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Singles Racquets Vs Doubles Racquets
July 19, 2011
1:53 am
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Simon
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 I love playing badminton but as a spectator sport it isn't very high on my list so I don't really watch it.

I've never tried to emulate anyone but if I see a shot that I think will work against certain opposition then I'll use it.

To get back on point, I use a racket that I'm comfortable with, I tend to play to my partners strengths as I play mostly doubles but if I'm honest I think too much emphasis is put on rackets.

Morgenson/Boe keep winning but use VT70/VT80 and it seems to do OK for them so I guess it's kinda horses for courses.

Having tried them both myself, one is stunning the other I just hated.

There aren't many (if any) players that play singles and doubles at top level so it's hard to make comparrisons on what “tools” they choose but I'm sure someone will prove me wrong and that would be worth looking at.

July 19, 2011
1:46 pm
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Yves
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I look forwards to hearing what other people think about all this. Is there such thing as a doubles racket or a singles racket? Should players be choosing a racket to enhance their strengths or cover their weaknesses? Does it matter which event they play?

I absolutely agree with Matthew that if you change racquets for disciplines, you also change your style of play, because in my opinion, a racquet isn't related to a discipline but rather to a certain style of play.

Speaking for myself, I'd always choose a racquet to improve my natural style of play, my strengths, not to cover my weaknesses. My goal is always to impose my game upon my opponent while adapting to his style of play, but never to adapt first. To achieve this goal, improving my strengths is vital whereas covering my weaknesses falls under the adapting category, for me it is therefore less important.

In the past, I've been more of a defensive player but a year ago or so, I've changed my style of play and found what feels the most natural for me now, beeing an attacking player. Attacking Thinker probably describes me best now, I use a lot of overhead variation and my speed around the court to create openings for aggresive play.

Whereas an Arcsaber 10 suited my old style of play very well, I feel that my Voltric 80 really improves my game as it is now. It gives me great control for about every shot I play and of course the much needed power from the rear court, which is needed as I'm not one of the really big hitters.

As you might know I prefer singles to every other discipline but I stick to attacking in both level doubles and mixed doubles. While I was sometimes changing racquets when playing doubles, I now play with my Voltric in every discipline and I feel like it helps quite a lot because you keep your touch and you don't have to adapt to a new model. In my opinion, this is more important than gaining a bit of speed in defence or something like that with a different racquet. 

<3 Badminton!

July 19, 2011
2:08 pm
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sketchy
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@Simon:

Again, I really don't like the comparisons with professional players.

It's not a question of “If it's good enough for a pro, it's good enough for me”. Just because a racquet is right for a pro, doesn't mean it's right for you or I – if anything, it's more likely to be the opposite, since we certainly don't play like the pros (if only!).

It's like if we were to take part in a motor race. A professional racing driver would do best in an F1 car, but we mere mortals would be lucky to make it around the track without killing ourselves, never mind recording a fast lap. The F1 car is good enough for us, but it's not right for us. In the case of badminton, it's likely to be the stiffness or sometimes the head-heaviness of high-end racquets that makes them unsuitable for the average club player.

And then of course there are factors like durability – pros get their racquets for free, so they don't care if they only last a few weeks.

 

@Yves:

I think if you're trying to be a really attacking singles player, and yet you're “not one of the really big hitters”, then that lack of power is a definite weakness, and by switching to a racket that gives you more power, you have chosen a racquet that addresses that weakness. Your smash may be technically better than some of your other shots, but in the context of your game, it's still an important weakness.

July 19, 2011
4:08 pm
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Paul Stewart
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As always great points raised on this forum.
 
What fits one player for their reasons may not work for another. Some players choose a racquet to minimise weaknesses and optimise strengths, others consider it’s more important to improve on their weaknesses rather than strengths. There’s pros and cons for each argument here and yet again proves how personal choosing a racquet is.
 
I wish more readers would take notice here because it would save so much time answering emails from players asking which is the best racquet for their game. My answer hasn’t changed and I don’t expect it ever will.
 
In my case, I choose a racquet I really like. I don’t play matches and only coach. So, in essence I could use anything. But I still wish to get as much pleasure from the racquet that I can. I really wish I had the time to play again – I actually managed to play for one season in the last 25 years.
 
Paul

July 19, 2011
6:11 pm
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Matthew Seeley
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Simon – I love that answer “I use a racket that I'm comfortable with” Need we say anymore?

 

Paul – “I still wish to get as much pleasure from the racket that I can” I think I can agree with that one!

 

I think yves has got some great reasons for changing his racket in singles. His strengths are his speed, his ability to hit with variation overhead, and his aggressive mentality. Its interesting that Sketchy has picked out the “lack” of power as a weakness that is in some way overcome by the racket. However, we could see it this way: the smash is good, but not powerful. He likes to be an attacking thinker – control is the key to winning with this style. He said that the racket gives great control – thus giving him what he wants from the point of view of the attacking thinker style. Now, coupled with the on court speed and “aggressive” style, this additional extra power could be seen as enhancing his strengths – his aggression, speed and now a little extra variation in terms of increasing the pace of the shot – it gives one extra variation to add to his playing style – a very valuable weapon indeed for someone who uses variations as their means of winning! But this variation wasn't possible before using the racket. From here, we can either conclude that the extra pace can give his aggressive game a little extra (enhancing his strengths) OR that it covers up a weakness – an inability to hit with real power. I guess this is where a difference in terminology is perhaps not helpful. Is improvement in a certain area “covering up a weakness” or “gaining overall strength”? Is it both?

