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  1. #1
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    Default When does the "need" to try new rackets begin to impede development?

    Hi, before I start I'd like to point out that I am no professional player. I am first and foremost, a badminton enthusiast like pretty much all of you, who presently find yourself on this forum to try and buy/sell/learn about this sport that has captured us. With that said, I would like to discuss how so very many of us have turned over our equipment in the pursuit of trying something new, perhaps to find that elusive "perfect" racket. But when does this obsession begin to impede our personal development in the sport?

    I ask this because when I first started to play badminton a few years back, I began in a fairly normal way. I started off with a budget racket, took lessons with it, and continued using that racket for a solid year. But then I caught something, this itch, this obsession with trying new rackets. I was still taking lessons, but every now and then, I would show up with a different racket, and because of this constant trialling, I felt my development slowed a bit back then. An excel file was created to, listing all the rackets I owned just so that I could look back and wonder, just wonder if that racket was the one that got away.

    On this present day, the list has grown to racket #75, and although I know this isn't the longest list on this forum by any stretch, it nonetheless baffles me. It leaves me wondering about now -- about 6 years since I started playing -- how much better I would have become had I stuck to one racket. Looking through my list, several rackets have showed up multiple times. The NS9900 showed up 6 times, the AT900P at 5. The NS9900 has stood up to numerous tests but after the sixth time, the lack of head heaviness is starting to put me off. The AT900P will have its time now.

    Presently I am on the Varsity badminton team at my university and although I am in grad school now, it is never too late to settle down and focus on one racket and on improving myself.

    So in the end, when does our obsession with trying new things impede our ability to improve our skills and knowledge? Try and think back, to how different things would be if the money spent on rackets was instead spent on training. Provincial level? National level? Probably not but it is still fun to think about. But I digress, part of our love for the game is the ability to experiment and try new things at a reasonable (although increasing) price. Does this mean my days of purchasing a bunch of different rackets to try will end? Probably not, but I will focus on one racket more than others from now on.

    Sorry for the long post

  2. #2
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    75 rackets in 6 years... that's 1 new one per month! Ok, that probably is the record on the forum. You should just decide on your play style and go from there in choosing racket specs. And even then, you should get a scale to keep track of the specs that work for you, ie wt, bp, head wt, stiffness, frame design. Once you do this, you'll narrow down to what works for you.

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    I think it does impede to a certain degree. Recently, I had been doing some reading into Lin Dan and noticed that in his whole career, he only used 2 racquets (over 12 years or more) - MP99 and AT700 (1st gen) (and now reincarnated as Li-Ning N90 !!) and one string BG65 at roughly one tension 33lbs (or Li-Ning equivalent) ....

    I contrast this against Taufik Hidayat and LCW, whose performances seemed to see-saw whenever they change gear and stabilise after a few months while while Mr Lin Dan remains ever consistent ....

    So, there may be some merits to NOT CHANGE GEAR so often ....

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    I am also thinking of selling most of my rackets n stick w/ just 2-3 favorite ones in the bag, depending on the 'feel' of the day and also the games I am going to have. Even having 2 of the same rackets does not really work because somehow each racket feels slightly different.

    Tried out a dozen of rackets I could not concentrate on improving my games/shots. Always having to adjust my shots according to the new rackets I am using, my games/shots were not consistent. Whereas consistency is the difference between playing well or playing just OK.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    With ref to the OP plan to change from NS9900 to a head heavier one - perhaps another option is to add lead tape ?

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    can you hold a garage sale after deciding which ones you like to keep.

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    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    I've only been playing for just over 4 years, but I reckon I'm now finally at a point where I know what spec works for my physique and style. I'm an older guy, so I'm not getting any faster or stronger for that matter, so I don't expect that to change dramatically from now on.

    I think if youre playing competition, you should stick to a racket for that entire season. Sure, change around when youre having fun games, but if youre playing comp the yeah absolutely youre at a disadvantage if youre changing rackets all the time.

    But hey, for me at least the 'gear' part of it is half the fun. If I was a teenager with ambition, then sure - let your coach pick your racket for you and dedicate yourself to it - but otherwise....just have fun

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    Cycliver, it is possible that if you had put all those resources to training and such you might be a better player. But you didn't. Don't dwell.

    In fact there is no proof that you would have used any of those saved resources towards improvement. Because all the extra training takes time as well as money. And if you are a grad student, then time is not plentiful. (BTW for every grad student I've known, money was not plentiful either .... times must have changed !)

    I, too, played the game of racket acquisition.... but I fully knew that I was tossing money away on the off-chance that some perfect "wand" would make up for my lack of practice and coaching. (I am at a time in life where money is OK but time is very hard to come by.)
    I didn't expect any miracle, I was just fooling around.

    I did find the type of racket that suits me ... and I have been able to serve as a source of racket experimentation for my friends -- to whom I am slowly divesting my supply.

    The one thing that I have learned is that the racket I play best with is the one that I'm playing with whenever I have been working out, stretching, getting enough sleep, eating right and having a happy home and work life. That is the best racket to use. Good luck!
    Last edited by Fidget; 12-02-2012 at 08:07 AM.

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    Haha racket experimentation is a big part of the fun of badminton unfortunately. Like Fidget, I am the "racket guy" around here and will be until a good chunk of my stuff is sold XD. I hope to one day stop being the guy with all the rackets and to play badminton well into old age. Love it.

