My first review, a bit of a shootout for Forza rackets. Background for those interested, I'm a recreational/social player, my friends that I play with help give their opinions are also the same, so if anyone is expecting an elite player review...well, you'll have to keep searching. For others, read on.
I have been fortunate enough to have six Forza rackets for testing, provided by Badmintonian.com. The rackets came with overgrips over the base grips, in some cases, the original racket grips themselves are still wrapped. The rackets arrived strung and double gripped so we have no say on particular tension and weight, the results are based on the rackets as they are received.
The way we went through with the rackets were to basically refer to them by their grip color and frame color. We temporary covered the shaft that denote their model numbers/specs. This was actually a very good method when we tested one vs one. So prior to using the rackets, we had no idea of what they were, after we ran through our different tests, we sat down to note and discuss, and afterwards, we reveal the model and see what we just tested.
We tested the rackets in four areas, clearing, smashing, driving, and backhands. We did not go through nets and drops as we did not have the time and felt the first four were plenty.
Listed are model, shaft flex, power, weighed weight, estimated weight w/o over grip, measured Hz for tension. For flex, scale of 1 to 5, higher is more stiff, power, 1 to 10, higher is more power.
This was a very easy to clear racket for us, smashes were on spot, nice steep angles and speed. Driving had no issues with regard to speed and recovery, it was quite easy to ready for the next return. Backhand retrievals were also very very good. The racket had a good balance even with the extra overgrip, I would say it is a little head heavy without the extra grip on.
Forza lists this as a stiff racket for extreme accuracy, perfect balance between power and control, and for the offensive/all around player and I would agree 100%.
Shaft 30T U-HM CNT
Frame 40T U-HM CNT w/ full TI mesh
After the 9.0S, the Ti-6000 CNT felt like it required more "windup" to generate power and felt more "stiff" but it was really due to it being the opposite. It is more flexible than the 9.0S and it made the smashes, backhands, and clears seem harder when directly compared to the previous racket. Definitely hurt it coming right behind the 9.0S. It didn't feel right for the players that tested it, the general consensus was that it is a better racket for those that like more flex in the shaft.
Shaft 40T U-HM CNT Graphite
Frame 40T U-HM CNT w/ full TI mesh
Interestingly, this was tested right after the Ti-6000 so it's the same line. Prior to knowing the model, I felt this felt close to the Ti-6000 above. It was a pleasant surprise to see why once we revealed the model. To a few of us it needed more effort to clear and backhand when compared to the 9.0S, though the smash was good. Driving was good but the 9.0S felt more comfortable.
Forza calls this a rigid racket with 96 hole system that gives 30% more power and is for the offensive player. Even going back and testing this vs the 9.0S and 10.0 below, I still couldn't put this one above those, I'm sure it wasn't the racket, it's just my own limits, I couldn't squeeze out more power that I could quantify, let alone the 30%.
After the Ti-10000, came a surprisingly good change, the N-Forze 6000 I-Power Extra Light racket. Very surpised by this racket. Unlike the Ti-6000 above which many of us didn't like, especially coming after the 9.0S. This one coming right after the Ti-10000, was liked by many. Very light, quick to maneuver, perfect for doubles play, a weaker or lower level player, or even for tired play. Clearing is more than fair considering the racket, and backhands are especially easy due to the light weight and flex. Not much power for full smashes, though quicker speed helps out in that area. Driving and recovery as you can imagine is what this racket excels in.
Forza calls this a light and extra narrow racket with I-Power shaft for extra power and for all levels. Don't know about the extra power part but I do agree everyone should have a racket like this in their bag. Though I may not bring it out for singles play at full strength, I may if it is at the end of a long tired day.
After the extra light weight racket, we went on to the Kevlar CNT Xpower 10.0. The 10.0 felt very closely to resemble the 9.0S, basically it does practically everything the 9.0s does, almost felt identical, good for fast play, easy to get ready for the next shot. The aerodynamic frame factors in aiding that, even though it's more of an offensive racket than an defensive racket built on speed. The clears were very easy and the smashes felt very good. Reminding me frequently of the 9.0S.
Forza lists this as an attacking racket for the offensive player in mind. This and the 9.0S were hard to tell apart as I feel they both share so much in "feel". I keep going back between this and the 9.0S trying to see if this bettered the 9.0S but I never could, it's so close for me.
This is the last racket we tested. Overall, clears and backhands were ok and the smashes were good, plus it is a relatively fast racket. Unfortunately for the racket, it was beat out by the 9.0S and 10.0. It is the same line as the 6000 I-Power but that racket didn't have to compete vs other rackets, that held it's own due to it's lighter weight for different use on the court. This one was a bit of the middle child in this comparison. If we never touched the other rackets, I would recommend this as an all around and the 6000 I-Power lighter one for doubles/tired play.
