[Diary] My Arranged Marriage With The Adidas Wucht P8 3U

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by speCulatius, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I'm one of those people who think that a racket doesn't make that much of a difference. It's your skill, your determination, your mindset that is important. A racket is just a tool necessary to execute the strokes and as long as it remotely matches your preferences, you'll do fine. There's pros and cons to every racket and when I lose, it cannot be the rackets fault.
    Consistency (having the same racket with the same grip and same strings more than once) is so much more important to me than always hunting for the racket that might be a slightly better fit. As much fun as it can be to try new equipment, having to find a new racket is more of an annoying task to me.

    A few years back, when I was facing this task, three rackets ended up to be the final contenders.
    • Yonex Z-Force II
    • Babolat X-Feel Blast
    • Babolat Satelite Blast
    The Z-Force II felt very unbalanced when I first picked it up. It got better pretty quickly, but I didn't have the chance to spend a whole lot of time with it, so some doubts remained.
    The X-Feel Blast was a great racket. Nice and stiff shaft, stiffer than the other two, great in many ways…. But the T-Joint was not stable enough, so powerful shots would end up all over the place, even if I hit just a little bit off-center. This is exaggerated to make a point. ;)
    The Satelite Blast wasn‘t perfect either. A little bit slower due to the larger head, a little bit too much flex in some situations, but a very stable and solid racket.
    Since there was no perfect racket, I let the price decide and settled for the Satelite. I still have this racket, I’m still happy with it, I don't have the desire to change it…. So why do it anyway?

    A few months ago, I got in touch with Adidas and on their way to enter the Badminton Market in Europe, they offered me (as a coach) a sponsorship. After sending me some mid-range rackets to convince me of the quality they offered, I was happy to accept that offer, despite knowing that I'm also on the list for a Babolat contract. I just think that more competition is always good and it might introduce some innovation as well.
    Looking at their lineup, only two rackets really cought my eye
    • Überschall F3
    • Wucht P8
    I had to decide without testing them though, but I did get to test two other Überschall rackets, the F1 and F2. Both are too flexible for me, but they seem to be well thought out rackets. Quite fast, despite the large head size (not extra large, but not compact like the P8), quite forgiving… but all Überschall rackets come with a rather open stringing pattern with a lot more space between the cross strings than 'normal‘. This in combination with the sword frame (well, it's my guess that that's the main reasons) leads to a less solid feedback than I'm used to. I think with a thicker string, I would like the racket, but it seemed like a gamble without trying it, especially since it seems to be on the lighter side of my preferences. I'm not an international player or anything alike, so there is a rather strict budget. Going with the cheaper racket would yield some advantages, but still…
    That only left the question 3U or 4U for the P8 and after a short conversation with the European territory manager for Adidas Badminton mentioning my racket preferences, history and last decision, he only said, „You'll love the P8 in 3U.“ So it was settled….

    My marriage was arranged.

    Due to some delays (Adidas moving to a different warehouse, me being out of the country, …), I still have to wait probably around two weeks, but I'm sure it's worth the wait and I should have a good first impression of my new wife by the end of this month.

    Just to clear things up
    Adidas does not pay me or encourage me in any way to write this. I will say my honest opinion. A few days back I read around here, that somebody was missing information on Adidas rackets, so I thought it me be a good way to share my experience.
    The sponsorship is just for use their equipment as a player and coach to give some exposure. You'll also see it on my YouTube channel (I just wear whatever I wear regularly anyway), but I don't want to start making reviews there and again, I'm not getting paid in any way, I just agreed to use what I'll get. I will not let anybody tell me what to say about it.
     
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  2. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    With a little bit of luck, all my equipment (plus the seven rackets that other people already wanted to order after trying them - I hope I get to write some reviews for the test rackets as well when I get them back) will leave the warehouse by the end of this week after Adidas is done moving. The package will take another week and then I need to string the rackets, play with them and try to find a first impression that's worth sharing, but anyway.... time for a little Vorfreude! (When Adidas is using German words, I think I can do the same.)

    While rackets are so much more than just plain specs, these more technical posts by @DinkAlot made me curious to have a closer look at the P8's specs other than "stiff and head heavy".

