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Short, ill equiped, but slowly improving beginner seeks help!

Discussion in 'Racket Recommendation / Comparison' started by Haylo, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. Haylo

    Haylo Regular Member

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    Sorry for yet another beginners thread, but the existing ones I've read haven't answered my questions.

    From some helpful looking racket articles online, and from reading threads on here, I've figured out that I probably need a head-light, lightweight, flexible shafted racket, with a small grip.I'm female, 4' 10", in my mid 40s, fairly fit but not very strong yet, with small hands. And tennis elbow.

    Translating that into an actual racket is incredibly confusing, especially as I've just learned that junior rackets are available. Would a junior racket be more appropriate for someone of my size? Should I be getting a racket with a longer handle to make up for my lack of reach, or a shorter one? :confused:

    In terms of play, I'm only a beginner, but have reached the stage where I'm no longer shocked when I manage to return an awkward shot, and really I'm enjoying it so much, it's time to buy a proper racket. The one I have is a 15 year old one that a friend passed on for me to use, it's rather too heavy for me, and it's very slightly warped.

    Any advice or suggestions regarding suitable rackets or helpful articles about this would be gratefully received! :)
     
  2. Chimmey

    Chimmey Regular Member

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    If your London bound or close to Wimbledon, you are welcome to borrow a Carlton vapour Trail S-lite. Its a mid-high end lightweight flexible headlight racket. I think its designed with females in mind but I used it as I had trouble generating power on my own until I could learn at least some technique. Anyway I don't use now so you can try it in your own time to see if its the type of thing that works for you as it seems to match your requirements perfectly.

    Dave
     
  3. Haylo

    Haylo Regular Member

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    Dave, that's kind of you, unfortunately I'm in Worcestershire and unlikely to be heading into London again for several months.
     
  4. SolsticeOfLight

    SolsticeOfLight Regular Member

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    Flexible definitely sounds right. A lot of females prefer flexible rackets to make clears and smashes easier.

    Think a little about head light; it's easier to hit smashes or long shots with a slightly head-heavier racket. Usually I recommend even-balanced rackets to ladies, though ultimately it'll come down to what you prefer.

    Don't get a junior racket :p

    Tennis elbow is usually caused by incorrectly sized grips. I can't remember which way round it is (whether it's too small or too big affects either your elbow or your wrist), but I'd be surprised if there isn't a thread about it somewhere on here.


    That said, you might find that a £15 racket from your local sports-vendor is perfectly fine for you. But that'll depend on where you want to play, and at which level :)
     
  5. Haylo

    Haylo Regular Member

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    Thanks, I'll take that into consideration. By the way, I've seen them described as light or heavy headed, is there an easy way to tell if I pick one up? Presumably it's about the balance point?

    Oh dear, I'm guessing that wasn't a sensible idea of mine!

    Or in my case, rock climbing and renovating a crumbling old heap of a house! :D
    But thanks, it's good to know that it can be made worse by getting the grip size wrong.

    When I said I was a beginner, I wasn't being modest!
    While I want something that suits my size and style of play, I'm under no illusions that something expensive is going to transform my game! :)
     
  6. Badderz_Alpha

    Badderz_Alpha Regular Member

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    Yes, I think its a small grip causes it as you are trying to grip too hard to keep hold of it, a loose fingertip grip is the one you want!

    follow me @badderz_alpha or Facebook.com/badmintonalpha
     
  7. Haylo

    Haylo Regular Member

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    In that case, it's probably not going to be a problem, I have tiny hands and have to buy children's gloves, so it's hard to imagine anyone making grips that would be too small for me. :eek:
     
  8. Haylo

    Haylo Regular Member

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    My previous reply hasn't posted, hopefully this won't be a duplicate post...

    Thanks, I'll take that into consideration. By the way, I've seen them described as light or heavy headed, is there an easy way to tell if I pick one up? Presumably it's about the location of the balance point?

    I'm guessing that wasn't a sensible idea of mine!

    Or in my case, rock climbing and renovating a crumbling old heap of a house! :D
    But thanks, it's good to know that it can be made worse by getting the grip size wrong.

    When I said I was a beginner, I wasn't being modest!
    While I want something that suits my size and style of play, I'm under no illusions that something expensive is going to transform my game! :)
     
  9. Avenger

    Avenger Regular Member

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    NS100, arcsaber 001 or 002 might be suit your taste..
    NS100 especially suit your description, it is head light and flexible

    arcsaber 001 and 002 is flexible with more even balance head


    IMO, a 15 years old racket most likely at least a 2U (90-95gram) or a U (95-100 gram)
    while almost all new racket now is at least 3U (85-90 gram) including the NS100, and arcsaber 001 and 002

    If I'm not wrong, some brands other than Yonex do carry lower weight such as 5U (75-80 gram)
     
  10. sslam72

    sslam72 Regular Member

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    I can't say i agreed entirely with your comment. I wear size 9 gloves (large to extra large) and I've always imported racqeuts with a G5 grip, which is the smallest size you can get. I then cover over with one layer of grip so it's loosely a G4.5 (which oddly enough, Yonex used to sell in the far east)

    I would agreed that tennis elbow is contributed by the player attempting to grip too tightly at all times instead of having a relaxed grip. In badminton, another contributer to tennis elbow is also where the player doesn't use the wrist enough and instead jerks the elbow to try and get the same effect.
     
