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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default REVIEW: Adidas G-PRO Badminton Shuttlecock

    Adidas G-PRO Badminton Shuttlecock Review

    Among the goodies that Adidas Badminton sent me is a tube of Adidas G-PRO shuttlecock. The G-PRO is the 2nd top of the line shuttlecock offering from Adidas. The top of the line is a super premium G-COMP and in total there are 8 different shuttlecock models offered.

    The packaging design follows the black based design of the whole Adidas Badminton series. An Adidas triband graces the bottom of the tube along with a shuttlecock graphics near the top half and bottom. The G-PRO shuttlecock tube also shows that it is BWF approved.

    Upon inspection of the shuttlecock itself reveals the material and construction of the shuttlecock. 16 pieces of goose feathers lines up straight and solidly inserted into the base. The quality of the feathers is very good, I see no curvature on the shaft, the feathers are properly bleached and there is only slight hint of self folding on the exposed edge. The stiffness chosen for the feather seems to be medium stiff. Which should enhance durability.

    As I was told, the feathers are inserted by an automated machine, and the strings are also tied by a machine. The explains the very uniform shape of the cage and also very tidy knots found.

    The head is made of quality solid cork. Using a dual layer construction, a stiffer cork layer is used on the feather side to enhance structural stiffness while a softer layer of solid cork on the rounded side. It is very nice to see the use of quality material. These days many respected manufacturers have chosen to cut cost by using inferior materials such as particle cork layer in their flagship offering. Adidas is wise to stay away from that in their top of the line shuttlecocks.

    So how does it play?

    Very very well.

    The flight characteristics is rather excellent. The flight is straight, spins well, and stable. I sense no amount of wobbling at all. The feeling on impact is medium stiff, a slight crispness can be felt on impact. In general, it look and feels like a quality shuttlecock.

    I was given a tube of speed 77 shuttles. It seems to fly slightly faster than the 77 I have used from other brands but it does match the speed of Yonex shuttlecocks which also tend to fly slightly fast.

    Durability is one of the strength of the G-PRO. Nowadays a good quality shuttlecock is expected to last on average one game of decent level club play. I have tested 4 of the G-PRO and have invited friends who can smash very hard in a few games of men’s doubles. The G-PRO’s i used lasted between of a game to 1 games. Which is exactly what i expect good quality to last.

    Consistency is also very good. I tested the whole tube of shuttlecock and there are no bad apples in them. All the G-PRO’s in it flies and feel very similar. This shows a strict level of quality control.

    To summarize, the Adidas G-PRO is a top quality shuttlecock that is durable and have very stable flight characteristics. They may fly slightly faster than average but my tube is a prototype so that might take some adjustments. If priced correctly this will be a very good choice for badminton players who demands top stable flight and durability at the same time.


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    kwun,

    Thank you very much for the review of the Adidas G-PRO shuttle, I hope they will send you the G-COMP for review as well.

    Just one question, based on your testing so far, on the Yonex AS30-AS40-AS50 scale, where would you slot the G-PRO ?

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    the comparison with Yonex is difficult to make as they are different style of shuttlecock.

    I used a AS30 today, the feeling is typical Yonex, very solid and stiff feeling.

    Adidas on the other hand has a softer feel, similar to Aeroplane Blacks.

    durability of the G-PRO is similar to AS30/40, but i am not sure if it is up to the quality of AS50 as i have not used AS50 for a long time. send me some and i will compare for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    the comparison with Yonex is difficult to make as they are different style of shuttlecock.

    I used a AS30 today, the feeling is typical Yonex, very solid and stiff feeling.

    Adidas on the other hand has a softer feel, similar to Aeroplane Blacks.

    durability of the G-PRO is similar to AS30/40, but i am not sure if it is up to the quality of AS50 as i have not used AS50 for a long time. send me some and i will compare for you.
    Now you have really stirred my curiosity and interest in the Adidas birdies ...
    Last edited by maxout; 02-21-2013 at 03:12 AM.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    during tonight's games, various players have contributed AS30, old Aeroplane Black and new Aeroplane Black. i contributed the G-PRO.

    the new Aeroplane Black, i think i have said enough already. sucks. feather breaks easily. lucky to last 1/2 a game. pretty worthless shuttlecock these days.

    the AS30 is as i said earlier, bear's Yonex's characteristics. crisp, solid and stiff feeling on impact. flies fast. durability was around 1 game.

    Aeroplane Black old. One of the guy still have some stock of the old ones, he actually went and seeked out and bought all of his friend's stock of old Aeroplane black. he also says the new one sucks. as with good old Blacks, they lasted 2 games and the condition was still good enough for warm up and drills.

    The Adidas G-PRO also flew fast like the AS30. slightly slower than AS30 but enough that i need to tip the shuttle to get it into the right speed. feel and flight characteristics is very similar to old Aeroplane black. durability-wise, the one i contributed last 2 full games of men's double today. and similar to the old Aeroplane black, it is still good enough for warm up drills. i have saved the G-PRO that we used but i wish i had picked up the old Aeroplane black but it was gone when i went looking for it. the condition of the G-PRO and the old Aeroplane black were very similar after 2 games on each played by the same 4 players. i was very impressed.

    at this point, someone probably start to wonder if G-PRO == old Aeroplane Black? ie. were they made from the same factory? the answer is, AFAIK, no. old Aeroplane Black was made in a factory close to Shanghai, and i believe the factory for Adidas is in Guangdong province.