    PSX_20191113_161430.jpg
    So it's 46T Carbon, a 6.8mm shaft, a compact head and a stiffness rating of 7.7-8.3 (well, 7.5-8.0 in the European brochure; what does that even mean?) which they call "very stiff" .... and that really gives me a lot of hope that this racket is close to a custom made racket for me. Just a look at the shafts of the Babolat Satelite Blast (6.5mm, stiff rating, but quite flexy for that head) and the X-Feel Blast (7.0mm, ultra stiff rating, I really enjoyed that) in comparison gives some hope that with the 46T, the P8's shaft is closer to the X-Feel's stiffness. This combined with the (as far as I know) compact head and a hopefully more stable T than the X-Feel had might just be my racket. I'm not sure about the frame shape, they call it "Delta Wing" which looks like which might be less boxy than what I'm hoping for, but having tried some of the midrange rackets Adidas has to offer, I'm not worried about missing synergy at all.

    There's so many things they mention in the catalogue which I'm not so sure if it's worth mentioning, but there's some details that I just love. For example calling the oval grommets of the Wucht rackets "E.G.G.s" (elliptical geometry grommets). I mean, come on.... that's just a nice fun detail.
    PSX_20191113_162454.jpg
    I love to see that there's so much thought behind everything and even if it's just marketing, it makes me feel like there's people behind it who enjoy it, who are excited about it.

    Im looking forward to finally holding this racket in my hands, take some pictures for you, string it and get on court.
     
  3. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    APACS Wave 10 has a similar concept to allow the strings to move more, just on the sweet spot crosses. Adidas EGG's seems to be more refined by allowing the strings to move in one direction only. I wonder if there will be extra wear on the strings inside the grommets if they are not perfectly perpendicular.

    Stiffness values are a measurement of the deflection, so really a measurement of flexibility. Lower values are stiffer. 7.5 is "damn, that is stiff". 9.5+ is "whoa, is this made of rubber"
     
  4. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I'll look out for that!

    Well, that's clear. Still, it doesn't mean a lot. They don't give a unit and a dimensionless displacement is kinda useless. Then: What kind of force is applied? A (rotational) acceleration? just pushing one end down while the handle is fixed? Is it possible to compare the ratings of different manufacturers?

    The answer to the last question is most likely no, just like it's (probably) the value of a displacement they tell us.
     
  5. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    Apacs (and presumably all others but they don’t all publish the results) use the same measurement. Badminton Racket Review also do the same test. The racket is clamped at the handle and force is applied to the head.

    This is where things will get subjective because the location of a flex point can effect the feeling of flexibility. If there is a flex point near the handle then you will feel more weight/inertia when the racket does flex.
     
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  6. endFX

    endFX Regular Member

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    Totally hyped now.:D
    Really hope you will do a review of the A5!
    Also some tests of their strings and shoes would be very interesting.
    I got a pack of the Kalkül string but haven't tried it yet.
     
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  7. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    Don't have an A5, only got an A3, F2, F1, and P2 for testing. Since the A5 probably sits somewhere in between the A3, F2, and P2, it's not interesting to me and since it's one of the few Adidas rackets you can already find reviews on, I will not spend money on it just for that. What I can say already is that there's a lot I do like about the A3 and if the A5 is just that with a little more head weight and flex, it's a great racket for many players. The only thing I don't like about the A3 is that it's soooo light, but that's very subjective. My copy is on the lighter side of the allowed specs though and I do prefer 3U rackets with a more head heavy balance.

    The F3 might be interesting enough for me to just get one... if it could just be a little less ugly.

    I already have some Spieler E68 Strings, side by side with NBG99 at the moment and they're surprisingly close in many ways. The P8 comes with a package of Wucht P68 strings, so I'll certainly test those. I'm also interested in the Kalkül A68 strings, just not so much in the Überschall F66 ones... but maybe I'll even get a pack of those.

    Shoe wise, I'm really looking forward to my P7.1.... and I picked up a pair of the Stabil Bounce (part of the Badminton catalogue, aussi sold as handball shoes, I think) when Karstadt Sport had the wrong price tag on a pair in my size. All the shoes come from Adidas directly, so I do not expect any negative surprises... as long as there's no not concealed Boost material. I'll be hesitant getting those. I'll write about both when I can compare them. Grip and stability is good on the Stabil Bounce and so is the cushioning. It's just really easy to tie them too tight and I've never had that with badminton shoes before.
     
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  8. yenyesoh

    yenyesoh New Member

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    The victor hypernano X 900x doesn't have any special elliptical grommets per se but does use 3 extra "shared-hole"-sized grommets on either side of the racket (6 in total) near the upper third of the racket head. And IMHO the extra movement of the strings reduces the firmness/feel of the stringbed, as a rough gauge it feels as though a 27lb tension feels around 25-ish. Granted that remains in line with their marketing of "increasing the sweet-spot".

