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  1. #1
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Default Carlton Vapour Trail Pure

    Geez, I'm in such big trouble - I completely impulse bought a Carlton Vapour Trail Pure (VTP).

    The back story. Okay, so one of the rackets I bought during my first year playing was the Carlton Vapour Trail Tour (VTT). Probably the most underrated racket ever made. The Optimetric head did what it said on the box (More power), but the smaller head size didn't have as pronounced reduction to the sweetspot like the Z-Slash does. It was slightly heavier and stiffer too, so basically it was better than the Z-Slash in every way. Faster, bigger sweetspot, same power, but sharper.

    So when I look back over the past 5 years, the VTT is a stand out for me, eclipsing most of the other rackets I tried.

    Fastforward to now, and I've got a better idea of what specs I like - head heavyish (305), light weight (under 90g, wet) and mid flex. Hrm, what's the spec on the VTP, I wonder?

    305 *check*
    86g *check*
    Mid flex *check*

    And to top it off, a really attractive price point.

    Should be here via the Brown Santa in a few days! (Just don't tell the missus)

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  2. #2
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    Wow that's sexy!

  3. #3
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    I'm putting fluro yellow BG66M in it, too

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    would you be able to give a review once you get it. im interested in getting it as well.

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    Although I have to say that the Vt-ZF Ltd's purple is sexier. I wish someone will make a racket with that purple as the primary colour.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Yeah we'll see. Rackets always look different in real life.

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    Well done, VT series are great rackets. I have two Tours - 2009 and 2011 versions. They were my absolute favorites until not long ago when I decided to to back to MX70.
    I also own something called Vapour Trail "Ignite" - a model Carlton only made available for Sports Direct in UK shops and it was heavily discounted to 50 quid at the time I bought it. The spec is 86g, head heavy, medium flex just like the Pure, except it's yellow. There is another HH med flex Vapour Trail called Flux. I wonder what's difference between these three...

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    The pure is lighter and doesn't have special grommets like the flux.
    http://www.carltonsports.com/docs/ba...s_selector.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by meteor View Post
    Well done, VT series are great rackets. I have two Tours - 2009 and 2011 versions. They were my absolute favorites until not long ago when I decided to to back to MX70.
    I also own something called Vapour Trail "Ignite" - a model Carlton only made available for Sports Direct in UK shops and it was heavily discounted to 50 quid at the time I bought it. The spec is 86g, head heavy, medium flex just like the Pure, except it's yellow. There is another HH med flex Vapour Trail called Flux. I wonder what's difference between these three...
    When you say MX70 are you talking about Victor MX70? If so how is it? I am also considering that racket too.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Yeah I liked the look of the Flux but Direct Sports didn't have it.

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    Hi, I have a vapour trail flux I rarely use if anyone wants one. You could have it for 35 inc UK delivery. I also have a Carlton Air Blade which I would sell for 40 or 70 for both.

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    Ungh, now you tell me!

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    Yh, the Carlton VT series is so under-rated! The flux is a fun racquet for messing about with but for a predominately wristy player like myself, it does whip quite a lot so I did find it frustrating, especially on the backhands but most people tend to like it. I bought 2 VT Elites (2011 version) a while ago and got to say they are simply brilliant racquets. Its the only racquet I have owned two of at the same time (I broke an MX80 on a mishit, bought another one, broke that on a mishit so got it repaired, wallet was in too much pain). I remember the first time I used the VTE I was not impressed at all. It felt very unwieldy and unforgiving but after 2-3 hours I actually didn't want to put it down. It does everything very very well but no one thing exceptionally. I would say Jack of all trades but that's underselling it quite a bit. Having said that, I do find myself using my MX80 more since I have started playing doubles more. The accuracy and placement from it is just so addictive.

    The VTE is far from inaccurate but to put it in context, when I am having a good day, I can smash with the VTE at the line and the shuttle will land within an inch on either side of the line 8-8.5/10 provided I have warmed up, got used to the conditions of the hall and I am having a good day. With the MX80, in the same conditions its closer to within an inch 9.5/10 times albeit with a noticeable drop in power, but when you are hitting it that accurately, power is very much a secondary concern. VTE does require some minor technique adjustments as it has a wide frame if viewed side on, but very slim frame viewed head on so the swing is different but very effective. Tbh, I would say the VTE is between the MX80 and MXLondon in stiffness (closer to London) but its a noticeably shorter shaft and as such, in the hands of someone unused to it, it will feel absolutely awful till you get used to the timing and the weird swing, but then I really can't recommend it highly enough. Its incredibly powerful, especially considering its specs. It just doesn't feel that stiff when I hit a shuttle but in short swings, e.g. punch clears, backhand clears etc. you really appreciate the stiffness. Its the only racquet I have ever used that feels like this and its really great fun. The VTT also feels somewhat similar but its a lot more forgiving and much easier to just pick up and play with.

