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    Default Growing up with a stiff or a flexi racquet

    If a person were learning badminton as a beginner and started off with a stiff racquet, would that lead to a lifelong preference for stiff racquets?

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    flex/stiff have different benefits. It's obviously going to be down to the player what they prefer in the long run. I'd probably question the wisdom in learning with a stiff racket in the first place if there was a choice...

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    Yes, But many people just pick up a racquet and use it without realising the characteristics. Look how many people get influenced in buying the latest racquets. Obviously it's going to be down to the player in the long run. But is it possible if a person had started off using a stiff racquet regularly, that would lead them to be biased to prefer stiff racquets in the future?

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    Yes it's possible. Can't really answer one way the other without a statistical study

    There probably would be some bias if they always used stiff rackets - anecdotally because people don't like change.

    It depends on how good their stroke is as well - is them using a stiff racket a control/power trade-off? Is the power only slightly more difficult for them to access? is mid flex any benefit at all or just losing control? Is stiff racket really too stiff for them to get any power from yet they stick with it anyway?


    Without a statistical study the best one can say is,

    It's possible that a player may develop a stiffness bias if they learn with and continue to use a particular stiffness

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    I started with a stiff racquet ( Slazenger graphite pro) but I now prefer a med/stiff racquet. Thing is, I never changed the string in the stiff racquet as I have with my med/stiff (nanoray 60). I don't think you will only have a preferenece to stiff racquets ( I also own a ashaway superlight SQ99) but I do believe the Slazenger has given me the ability to be able to use most kinds of racquets and still have effortless clears etc. Its just a matter of adjusting my timing now for whatever weight I use.

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    I started off learning to play badminton with a tempered steel racquet which is actually very stiff. Stiffer than a lot of the carbon racquets I used later.

    Try bending the shaft of a tempered steel racquet and you'll find it more difficult than bending say a Cab 1 to 21 carbon racquet.

    But having gone through so many racquets over the years, I found that I naturally prefer stiffer racquets. However there has never been a definition of "stiffness" in badminton racquet terms. And the general concensus seems to be that an "extra stiff" racquet back in the early 90s is probably only as good as "stiff" by today's standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    If a person were learning badminton as a beginner and started off with a stiff racquet, would that lead to a lifelong preference for stiff racquets?
    Imho, no matter whether one starts learning on stiff or flex rackets, as one gets older like me into the late 40's early 50's and above, one would prefer less stiff rackets.

    Because as one plays longer over the years, one would tend to accumulate more injuries major or minor, and so would need rackets that are less demanding and easier to generate power.

    The same goes for head heaviness also.

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    Many of those in late 30s, 40s n 50s would have been exposed to Yonex Carbonex rackets in their younger days. There wasnt much choice in those days. The Carb rackets r quite stiff even by today's standards, iirc.

    Fast forward to now, we r spoilt for choices if $ is not a prob. But the gist of the matter is that ppl tend to follow the latest models n they, more often than not, tend to b stiff or very stiff rackets. Its fortunate for those who could test these rackets b4 committing to them. Otherwise, thank you kwun n BC for ur existence, without which we would have been stucked with so many unused rackets collecting dust somewhere.

    As for me, there was a long hiatus of no badmtn action at one stage. When initially started to get back to the courts, chosen a less stiff racket. Then changed to mid stiff n now playing with quite a stiff one (TK-9ooo).

    As visor mentioned, suffered several injuries (not all racket-related) due to age n could feel the effects of using a stiff racket. Wouldnt rule out using a less stiff racket in the future to minimise any potential injury. In fact, have TK-6ooo in the bag but only used it as a spare or when am really tired n couldnt generate enough power to fully utilise TK-9ooo. Guess, its just a matter of time...sigh...
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    Last edited by TeddyC; 08-26-2014 at 02:34 PM.

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    I've found that I usually tend towards flexible rackets when I can. I started with a flexible racket. However, I often switch off between stiff and flexible.

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    I would say use the most flexible racket you feel comfortable as long as its not affecting ur game.
    Really no reason to play a super stiff racket other than ego.
    For most a medium-stiff racket is prob best unless u have an unusual transition.

    Like Visor said, as u age, u tend to be more flex lololol

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeddyC View Post
    Many of those in late 30s, 40s n 50s would have been exposed to Yonex Carbonex rackets in their younger days. There wasnt much choice in those days. The Carb rackets r quite stiff even by today's standards, iirc.

