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    Default Do I need a backup/warm up racket?

    Basically it's been almost 10 years since I played badminton. When I was younger I could say I was a pretty decent player. Recently I started playing again. So I searched for a new racket and bought the Voltric 80PG(color was too sexy) strung at 22lbs and I am really playing really badly with it. I know it's due to my skills but also partly due to the tension as I would safely say all my skills gone already.

    So, my friend recommended me to get a backup racket, for warm ups at a lower string tension so I can control it better and get the 'touch' back also when I get tired with high string tensions, I can switch to a lower one. Should I listen and buy a new racket? Would prefer if it's Apacs or something affordable(would be open to any recommendations) . Or should I just change the strings of my Voltric to 18-19lbs?

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    Reducing the tension will give you easier power (not more control as you say, lower tension gives more repulsion and inherently less control, albeit relatively marginal), but I'd sooner change racket. The VT80 is stiff and head-heavy and not at all friendly to players without good technique and strength. I'd even argue that the stiffness can be harmful without proper technique and conditioning (though I don't know if you have it or not).

    That said, someone with good technique can easily make it more or less work with any racket and tension, even if not optimal for them, so I would definitively think the main issue is loss of technique after being away for so long.

    I'd just follow your own advice and get a cheap, flexible, even-balanced racket that's probably already factory-strung at around 18lbs. It should be easier to play with to get your technique back and once you've got it down you can give the VT80 another go.

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    How long have you played with the VT80? I know that it's generally viewed as a difficult racket to use, but if you were decent at one point, I think it shouldn't take you long to take the rust off.

    My first racket was a Victor MX80 strung at 24lbs. Aside from some slight elbow pain at first, I got used to it fairly fast. If I remember right the MX80 is comparable to the VT80. Hopefully, I am not giving bad advice, but I think using a stiff racket with higher string tension will help you get your technique back.

    I currently play with very stiff rackets at 28 and higher tension because I love the feedback and immediate response this combination offers. I can't go back to lower tension now.

    My golf analogy would be using small forged irons instead of large cavity backs. Sure the large cavity backs will give you bigger sweet spot and more power, but the forged irons will give you precise feedback (in the form of stinging your hands) so you know what you did wrong and you can adjust your technique. In the long run, your game will be much better off then using equipment to compensate for your lack of technique.

    As most people here will tell you that developing a good technique is more important than having the nicer equipment. In a roundabout way, sticking to the VT80 (assuming it doesn't hurt you too much) will give you valuable feedback so you can get back to form faster.

    I hope others will chime in if they disagree with me since I know my opinion may be putting your health at risk.
    Last edited by No_footwork; 07-13-2015 at 10:15 PM.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    ^ Good point, but very important to concentrate on technique (ie timing, sweetspot etc) and not use brute force.

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    ^Great point! Use the clubs that Tiger uses to see if you can get the ball goes where you wants it to go. Skip high school and university all together and go straight to study your PHD. Apply to be CEO of apple. Climb Mt Everest without staying in the base camp. Get a 10 degree black belt without getting a brown or yellow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nemrod View Post
    Reducing the tension will give you easier power (not more control as you say, lower tension gives more repulsion and inherently less control, albeit relatively marginal), but I'd sooner change racket. The VT80 is stiff and head-heavy and not at all friendly to players without good technique and strength. I'd even argue that the stiffness can be harmful without proper technique and conditioning.

    Concur with nemrod, VT80 might just b too stiff n head heavy for someone who started playing after a long hiatus.

    IMO, OP should start out with a user friendly racket thats mid-stiff n even balance. As Victor aficionado, BS12 comes to mind. Apacs n other brands may easily have those specs too.

    Your starting tension at 22 lbs should b fine. As u just started playing, anywhere between 20~23 lbs shouldnt pose as a hindrance to ur game.

    After improving ur game, u can revert to VT80 n c if u could utilise it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by latecomer View Post
    ^Great point! Use the clubs that Tiger uses to see if you can get the ball goes where you wants it to go. Skip high school and university all together and go straight to study your PHD. Apply to be CEO of apple. Climb Mt Everest without staying in the base camp. Get a 10 degree black belt without getting a brown or yellow.
    You are comparing the ablility to play with a VT80 at 22lbs with being a CEO and holding a PHD? What does that make the old schoolers who can play with steel racquets?