    I am a decent player, nothing special. Can do all the basic shots including straight and crosscourt backhand clear with most racquets provided the string tension isn't too high or low and I have had coaching within weeks of me first starting so my movement is generally fairly good. I regularly push myself in drills for the reason I only really play for fun since I don't want to end up taking the game to seriously and ruin the experience for others playing for fun, and ofc when you enjoy a hobby, its natural you want to become as good as you can at it. I have used a fair amount of racquets (too many tbh) but I think this definitely makes the top 3. I tend to string between 26-28lbs with bg80 depending on conditions and racquet. The VTE is very powerful (not like the N90 or VT80 or VTZF but it's a close rival with practice) but also very fast and really provides incredible control. This isn't a proper review but over the next few weeks I hope to write all the reviews I have promised and I will try and sum up my experiences with the VTE and also impressions from the VTT I have used for around 10-15hrs total for those interested. I am always happy to answer questions on the threads or by PMs so feel free to ask me about whatever you want.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    I haven't used the VTE because it would be too heavy and stiff for me, but there's little question that of all the 'modified small ISO' head shaped rackets, the Vapour Trail series is the standout winner.

    Anyway, racket is half way here so I should have it ready for a Friday evening hit-up and quick report.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maklike Tier View Post
    I haven't used the VTE because it would be too heavy and stiff for me, but there's little question that of all the 'modified small ISO' head shaped rackets, the Vapour Trail series is the standout winner.

    Anyway, racket is half way here so I should have it ready for a Friday evening hit-up and quick report.
    Perhaps. I'm a very little guy and far from built in anyway. But I don't really have any trouble getting power or defending with it at all. Just need strong fingers and fairly strong wrist and the right technique imo. Would still recommend testing one if you get the chance for a few hours. Takes a while to really get used to but after that its peachy I agree with you though, VTT takes that title comfortably.

    I look forward to reading about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNotoriousLIG View Post
    Perhaps. I'm a very little guy and far from built in anyway. But I don't really have any trouble getting power or defending with it at all. Just need strong fingers and fairly strong wrist and the right technique imo. Would still recommend testing one if you get the chance for a few hours. Takes a while to really get used to but after that its peachy I agree with you though, VTT takes that title comfortably.

    I look forward to reading about it.
    I was left with mixed impressions after having a go at VTE for one session. I used MX80 in the past so I wasn't concerned about potential unforgiveness. In practice it proved too heavy and stiff for me although I can see why it has great potential in the right hands. Maybe I was having a bad day... who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meteor View Post
    I was left with mixed impressions after having a go at VTE for one session. I used MX80 in the past so I wasn't concerned about potential unforgiveness. In practice it proved too heavy and stiff for me although I can see why it has great potential in the right hands. Maybe I was having a bad day... who knows.
    Haha, that's pretty much how it is for everyone I think. When I first tried one I thought it was the most unwieldy, least powerful etc. I thought it was total crap. But I also knew after experience with the MX80 and N90 that sometimes it can take a little time to adjust and after about 3 sessions I really didn't want to put it down. Its really the kind of racquet that as you adjust to fit it, will change to fit you if that makes sense. It has a huge handle as standard though which was annoying to start with, but now I totally understand it as you simply wouldn't be able to transfer the power from your arm and wrist to the racquet if you didn't have the racquet filling your hand. It would be totally unplayable. I found holding the racquet deeper in my hand and using my whole fingers instead of the ends of my fingers for shots using finger power made a bit difference.

    There's load of little things I changed to get this to work for me (I wont list them, would be here all day) and I think it was worth it. Could have been a bad day, could have just been the racquet, or maybe it just isn't for you. Would reccommend trying it again if you get a chance though. The easiest way to use it is to adjust your swing so it accelerates as quickly as possible before you hit the shuttle for power. A big power swing is pretty useless with this and won't really do much. Better off trying to channel the power from your arm through your hand to the racquet instead of straight to the racquet but that's just my experience. YEMV

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