Player Level / Balance / Stiffness

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by Quentin11, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Hi People

    I have some important questions to which I can't really find an answer.

    1. Player Level

    I see everywhere that some rackets are designed for beginner or intermediate or advanced player. But to me it is not quite clear.

    Can you guys define me the difference between a beginner player and an intermediate player.

    2. Balance / Stiffness

    Another question I have is which from the three below combination will help a beginner to generate more power:

    (a)
    Head Heavy racket with extra stiff shaft

    (b)
    Even balance racket with stiff shaft

    (c)
    Head Light racket with medium flex shaft

    I tend to think that the Head Heavy racket will help the beginner generate more power even with extra stiff shaft since the weight at the head can encourage more bend in the shaft during the swing (Especially an extra stiff shaft like the Voltric Z Force 2 - the super slim nature will bend more easily with head weight).

    What are your views?

    3.

    I have yesterday come to realise that I have been playing with a Head Light racket which maybe stiff.

    I always thought I was playing with a head heavy but when I measured the racket, I wad off the middle point by 12cm. So my racket is head light.

    My 1st question will help me situate which level I am.

    But for clarification, let's say I am a beginner.
    My smash from the head light racket and maybe stiff has been below average on power.

    As a beginner, does it automatically mean that if i switch to a head heavy racket with extra stiff super slim shaft, I will be able to generate more power?

    My current racket is a Prince Avenger (~USD 20) which i bought 10 years ago.

    I want to get a real racket now. I stopped playing badminton for like 8 years and looking to come back.

    Please help me.

    Thanks a million.
     
  2. Cycril

    Cycril Regular Member

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    1. Beginner level racket is not necessarily build for beginners and the same applies for intermediate and advance.
    Nowadays, more advance racket simply means more "technology" /advertising is applied in the racket which in results in higher price point.

    2. Different individuals have different swing, therefore each individual benefits from different racket specs.
    Unless you're talking about a machine exerting constant force onto a swing, then, the heavier the head mass, the more the energy transferred.
    For beginner, I would suggest low-medium head heaviness and a flexible/medium shaft since often beginner doesn't have a proper technique/pronation. In other words, using extreme spec rackets like N90 or ZF2 for a beginner might hurt their shoulders/wrist.

    3. If you have slow smash, there's a few possibilities.

    you have a slow swing speed
    You don't have proper technique/pronation
    You didnt hit the sweet spot
    You sliced the shuttle
    So on...couldn't think about more now. The best way to improve your smash speed will be going for a proper badminton training where correct technique will be thought and learnt.
    On a side note, if you changed your racket to zf2, there's a possibility that your smash speed will be even slower due to inability to bend the stiff shaft, mistiming (smaller frame), or inability to generate power out of the heavy racket (it's really heavy for 3U, for me at least).


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  3. Genkz

    Genkz Regular Member

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    Something to mention further:

    While your assumption of more headweight meens more bending is correct, the brands have taken this already in account by saxing medium/flex/stiff.

    So for a real beginner who wants a racket easy to play and get Power out of it Victor bravesword 12 comes to my mind. Really fast, flexible (easy to bend). Of course a good smash with it can't compare to a good smash with a voltric zf2 but as cycril already mentioned it is unlikely for a beginner to already have a good smash and therefore you will lose Power.

    Other alternatives seems to be lining n9-2 and yonex lin dan force. But both i have only read the reviews so take These to with a pinch of salt.
     
  4. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    As for the ZF2 i wanted to go for the 4U version and i like having a slightly soft grip so it would balance it a bit.

    I'm like generating ok power with a headlight quite stiff and small head racket. No technology at all.

    I really wish i could use the ZF2 :(

    I'm only playing once a week and for fun only. So i don't mind using only 65-70% of power just not to injure myself.

    But if like you say, it is not certain that i would get more power from it then I better not go for it. :(

    How would you define a beginner player though?

    I forgot to say that my current racket weighs at 106g headlight/stiff. Is it really much more difficult to use a head heavy which weigh 88g in total?
     
  5. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    I have the tendency to do things for the long term.

    That's why i was thinking the ZF2 (also because it is my crush racket) as i could develop myself over time until i can fully use it.

    I wouldnt mind using just 50% of my power not to injure myself. But i was hoping that 50% of my power with the ZF2 would be stronger than 100% of my power with that stupid racket i have.
     
  6. Genkz

    Genkz Regular Member

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    I can fully understand your opinion, cause I feel like that too sometimes. But if you can achieve a way better result in terms of pure Power with less risk of injury and less amount of skill why Not go for it. All you get with such a stiff racket is more precision in your shot. (of course you can be too strong for a flex racket, but I would argue that no beginner might have strength and technique to get there)

    If you really desire a vzf2 that much go for it (stay away from the 3u though) but you have to be cautious in play. Don't go Full strength shots until you never miss a shot and then slowly put more strength in it. And the most important be aware that there are rackets out there which will deliver you a way better result in play.