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    I am quite a fussy pot when it comes to birdies ... after years of trying so many brands and with mixed results and the variation in quailities from batch to batch ... I have narrowed my choices considerably ...

    Based on the current availability in the Malaysian market, the choices that I would consider happy to buy and spend my hard-earned money (getting free is another story ) are:

    1) Yonex AS30, AS40, AS50 and Mavis 2000 (yup, even plastic Mavis 2000 plays better than many other feathered birdies !!)

    2) RCL Black Silver and RCL Black Gold (not so easy to find and getting expensive, almost the same price as AS-30 !!)

    They are the most consistent in terms of quality, flight, durability etc to date, others like Protech, RSL, Li-Ning, wll, are not so consistent in QC or just not economical (durability wise).

    While Yonex Aerosensa 30-50 series are good esp AS-50, they are EXPENSIVE, hence I use them as a benchmark.

    When I saw the Adidas new birdies, well, hopefully, BIG HOPEFULLY, they can "help out" some poor souls like myself with good decent birdies to loosen Yonex strangehold on QUALITY BIRDIES ... at a reasonable price

    Until today, I don't know WHY CAN'T OTHER COMPANIES MAKE GOOD QUALITY BIRDIES CONSISTENTLY like Yonex ?

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    Hope the pricing is competitively priced based on today's market prices *coughs Aeroplane Blacks*

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limited328 View Post
    Hope the pricing is competitively priced based on today's market prices *coughs Aeroplane Blacks*
    yeah. well. we will see. i doubt it though. even Aeroplane eventually cannot sustain their prices now they have substantially degraded the shuttlecock in order to keep the price low (and not *that* low anymore to be honest).

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxout View Post
    Until today, I don't know WHY CAN'T OTHER COMPANIES MAKE GOOD QUALITY BIRDIES CONSISTENTLY like Yonex ?
    Yonex charge a premium for the shuttlecock. AS30/40/50 are not cheap.

    the supply chain for shuttlecock has really thin margins. people are earning maybe 10% only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    Yonex charge a premium for the shuttlecock. AS30/40/50 are not cheap.

    the supply chain for shuttlecock has really thin margins. people are earning maybe 10% only.
    kwun, racket are also 10%, right ?

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Licin View Post
    kwun, racket are also 10%, right ?
    depending on the country. in the US the retailers alone earn quite a handsome profit margin. i have seen some brands with up to 50% but most are in region of 30%-40%.

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    I've been playing with the Plastic/Nylon Yonex Mavis shuttlecocks for a very long time. Feather is still too expensive for me. I'm praying the Adidas shuttlecocks are cheaper. If it's $20/tube, then I may be interested in them.

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    Good & thorough review, though the cynic in me wonders how indicative the sample tube will be of series production.

    I would disagree with the comment that Yonex is the only manufacturer of quality shuttles. The main-stay of UK clubs was AS30. However, 2 years ago, there was a noticeable drop off (well... plunge) in quality, especially durability. Yonex got bitten, as clubs dropped them in droves.

    This season, the quality of AS30 appears to be approaching (though IMHO not quite at) their old standard. However, the price has been rising every 6 months & now stands above where AS50 were a few years back. A further problem with Yonex, is that there is no discount for bulk buys, whereas most of their rivals given up to 20% off for orders of 25 tubes.

    In that time, we've been looking at several other brands and found that the better grades of Yehlex and Victor were comparable (and frequently cheaper) than Yonex AS30 and even AS40.

    Like so many of the posts here, I hope Adidas'es entry into the market will push quality higher and/or prices lower. However, I suspect (for the UK market at least), we will still pay high prices for average quality, regardless of brand.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt_Strider View Post
    I've been playing with the Plastic/Nylon Yonex Mavis shuttlecocks for a very long time. Feather is still too expensive for me. I'm praying the Adidas shuttlecocks are cheaper. If it's $20/tube, then I may be interested in them.
    when i asked about pricing on Adidas products, sometimes i was told the approx price points but also i am not allowed to reveal it because it is not final and also quite sensitive and confidential before launch, which is understandable.

    however, the best i am allowed to say is that they will be competitive with Yonex and Victor. i will let you decide what competitive means.

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    Even 30%-40% margin at the retail level is very low. There are other costs to cover too.

    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    depending on the country. in the US the retailers alone earn quite a handsome profit margin. i have seen some brands with up to 50% but most are in region of 30%-40%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt_Strider View Post
    I've been playing with the Plastic/Nylon Yonex Mavis shuttlecocks for a very long time. Feather is still too expensive for me. I'm praying the Adidas shuttlecocks are cheaper. If it's $20/tube, then I may be interested in them.
    HangYu Greens can be had in Vancouver for $17-18 per tube. They are very good, almost comparable to AS30 in crispiness, flight and durability.

    One minor problem though, once you go feathers, you can't go back to nylons.
    So be prepared to shell out a few more $ per session for birds.
    Last edited by visor; 02-25-2013 at 01:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    HangYu Greens can be had in Vancouver for $17-18 per tube. They are very good, almost comparable to AS30 in crispiness, flight and durability.

    One minor problem though, once you go feathers, you can't go back to nylons.
    So be prepared to shell out a few more $ per session for birds.
    I got them for $13 (5 dozen with shipping included) from Vancouver....hmmm...questionable on quality of tubes now...

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