Onigiri Badminton Racket

Background

In 2015, Victor launched the Thruster K Onigiri Badminton Racket. This was a surprising choice bearing in mind their rackets are usually numbered rather than named.

This racket is a 4u (80-84g) G5 (smaller grip). Colours are mainly black and green – very striking and it looks even better strung in yellow BG80 at 25lbs – my custom stringing for this review.

The other key features of the Thruster Onigiri is that it has a smaller head, similar to Jetspeed 10 and a thin shaft measuring 6.4mm.

It’s hitting time

Having already tested and reviewed a number of rackets in the Thruster range, I expected a head heavy feel. It was a surprise to find Onigiri felt a shade or two lighter although this isn’t necessarily detrimental.

Overhead performance

Racket manoeuvrability was excellent in the clears. The good news was that I could still feel the weight enough to gauge the head in the shot. I could also feel the flex in the shaft too.

Clears were good, although the feel in the overall shot is very different from a Jetspeed 10. There is definitely a feel similar to the old BW30 wide body frame.

Dropshots were nice with the racket cutting through the air very well. Again, there is enough weight in the head to stay in touch with the feel of the shot. The smaller compact head works a treat and retains an overall feel of control in everything I hit.

Smashes were clean and fast. The more I used the racket, the more it reminded me of the Armortec 900 Technique. This is more of a control rather than power racket with the weight in the head more evenly distributed. That said, it still hits pretty hard.

Fast flat exchanges were easy and there is no sense of tiring that prolonged rallies like these can cause.

Defence

In defence the racket swings really easy. Block are easy but drives & lifts need more effort. This is where the weight distribution on the head can really be felt. You really need to focus on good timing and have good technique to manoeuvre the shuttle into the corners, especially cross court.

Net area

Onigiri was a joy to use around the net. It’s quick and control here is a delight. There is no need to rush the shot as the racket is a simply an extension of the hand and is just ‘there’ when needed.

Summary

star rating

The Thruster K Onigiri badminton racket is a welcome addition to Victor’s head heavy range. It fills the gap for those players who like the Jetspeed 10 but would prefer a touch more weight in the head. Additionally, it’s faster than the Thruster K 9000 due to the weight distribution in the head.

Onigiri will be available to selected retailers across Europe and virtually all Victor retailers across the rest of the world. This is a very good racket and I can see it appealing to control players probably more so than power players.

RRP is around £190 (Euro 240) and I expect online retailer will discount to around £165 (Euro 210).

This is a very versatile racket with an unique feel in the Victor range. I therefore give the Thruster K Onigiri Badminton Racket a rating of 4.5 stars.

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