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    Default Losing the smash!?

    Okay, i dont know does this ever happen to anyone of you.

    But after a transition to a new racquet armortec 900p to VT80, i began to lose power in my smash and actually losing the smash itself (as in miss hitting it alot more, and even when i hit it at some occasion it may be flat, not as powerful as before etc).

    Since them in my doubles game i began to smash way less, and play at the front of the net more.

    With my AT900p, i use to generate big smashes as im a relatively tall guy too, 6'2, and i would get comments from my opponent "very big smash, strong smash" etc. I've done a little bit of training on the technique of smash which follows the china way as the amateur coach use to train on the provincial team in china. As i switch over, roughly over 2 months now to VT80 its not as consistent, less accuracy and everything.

    I started to question my techniques again, especially the grip. As i do less and less smash i start forgetting my basic form etc. I was curious about the finger tightening on smash, do you do it on the all 5 fingers, or do you put emphasis on certain finger like the index and thumb. Do you put the your index finger a bit higher than the thumb? Cause i notice one game i tweeked it a little bit, and somehow my smashes cameback to me?

    Funny thing is, i can smash better when i play single. alot more power etc, could this be more positioning as well?

    Thanks for your input!

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    HI jickman
    This has happened to me too.
    I used to smash just fine even though I knew my technique had flaws. I used to play with a head light racquet but since I switched to FZ Forza Kevlar 10000 X-Power which is stiff and head heavy I lost my timing, power, control, everything. first I was disappointed but then I realized it's not the racquet, it's my technique and how I used to perform different shots. see, my racquet specs are superb >>> balance point =317mm with strings and without an over-grip. and stiffness : stiffer than VT80. so why can't I hit big smashes ? I tried to find the answer, maybe you'd find yours here as well :

    1) the head heavier the racquet, the harder it is to accelerate. and that definitely affects your timing.
    2) the swing speed is different with VT80 and Forza 10k X-power or any other stiff,head heavy piece. it's actually slower at the beginning so if you (or me for that matter) don't have the perfect technique to perform a complete swing , you won't get the power you desire. I personally tried a head lighter racquet and my swing speed was surely faster and I was able to hit a harder smash. although there is a boundary. let me do a comparison for you between head light/medium flex racquets and head heavy/stiff or extra stiff racquets, okay ?
    head light/medium flex racquets : they are faster, easier to play with, more agile in doubles and fast flat exchanges, they are faster when in defense and some people say easier to perform net kills. now
    head heavy/Stiff racquets : slower to accelerate => means it's more difficult to play drives with them, or perform fast defensing shots. they require to have a stronger wrist to play net kills and point smashes.
    So why on earth Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan , Chen Long, and all big smashers use these type of racquets ? because with head light racquets there is a boundary on how strong your smash is gonna be, but the ultimate power in badminton comes from a head heavy racquet which is in hands of a strong player with great technique.
    What I'm currently doing, and actually I'm seeing it's result , is following coach Lee Jae Bok. you can find him on youTube. and also watch Lin Dan, Chen Long, and Lee Chong Wei on Slow Motion, then try to imitate their technique in front of a mirror.
    Hope this helps.

    If there's anything you think you can help me with, I'd be more that glad to hear your thoughts.
    Best Regards,
    Baback D.

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    First to legendary player:
    The MAIN difference in your ability to smash is that you went from head light and flexible, to head heavy and stiff. These require different swing speeds to achieve the same level of power. And I am not talking about racket head speed, I am talking about how "BIG" your swing is, i.e. how long your whole backswing+forwardswing is.

    Lets take drives as an example:
    If you take a big back swing, then a flexible shaft will give most power. If you have little to no backswing (a very short and compact swing), then a stiff racket will give you most power. The very best players (county, national, professional) normally have very small, compact, fast swings, so they need stiff rackets. Beginners and intermediate players normally have bigger swings, and so benefit more from flexible rackets.