    For example a li bing 9-2 slightly headheavy Medium flex is used by Fu Haifeng one the hardest hitting smasher out there. You dont need such a rocket launcher like vzf2 to get good results.

    Like probably all here would suggest find a Shop where you can try out rackets and find a suiting one yourself. You will feel it when are hitting the Shuttle.

    Kind regards
    Genkz
     
  7. Cycril

    Cycril Regular Member

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    I'd say if you have the budget, go try as many racket as you like, the perfect spec for you can only be obtained after experiencing/testing out as many rackets as possible from different range (HL-HH/Flexible-stiff)

    I would say the characteristic of your perfect racket is feeling good in hand & able to hit every sort of shuttle comfortably. IMHO, you hit the hardest when you're with your perfect/right racket.

    As for me, if you can hit a backhand clear (baseline - baseline) with proper pronation, you're not a beginner.

    88g with strings and grip is pretty tough to achieve I guess? I've seen numerous post about 4U JS10 weighting over 90g so I guess to achieve <90g it will require a 5U racket. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


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  8. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Okay thanks a lot Genkz. Your advice has been really helpful.

    I had no idea Fu Haifeng used a medium flex.

    But the main problem I have is availability of shops. I live in Mauritius and there are NO shops offering a variety of rackets. Only Nanorays are on sale here.

    And the only shop which would sell to Mauritius is selling the likes of VZF2 / Duora 10 / Arcsaber 11.

    But i will consider before making the purchase.

    Thank you so much
     
  9. Cycril

    Cycril Regular Member

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    So here's the question, how easy can you do a forehand clear with your "stupid racket"? (like in those warmup clears)
    1-10, 1 = effortless; 10 = difficult

    If your answer is >3, then I'd say you work on your technique first before moving on with a new racket. Just my 2 cents.


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  10. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Thanks Cycril for your advice.

    Like i said to Genkz, the availability of rackets in Mauritius is really really low. My budget is really low but I fell in love with the ZF2 and the Duora 10. And these two are pretty much the rackets for sale online that ship to Mauritius without the shipping cost getting exhorbitant (most of the time more expensive than the racket).

    But i will keep looking for other shops and see if i can get others.

    I can hit a backhand clear from Baseline to Baseline. But i have no coach to tell me if it is with proper pronation or not.

    But i can also hit overhead shots, drop shots, cross court shots, cut shots, smash and jump smash. I can do slightly diagonal jumps and still get the smash in (both sides). Only thing is i wish it was more powerful.

    I've recently improved the power by going with BG68ti (the only string i could get here) and it gave me more power.

    Please note that I'm back to badminton after a long time and I'm still able to hit the above shots. And it has been only the second time i've played since i returned.

    I was also playing tennis and the stroke of my backhand on the first time was mixed with tennis stroke. But i managed to correct it on the second time and i could even get a backhand smash - although very low on power.

    Do you think i am considered a beginner in the badminton world?

    Oh i thought the 4U ZF2 was 80g unstrung? I would only use an overgrip. And in case I will buy that racket, I will string it with Aerosonic for max repulsion and lower my tension from 22lbs to 20lbs. Just to be on the safe side.

    My current racket is 106g though so even over 90g should be ok. Although it is head light vs head heavy. If it is too head heavy i can go for a softer grip.

    What do you think?
     
  11. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    During warm ups, I do it effortlessly (so maybe 2-3).
    But after i've got about 15 smashes in then it gets about 5-6 on the forehand clear.

    Although even after those smashes my backhand clear stays pretty much around 3-4.

    So i'd say the smashes pretty much consumes my energy. Cause i really need to focus on generating power. (Again that's after playing second time since I am back after maybe 8 years).

    Thanks Cycril
     
  12. Cycril

    Cycril Regular Member

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    ^ you know when you're trying to be humble on the forum but you can't resist your inner self from shouting out.

    Anyway, D10 is slightly head heavier than arc11, both having similar stiffness. ZF2 is a racket different from the league being super stiff and head heavy.

    Based on above quote, just cop the goddamn zf2 and try out yourself, you're better than a regular beginner.


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  13. Nicholas Tam

    Nicholas Tam Regular Member

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    I would avoid the ZF2 if I were you, I think I'd play it safe and get a balanced racket or a different brand completely. Reason being, Z frames are really really unforgiving compared to what you're used to and the ZF2 is a combination of stiff shaft and head heavy balance, regardless of whether you're going for 4U or 3U many other frames would play better. I started off with head light going to balanced and eventually head heavy, but in the past 5 years I've cycled between the VT80, ZF2 and LDF and have found that I prefer the standard frames. Given that you only have the budget to buy one racket, you should probably consider the VT80ET or the D10 from Yonex. If you could get anything other than Yonex however, the possibilities would be infinite.

    (I love Yonex but I also hate it)
     
  14. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Hahaha no but i really wanted to know if i fall into the beginner or intermediate category like based on someone outside my country.

    But i'm gonna work as from now and try to play with players better than me to learn.

    Duora 10 is another racket i love a lot but since it is not head heavy I was thinking it might be more difficult to get power from it.