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    #75 in 6 years . That's impressive, 30+ years playing for me and less than 20 racquets .

    Consider yourself lucky to have experienced that many racquets. The beauty of being an enthusiast is freedom of choice. Had you chosen to become a pro & made it, your equipments would be dictated by your sponsors.

    As for development, I believe racquet change affects an intermediate player the most. A beginner wouldn't be able to appreciate/ take advantage of a new racquet's characteristics while on the other hand, an advanced player would've figured out what he wants in a racquet.

    Had you put the money for coaching etc I don't doubt you'd be a better player. No one can say by how much though. Don't worry about what could happen - for all we know you could've reached pro level & got injured in your first match .

    I myself use 2-3 different racquets in a 3-4 hour social session without detriment - but all of them share similar characteristics that I know I work for me: slightly head heavy, stiff, thin grip, high repulsion string. Obviously not something I would do in a competition.

    Just enjoy all your toys & sell the ones you don't like to us who're less fortunate .

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxout View Post
    I think it does impede to a certain degree. Recently, I had been doing some reading into Lin Dan and noticed that in his whole career, he only used 2 racquets (over 12 years or more) - MP99 and AT700 (1st gen) (and now reincarnated as Li-Ning N90 !!) and one string BG65 at roughly one tension 33lbs (or Li-Ning equivalent) ....

    I contrast this against Taufik Hidayat and LCW, whose performances seemed to see-saw whenever they change gear and stabilise after a few months while while Mr Lin Dan remains ever consistent ....

    So, there may be some merits to NOT CHANGE GEAR so often ....
    You are comparing *performance* that is not the same as *development*.

    Changing rackets will impede development more when the player is less experienced/technically skilled - at this point when they need to get the correct feel when learning a shot it may take longer if they have just changed to a different balance racket and can't time it correctly.

    More technically able students will be able to adjust to different rackets more easily, and what they will be learning will not be so reliant on the last bit of the swing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by amleto View Post
    You are comparing *performance* that is not the same as *development*.

    Changing rackets will impede development more when the player is less experienced/technically skilled - at this point when they need to get the correct feel when learning a shot it may take longer if they have just changed to a different balance racket and can't time it correctly.

    More technically able students will be able to adjust to different rackets more easily, and what they will be learning will not be so reliant on the last bit of the swing.
    Noted with thanks on clarifications

  13. #13
    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxout View Post
    I think it does impede to a certain degree. Recently, I had been doing some reading into Lin Dan and noticed that in his whole career, he only used 2 racquets (over 12 years or more) - MP99 and AT700 (1st gen) (and now reincarnated as Li-Ning N90 !!) and one string BG65 at roughly one tension 33lbs (or Li-Ning equivalent) ....

    I contrast this against Taufik Hidayat and LCW, whose performances seemed to see-saw whenever they change gear and stabilise after a few months while while Mr Lin Dan remains ever consistent ....

    So, there may be some merits to NOT CHANGE GEAR so often ....
    To be fair, when LD used to play with Yonex they still had the monopoly, so they didn't have many options in the head-heavy/stiff area. Indeed, the only way he could have gone before changing to Li Ning was to the AT900P (and I'm kind of surprised he didn't, TBH).

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    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    I love it when people quote what Lin Dan did or didn't do (or appear to do) as some benchmark or evidence of something.I noticed that when wearing yellow shoes, LD had a 98% chance of winning, ergo, yellow shoes are AWESOME!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maklike Tier View Post
    I love it when people quote what Lin Dan did or didn't do (or appear to do) as some benchmark or evidence of something.I noticed that when wearing yellow shoes, LD had a 98% chance of winning, ergo, yellow shoes are AWESOME!
    And I enjoy it when people reply without understanding what was written or the message that was being delivered.

  16. #16
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    i will never understand why people buy and play different rackets at the same time.
    if i have/want to switch my racket, i try some new ones, decide which is best FOR ME, then buy some of them (3 or so) and play them until i have to have new ones (which is typically after 3 years or so, when a new model comes along or something better comes along. i a racket breaks, i get a new one of the same model.
    that having said, i played AT700 for like 3 years, then AS10 for 2 years, now VT80 for the last 1.5 years or so. that means 3 different models in the last 6 or 7 years (a total of 10 rackets maybe...).

    i would recommend to get a racket that suits you and stick to it for at least a season (or better 2)...

  17. #17
    Regular Member gundamzaku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxout View Post
    And I enjoy it when people reply without understanding what was written or the message that was being delivered.
    i enjoy your sarcasm, LOL

    to the OP, it's a matter of priority in your badminton life. if you feel that experimentation of rackets is more important to you, then you'll spend the money on new rackets tho you might feel guilty afterward. i do it all the time if you feel that training and winning tournaments in competition is more important, then you'll naturally think about training a lot more and of the rackets a lot less. i think right now you're just in an experiment-of-racket phase, at least that's what you think all the time. when you're tired of the "new racket" marketing, you'll stop for a period of time, until something really catches your attention, then you'll buy another racket. and i'm sure that after you graduate, find that career that you want, you'll have more plans in your life than just badminton, which will require a lot more of your time and money than badminton...unless your career goal is to open a badminton gym, then i guess you're stuck forever

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