    As for head heavy or head light, this determines how quickly you can manoeuvre the racket (more strength required for drives and net kills etc), and determines how much power you can add to your strokes. Generally speaking, most players find a head heavy racket gives more power in their shots, but is slower to manoeuvre. Some professionals use head heavy rackets, because they like having power and because they have good compact technique (and a stiff shaft!!!) they are also able to manoeuvre the racket quickly enough (although not as quick as a head light racket).

    If you are following LJB's instructions, you are probably developing a smaller, more compact hitting technique (most suited to your stiff racket). Hence, your smashes seem to be better. I won't say any more about LJB's videos...

    To Jickman:
    If you are still able to smash sometimes (i.e. in singles when you have more time to get to the shuttle), then footwork and timing is your problem. You are probably not getting far enough behind the shuttle, and taking it early enough. I recommend you forget about trying to hit hard, and just focus on being relaxed and getting in position. Remember, that the ideal position to take the shuttle for a smash is going to be 2 or 3 feet in front of your body. Most tall players I know struggle to get into proper position!

    The specs for your 2 rackets are similar I think... so you shouldn't be suffering in the same way as legendary player.

    If you can't EVER smash, then that is a different issue. You can post a video for us to analyse if you want more feedback

    Good luck to you both!

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    Thanks for the Feedback Mseeley
    that thing you said about how big your swing is, is absolutely vital while playing with a stiff head heavy racquet because if you don't do that, it's not that wise to use such racquet. as I focus more and more on Chen long, and Lee Chong wei... I see how big their swing is. one may think it's easy for them to play those shots but it's actually quite hard. Lin Dan and Chen long use tapes to make their racquets head heavier ; just imagine how hard it must be to play that fast with those racquets.

    About Lee Jae Bok , I wasn't just referring to the technique that he teaches. I really like those trainings that he recommends with the cover. they've really changed my net kill,drives, and are helping me to improve my racquet speed which was diminished due to this transition to stiff/head heavy racquet. I also practice full over-head swing , lifts, backhands... and I'm really seeing the difference.
    I think playing with this stiff/head heavy racquet is making me to find and improve any flaws that I have in my shots. I like where I'm going really.

    I have a question though regarding the stiffness of different racquets and I'd really like to hear your thoughts about this one as well. what qualities do you think having an extra stiff racquet, brings to the table regardless of the balance point?

    thanks , waiting for your reply

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    Quote Originally Posted by jickman View Post
    Okay, i dont know does this ever happen to anyone of you.

    But after a transition to a new racquet armortec 900p to VT80, i began to lose power in my smash and actually losing the smash itself (as in miss hitting it alot more, and even when i hit it at some occasion it may be flat, not as powerful as before etc).

    Since them in my doubles game i began to smash way less, and play at the front of the net more.

    With my AT900p, i use to generate big smashes as im a relatively tall guy too, 6'2, and i would get comments from my opponent "very big smash, strong smash" etc. I've done a little bit of training on the technique of smash which follows the china way as the amateur coach use to train on the provincial team in china. As i switch over, roughly over 2 months now to VT80 its not as consistent, less accuracy and everything.

    I started to question my techniques again, especially the grip. As i do less and less smash i start forgetting my basic form etc. I was curious about the finger tightening on smash, do you do it on the all 5 fingers, or do you put emphasis on certain finger like the index and thumb. Do you put the your index finger a bit higher than the thumb? Cause i notice one game i tweeked it a little bit, and somehow my smashes cameback to me?

    Funny thing is, i can smash better when i play single. alot more power etc, could this be more positioning as well?

    Thanks for your input!
    you might just need more time adjusting to the new racket, the vt80 is always accurate and powerful, it's you who needs to use it correctly to be accurate and powerful. if you play singles and you get more power, that means that you're allowed more time to get behind the shuttle. each racket is different so give yourself more time to readjust to it, and your smash will come back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryPlayer View Post
    HI jickman
    This has happened to me too.
    I used to smash just fine even though I knew my technique had flaws. I used to play with a head light racquet but since I switched to FZ Forza Kevlar 10000 X-Power which is stiff and head heavy I lost my timing, power, control, everything. first I was disappointed but then I realized it's not the racquet, it's my technique and how I used to perform different shots. see, my racquet specs are superb >>> balance point =317mm with strings and without an over-grip. and stiffness : stiffer than VT80. so why can't I hit big smashes ? I tried to find the answer, maybe you'd find yours here as well :

