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  1. #188
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    It's a fantastic racket. A bit hard to get, but I got mine through Wisdens of Hastings in the UK - they've got an eBay account (ebay.co.uk) and shipping is very quick and very reasonable.

  2. #189
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    Default Good day to all!!!

    Im jolliber new member in badminton central im from Balaklava about 45mins drive from Adelaide...just want to know some badminton happenings in Adelaide if any...im a level D player back in the Philippines...

    Thanks....

  3. #190
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    You should continue driving about your inquiry on Places to Play/Local Events! It is just located above this Equipment thread in the Main/Home page.

  4. #191
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    We should have more reviews on these babies and please send them to Asia

  5. #192
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    where to buy carlton in the philippines?
    any store that sells carlton rackets?

  6. #193
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    Scroll up. You have the internet and a postal address, right

  7. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Tiger View Post
    Scroll up. You have the internet and a postal address, right
    seems that they abolish carlton products and replace with slazenger

  8. #195
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    What are you talking about. They're selling every new Carlton model right now.

    http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/wisdensofhastings/

  9. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy Tiger View Post
    What are you talking about. They're selling every new Carlton model right now.

    http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/wisdensofhastings/
    i mean in our place, they don't sell carlton rackets anymore..

  10. #197
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    The Carlton website is finally working http://www.carltonsports.com/

  11. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by demolidor View Post
    The Carlton website is finally working http://www.carltonsports.com/
    WOW! I never thought I would see this day . How long was it under construction for?

  12. #199
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    A long long time, definitely 1 1/2 years. Although I'm pretty sure it was longer than that. How does a big company like that take so long to develop a website! Although it is quite snazzy.

  13. #200
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    Great looking racquets ! The website is also very well designed.

    Unfortunately, this new range is not available in Asia.

  14. #201
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    Internet + credit card + postal address = any racket you want.

    Of course if you live in a carboard box things could get tricky.

  15. #202
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    Hi guys, as you may have read from my posts in other threads, my club has been planning a move to Carlton (from Inflight) for quite a while now. Today, the switch was finally completed and we held an event to "unveil" our new sponsor. Anyway, I'll cut to the chase. All of the new Carlton rackets were available to demo (and because today's session was 9:00AM-3:00PM, I certainly had plenty of time).

    I'm afraid I didn't get chance to hit with all of the new range due to having other things to do but I did get through most of the new rackets. I tried to stick to the higher-end ones as I thought they'd be the ones you were interested in. I can't say I spent a great deal of time with many of the rackets so my reviews are likely to be fairly vague. Before I go in to the reviews, I'd like to say that I found all of the rackets I tested really easy to get used to. I'm not sure why this was the case but all of them felt really natural to me.

    Air Rage S-lite
    This was the first racket I tested, not actually by choice, more because it was thrust in to my hands by Joe, another club member who'd been hitting with it for about the last 10 minutes and thought it was great. This racket seems to have been designed with female players in mind but the pink and black paintjob looks rather nice and I certainly wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen with it.

    The Air Rage S-lite is supposed to be a 3U racket (85g according to Carlton, 87g if you listen to Sweatband) and it certainly feels like a light 3U racket. Not overly light but definitely not heavy either. When hitting overheads, it felt really solid and inspired a lot of confidence in me to attack. I didn't find it to be the most powerful racket I've ever played with and it wasn't even the most powerful racket I played with this morning but it offered a pleasing amount of power. Hitting from baseline to baseline was very easy even when I was put under pressure.

    Where the racket really excelled itself was in playing reaction shots or control shots. Defending smashes was a joy - I felt that I could effortlessly block back smashes that I would have struggled with when using other rackets. Sweatband list the balance as head-light and the manoeuvrability of this racket would agree with that. This racket was very useful at the net. From the first netshot I hit, I knew I'd be impressed with the S-lite's capability at the net. My net game was excellent, netshots went tight and lifts went high and deep. The S-lite felt amazingly quick at the net. Drives were also pleasingly good, I was able to get good racket head speed with the S-lite and that translated in to really fast, crisp drives.

    Feel: Excellent - I'd say a 9 or 9.5 out of 10
    Control: Again, excellent - probably a 9
    Power: Good but not awe-inspiring, I'll go for 7.5 to 8
    Defence: Superb, 9.5 or maybe even 10
    Manoeuvrability As with defence, at least a 9.5

    Final words I like this, I like it a lot. It mainly seems suited to doubles specialists but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for certain singles players either. It was really easy to use so anyone who is a high beginner or intermediate would be fine with this frame. It feels a little stiffer than the advertised "flexible" flex rating but it's not too stiff either. If I were to give it a flex rating from my experience, it would probably be medium. Available for 83.99 from Sweatband (the best price I found after a quick bit of internet shopping), the S-lite isn't cheap but it's a quality product and IMO worth the price.


