reach the back. Recommendation: The very stiff version has a higher balance point, aimed at highly skilled players who tend towards offense or singles play. Defensive doubles players may want to opt for stiff. This is especially recommended for those who want to control rallies. Comments I really can’t say enough about the accuracy. I have never felt the ability and confidence to clear crosscourt, drive anywhere, and play spinning netdrops until I came across this series. The Ti-11.000 certainly offers something to almost every level, strength, and play style. I had high expectations for this racket, and it delivered with its incredible accuracy, fantastic feel, and consistency. If you can get your hands on the Ti-11.000, you have the opportunity to learn a lot about the competitive quality of FZ Forza, as well as yourself, and what you prefer in a racket. Surely, with the right marketing, this racket will become a respected racket aimed at control. For another look at the rackets, see my youtube video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtY8ClvjEnw Thank you to www.badmintonian.com again for providing these badminton rackets.