    1) the head heavier the racquet, the harder it is to accelerate. and that definitely affects your timing.
    2) the swing speed is different with VT80 and Forza 10k X-power or any other stiff,head heavy piece. it's actually slower at the beginning so if you (or me for that matter) don't have the perfect technique to perform a complete swing , you won't get the power you desire. I personally tried a head lighter racquet and my swing speed was surely faster and I was able to hit a harder smash. although there is a boundary. let me do a comparison for you between head light/medium flex racquets and head heavy/stiff or extra stiff racquets, okay ?
    head light/medium flex racquets : they are faster, easier to play with, more agile in doubles and fast flat exchanges, they are faster when in defense and some people say easier to perform net kills. now
    head heavy/Stiff racquets : slower to accelerate => means it's more difficult to play drives with them, or perform fast defensing shots. they require to have a stronger wrist to play net kills and point smashes.
    So why on earth Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan , Chen Long, and all big smashers use these type of racquets ? because with head light racquets there is a boundary on how strong your smash is gonna be, but the ultimate power in badminton comes from a head heavy racquet which is in hands of a strong player with great technique.
    What I'm currently doing, and actually I'm seeing it's result , is following coach Lee Jae Bok. you can find him on youTube. and also watch Lin Dan, Chen Long, and Lee Chong Wei on Slow Motion, then try to imitate their technique in front of a mirror.
    Hope this helps.

    If there's anything you think you can help me with, I'd be more that glad to hear your thoughts.
    Best Regards,
    Baback D.
    since you have a stiffer racket than the vt80, you'll be required to use more wrist action as well as increased swing speed to generate the same power as before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gundamzaku View Post
    since you have a stiffer racket than the vt80, you'll be required to use more wrist action as well as increased swing speed to generate the same power as before.
    Thanks for the advice
    I think if I keep working on my swing technique along with increasing my action speed I'd be able to smash better than ever ; cause that's the point of enduring all these difficulties from buying a new head heavy racquet to adapting to it. playing with head light racquets is really easier , isn't it ?
    I have one question though if anyone cares to weigh in : what does stiffness do apart from increasing the accuracy of the racquet ? I mean what effects it has on power ?
    thanks in advance friends.
    good luck

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    Playing with head light rackets is only easier if you don't want to play any power shots Otherwise, it is harder! Most players cans wing them faster though, and hence do not have to have such good technique to play with them.

    Stiffness does not increase accuracy.
    Stiffness does not increase power.
    Stiffness DOES change how much power you get for the size of the swing i.e. your racket swing speed needs to match your racket stiffness. So, if you want to get maximum power from a really short swing (like in defence), then you need a stiff racket. Most people do not require a stiff racket because a stiff racket gives them something "extra", but they DO require short, compact hitting technique, so that they can play at the highest standards. And if you want to maximise your power from using a compact technique, then you gain more from a stiff racket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSeeley View Post
    Playing with head light rackets is only easier if you don't want to play any power shots Otherwise, it is harder! Most players cans wing them faster though, and hence do not have to have such good technique to play with them.

    Stiffness does not increase accuracy.
    Stiffness does not increase power.
    Stiffness DOES change how much power you get for the size of the swing i.e. your racket swing speed needs to match your racket stiffness. So, if you want to get maximum power from a really short swing (like in defence), then you need a stiff racket. Most people do not require a stiff racket because a stiff racket gives them something "extra", but they DO require short, compact hitting technique, so that they can play at the highest standards. And if you want to maximise your power from using a compact technique, then you gain more from a stiff racket.
    aaaa my goodness , there's so much debate on this topic. I respect what you said but technically more flexible racquets tend to have less accuracy as they bend more and not just in the direction of player's shot ; actually FZ Forza claim to have some kind of proprietary technology to reduce this unwanted torsion in their racquets. as far as I know,they may be right. I've played with couple of their racquets. they were really accurate. my current racquet is just unbelievable in this matter.
    As for those shots with short movement of the racquet, it's seems like if the racquet head is heavier , it generates more power in those compact shots, just as half smashes. I believe head heavy racquets are perfect to play half smashes with ease.
    although I still am very confused about stiffness and it's role. extra stiff racquets definitely demand more power and better technique but do they deliver if you have a better technique ?
    see, fastest smashes were played with almost medium flex racquets (z-slash) and Li-ning designed the N50 for Fu haifeng which is Medium flex again ; food for thought