    Vapour Trail FX-Ti
    After the joy that was the Air Rage S-lite, I must say that I felt a little underwhelmed by the first Vapour Trail racket I used. First impressions of the FX-Ti were very good - the paintjob is striking but for the right reasons. The yellow and black colour scheme looks great and actually goes rather nicely with the club's new black and yellow Carlton shirts. From there though, I'm afraid to say my opinion of the FX-Ti went downhill.

    Hitting overhead shots, the FX-Ti just didn't feel as stable or solid as the Air Rage S-lite. It didn't feel really rattly but something about it just made it feel a bit cheaper than the Air Rage (the FX-Ti is actually 30 cheaper in price though so it is substantially cheaper than the S-lite). Perhaps the graphite used in the Fx-Ti isn't quite as good as that in the Air Rage.

    The FX-Ti definitely wasn't as manoeuvrable as the Air Rage S-lite but I wouldn't say it felt like a sledgehammer either. Defence was adequate if not amazing. At the net and when playing dropshots, the racket felt a little bit dead. I felt a little bit distant from the shuttle so control play definitely suffered. Obviously, I only got to try one string set-up (black Carlton string - I'm not sure which one at around 23-25Lbs) and that may have been the culprit, I don't know.

    Feel: Meh, quite disappointing to be honest - 6.5
    Control: Not great, 6.5
    Power: 7, the FX-Ti just didn't feel especially lively
    Defence: Not too bad, I'll go with 7.75
    Manoeuvrability 8

    Final words After loving the first racket I tested, this was somewhat disappointing. It didn't feel as lively or connected as the Air Rage S-lite. The FX-Ti felt slightly heavier, despite the fact Carlton list it as having the same static weight as the S-lite. I imagine this is due to the even to moderately head heavy balance. As for suitability, this racket is equally suited to singles and doubles. It isn't particularly stiff or demanding so most people will find it usable. I'm still not sure I'd recommend this racket to anyone though. It's been a while since I've tested anything around this price point (52.99) but I would think there would be something better for the price. As I said earlier, it may have just been the strings that caused my woes but I believe some of the other rackets were strung with the same stuff so I'm inclined to believe it was the frame that caused the lack of feel and liveliness.


    Vapour Trail Elite
    Fresh from the disappointment of the FX-Ti, I hoped my next Vapour Trail experience would be a more positive one. Stiff, head heavy and with a high static weight, Joe advised me that this was a demanding beast. Still, I felt up to the challenge of taming the Vapour Trail Elite.

    This racket has power in abundance. Whenever I needed to hit a deep clear or hard smash, the Vapour Trail Elite gave me what I wanted - bucket loads of controllable power. Feel from the frame was also very good, I felt connected when playing drop and netshots.

    Defence suffered a little - the racket wasn't as manoeuvrable as the other rackets I tested today. It certainly wasn't unusable though - it didn't feel like a liability when I was on the back foot. Again, quick drive exchanges aren't really this racket's strong point. You get plenty of power if you can make the shaft flex with quick flicks of the wrist but the slightly lacking manoeuvrability meant this wasn't the best racket for hitting drives.

    Feel: Pretty good - 8.5
    Control: 9
    Power: 10 - this racket is a beast
    Defence: Acceptable but not brilliant - 7.5
    Manoeuvrability Likewise, 7.5

    Final words This is definitely a racket for advanced players. It's stiff, heavy and doesn't feel as though it would be especially forgiving for less experienced players. If you're an advanced, attacking singles player, you'll find the Vapour Trail Elite a fun hit. Doubles specialists will probably want to look elsewhere. At 104.99, the Elite isn't cheap but it backs up the large price tag with excellent performance and a quality feel.



    I'll post some more reviews later but I feel like having bit of a break now.

  16. #203
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    Right, I'm back. Let's get started again.


    Vapour Trail Tour
    I decided it was best to put the Elite down for a bit and let someone else try it out. At the demo table, the Vapour Trail Tour stood out as one of the shiniest rackets I've ever seen. Strangely, it looked very "blingy" without looking tacky. Yet again, Carlton have shown the other manufacturers how to paint rackets. All of the new Carltons look brilliant.

    For me, the Vapour Trail Tour was a pretty ordinary racket. It felt as though it was good quality and solid but I just couldn't get anything out of it. The Vapour Trail Tour is IMO far too flexible for me. It turned out to be the most flexible racket I demoed all day despite Carlton's specs saying otherwise. I think it was due to the flexibility that I was struggling to hit as hard as I did with the stiffer rackets. Another club member, Andrew had the complete opposite experience to me, he loved the flex and was getting great results from the Vapour Trail Tour. That proves it's not a problem with the racket as such, more a problem with racket/player compatibility in my case.