    I will try some rackets before buying. It can wait (not so much though cause the ZF2's color is also driving me crazy).
     
  15. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Hi Nicholas. Thanks for your comment.

    In my head, i'm probably wrong, it would be easier to get power from ZF2 since it is head heavy and i tend to think that the head heaviness might cause the extra stiff shaft to bend more easily than the Duora 10. The Duora 10 being way less head heavy and a stiff shaft (also less slim) will not give me any help in bending the shaft as it is more evenly balanced.

    What do you think? You have tried the ZF2 so you will know best.

    The Duora 10 is the second racket I love since I saw it in the hands of Chou Tien Chen. But ZF2 was used by Momota lol.

    I will compensate on those rackets by going with lowest tensions and Aerosonic.

    Thanks
     
  16. Nicholas Tam

    Nicholas Tam Regular Member

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    Few things to consider that is, shaft stiffness and head heaviness should be isolated since you find rackets of various combinations of both. The first one and easiest to understand is head balance.

    Head heaviness means that you could smash harder as in terms of physics, you have more momentum due to the increased weight in the head. The disadvantage of head heaviness is obviously is that it is much slower to swing, making defense more of an effort. Say you push a light box and heavy box with the same force, it's obvious which one would move faster (friction and air resistance neglected)

    Shaft stiffness, determines how much power you yourself as a player need to generate to deliver the same smash. The physics behind shaft stiffness also applies to string tension, although tension is also affected by the thickness of string. The stiffer the shaft, the more precision and control you have over your shots since the racket bends less and holds the shuttle for a shorter period of time. Simply put, stiffer shafts are more responsive. Flexier shaft means that the racket generates more power but at the cost of precision and control as it holds the shuttle longer. Why is it you ask? Physics again, you could look into elastic and inelastic collisions.

    The Aerosonic string is pretty darn expensive but it could be strung safely at lower tensions. Obviously you would be replacing strings alot either due to tension creep or because you're breaking the strings completely due to its thiness. If you can't afford to replace those strings often enough I'd suggest using one of the more durable strings such as the BG80P or LN1. Obviously, you could go for the BG65 and similar 70 gauge strings but amateur or club players such as yourself may want to avoid them if you're not in training since they really trade off performance for durability.

    Unfortunately I have neither used the D10 nor AS strings since I'm not a fan of either. I've seen many club players jump onto the ZF2 when it was the craze and eventually moved on to the D10, as it really isn't suited for players that have not consistently trained. I've stopped training many years ago and really loved the 4U ZF2 at first even though I was late to the party. The ZF2 was a really great racket but eventually I found myself using it less and going back to my old 3U VT80. Even though my VT80 was heavier than my 4U ZF2, I found that the moderately head heaviness and moderately stiff shaft was the perfect sweet spot in doubles play. I love my 3U LDF as well but having stopped training and playing singles, I prefer it less to my VT80. I've also been given a AS11 recently but I found that old tech and it's relatively slow swing speed compared to say the BS12 really shows. Personally I'm considering a move to the N9II since it's in a territory similar to my VT80 and also my 1st gen N80, moderately head heavy, moderate flex and aero frame. Don't base your racket choices from professionals, always remember that you aren't one yourself and it's better to ask for an opinion on BC or try other people's rackets.
     
  17. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    I appreciate the many helpful replies so far, but I feel like people worship the ZF2 as a god when it is just another racquet. Yes, anyone that can play with 80% correct technique can use one. It is not a monster that wants to tear your arm off. I've had more forearm strain using heavy aluminum racquets with my usual wristy style than my ZF2.

    What people mean really is that one is quite likely to play worse with a ZF2 than with something more "normal". However, most recreational players are not good enough for this to matter anyways, so just use anything you like.
     
  18. Nicholas Tam

    Nicholas Tam Regular Member

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    I'd very much like to recommend a normal racket for this fella but OP already said he has very limited options and to mostly Yonex. Unfortunately, Yonex mid-range rackets are generally trash so many people just go straight to the top range if they plan to use a racket for long. Given the option of only Yonex rackets, I'd recommend either the D10, VT80ET and possibly the NR900
     
  19. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Hi Dave010. Thanks for your comment.

    That's what I was thinking my aluminium racket is much more heavier than the 4u version.

    But anyway if it is going to make me play worse then I better go with the Duora 10 which is another racket I like.
     
  20. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Thanks Nicholas for your very detailed advice.

    For reasons described above and for another reason i've read somewhere, i.e. the grommets on the ZF2 is special as it is tungsten or something and those are like expensive to replace.

    So I will go for the Duora 10. Even if i'm not good enough for it, I will work to get there.

    I also take note regarding strings. Since I play with plastic shuttles, I will instead go for BG66 UM for slightly more durability and at 20lbs of tension to begin with.

    Too bad I couldn't use the rackets I saw in the hands of Kento Momota. But I think Chou T.C. beat the hell out of Son W.H. with that D10 so it is all good :D

    My current racket has a very weird and elongated head shape. I will benefit from a larger head shape with the Duora 10.
     

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