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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryPlayer View Post
    aaaa my goodness , there's so much debate on this topic. I respect what you said but technically more flexible racquets tend to have less accuracy as they bend more and not just in the direction of player's shot ; actually FZ Forza claim to have some kind of proprietary technology to reduce this unwanted torsion in their racquets. as far as I know,they may be right. I've played with couple of their racquets. they were really accurate. my current racquet is just unbelievable in this matter.
    As for those shots with short movement of the racquet, it's seems like if the racquet head is heavier , it generates more power in those compact shots, just as half smashes. I believe head heavy racquets are perfect to play half smashes with ease.
    although I still am very confused about stiffness and it's role. extra stiff racquets definitely demand more power and better technique but do they deliver if you have a better technique ?
    see, fastest smashes were played with almost medium flex racquets (z-slash) and Li-ning designed the N50 for Fu haifeng which is Medium flex again ; food for thought
    You'll get a lot more control from stiffer rackets if you have good technique so you can accurately place your shots down the line, eg in singles smashing down the line. Medium flex rackets will give you a bit more power at the cost of some control which is probably the best balance in doubles matches as perfectly placed smashes can always be returned in doubles so more power is desirable.
    Last edited by samir12; 07-07-2013 at 03:55 PM.

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    I may not be qualified to comment on stiff vs not so stiff since I have not actually played with the MX80 or rackets as stiff as it but I don't think either type has a monopoly over power or accuracy.
    I'm sure there is science to proof otherwise but I believe it is purely biological. Some people just perform better with one type of racket over the other. We should not leave out the human factor in this equation as we are all different.
    We have good days and bad days and I firmly believe each racket has to be given 6-8 hours if not more before we judge them.

    Saying all that, I do believe that head light vs even balance vs head heavy have their own merits for power, speed accuracy and etc!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LegendaryPlayer View Post
    technically more flexible racquets tend to have less accuracy as they bend more and not just in the direction of player's shot
    I do not agree with this statement. Accuracy depends on where the strings point at contact, not on the characteristics of the racket.

    Now, if you gave ME a stiff racket, it would be more accurate than if you gave ME a flexible one. That is because my swing is very short, and so the racket head snaps to the correct position AT THE EXACT MOMENT I want it to. And, as such, i always know where the shuttle will go, because I know where the strings are pointing.

    However, the same results could be achieved with a flexible racket, but the TIMING of the stroke would have to be different, because the racket will flex more and hence point in a different direction after the same amount of time. So, in order to get the same accuracy with a more flexible racket, I need to start the swing EARLIER, so that the head snaps into the correct position at the correct time (which is LATER than a stiff racket - hence I need to adjust my swing).

    So, flexible does not, in my opinion, make anything more or less accurate. If your strings point in the wrong direction at the point of contact, that is your fault, not the fault of the racket. However, most players with good technique will find it easier to guide the shuttle using a stiffer racket. This is why I said that the stiffness of the racket must match your swing speed. Personally, a stiff racket is more accurate, but thats because I use a very short and fast swing (which matches a stiff racket). If my swing were longer and slower, I would get better results from a more flexible racket (but my technique would be slower - which is bad for me personally as a player).

    Regarding power:
    If the racket is head heavy, and you can move it at a certain speed, it will have more power than a head light racket moved at the same speed (obviously). Thus, you may feel you get more power with a short movement (because the speed is similar, but the weight in the head lends additional power). Realistically, the power is a balance between swing speed and head weight.

