Does shaft stiffness affect maneuverability?

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by Aayoosh, May 8, 2022.

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  1. Aayoosh

    Aayoosh New Member

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    Now, the topic of shaft stiffness and power has been beaten to death. The sticky thread on the topic covers it well, stiff shafts are good if you've got fast swings, flexy rackets are better for slower swings. That's fine. What about speed? Especially in case of head heavy rackets? I've played with cheap rackets most of my life as a casual player, I only recently started to get competitive. Cheap rackets come with flexible shafts.

    Suppose you're playing with a racket of BP ~300 or above, would a flexible racket not feel like the head is lagging behind in the swing, i.e. "whippy"? As if you're fighting against the head, thus severely impacting maneuverability and all that comes with it - defending, quick flicks etc. A stiffer racket, even if HH, should not feel like you're dragging the head around. So defending and other tasks which rely on speed should be easier, or am I overthinking this somehow? This characteristic should also become less and less pronounced as the balance changes from HH to even balanced or a head light one since there is less head weight to flex the shaft.

    Basically, if you've got strong wrists to carry the head weight around, a HH stiff racket should compromise neither on power nor on the speed. Even with strong wrists, swift movements with a flexible HH racket would feel like a delay in response to movements, correct? I do not have experience playing with rackets that cover both these specs, any insight from people who've played with both will be highly appreciated.
     
  2. Zoap San

    Zoap San Regular Member

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    Ok, so many questions to answer here.

    The higher the balance point the lower maneuverability, yes since you will feel your racket heavier with head heavy racket compared to a medium to light head at the same racket weight.

    If you're strictly just talking about shaft stiffness and maneuverability. Then shaft stiffness doesn't change your maneuverability much (if maneuverability in your mind is how fast you lift your racket and move racket around your body). Even with super whippy Dunlop Aerogel, you wont feel the flexible shaft unless you swing it fast (clear and smash). Even with super flexible shaft, the shaft wont bend like wet noodles with just small movement.

    In my experience, "whippy" racket is easier on defense since you can easier generate power to flick the shuttle back with minimum movement using a high flex racket shaft.

    If you're thinking that having HH flexible racket makes you feels like "dragging the head around" then it's not the shaft that you have a problem with, it's the head heaviness lol. Everything comes with drawbacks.

    HH = steeper smash but less mobility
    Flexible shaft = less force used to hit the shuttle but less control if you swing faster than a certain speed
     
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  3. Aayoosh

    Aayoosh New Member

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    Played with a HH stiff racket yesterday, found it significantly easier to play with than I find flexible rackets. It almost feels like flexible rackets are holding me back. It feels like the shuttle listens to my inputs better and I personally found that smash/clears were easier with it and defense was good enough for my level (intermediate + ) at least.
     
  4. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Manouverability are mostly affected by head weight. The more BP it had, the harder to manouver due to afterswing force that keep pushing the racket.
    Flex shaft other hand doesnt affect to manouverability. It just that control are somewhat sacrificed in trade for easier power.

    easier power i mean is not you could use the most flex racket & able to smash super hard. Flex vs power/swing speed are not linear. At some point where you able to swing faster/stronger, instead getting power boost, it absorb your power coz the flex snap back not sync well with your swing. Other hand stiffer racket are able to give more power but only after you could bend the shaft during swinging which most say demanding one. & due to its stiff nature, it snap back faster & able to sync well with your faster/stronger swing.
    But keep in mind,
    Yes the stiffer the racket, the more power it give but as i mention only after you able to bend it. So, you might be strong enough to swing with all your might to bend the stiffest racket but on actual games you need to swing like hundred or thousand swing. Tell me if you could do full power swing those many times. So it would be wise to find the most comfortable one not aiming for the stiffest racket.
     
  5. Aayoosh

    Aayoosh New Member

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    Yes of course, but with a flexible shaft the head would continue to push against the force of your hand. I should have mentioned that my question about shaft flex affecting manueverability is specifically limited to HH rackets. I have been playing with HH stiff rackets for the last couple of days and they feel easier to play with than the flexible rackets used to.
    Yes of course. The idea for me isn't to get the stiffest racket but a reasonably stiff racket that strikes the balance between providing control without busting your shoulders/tiring your arms. Perhaps two rackets? One for early in the session, one even balanced/flexible for the later games.
     
  6. Zoap San

    Zoap San Regular Member

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    I would not suggest the idea of switching the racket halfway through the session since it will mess with your timing. I would mostly suggest 1 racket that will last you through a session or tournament and 1 racket if you have injuries. I used to play with super stiff shaft (Victor Ryuga) halfway through and super flexible shaft (dunlop graviton xf 83 max) and vice versa. Finding myself missing a lot of sweetspot while hitting since the shaft action were drastically different I need time to adjust and once I'm adjusted to the timing, it's kinda too late.
     
  7. Aayoosh

    Aayoosh New Member

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    Victor rackets are prohibitively expensive here or the TKF Enhanced makes perfect sense for how I play. I think I might just go for the Mizuno JPX 7 Fury. Mid stiff, slightly HH, 4U5. The only doubts I have are about the accuracy of manufacturer listed specs in case of Mizuno.

    You're right about racket changes messing up the timing. I don't have any shoulder injuries but I play for 2 hours every day. I don't think I can continue injury free playing with a x stiff racket for long. I've chalked off the 88D Pro given that it's too HH and will probably be too slow for my liking in MD.
     

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