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
  9. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    Well, it's obvious what is supposed to do, and pretty obvious that it will work. Not sure whether the effect is big enough to really feel the difference (you'd have to have the same racket with regular holes and grommets to compare), but that's not what it's about...

    I like the fact that they call the oval shaped grommets EGGs. What shape does an egg have? ;)
     
  10. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    explaining jokes makes baby jesus cry... :(

    But yeah, I like those EGGs too! :D
     
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  11. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    You can't rotate the EGGs as many times as circular grommets :(
     
  12. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    Lets spin this even further - as long as they don't widely offer replacement EGGs, I wouldn't want to buy a racket that has it tbh. I'm not a fan of turning grommets (they tend to look like squashed dried plums after a while :confused:) and it doesn't take that much longer to simply change them.

    I haven't seen any super-slo-mos, but I doubt that the tight sleeves of normal grommets are indeed limiting the motion radius of the stringbed. So to me, it's mostly marketing. Same goes for the special double grommets next to the t-joint on the Wucht rackets.
     
  13. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    I have the 7.0. Amazing grip and very comfy. How are you finding the sizing though? Mine fit like climbing shoes, but dont hurt at all, which I find odd considering my toes are snug with the end - which I'm sure is not how shoes should fit.
     
  14. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    Don't know yet. I didn't receive anything yet and since the package normally takes around a week, and nothing left the warehouse until November 14 or 15, I don't really expect to get anything before next week.

    I do have a pair of Adidas Stabil Bounce which I bought when exactly the pair in my size had the wrong price tag (30€). Length wise, they seem normal to me, so does the width in the midfoot area. The toebox yields too much space (width wise) for me, but I don't mind that really. I'm not slipping around, the grip is better than all other badminton shoes I had so far (Kason, Yonex, Hi-Tec, Victor, Mizuno), they're stable and there's enough cushioning for me. I'd prefer a little more in the forefoot area, but most shoes don't have a whole lot there. They'll probably break first in the upper around the area of the big toe of the right foot, because I often pull that up when lunging and it's not covered with some tougher material. To be fair, I even chewed through the rather tough upper of the Yonex SHB02 with my big toe.
    It's really easy to tie them too tightly and I normally do not have that problem with (badminton) shoes. Overall, the Stabil Bounce are a good fit for me, the same size I was using in Yonex and Victor shoes before. Since the P7.1 (and all other shoes) are also developed by Adidas themselves, I expect it to be the same there, but I don't know yet. I was planning on writing more about it in the shoes subforum, but if there's interest to know more about the Stabil Bounce, I could start with that, too.
     
  15. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    I was concerned about dragging damage too, as its just thin fabric in the same area where i have holes in my other shoes. On these adidas i am wearing out the reinforced lower part, very slowly.

    Can incude a couple of pictures if that doesnt make sense.

    Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk
     
  16. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    It's not dragging in my case, it's pulling up the big toe and that's exactly where the upper is not reinforced anymore...
    PICT_20191122_015944.JPG
    PICT_20191122_020117.JPG
    ... and even the reinforced upper of the SHB02 broke before the cushioning was worn out. The upper of the Stabil Bounce does feel stiffer than it looks, but we'll see how long it will hold up.
    It's not a huge deal and a problem not many seem to have, but I've seen it before on other's shoes.
     
    #16 speCulatius, Nov 21, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  17. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    Do you sharpen your toe nails?

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    Ok thats some very unexpected wear. The li ning i got have a reinforced toe cap, might suit your weird claw-feet :)

    Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk
     
  19. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    Really? I actually wear out my normal walking sneakers this way. I go through my badminton shoes a lot quicker than my normal shoes so they don't have enough time to make this toe hole, but I keep my daily walking sneakers for a long time and I tend to get this toe hole too. Is it weird? It's just normal for me, I thought it was normal for everyone!
     
  20. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    Maybe not everyone, but I'm sure it's not only the two of us. Many shoes just have some reinforced material at that spot and the older shoes were just made of heavier, tougher material all around, so it wasn't an issue. Those Yonex shoes are really old and worn a lot, so that's probably enough material for the normal lifespan of a shoe, even for me. For some reason I just kept choosing these over newer ones.

    Back to the topic of this thread, there's been a little bit of confusion causing some more delay, but finally....
    PSX_20191127_114729.jpg
    ... I know I have to wait a little longer. Not the worst though, since I have a small ankle injury anyway and having the new rackets now would not help to keep me off court.

    The bag is not available at the moment, so I have to wait a few more weeks for it. I really need a new bag (using a Yonex stand up bag at the moment which is way too small for me), so that's a let down, but I'll get over it.
     
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