As I work for a badminton retailer, I am occasionally asked to review other manufacturer’s racquets. Against this backcloth, I recently tested a Victor Bravesword 10 badminton racquet and got a huge surprise.
A few years ago, the Victor brand was extremely small in the UK, mainly considered a European brand. We knew very little about their products and level of quality. That changed just over a year ago when it was announced that they were the new sponsors of the Korean National Badminton Team. This was a serious leap forward for Victor and ultimately gave them an international seal of approval in terms of quality. After all, if a racquet is good enough for Lee Yong Dae, current Olympic Mixed Doubles champion and World Men’s Doubles Silver Medalist, and his team, then it must be good!
The Bravesword 10 is the “second” racquet in the Bravesword series, the cream of the Victor badminton range, sitting either side of the 9 and 11.
It’s a good looking racquet in charcoal grey, with flashes of red, white and what looks like a hologram strip along the side of the head. It arrived in a full length bag in red with the name on the bag to differentiate it from the 9 and 11. This is a high quality full-cover bag too, nothing flimsy here.
Grip size is G3 which is the smaller of the two grip sizes on Victor racquets. It’s equivalent to a size 3.5 inches or Yonex G4, which is a bit confusing. Weight is 86g. Interestingly, this racquet has a maximum recommended stringing tension of 30lbs so it’s got to be very strong and should be extremely popular in the Asian market where strings tensions are so much higher.
This is a fairly even balanced racquet, slightly head heavy, but not too much. The shaft is designated stiff.
Usually when I test and review racquets, I like to play with the racquet factory strung. On this occasion, the Bravesword 10 had been custom strung to around 26lbs. Rather than be disappointed, I was absolutely delighted and you’ll see why when you read on.
Bravesword technology revolves around the shape of the frame – which is actually the shape of a sword. And this racquet certainly sounds like one as you can hear it cut through the air!
Do you ever pick up a racquet and just know it’s going to be good? When I walked on to court with Bravesword 10, I had one of those moments.
The first hit confirmed that this racquet had that special quality. Clears were effortless and there was plenty of touch for drop shots. The racquet really cuts through the air quickly which allows for great speed, although the control is still there. The string tension felt “right” for this racquet. Sometimes they can be strung too tight that it’s harder to generate power. It would be exciting to experiment with string tensions on this racquet as I feel it’s got even more to offer.
There’s a little weight in the head, which is good as you can feel the flow of the racquet in the swing, and enhances performance and control.
The combination of the air resistance qualities of the racquet, the stiff shaft and the slight weight in the head, generate a lot of power. Yes, this is definitely a powerful racquet.
Defensively this racquet was easy to use. Again, the air resistance qualities of the head made the racquet easy to manoeuvre and the slight weight in the head was insufficient to counter this speed. In fact, the combination worked very well indeed as you felt there was some meat behind drive returns.
A racquet that performs well in defence always performs well around the net area. After all, we’re talking about generating controlled racquet speed here, in very short bursts with the slightest touch for the really tight net shots. Again, BS10 was outstanding.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had the pleasure of testing another manufacturer’s racquet of such quality. The Bravesword 10 was outstanding in every area I tested. RRP is £109.95 which is incredible for a racquet of this quality. Retailers will discount to under £100 so you’re getting an absolute bargain here.
The Bravesword 10 has the accolade of being my first 5 star racquet in the Victor range and also my first 5 star racquet out of all the other manufacturer’s ranges I’ve tested. Credit to Victor here for producing such a brilliant racquet.
There’s no question that the Victor brand is now world class. Whilst it’s relatively unknown in UK at the moment, I’m sure that their quality and pricing will easily find a way into the market. You’d be wise to test Victor’s Bravesword 10 if you can find one, because this level of quality deserves a place next to the most well-known brands.