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01-17-2010, 03:34 PM #1
Racquet confusion: flex & swing speed vs wrist action
Several reasons for this post, I'm getting a new racquet but before I start on the "what i'm looking for" rant, perhaps someone can clear up some confusion I have. I get that a more flexible shaft (assuming all other specs are the same) gives you more power. People say that a stiff shaft is more suited to those with a fast arm speed, but how does this relate to wrist action? I would say that I have a pretty fast arm speed, but still need to work on my wrist action so would a stiff shaft be ok or would I still benefit from a medium flex shaft?
Right, onto my racquet query. I've recently started playing badminton again (1.5 years ago) after not playing for about 10 years or so. When I re started I bought a cheap ish racket from Decathlon, which was billed as an intermediate attacking racket. I found it fine, but after getting a bit more serious and starting to play in leagues I wanted to get a decent racket.
After some research and a bit of advice I went for the NanoSpeed 4500. However I have played with it for a month now and don't feel it's right for me. My timing seems wrong and I haven't been able to correct it as I thought would happen as I played with the racquet more. I find that smashes are too flat and when I try to play drop shots they almost always sit up too much and get killed at the net. I feel like the shaft may be too flexible and the racket doesn't feel solid enough at contact, although I do like the added power from the flexible shaft...
I recently tried my old racket again and felt much more comfortable with it, so i'll stick with that until i've got a shortlist to demo. It actually seems fairly similar in spec to the NS4500 (All I know is that it's a medium flex 87g - 30cm balance point, though i'm not sure what this translates to) so i'm not sure why it feels so different to play with. It does feel slightly heavier & maybe more head heavy.
So I'm not quite sure what I should look for. I play doubles, and prefer offensive play so I think I want to try something with a stiff shaft and a slight head heavy balance. Do you think that's a good starting point? If so what would you recommend?
So far I've shortlisted the Armortec 900 Power/ Technique, Armortec 700, Arc 7 (though I know it's med flex), any other suggestions?
I will demo before buying but would like to get a shortlist of 3 first.
Many thanks in advance.
01-17-2010, 07:10 PM #2
Just as a note on the arm speed / wrist action question you have. It does not matter whether you have a slow arm / fast wrist or fast arm slow wrist or any combination of the two. What it comes down to in the end is racket head speed. Doesn't matter how you get it.
Good technique uses both arm and wrist... as a matter of fact, good technique for a smash uses your entire body from your feet to your wrist.
As for rackets for doubles, I personally like my Arc10 and Z slash from Yonex but also my tantrum 300 from apacs (use this with unknown partners). I am planning on trying out the AT900 T/P as well but have not had a chance to do so yet.
01-17-2010, 07:51 PM #3
Just to add to druss, the strings could be at a different tension to your previous racquet, hence the timing problem.
For technique, people often miss out mentioning finger technique.
01-17-2010, 09:27 PM #4
Am i right to say that the progression of strength (both wrist and arm or combination of them including the grip technique) should translate/accomodate with below racket flex and string tension combo:
Low string tension and flex racket ----> High string tension and flex racket, or Low string tension and stiff racket ----> High string tension and stiff racket
01-18-2010, 03:17 AM #5
Thanks for the replies so far
druss - ok that makes sense, my concern is that with a fast arm speed and a reasonable wrist action, a shaft that's too flexible would not unload in time, and cause smashes to be too flat and clears to be too looping. Is that fair to say?
Cheung, that's also a good point, I've not yet explored string tension. If anything the strings on my new racket are tighter, although I get more power from the new racket, which suggests to me that the old one had a stiffer frame. Does that logic carry through?
I think my technique is ok - I had lessons as a youngster so I feel like I've at least retained the basics of grip etc, I have the "V", I try to grip in my fingers not palm (although I've still converting from Tennis so I know this is still an issue)
Yoppy, I didn't quite follow what you said....!
01-18-2010, 03:25 AM #6
Hi Eddie, it just simply means as our overall strength/technique/speed/etc develop one should move from Low string tension and flex racket to----> High string tension and flex racket, or Low string tension and stiff racket and then to----> High string tension and stiff racket.
I hope it makes sense
But I believe its not a fixed rule with the evidence of many world class players use flex racket too.
01-18-2010, 04:50 AM #7
Dropshots are very difficult to play well. The tighter the strings, the smaller the sweetspot and the harder they are to do well..
01-18-2010, 07:17 AM #8
Yep ok that does make sense - though I agree that it's not always the case, a few Yonex pros use the Arc 7, which is medium flex!
Thanks Cheung, interesting correlation between tighter strings and smaller sweet spot. Sweet spot made more sense to me in Tennis, smaller head = smaller sweet spot but since Badminton racket heads are pretty much the same size the same obv doesn't apply.