Forza calls this a narrow frame and I-Power technology for speed and power.
Having tested all six rackets and even re-evaluating some models vs each other, these are our opinions for them. *Be aware that these are just our impressions and choosing rackets are more a personal "feel" than a direct technical spec.* None of our selections had anything to do with color scheme or the way the rackets look design wise, all purely based on how it felt in our hands and on the court.
Of course with such a list of rackets, it's hard for all to be "winners". I picked some of the ones that I particularly enjoyed testing and asked others to also choose from the list if they were to carry in their own bags.
Not in any order but these came up frequently came up during discussions.
N-Forze 6000 I-Power made the list for mainly doubles play or extra speed for reaction. Personally for me, I always carry a racket like this in my bag. When I play for 3-5 hours, the last hour or so, if I'm drained, this is the racket in my hand. Many commented on the "speed" and ease of play of the racket and because our group play mainly doubles, this is held in high regard.
FZ Kevlar CNT Power 9.0S was a favorite among many. It just had a good "feel" for many of us. Trying all the different rackets, this seem to be the one along with the 10.0, that I keep benchmarking against and others too. As this was tested before the 10.0, I was already partial to it and couldn't find anything in the 10.0 to overthrow it for top pick.
FZ Kevlar CNT XPower 10.0 was also favorite, right up there with the 9.0S. Almost all of us agreed that it was difficult to separate the difference between this and the 9.0S, either racket would have a fine pick as a go to all around racket.
Ti-10000 CNT, this was also one mentioned by others, though not exactly my choice, the 9.0S and 10.0 just felt better in my hand and on the court. The others are just better players than me in our circle and didn't have the same problem I did with the racket. Some of them enjoyed this racket more than the Kevlars. I had the fortune of being able to compare it back and forth, without a direct comparison against the Kevlars, I wouldn't have had any qualms recommending it instead.
Again, I want to thank Badmintonian.com again for providing the rackets for testing. Our group had a lot of fun trying out each and comparing the rackets.
Here again are the details, I measured the weights and also estimated the weights w/o the overgrip (with a default base grip). Hz reading for tension were measured with CarlTuner Android App.
Disclaimer: I was not paid by Badmintonian.com to test these rackets and am not affiliated with Badmintonian.com in any way.
Here are the rackets posing for a picture, left to right.
You know what? Actually knowing very little about the technology and the marketing mumbo jumbo, in the end it's just a "feel" for the racket on the court. For me, the two Kevlar rackets just felt easier to prepare for the shots, execute the shots, and place the shots. Both in while being in position and also being out of position. I hope that makes a little sense. It was unfortunate that I didn't have an 11.000 to test, would have loved to compare one vs the Kevlars.
One day while testing, someone saw my large bag and collection of rackets (these 6 as well as my other 6 that I carried that day). He asked me why so many rackets and I told him I was testing some from my friend. He then asks which is the most expensive and I told him, it really does not matter which is most expensive because it really depends on how a racket "feels" to him. Most expensive isn't always the best one or the right one.
In my testing above, the Kevlars and the Ti-10000 happen to be at the top for pricing but I like the Kevlar's "feel" more than the Ti-10000. Hard to explain fully, the closest I can compare is like shoes and clothing, some just feel more comfortable than others and it's not a matter of which cost more, right?
Hmm... depending on the tension they are currently strung at, you might want to consider lowering the tension on the Ti-10000. I say this because the 96-hole stringing system gives the stringbed the main and cross about 2-3 pounds each additionally. If your tensions on the Kevlar and Ti-10000 are numerically the same, you may get less feeling out of the Ti-10000, but it's just a tip!
I'm a bit surprised at how the Kevlar series is received, especially because I just received notification that one of the Danish doubles players, Skaarup Rasmussen, uses the Kevlar CNT Power 9.0 VS! I was under the impression that Kevlar rackets were pretty much singles rackets.
I think almost any singles racket can be a doubles racket but not every doubles racket can be a singles racket. If I feel a singles racket is a bit slow and heavy in a fast doubles game, I can grip higher, I lose some extension but gain more playability. On the other hand, a fast doubles racket may still not carry enough "oomph" when gripped at the very bottom by the end to be used in a singles match. It is good to hear that the Danish doubles player chose to stick with the Kevlar line.
you should measure them because my old ti 500 (ti 8000 or ti 11000 F equivalent, but without carbon nanotubes) is supposed to have a head light balance, written at 285mm. Mine has a wet bp of 298mm! (strings, original grip + overgrip)