    There are ladies at my club in their 50's that play with Voltric Z Force. Are you calling them a bunch of Chuck Norris' and Steve Jobs? Don't know the tension of their rackets, but I think your example is a little silly.

    The OP said he used to be decent 10 years ago. I never played badminton before and I was able to handle the MX80 at higher tension. I could clear back to back and hit basic shots after some training.

    I just suggest to the OP to stick with it and I did caution against possible injuries. After he gets back to form, he may wonder what the fuss was all about playing with a VT80 at 22lbs. Or he may decide to accept multiple offers to run a large international corporation base on your premise.

    As far as using Tiger's irons, my score and game improved tremendously after playing with forged irons for 2 years. There was a learning curve and sore hands, but that's the price of getting better.
    Last edited by No_footwork; 07-14-2015 at 07:38 AM.

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    As many have said Timmychin, the VT80 is not a great racket for someone that is coming back to the sport. It is definitely one for those with good base technique as bad technique is amplified and can cause you injury using this racket.

    The tension is fine, just revert to a medium stiff racket or even balance as TeddyC mentioned. Iron out your technique, if you have a coach at your club, ask him/her to take a look at you and go from there. Good luck.

    Kindest regards,

    -Ajay-

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    Quote Originally Posted by No_footwork View Post
    How long have you played with the VT80? I know that it's generally viewed as a difficult racket to use, but if you were decent at one point, I think it shouldn't take you long to take the rust off.

    My first racket was a Victor MX80 strung at 24lbs. Aside from some slight elbow pain at first, I got used to it fairly fast. If I remember right the MX80 is comparable to the VT80. Hopefully, I am not giving bad advice, but I think using a stiff racket with higher string tension will help you get your technique back.

    I currently play with very stiff rackets at 28 and higher tension because I love the feedback and immediate response this combination offers. I can't go back to lower tension now.

    My golf analogy would be using small forged irons instead of large cavity backs. Sure the large cavity backs will give you bigger sweet spot and more power, but the forged irons will give you precise feedback (in the form of stinging your hands) so you know what you did wrong and you can adjust your technique. In the long run, your game will be much better off then using equipment to compensate for your lack of technique.

    As most people here will tell you that developing a good technique is more important than having the nicer equipment. In a roundabout way, sticking to the VT80 (assuming it doesn't hurt you too much) will give you valuable feedback so you can get back to form faster.

    I hope others will chime in if they disagree with me since I know my opinion may be putting your health at risk.
    Thank you for the advise. I've only been using it for 4 games so far, singles and also doubles. The sweet spot is probably my main issue right now as I keep hitting it either too high or low from the sweet spot. You are right, it's basically due to my skills, but I did however use my friend's racket which is strung a bit lower(18lbs) and was much easier to play with. I guess it's just me needing to get the touch back or so. Also I did also realize there are a few times my elbow hurt too, I thought it was my technique and as you said, it could be also due to the stiffness of the racket. I shall invest in a cheaper medium flex type of racket just to get the techniques right and give the VT80 another go. Thanks so much

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    Noted! Definitely will try and get a medium stiff racket to try out. As I remember, 10 years ago I played with a very basic racket and did pretty well so I shall go back to basics, instead of coming back and start with a high tension,stiff racket.

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    Good luck. After further thought, it is probably wiser to play it safe with a racket more suitable to your current ability rather than risk injury. Since I really don't have a good insight to your current physical condition, it was perhaps irresponsible for me to suggest sticking with the VT80.

    Considering a medium flex racket with less tension is the right decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by No_footwork View Post
    Good luck. After further thought, it is probably wiser to play it safe with a racket more suitable to your current ability rather than risk injury. Since I really don't have a good insight to your current physical condition, it was perhaps irresponsible for me to suggest sticking with the VT80.