So, I'm still not quite sure what to do about my racket... The main problem I find with this racket is that my smashes are too flat and drop shots too looping. I've tried a friends Arc 10 which was certainly better but I struggled to get length on backhand clears, so this racket isn't powerful enough for me.
Do you think that looking for a stiffer shaft and maybe heavier head would help me to correct this problem? Feel free to say that I'm being silly and that I should just learn to use the racket I've got!
01-18-2010, 11:31 AM #9
Balance point of 30cm means you already have a head heavy racket. 87g racket weight is preferred by most players (3u = 87-89g). So I don't think it's the racket.
It is normal for backhand clears to suffer when switching to a stiffer racket simply because forehand is always stronger than backhand. I'd say practice that backhand if you're getting the Arc 10. You may also want to lower the string tension.
What is your string tension? And what do you mean by "smashes are too flat?" Do you mean weak? Or not going in a downward direction?
If you think that, due to mid-flex the racket doesn't unload quickly enough, try taking the shuttle a bit earlier (or later) and see what happens.
Last edited by ixoye; 01-18-2010 at 11:43 AM.
01-18-2010, 07:30 PM #10
As ixoye mentioned, 30cm balance point is a heavy head racket. However you may need to consider that spec between brand may not be as accurate/similar. I would say maybe your Decathlon racket is off spec. And therefore you may not be able to use its spec as a comparison to a Yonex racket. I have seen many Apacs rackets, for instant, that way off spec.
Personally I prefer head light rackets (although I own many head heavy racket more than the light ones).
I often measure the balance of the racket using a traditional method. That is using a sewing string and tie a knot on the shaft, then move the knot around until you find the exact balance of the racket. And the measure it with a measurement to get the exact cm. This way I can know for sure if the racket is head heavy or otherwise. Please note also that often rackets have different length (so you need to consider this as well). Also you need to measure the racket without the grip.
Having said that, I dont really think you need to do all this. Its just me filling my time
I guess my suggestion is, go for a more balance racket like Arc7 or Ti10 or AT700T (I own one of this, its really good). Tune the string to your liking and just keep practicing with it. Arc7 or AT700T may not have the same spec as your old racket, and therefore you will need time to adjust to them.
01-19-2010, 03:05 PM #11
ixoye: It's actually my old racket that has a balance of 30cm, which I didn't realise is head heavy - that's perhaps why the head light NS4500 feels so different! By smashes being flat I mean that they aren't downward enough, usually landing nearer the back of the court than the middle. I've tried taking the shuttle earlier/ later but can't seen to get it. I'm sure if I perservered I could work it out, but if I'm more suited to a different type of racket then I might as well try some out.
Yoppy - yes my smashes and drops are much better with the Decathlon racket. Interesting point about measuring the balance, though isn't it better to do with the grip since you play with the grip on? I thought putting on more grip would add more weight to the handle?
Yes I could perhaps compromise on a balanced racket - or demo both! I do like the look of the Arc 7. Although I don't know what the Ti10 or AT700T are, do these have different names in the UK? I know there's an Armortec 700, but not aware of a T version and I think this is head heavy. Do you mean AT900T?
All I can gather from google is that the Ti10 is an armotrec/ Muscle power of some sort but not sure!
Thanks so much for your help so far, much appreciated :-)
01-19-2010, 05:26 PM #12
Yes sorry I mean AT900T. There are 3 different generation of Ti10, Im not really sure what they are called in UK. Here's the pic:
As for the grip, yes i play with a grip on. Its just when I measure the racket balance, i do it before i put the grip on.
01-19-2010, 05:29 PM #13
To my knowledge, Ti10 was first release after carbonex series and before muscle power series. Im not 100% sure on this, can anyone confirm?
01-19-2010, 06:02 PM #14
Yep, I agree. I bought my first Ti series racket 9 years ago and the muscle power had not yet been released.
01-20-2010, 02:36 PM #15
Ok thanks Druss. Do you know what the equivalent is called in the UK? none of the range has anything like this name, the below website stocks most commercially available Yonex in the current range, can you see the Ti10 anywhere?! Is it discontinued at all?
01-20-2010, 03:11 PM #16
Hmm, it may be the case that although it's still made or recently discontinued, it's not part of their "official" lineup.
Not sure if a UK coded version is still available.
01-20-2010, 04:02 PM #17
Yeah looks like it doesn't exist in the official UK line up. Never mind I've got enough to look at.
Yoppy, out of interest any reason you suggest the AT900T vs the AT900P? I'm still confused about these 2 rackets, some say the T is actually more powerful, but the pros seem to use the P.
Also considering trying some Ashaway, 79SQ and Kevlar 6000SQ. Guess it's a case of getting down to the shop to pick up some demo rackets!
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