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12-13-2009, 05:50 PM #1
Anyone interested in CUSTOM rackets?
When I'm not playing badminton or sleeping, I'm a freelance design consultant that has been working in the 'sports and leisure' industry since 1993.
I run another company that sells custom made bicycles, but this has got me to think about my other love - badminton - and the possibility of selling custom made rackets.
I'm talking to a manufacturer at the moment about the possibility, and it seems like it's quite possible, albeit with a higher price tag than a regular racket.
The upside is of course you can literally have anything you want. You don't have to search for a racket that 'kind of' matches the specs you want - you'd be able to specify everything from shaft stiffness, to overall weight, balance point.....everything.
Is this something that people would be interested in? Let me know what you think!
12-13-2009, 05:53 PM #2
Isn't this what Panda Power does? They let you choose the weight and balance points, albeit over a range.
Unless you are actually talking about customizing everything EVERYTHING, as in frame shape, material (100% titanium anyone), in which case I'd imagine the cost would be more than just a little higher.
12-13-2009, 06:03 PM #3
can u get a preliminary cost estimate for a racket frame that made of latest metallic Ti alloys or the latest aluminum alloys. Shaft can be normal carbon fiber. I always wanted to do this but no time, no contact, so why not let others try making it. It's extension of golf club design to badminton.
why not all carbon fiber? well u will be just competing with a saturated market comprised of low to high end all graphite stuffs.
Last edited by cooler; 12-13-2009 at 06:05 PM.
12-13-2009, 06:03 PM #4
No, that's not what he does at all.
I'm not talking about picking out from a selection, I'm talking about fully custom spec'd, handmade rackets.
Yes you can even specify the materials.
The cost would not actually be much higher than the most expensive 'off-the-rack' racket.
Cooler, I think it might be possible to change the shaft material to 'exotics', but not the head. A Titanium head would need very different tooling.
12-14-2009, 01:34 AM #5
Exotic materials start to remind me of vectran rackets and such. But I am SO down.
12-14-2009, 02:33 AM #6
I think Stringlab ran by Stewart Allwright (in Queensland or Tasmania if my memory serves me right) have sold custom made racquets (stiffness, weight, balance, colour, grips, etc.) probably as an agent to Paul Angell (formerly of Dunlop) in the U.K. Paul Angell I think has expanded or form alliance in the U.S. (Florida).
Try contacting Stewart Allwright from Stringlab and see if it's feasible at all. Googling him or Stringlab shouldn't be so hard I guess.
12-14-2009, 02:52 AM #7
No, I wouldn't introduce 'experimental' materials unless the manufacturer was cool with using them and that they had gone through the normal R&D process.
You would however be able to specify different combinations of materials and 'additives' in various areas of the racket to improve certain areas or just to try something new.
These rackets would not even be remotely 'cheap' in the grand scheme of things, but just imagine being able to spec your own very personal racket right down the the material used, balance point, even colour scheme!
12-14-2009, 03:00 AM #8
Last edited by cooler; 12-14-2009 at 03:11 AM.
12-14-2009, 03:45 AM #9
By 'exotic' I'm thinking Titanium shafts, or bamboo or APX4S or........whatever. NOT various types of composites.
I don't really understand what you mean by 'bringing nothing special to the table' when there is NO custom badminton racket company. How is that not 'special'? How is being able to make any sort of racket out of any material not 'special'??
I don't care how often anyone changes their mind or underpants - if you can make any combination that is PERFECTLY suited to those that are indecisive.
If you just want to flounce around pretending that you're Lin Dan then sure, just get an N90, but if you ever wondered say what a AT900 style racket was like with a Tetra-Axial shaft and throat, then there's only one way to find out.
Last edited by Easy Tiger; 12-14-2009 at 03:48 AM.
12-14-2009, 04:07 AM #10
This is an intriguing idea !
However, even for most manufacturers, they need to come out with many prototype before a certain combination of material, bp, shaft stiffness, frame stiffness, head design etc works. As this is a bespoke service, the cost is high and definitely we don't have the moolah to make many different prototypes so just wondering if there's some kind of simulation software that will give an indication how the racquet will turn out ?
Great idea and this could be something which the more experienced player will appreciate alot !
12-14-2009, 04:25 AM #11
12-14-2009, 04:25 AM #12
If can have a custom make racket of spec N90 + Panda Ultra 1 + Zelm powerplay 10000 + Victor super wave 35.. All combination .,, it will become a very powerful racket
12-14-2009, 05:08 AM #13
Man, my mouth is watering at the thought of this...
My current NS9900 pretty much fits me like a glove, but I'd make it stiffer (slightly), whack some Ti Mesh at 2 and 10, and design my own paint job. The proprietory Yonex materials would probably make this too expensive, but a man can dream...
12-14-2009, 07:16 AM #14
PM you my specs.
Please let me know the price, maybe need 5 to 10 pieces if the price is OK.
12-14-2009, 08:08 PM #15
I'm still talking to the manufacturer. They're not as super excited as I am, but then again when you do mass production you can get 'jaded'.
12-14-2009, 09:49 PM #16
I'd say they are not super excited becasue they've seen and known (at least heard) about it. Several hundred racquets might not be exciting if they knew sustainability can't be guaranteed. Several thousands is good but that's really pushing it bordering on blind faith...even for a custom built racquet. There just aren't that many that'd be interested when the dust settles. What people really want are well known brands that would also cater to custom-builts.
12-14-2009, 10:12 PM #17
What do you think makes the badminton industry different from any other? You can buy custom bikes, custom golf clubs, custom shoes, custom clothing, car and motorbike modifications are mind boggling.......
I was actually a bit shocked when I got back into badders that a top-end racket only cost about USD200 give or take, and I was even more surprised at the manufactured cost of the things when I found out.
From talking to the manufacturers, the thing they can't get their head around is the quality control increase that they would have to make to bring the manufacture of rackets up to the standards of other composite manufacture such as bicycles, so that you could make a one-off custom and know it was perfect.
And as it stands, badminton rackets come out of SE Asia where the primary driver is make as many as possible for as little as possible, not make the best rackets money can buy. It's all driven by money, not love for the technology or the game.
Like many mass market industries, the badminton industry would rather spend more money on promotion rather than taking rackets to the next level, or even bothering to look at new markets such as the custom market.
The reason I'm getting luke-warm response so far? It wouldn't make them stacks more money then they already make.
I'm convinced there's a market for custom rackets, I'm just not sure there's a manufacturer out there that understands it.
But hey, this is all about putting the feelers out there. Thanks for the comments guys.
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