Super Inside Wave 35
The Super Inside Wave 35 is a head heavy badminton racquet with a super stiff shaft. If I had to give it a more familiar equivalent, then think AT900 Power. In fact there are many similarities between these two famous racquets, and there is some resemblance in look too with red, black and white graphics.
As usual, the racquet arrived in a substantial racquet bag with its name on. Credit to Victor who have chosen to provide decent racquet bags with plenty of padding, compared to some of the feeble attempts in the market.
This racquet is a grip size 3, the smaller of the Victor grip sizes. I’d say it’s around 3.5 inches or equivalent to a Yonex G4. This allows the player to choose whether they need to increase the grip size to fit, although this will change the balance of the racquet a little.
Having played a great deal with AT900, this racquet felt very familiar as I walked onto court. The grip size is a bit small for me, but that’s personal taste, not a bad mark against the racquet.
The first hit confirmed that this racquet packs bags of power. Clears were effortless and the extra weight in the head was great as you could feel the carry-through from the swing. But, it wasn’t too heavy that I’d want to put it down after 5 minutes and return to a lighter model.
The racquet is just a solid powerhouse, coaxing you into letting rip as often as you like. And yet, it’s still able to deliver beautiful drop shots and nice subtle changes in pace to fool the opposition.
Additionally, a racquet likes this helps you whenever there’s a tendency to slip into old or bad habits. The weight in the head means you can feel the change in direction and therefore quickly make a correction – that’s not too easy with a light-headed racquet.
The racquet is pre-strung around 20lbs. This is more than adequate for most players. For me, that’s on the low side and I would have preferred both a higher tension and strung in Victor Nanotec 850 string to really get the best from this racquet. That said, there are no complaints here about how this racquet plays from the rear court – it’s highly dependable and can seriously improve your smashing power.
Defensively this racquet was relatively easy to use. It’s unfair to label SIW35 a defenders racquet as it’s not particularly made for this purpose. I have relatively fast hands so defending wasn’t much of a problem, although I missed the odd howitzer of a smash that I may have returned with a lighter headed racquet. Again, not so much a negative point, more of an observation. After all, if your game is defending, then you’re going to choose a light-headed racquet to help you play your game better.
If I had more time to get used to the racquet, I’m sure my defence speed would improve to cover the bigger smash.
You need to be able to move fast around the net. For me, SIW35 was reasonably quick and I believe, given time, my game would be at the usual speed. The head heavy features do slow the game down a touch but that’s expected. For most net play, it does the job well, there’s only the odd instance where it’s a shade behind the pace.
This is clearly another winner from Victor. I’d say that this is a racquet for attacking aggressive players, you know, those that like to smash and smash hard. The power qualities of this racquet are certainly going to favour these players and I wouldn’t want to be facing some of the missiles they can fire from this racquet.
As I said earlier, this is not a defender racquet in general and I don’t see many net players using it either. There are other racquets in the Victor range that cover these types of player much better.
But, credit where it’s due here. It’s important to consider various styles of player, their likes/dislikes and make a racquet that will suit their particular style of play. That’s what Victor has done here and done to a World Class Standard.
RRP is £99.95 which is incredible for a racquet of this quality. Retailers will discount to around £90 so you’re getting a massive saving of £40 on the Yonex equivalent… food for thought.
It’s difficult to score this racquet because of its strengths and weaker areas. Based on a value for money overall package, I have to rate this 4.5 stars. I’ve marked it down slightly on the grounds that it’s a lot more than a one trick pony, but will not suit all styles of play.
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 racquets if you can find them, because this level of quality deserves a place next to the most well-known brands.