Is recommending a mid-range racket the most difficult thing ever?
I have encountered many players who are entering the sports of badminton, they are less advanced in skill and less into the sport than most of us, but at the same time, they are keen and enthusiastic to play more and improve.
Naturally, aside from playing more, they probably have out grown their current rackets. I have a few students using cab8 (the original 80's/90's) one and using the most entry level of Armortec (so beginner I don't even remember, maybe AT100?).
Their next question, after they have tried some of my racket, is they want to upgrade to better equipment. Shoes is my first recommendation and also fairly simple as the choices are smaller. buy what they want to pay for and what fits.
However, for racket, the whole array of mid-range rackets is really confusing. For mid-range, i mean something in the region of say US$125 to $160 or so. At the stage of their badminton development, they aren't really prepared to fork out $200 for a top of the line racket yet.
This usually put us in the region where most of us here haven't even ventured into as we all mostly just look at the latest and greatest (and more pricey) models.
I started going through the retailer sites and aside from reading from specs, what else can we base our recommendation on? obviously it'd be a bad idea to recommend the stiffest stick in the range, so something in the mid stiffness scale, and maybe not the head heavier either.
Here are some of the examples:
Victor: BS130, BS160L, maybe BS11/BS15, MX700, MX30L
Yonex: ARC6, NR100, ARC5DX, ARC3FL, NS5500
Adidas: Adipower P800, Adizero Tour, Adizero F500
Lining: don't even get me started, i cannot even figure out how to tell one from another in their confusing naming scheme.
have you guys even heard of or used these rackets extensively?
How do you / would you recommend racket for this category/price range?
It seems that this would be the mass market instead of the VTZF2 / MX90 / Adipower Pro / N902 / etc.
That's the thing, not all beginners or someone starting would believe or trust a 3rd tier brand no matter how good they are. I did manage to have one of my student get the revelation. And he loves it. But most would like to stick to established and well known brands.
I suppose so... then recommend them some second hand top range ones? Although the supply for that would be haphazard.
Re your thread title, even trying to recommend any bottom range ones around $50-60 I would have trouble with. Although come to think of it, my go to racket costs only that much: my RKEP XP70. And I have 4 of them...
I think it all comes down to marketing and hype and how we as consumers are affected by it when it comes time for us to choose or recommend a racket.
Only the top end rackets get the hyped up "X % improvement" in technology, materials, design, smash speed, racket head speed, shaft rebound speed, etc. The mid and lower range is ignored by their own marketing dept , so consumers are left none the wiser.
And in a different but related way, this also significantly affects the consumer tester who likes to buy and try out various new rackets. Only the top end has any significant resale market and value. So when it comes time to sell it, the mid and low range will be very difficult to unload since there's no demand for it. So how would they even get the reviewing and testing they so deserve.
Only the top end has any significant resale market and value. So when it comes time to sell it, the mid and low range will be very difficult to unload since there's no demand for it.
From these two posts, the good choice shall be BS11. I would think this piece will command best retained value by the time the owner want to 'cash out'. And it is an excellent product, isn't it? Fast, stiff but not too stiff and has some mass on its head.
I'd say BS11 & BS15 are the better choice among others that you listed above. Both BS11 & BS15 are supposedly the top-end of Victor Brave Sword line, but the price (magically) fall under mid-range category. The rest of Victor & Yonex rackets that you mentioned, are pretty much on mid-range category... with mid-range price. Not sure about ADIDAS since they are newcomer in this business, and probably rely heavily on sponsorship players & fancy marketing. Li Ning?.. yes... don't even think about it if you plan to buy mid-range rackets! Even Li Ning top-end rackets are priced unreasonably (the cheapest of top-end li ning = the newest & most advanced Yonex/Victor)
I used BS15, and it is nowhere as stiff as Voltric series or Thurster K series! BS11 is stiffer than BS15 but it is also the most popular.
At that stage of badminton development, I usually deter people from buying Yonex (this is still perceived as the "best" brand). Reason being, I feel that it is better to buy a $100 "2nd/3rd Tier" brand than a lower end Yonex racket.
Having said that, rackets like the MX-30, MX-60, Voltric 7 etc are all decent as well. I usually recommend Fischer (out of production now) as they do make some very good rackets for the price range ($60 - $110). Other ones are of course RKEP etc.
My pet peeve is with beginners/advance beginners/low intermediates who insist on buying the so-called latest and greatest (e.g. VTZF, NRZS, VTZF-II etc). They would be better off getting a $80 Apacs or something, not only because of price but also because of racket specs. There is no point playing with a VTZF-II as a beginner. There would be better performance with cheaper rackets.