OK, on reflection I should have restrung Viper XT1600 but I had a lot of fun testing the racket as it was. It was a lesson in being able to adjust quickly to the racket and focus on shot-making, dialling in different weights of shot to allow for the slow reaction off the strings.
The racket itself is a beauty. I loved the weight, the feel and the speed and I expect it will find favour with many a club, league and county player in addition to one or two international players. With some rackets with these specifications, it would be a lot easier to list strengths and weaknesses. However, with Viper XT 1600, it really was a very good all-rounder.
RRP on the Ashaway Viper XT1600 is a ridiculously low £120 with some retailers discounting to sub £100 prices. This is incredibly amazing value for a racket of this quality. Having previously tested XT1200 and liked it, I think XT 1600 is better. This racket should easily be on every club and league players must test list. At these prices, you are able to buy two of these for the price of one top-of-the-range rackets from another manufacturer and you’d be getting a great bargain.
You really can’t go wrong with the quality of Ashaway rackets. Their latest model, Viper XT1600 is a welcome addition to what is probably one of the best value ranges from any manufacturer. This is a great racket, and with the right string tension I believe it will be even better.
I rate this Ashaway Viper XT1600 badminton racket five stars and thank the team at Goode Sport for sending me this sample.