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badminton-racket-review usefulness

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by SnowWhite, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    In a different thread about racket stiffness, Ouchie referenced badminton-racket-review.



    This sparked some questions that I feel don't belong in the stiffness thread.

    I've looked around a bit and have made some (perhaps premature) judgements. I have trouble finding details about how they test different factors about the rackets.

    There are some factors that are tested that seem very useful to know across brands, such as stiffness and weight. I trust these simple factors to be tested reliably. However, with some of their other test it's difficult for me to trust the results without knowing how the test is performed. And unless I'm simply terrible at navigating websites, I can't seem to find details on how the tests are performed.

    They perform a smash test, but I can't find any details as to how they do this. If it's just someone smashing, then the human element in the test will make any test unreliable across rackets. How is he smashing? trying his hardest every time? What is the stringing setup? do they restring every single racket with the same setup?

    They perform a control test. Ok, sure. but how? I don't doubt there are tests that can be done, but they are even more vague about the nature of this test than they are about the smashing.

    Something I've also noticed about a couple rackets on the site is that they get a relatively bad score in the tests and then the on-court-review (having some people play with the racket and give some feedback on how it feels) can't shut up about how well the racket plays.

    It seems to me that the site can be useful, but only to compare racket specifications: stiffness, weight etc. Objective measurements.

    If anyone has any details on how they perform the tests I am very interested. I'm particularly curious as to the nature of the control test.

     
  2. hm_andhika

    hm_andhika Regular Member

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  3. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Thanks. Relatively easy to find in hindsight, though they might want to think about referencing their videos on their actual rigorous testing page on the website.

    It seems the smash test, the manoeuvrability test and the control test are all subject to human fallibility. I feel like there are more reliable tests that can be performed to more accurately measure these factors.
     
  4. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Agree man parameter included is vague to gain a full knowledge of racket characteristic.
    Im thinking if reviewer using ranking like on phone benchmark using 4 category of ranking(power, control, defense, manouverability), i think it might be usefull.

    For example using an obvious example between voltric ZF2 & Arc11

    Power
    1. VTZF2
    2. Arc11

    Manouverability
    1. Arc11
    2. VTZF2

    If we have tons of racket review, we might get a better understanding about its characteristic even if there is human involved as long the human tester is stay the same. Afterall with tons of racket on the rank, we might not own all of it but we might own few of it which we can use as comparation. Ex: i own VTZF2 & it feel to slugish on fast play, so i see the manouver rank & found Arc11, then i check about its power how its ranked.
     
  5. badmintony

    badmintony Regular Member

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    If these tests should be accurate, they may be best performed by a machine. But even if these factors (smash test, manoeuvrability test and the control test) can be measured more accurately using a machine, they should always be taken with a grain of salt since IMO, the most accurate test and measure of a racket is its user friendliness to a person. Something that is vaguely quantifiable, and more like "felt".

    If there'd be one particular factor that might be of interest to measure accurately, I think it would be the smash test as this can give one an estimate of the power that can be generated by a given racket model. But of course, other factors like string and tension considered too.
     
  6. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    Yeah, I highlighted the website because of the comments on that thread but don't have any knowledge of the reviewers systems, only what they claim on the landing page and in the videos.

    My finger has lingered on the purchase button on their site a few times but I always resist. The videos do not fill me with enough confidence that the results will provide a totally reliable metric for comparisons. Any competent player can dink some shuttles into some buckets :rolleyes: It's called training.

    I want to see a spreadsheet of numbers all derived with proven and repeatable means. I also understand that it can be hard to measure a subjective feeling of stiffness given some technologies/materials promote snap back and flex differently so would be skewed by a static measurement such as a weight hanging on the end of a frame and measuring the drop.

    Ultimately, if a list exists I don't see how it could be made without some subjective inputs. Control would be hard to measure but, buckets, really??? o_O I like to think that if I met the tester in a match he would only be able to defend smashes on his knees and his net shots would be useless without a bucket to aim for.