    Considering a medium flex racket with less tension is the right decision.
    Any rackets in particular to recommend which is decent? Thanks once again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by No_footwork View Post
    Good luck. After further thought, it is probably wiser to play it safe with a racket more suitable to your current ability rather than risk injury. Since I really don't have a good insight to your current physical condition, it was perhaps irresponsible for me to suggest sticking with the VT80.

    Considering a medium flex racket with less tension is the right decision.
    Any rackets in particular to recommend which is decent? Thanks once again!

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    I think that lowering your tension is the wrong way. Also buying a special warm up racket. I play with much much higher tension than you and don't need a warm up racket. I just warm up myself with intervals. I don't give 100% at the first hit, but need a few minutes more. Tbh 22lbs is a really low tension and far away from a harmful or limiting tension if your level was close to decent. VT80 is not a super stiff beast, but really head heavy so your choice can be the culprit. I suggest to try rackets from club mates and some demo rackets. If your old skills don't come out it is you. We all get older, lose sharpness and strength and 10 years is along time, so you can't await that you perform well for the next half year. I have seen really decent people who just paused 2 years and play really bad compared to their previous performance. I'm not talking about injuries. Just a break and less to none training. IMO you don't need a back up or warm up racket. You need just time and maybe a racket which you don't choose because of the paint job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmychin View Post
    Any rackets in particular to recommend which is decent? Thanks once again!
    I'll defer to others who play with medium shaft rackets to offer their suggestions since my current preference tend to be on the stiffer side.

    But for what it's worth I've enjoyed playing with the following rackets:

    1. RKEP XP-70
    2. TK6000

    After reading Ucantseeme's post, I think he has a good about about the VT80 being possibly too head-heavy for you. I also think 22lbs is fairly low compared to today's standards.

    Finally, if you've only played 4 total games with the VT80 and you're having contact issues maybe you should give it more time (again you need to consider the injury risk factor). 4 games is not enough time in my view to form a good opinion on a racket, especially being away from the game for so long.

    Regardless, there's nothing wrong with having an XP-70 or TK6000 in your bag if you like medium-stiff rackets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucantseeme View Post
    I think that lowering your tension is the wrong way. Also buying a special warm up racket. I play with much much higher tension than you and don't need a warm up racket. I just warm up myself with intervals. I don't give 100% at the first hit, but need a few minutes more. Tbh 22lbs is a really low tension and far away from a harmful or limiting tension if your level was close to decent. VT80 is not a super stiff beast, but really head heavy so your choice can be the culprit. I suggest to try rackets from club mates and some demo rackets. If your old skills don't come out it is you. We all get older, lose sharpness and strength and 10 years is along time, so you can't await that you perform well for the next half year. I have seen really decent people who just paused 2 years and play really bad compared to their previous performance. I'm not talking about injuries. Just a break and less to none training. IMO you don't need a back up or warm up racket. You need just time and maybe a racket which you don't choose because of the paint job.
    Very well said man. Thanks you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by No_footwork View Post
    You are comparing the ablility to play with a VT80 at 22lbs with being a CEO and holding a PHD? What does that make the old schoolers who can play with steel racquets?

    There are ladies at my club in their 50's that play with Voltric Z Force. Are you calling them a bunch of Chuck Norris' and Steve Jobs? Don't know the tension of their rackets, but I think your example is a little silly.

    The OP said he used to be decent 10 years ago. I never played badminton before and I was able to handle the MX80 at higher tension. I could clear back to back and hit basic shots after some training.

    I just suggest to the OP to stick with it and I did caution against possible injuries. After he gets back to form, he may wonder what the fuss was all about playing with a VT80 at 22lbs. Or he may decide to accept multiple offers to run a large international corporation base on your premise.

    As far as using Tiger's irons, my score and game improved tremendously after playing with forged irons for 2 years. There was a learning curve and sore hands, but that's the price of getting better.
    I have to say you are an exceptional athlete but most people are not. I am almost certain the 50+ ladies in your club would hit better with rackets which fit them. The percentage of PGA pros using forged iron is declining. There are many routes leading to playing better and having fun. Why choose an uncomfortable one?

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