    Regarding big smashes:
    Personally, regarding FHF smashes, I think that the actual person doing the smashing is the reason they are so powerful, rather than their racket. Mohammad Ashan uses the VT Zforce (which is stiff) and seems to generate tremendous power.

    It is interesting to hear all the different views on this!

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    ^ Correction: Ahsan uses Arc FB! And he still manages to rain down 270 km/h smashes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    ^ Correction: Ahsan uses Arc FB! And he still manages to rain down 270 km/h smashes!
    Yeah, exactly, I was surprised Mseeley said that. maybe Ahsan used to play with Z-force before ? I was watching Ahsan the other day and I was thrilled with his smashes. Arc FB is stiff but very light, I don't know about it's balance point but it's lightness makes it super fast and that's one of the primary reasons for Ahsan's capability to generate those smashes. his swing is really fast. it's amazing !

    by the way, I'm not excluding the human factor , just talking about different affects of different racquets.

    Mseeley, is there a reason you think, with stiff racquets , swing is small ? cause in Lee chong wei, tan boon heong or lin dan's case it's not. see, it's no brainer that if your racquet points to somewhere outside the line at the moment of contact, the shuttle goes out, it's just that for big smashes you NEED those big swings, regardless of your racquet specs and when the racquet is flexible it tends to interfere with your timing a little bit as you said too.
    we all know in the heat of game, we're not always at a perfect position to produce a perfect timing , when you try and go for straight Clears or lines at these moments, you see the difference between Flexible or Stiff racquets. I think this is one of the reasons single players enjoy stiff racquets, they like to have that accuracy on their side all the time.

    more Ideas are appreciated Friends.
    thank you Mseeley and everybody else for creating this discussion.

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    He uses the arc FB?! Blimey... what was I thinking! Sorry guys. Fair enough!

    I love Ashan's smash by the way. It reminds me of Halim Haryanto (and Setiawan reminds me of Gunawan... No wonder they are doing so well!)

    Good questions LegendaryPlayer! Let me think. When I am referring to small, compact swings, I am MAINLY talking about non overhead forehand shots e.g. drives, pushes, backhand clears etc. So, for the best possible defence, I need short, sharp swings. To be most effective around the net, I need short, sharp swings.

    However, you are right - a stiffer racket complements a faster swing (not just a small swing). However, fast swings do tend to be ones that are smaller. It is my opinion that LCW, Ko Sung Hyun, Lee Yong Dae, Chen Long etc all have very small overhead hitting actions. However, Lin Dan's is a little bigger, as is TBH. However, although their swing is longer (in my opinion) it is still a very fast swing. Someone like Inthanon Ratchanok has quite a slow swing, with a very fast finish. They are all different! Does anyone know what rackets they all use? (I don't...)

    If I consider two big smashing chinese players Lin Dan and Chen Long, I think Lin Dan has quite a big swing, and Chen Long has a VERY small swing (one of the smallest and simplest I can think of). It is my opinion that Chen Long would get more power overhead from a slightly stiffer racket than Lin Dan. However, is this really going to be the difference between being a powerful or a weak player? I don't think so. I am also not sure I agree about big smashes needing a big swing - as I said, Chen Long seems to have a very small swing, but generates tremendous power.

    In my opinion, the other areas of the game, (driving, defending etc) are where players will really need to see the best possible results in terms of feel from their racket. So, the best defenders and mid court and front court players probably use a stiff racket, because precision is so important. However, I am sure there will be exceptions to this too

    Out of interest, if we were to consider giving FHF a flexible racket, would he get more power than a medium-stiff racket? I do not think so. Similarly, if we gave Chen Long a more flexible racket, would he start hitting harder too?? (obviously the timing would be different etc).

    Good discussion everyone!

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    Guess what? Inthanon also uses Arc FB.

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    It is difficult to take the pros as demonstrating the virtues of types of racquets, as players appears to choose their racquets in the weirdest ways. LHI played with AT 700, and later changed for the BS11. Is not that weird? Tantowi Ahmad, a real good smasher, played with the AT 900p and then switched to...BS12!

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