    Fast forward to now, we r spoilt for choices if $ is not a prob. But the gist of the matter is that ppl tend to follow the latest models n they, more often than not, tend to b stiff or very stiff rackets. Its fortunate for those who could test these rackets b4 committing to them. Otherwise, thank you kwun n BC for ur existence, without which we would have been stucked with so many unused rackets collecting dust somewhere.

    As for me, there was a long hiatus of no badmtn action at one stage. When initially started to get back to the courts, chosen a less stiff racket. Then changed to mid stiff n now playing with quite a stiff one (TK-9ooo).
    ..
    ( □.□)
    I am a long time user of carbonex. With the exception of carbonex 22, the range can be classified as medium in their flexiness. I feel that most of the racquets I have reviewed these days are on par or stiffer compared to the carbonex. It is probably the materials used. We don't see full carbon graphite top end racquets now. I tend to prefer medium flex for singles and slightly stiffer for doubles. (grew up with Yonex blacken and then carbonex ). I didn't like slim 10 nor the iso 800.

    So that got me wondering if people starting to learn badminton now with the stiffer rackets will stick to stiffer racquets in their future.

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    I agree, the carbonex racquets (old ones) are all relatively flexible by today's standards. But what we mustn't forget is that they are all shorter at around 665mm. This does make them feel stiffer than they actually are.

    Similarly the current standard 675mm makes racquets feel more flexible than they are - e.g. ARC ZS. If the ZS was 665mm long or given a normal, shorter length shaft, it would feel stiffer.

    The big manufacturers still make a good range of racquets with different stiffnesses, and most beginners would start at the low end of the range which tends to be quite flexible. I wouldn't say that players starting today would necessarily stick with stiff racquets, but as they get better, they will know what they want, which often is a stiff racquet.

    I remember playing with my Cab21 for many years and thinking to myself "it would feel great if it had a little more repulsion/stiffness". Then I changed to my first iso racquet, the Ti10 which gave me just that...

    I personally don't think there is any "ego" associated with using a stiff racquet. I think the "ego" comes in when players only select top end racquets to mimick their idiols (that tends to be stiff racquets) - which may be too stiff for them. A good example of this is perhaps the MX80 or the old MP100. I don't think I have seen anyone (apart from pros) who has one that is actually capable of using the extra stiffness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R20190 View Post
    ..... I wouldn't say that players starting today would necessarily stick with stiff racquets, but as they get better, they will know what they want, which often is a stiff racquet.
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    I personally don't think there is any "ego" associated with using a stiff racquet. I think the "ego" comes in when players only select top end racquets to mimick their idiols (that tends to be stiff racquets) - which may be too stiff for them. A good example of this is perhaps the MX80 or the old MP100. I don't think I have seen anyone (apart from pros) who has one that is actually capable of using the extra stiffness.

    In most Asian countries, ego n face-saving pride go hand in hand. Most ppl, n to a large extent beginners, tend to get the top of the range their fave players r using without trying them first. It is most unfortunate that there's little or no testing system in this part of the world.

    In most cases, top of the range means stiff or extra stiff rackets. If getting used to such rackets incur sports injuries then that would b a dumb thing to do.

    But then again, humankind has quite an adaptive nature. In general, that is. Some ppl after spending a month, two or even three, r able to adapt to such rackets both mentally n physically. Suddenly, they have tamed the beasts n found their holy grail...such is the irony.

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    and just to add, most beginners cant really tell the diff btw a flex vs a stiff racket and not have enuf play time for them to favor one over the other.

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    I remember starting to play badminton with a racket having steel shaft. At that time I couldn't tell if its stiff or flexible. But now I know, they are rather stiff, and with quite loose strings. Also such rackets are heavier overall (typically 2U), so when I switched to a 3U racket what hit me most was the difference in weight rather than flexibility of shaft. As a part of getting accustomed to 3U, may be I got used to stiffer or flexier shaft without realizing it.

    IMHO there are quite a lot of variables, viz. overall weight, balance, string type and tension, racket length, shaft/handle length, shaft/frame stiffness, head shape, etc that define our "feel" for the racket.

    I now play with a MP 29 Light, and do just fine and don't think I'd go looking for a stiffer racket.

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