  11. sslam72

    sslam72 Regular Member

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    If you're looking for a starting point, and if you were to look at Yonex, then I would recommend a 4U racquet so as to assist in minimising the degree of fatigue your arm or elbow will suffer with.

    I find that there's not a huge amount to distinguish a flexible and medium flex shafted racquets in the Yonex range. However, you can tell the difference when comparing against a stiff or extra stiff one.

    Technique most of all will help you avoid further problems with tennis elbow, but that's another chapter for discussion. However, all of the 4U racquets I list below will be suitable i.e. they do not have a head heavy bias balance.

    In the UK you should check out the following 4U racquets and see who is selling them with a G5 grip and of course it would depend on your budget.
    1) Voltric 60, 4U G5 flexible shaft
    2) Voltrix 7, 4U G5 medium flex
    3) Arcsaber 3FL, 4U G5 flexible

    Others where you'll need to check if a G5 grip is available are:
    4) Nanoray 60, 4U, Medium flex
    5) Arcsaber 9FL, 4U medium flex

    I would steer away from a 3U racquet in consideration for your tennis elbow, or any racquet that purports to have a "stiff" shaft. You'll find the heads are all stiff to extra stiff, so you get get control and feel and the ones I've listed are not extra stiff heads and their ISOmetric shape offers you a larger sweet spot than the old fashion racquet you have.

    Yonex UK can tell you, although I know that Gefen Sports in London who offer a mail order facility sell items 1, 2 and 3 in a 4U G5.

    Most of these racquets will come with horribly dead feeling Yonex BG65, BG65Ti, or the slightly better BG68Ti and the factory tension will be around 21lbs - 22lbs. Even taking your tennis elbow into account, when your strings expire I would still recommend an optimum tension of 24lbs for your strings to get the good control and repulsion. That is 1lb less than what I would recommend for almost every Yonex racquet, i.e. 25lbs but that's because you'll get still get good power when combined with the more flexible shafts.

    Strings are fairly cheap, and I'm heavily biased towards the old school Yonex BG80 string, which makes a great sound too.

    Anyroad, good luck on your search.
     
  12. sslam72

    sslam72 Regular Member

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    Oh, and locking the arm out when making shots doesn't help either.
     
  13. BlueTornado

    BlueTornado Regular Member

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    How much are you willing / do you want to spend?
     
  14. Haylo

    Haylo Regular Member

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    Thank you SO much for these replies, I hadn't expected this much help!

    As much as necessary, but no more than I have to.

    Thing is, as I'm now playing at the leisure complex where I already been paying a full membership for the gym and exercise classes, it's not costing me anything extra to play badminton. So while even a hundred quid on a racket is probably a lot for a beginner, if that's what ends up suiting me best that's what I'll get. :)
     
  15. Avenger

    Avenger Regular Member

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    for beginner, don't buy a very expensive racket, you might want to change it later (buying 2 mid end might be better than buying 1 high end that is not suitable with your preference)

    that said, NS100, nanoray 20, arcsaber 001 and 002 would be a good starting point
    they don't cost a lot, and I'm sure it is better than random £30 wilson racket from sports direct (my friend bought that, I tried it, and I absolutely hate the racket, it is very very heavy)
    all of these comes in 3U (85-90 gram) and has flexible shaft
    NS100 and nanoray 20 is head light (easier to move in cost of less power)
    while arcsaber 001 and 002 is even balance (all around racket)

    from sslam72's suggestion, I would also gonna add Nanoray 60
    it is medium shaft, head light and 4U (80-85 gram)

    for string, it depends, some place would charge it cheaper if you string it when you buy the racket
    normally it could cost around £15 (for string job and the string)
    for string.. BG80 might be a little bit too rough
    I would go for BG66 ultimax at.. 18-20lbs


    I would suggest to buy it from directsports eshop (yes, not sports direct!)
    they offer half price string job if you buy the racket from them

    price check:
    NS100 (colour: white aqua)
    NS100 (colour: clear red)

    Nanoray 20
    Arccsaber 001
    Arcsaber 002
    Nanoray 60

    P.S: these rackets above cost 1/4 of high end yonex (£30-40 while Nanoray 60 is £54), so you might want to consider it..
    high end yonex usually would cost you around £140..
    arcsaber 3FL = £106
    arcsaber 9FL = £140
     
    #15 Avenger, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012

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