    After having no joy with hard overhead shots, I was pleased to discover the racket performed relatively well in other scenarios. Manoeuvrability was good thanks to the light weight (listed as 84g) and even balance. Hitting lifts from the net was simply effortless due to the flex and control for netshots was good. The Vapour Trail Tour again came in to its own when defending smashes - the flex meant that I didn't have to do much to punch the shuttle high and deep but I still had the option of playing a finesse shot off smashes to gain the attack back. Drives were pretty average, the light weight was good in terms of racket head speed but again, the flex left me frustrated. I seem to remember someone saying in the Zelm thread that they thought the Trixon 8 was too flexible and posted something along the lines of "it didn't recoil quickly enough". I got this same hard to describe feeling from the VT Tour. I could generate good racket head speed but the racket just felt slow to respond. I can only put this down the the flexibility of the shaft.

    Feel: Pretty good. An 8 or maybe 8.5
    Control: Perhaps an 8
    Power: For me, not good at all - 5.5. Please remember that users of more flexible rackets may be able to get more out of it.
    Defence: Very good - 8.5
    Manoeuvrability: 9

    Final words I'm sure the Vapour Trail Tour is a very good racket if it's suited to you. Sadly, it wasn't suited to me. I could tell there was good performance in there somewhere, the shaft was just too flexible for me. The VT Tour is a really easy racket to use, it might be a good racket for children playing at a relatively high level (perhaps an under 13 or under 15 club or county player) or people that find they can't bend stiffer shafts. I imagine this racket would perform very well if you're a more defensive doubles player or like to play the net a lot. At 92.99, it's anything but cheap - I think if you're the sort of player who it suits, it might be worth it though.



    Vapour Trail ST
    On paper, this is very similar to the VT Tour so you would think I would hate this frame. I didn't play with it for very long but my experience with it was definitely more positive than that of the VT Tour. The paintjob on the VT ST is quite nice but certainly not one of my favourites from Carlton. It's by no means an ugly duckling but it isn't quite a beautiful swan either.

    The ST was good fun to play with. Light and whippy, I could see this being great for doubles. Despite Carlton giving them the same flex ratings, the ST seemed quite a bit stiffer than the Tour. This added stiffness was just enough to make it useful to me. Overheads were quite crisp and came off the racket with adequate pace. This is by no means the most powerful racket I have used today but it wasn't severely lacking in power either.

    Much like the Tour, the ST was rather useful in and around the forecourt with its light weight and even balance. Smash defence was again, good and drives were an improvement over the Tour.

    There isn't really much to add as for me, the ST played like a slightly stiffer version of the VT Tour so all in all, not a bad thing. The ST is also substantially cheaper than the Tour, coming in at 65.57 and so, if I was the person considering both of these rackets, the ST would be a no-brainer for me. Of course, everyone has different racket preferences and you may feel completely the opposite.

    Feel: Pretty good. An 8 or maybe 8.5
    Control: Perhaps an 8
    Power: 7.5 - It still isn't a beast but I got more from it than the Tour
    Defence: Very good - 8.5
    Manoeuvrability: 9

    Final words As you'll see, I've given the ST the same ratings as the Tour barring power. This is because from my experience, they play very similarly. The Vapour Trail ST represents great value at 65.57, there aren't many rackets that offer this level of performance at such a good price. It isn't bargain basement cheap but it's certainly a palatable price tag for such a good racket. Again, it's probably suited to people with slower swings and leans towards defensive players or those who generally stay at the net in doubles.


    Vapour Trail S-lite
    In our club, this racket has been affectionately dubbed the "Toni the Tiger frame". For those of you who have seen the Frosties advert, when you look at the VT S-lite, you'll know what we mean. All joking aside though, the paintjob is rather nice.

    The VT S-lite is a strange beast, despite looking very similar on paper to the Air Rage S-lite, the VT feels much lighter to hold and swing. I've no idea why this is and I didn't have any scales on location to weigh the two rackets to find out whether there was any difference in weight. When I got on court with the VT S-lite, I found it to play relatively similarly to its Air Rage counterpart. I wasn't able to get too much testing in though so I'll leave the review of it here for now and maybe write a more detailed review after I've clocked up some more court time with it.


    To wrap up this series of reviews, I'd like to say that I think Carlton have done a great job with the new ranges. The VT ST represents fantastic value and then at the high end, the Vapour Trail Elite is just a beast if you can handle it. There's a wide range of rackets to suit all sorts of players and ability levels. The paintjobs of all the rackets are lovely as well. I'm very impressed with Carlton - I think they represent a solid alternative to Yonex and IMO, Carlton is an underrated brand at the moment. Maybe now they have a web presence again, the Carlton brand will become more popular.

    On one final note, my reviews are totally subjective and you may feel totally differently to me about a particular racket. That's absolutely fine because each player has their own preferences and their own idea of an ideal racket.

  17. #204
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    Hey Dan, that sponsorship deal doesn't mean you have to play with Carlton shuttles, does it? In my experience they're second only to Wilson Toplines in crappiness.

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