    Thinking about it, how do people rate a cars abilities? Aside from a few measurements such as 0-60, 0-100, mpg and top speed what is there to suggest a car is better than another car? Jeremy Clarkson, Autocar or some other journalist says so - subjectively?
     
    #6 Ouchie, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  7. badmintony

    badmintony Regular Member

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    And when finally you're playing the game, the conditions are so dynamic that your racket usage can hardly be guided by some buckets:p
     
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  8. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    that.
     
  9. konstancij

    konstancij Regular Member

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    the badminton racket review, aside from questionble human tests, produce the most tehnical measurments. it is not complete and sometimes gives strange results that hard to believe, but still their database is the best tool to select racket from sea of marketing bs. its a shame their last tests were done in january.

    to do even deeper analysis, one can measure mass distribution by lenght, air resistance of frame, distribution of stiffnes and energy loss at standard repulsion.
     
  10. SSSSNT

    SSSSNT Regular Member

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    Well cars have a lot of other stuff that can be measured. Like the amount of body roll, techs (360 cam, start/stop button, etc), gas mileage, quietness, resale value, reliability, audio quality, trunk capacity, etc.

    It seems to me the control test are useless and the smash and maneuverability tests are highly doubtful. However, the other stuff seems quite useful.
     
  11. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    My point is that we form opinions and make purchasing decisions of expensive items with intricate detail and more components than a racket often based on a professional reviewers opinion - not just numbers on a spreadsheet. It is too difficult to quantify a racket despite the relative simplicity so we need to rely on trusted sources of information which probably means a good player who can give consistently good feedback. Preferably without the use of buckets.
     
  12. SSSSNT

    SSSSNT Regular Member

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    Yes, many people including me buy a car based on a professional reviewers but those reviewers also mention all the things that I mentioned (gas mileage, body rolls, etc). If not, it's really not a good review and shouldn't be listened to.

    Personally I don't think a player's feedback on a racket means much because they can only test based on very subjective feel. Feel, in my experience, is inconsistent and different from player to player. It's not that difficult to reasonably quantify a racket, we just need to measure properly. The problem is, I don't think there's enough demand to justify spending much money or time for those measurements. For example, now we have a machine that can measure Swing Weight, that's great. But there's no machine that can truly measure shaft stiffness. This kind of machine shouldn't be that hard to make. An air pressure swinging machine with high speed camera would suffice to measure how much force is needed to make racket X shaft start bending. But again, who has time for that?
     
  13. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    the problem is that most racket criteria that badminton players are interested in are either poorly defined or not quantifiable, or both.

    power: what is power? a racket don't have power. the player induces power (actually, force) by swinging the racket, and the racket (+string) transfers the force to the shuttlecock. so to be more accurate, it is force transfer. how to measure that? everyone swings the racket differently, and with different amount of force. most reviews just qualitatively, in a very subjective manner describe the "power" of a racket.

    control: what is "control"? years ago I posed the question in this thread, and no one seems to be able to answer exactly what "control" means, and furthermore, what does having "control" really mean for a racket? https://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/index.php?threads/what-is-control.7746/

    there are things that can be measured, balance, weight, swing weight, head weight. even those measurement is rather poorly understood. just look at the Nanoflare thread, ppl still don't understand how the combinations of balance and weight works.

    stiffness: stiffness can be measured, but what does that mean?

    there are so many things that can be measured and cannot be measured, and objective and subjective, it is hard to come up with a informative review.

    that's not to say we shouldn't do it, just need to make sure when we are reviewing rackets, we don't give out misinformation.
     
    #13 kwun, Jun 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  14. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    Given the advances in technology the days gauging stiffness by bending a racket with a known force are gone. e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiffness

    Rackets can flex in different places under different loads, with kick points, variable thickness of shafts and flexible heads for shuttle hold, snap back properties with fancy materials, even t-joint torsion. We can't reliably determine a racket is stiffer than another with a simple stiffness test.
     