The reason I ask this is that I see the same information (racket gives a bit more power) being used in two different ways. Sketchy says it covers a weakness (not as powerful without it), and Yves says it enhances his natural game (attacking) – although obviously big hitting isn't apart of Yves natural game as he said himself. Both of these hence would claim that the racket is chosen for a different reason – one covers the weaknesses, the other wants to enhance his strengths! 

 

Just to throw some more spanners in the works, I remember when I started playing. I concluded that I was an attacking player, with strengths in attacking with power and variation from the rearcourt, but my defense was useless. I decided that I wanted to play with a racket that aided my defense and not my attack. Was this because my defense wasn't good enough? Yes. Obviously. But did I do it with the intention of improving my defense? Yes. Obviously! But what about my attacking game? My natural game? The reason behind my choice was not that I wanted to play a defensive game, but that I knew that my aggressive game was being hindered because I felt that if anything went wrong, I didn't have good defense to fall back on. So, with rubbish defense, I was very tentative in attack, very cautious, afraid I might get it wrong and have to defend and hence lose. So, I chose a racket to cover my weaknesses, because I felt it would enhance my natural attacking game. Now, with better defense, I could really go for it when on the attack, knowing that If I had to lift, I would be ok.

How strange eh? I chose a defensive racket, to increase my attacking style of play. Now that I am better, what are my thoughts? Well, I am always working on my defense, trying to improve it. As a result, its a lot better. My racket of choice now that I have a much more complete skill set, is a racket that will increase my ability to hit with power overhead – helping my natural aggressive game.

If I played now with a lighter, and what I consider a more defensive racket, I would have to play in a more defensive way. However, when I was still improving, I felt that I NEEDED that defensive racket, to play a more aggressive game, and an aggressive racket would have made me more cautious (given my rubbish defense) and played a more defensive game. How confusing! Any thoughts?

 

Does the choice depend on just how weak the weakness is? Does changing racket mean you have to change styles? Does style have anything to do with it, or is it just a case of which shots it improves and which it doesn't? Interesting…

 

I have given examples of where weaknesses were covered with a racket to promote an opposite style, but why this wasn't appropriate later on where it was much more appropriate to enhance on court strengths. The racket was related to a certain style of play at the time, but is related to a different style of play later on for the same player.

July 19, 2011
7:36 pm
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Yves
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@sketchy

I really don't think my smash is a weakness, no it's sufficient for my style of play even without the Voltric. My formulation was probably a bit misleading, Voltric isn't needed because otherwise I wouldn't be able to impose my game, for me it's needed to take my game to the next level as I think that a racquet change should always lead to improvement. Therefore I'd definitely say that, in my case, it's “gaining overall strength” as Matt says.

<3 Badminton!

July 20, 2011
12:36 pm
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Simon
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I've been recieving coaching from an ex England player/coach for the last few weeks and whilst I've never been coached before I think he's incredibly good.

He refuses to give advice on rackets to anyone and has my favourite badminton quote : “If you have the right technique you can use a cricket bat !”

He also has a theory that there's no such thing as a defensive shot as every shot is looking to set up a position to win the point.

I asked him about improving the power of my smash and was told it wasn't worth it (singles and doubles).

The thought behind it was that it's rare for anyone to hit a winning smash from a good solid clear to the rear court as it would give me (or me and my partner) plenty of time to be in the right position for any shot.

In my limited experience, the really big hitters tend to have too much forward momentum when they land so you can, in effect, attack what they consider their best “weapon” by exploiting weak footwork. (Sorry to stereotype the big hitters)

There's something perversely satisfying about catching someone out on their favourite shots.

October 14, 2014
3:49 am
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Ghouss
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Hi all,

I just read this thread and find it interesting.

what tension do you normally use in your racket when each one describes their strengths and weaknesses, etc? i think we need something to quantify things before drawing conclusion.

For me, i choose stiff racket with 30 lbs (both vertical and horizontal) on automatic machine and felt it’s the most preferred settings. my understanding is only people with strong flick able to use this tension.

for Singles = i prefer the balanced racket. the results of each swing is more precise.
when i used head heavy, it usually goes out when i do clear. so far i’ve used arcsaber 10 and 11, prefer 11 since it’s easier to control and felt more natural.

for Doubles = head heavy is the preference. easier to lift the ball, cross court net, smash, and net kill. i’ve used Voltric Z-force, ZF 2, N90 II (preferred one), Z-Speed.
balanced rackets are also good, especially arcsaber 11.

i have the most problem using head light racket, but i have them anyway (Nanospeed 9900) to train on my swing speed.

October 16, 2014
9:19 pm
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Paul Stewart
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Interesting points raised here.

I use one racket regardless of what event I play. For me I choose the racket I feel gives me the best results to play my shots. That’s the personal choice I like about this game.

My rackets are strung indentically as I don’t need to adjust to unnecessary variations.

Paul

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