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  15. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    what would be very interesting is to have a machine that swings the racket, have it hit some kind of shuttlecock, and then measure the force transfer.

    however, who has the time/money/ability to create such a device? there simply isn't enough money for it. we have seen marketing material from Yonex that shows that they do have such a contraption. however, I am 105% sure they will say no if we want to borrow it to measure some Victor/Lining racket.

    even so, there are other factors to be concerned of. what string? tension? how about racket/string matching? etc. etc.
     
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  16. Swat

    Swat Regular Member

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    If you look at shafts of golf clubs, there are several ways to measure stiffness and flex points. It's extremely important to get it right (like in badminton), a too soft shaft will give the ball too much spin and make it hard to control and a too stiff shaft will send it straighter, but you'll lose distance.

    Here's one machine:


    Here's another, which measures oscillation cycles per minute:


    This could probably be done with rackets as well and it should be very useful to not only know the stiffness, but also the kick point.

    Here's a good explanation to understand how shaft stiffness could fit your golf swing:

    "If we’re speaking in generalities about flex, there is one misconception we would like to clear up. The overall speed of your swing is really not the only determining factor for your flex requirement. It has more to do with the load you are applying. The shaft has no idea how fast the club head is actually moving. It only responds to this.

    A real-world example would be to compare the swings of two legendary golfers, Nick Price and Fred Couples. Price had a lighting quick tempo, and a much shorter swing versus the long, flowing swing of Couples. They both had extremely fast swing speeds despite what it might look like to the casual observer.

    Regardless of the similarity in their swing speeds, Nick Price couldn’t find a shaft stiff enough for his swing because he would apply such an enormous amount of force, whereas Couples didn’t need as stiff of a shaft because of his smooth tempo.

    Choosing the right flex and profile of your driver shaft has more to do with the type of swing you have rather than the actual speed of your swing, which is a mistake many golfers make when they purchase clubs off the rack."
    (https://www.petesgolf.com/golf-shafts/)
     
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  17. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    exactly. in 2 ways.

    - stiffer is not necessarily better. as illustrated, also apply to badminton. but ppl tend to go for the larger number is better mentality.
    - golf has way more money than badminton. just the prize money of one tourney is probably more than most badminton add together and being a rich ppl sport there is never ending flow of money going into it. thus it is not surprising that there are more sophisticated testing done.
     
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  18. Swat

    Swat Regular Member

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    True that :)
    But there are also machines for measuring stiffness and rebound of tennis rackets. Might be easier to apply on badminton.
     
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  19. Cesium

    Cesium Regular Member

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    The tests that people are asking here DOES NOT EXIST YET.

    I actually believe you guys can start your own company and DO IT YOURSELF.

    It is certainly possible using today's technology:

    - Use machines to exert a set amount of force for each type of swing
    - Measure the distance traveled by the bird
    - Measure the speed of the racket

    Combining all those measurements and you have a rigorous, standardized set of data for all tested rackets.

    However, there are some problems with this, which is why I believe no one has done it so far. For example, what if the sweet spot is different for each racket? You will have to determine the sweet spot OR hit the bird in 3 different areas of the racket for each test. In that case, you now have to do 3x the amount of testing. Apart from that, what about string tension? What if a racket functions differently between 20lbs to 32lbs of tension? Do you test for each tension? Then you now have 3 x 12 = 36 times more tests to do. What about weight? What about the 3U and 4U versions? That's another 36 x 2 = 72 times more testing to do.

    As you can see, for each additional variable you have to multiply the amount of testing to perform otherwise you will not have properly standardized data. But if you utilize a machine, I see no reason why you cannot program it to perform thousands of tests per racket.
     
  20. Swat

    Swat Regular Member

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    Well, it doesn't have to be that complicated.
    It still makes sense on golf club shafts. They are then used on various club heads which have different sizes, sweet spots and weights.

    So if you know your numbers and what you want out of a racket, then it should be easier to find a fit from a more detailed spec. You'd still have to test some rackets to find your fit, but you would't have to go through as many.
     
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