My husband is a real badminton nut and he plays his sport every week without fail. He is currently looking at improving his skills and updating his gear. This is written by him about the Yonex Demo Event he went to.
I'm a local league badminton player and have been playing badminton since school. The key equipment in the game is obviously the racquet. At a beginners level, the type of racquet you use arguably doesn't make as big of a difference to your game than perfecting your technique, movement and tactics. As you get better, the type of racquet plays an increasing factor as players will have preferences over whether racquets are head light or head heavy and how flexible or stiff the shaft is.
My current racquet is an Yonex Armortec 800 Defensive. I bought two of these seven years ago as I was able to test a few racquets out then and was certain that I liked it enough to be able to commit to buying two. I bought two so that I could have one for a backup in case the string breaks or worse if the frame breaks. Thankfully over the years, I've only had the string break and they have served me well on court.
Now, I feel it's about time to retire these trusty weapons as they are a bit worn now. Also, I know technology has moved on, and there are a few newer manufacturers coming on to the scene now like Li Ning, Victor and Adidas. Since the top end racquets are over £100, I've been looking to test some of the better racquets on the market to again make sure I make the right choice.
In my research, I found out about a Yonex Demo Event in Coventry yesterday and duly attended it. The demo event was run by Yonex in partnership with Coventry-based Central Sports at the Virgin Active Warwickshire Health and Racquet Club.
It was my first time attending such an event and I didn't know what to expect. Soon after entering the conference room where Central Sports had some of the Yonex goods for sale, they let us go down to the courts. Here we sat down court side and were treated to a couple of exhibition matches by England players Andy Ellis, Lauren Smith, Rhys Walker and Jenny Moore! What a wonderful surprise! They played two matches and swapped partners in the second game. For me, it was great admiring these players' technique, movement and tactics.
Once they finished their matches, each of the players took a court each and allowed the guests to queue up to test the Yonex racquets by rallying with them! I can now say that I've rallied with four current England players!
With this part of the evening being so busy, I only got chance to test two out of four of the Yonex racquets I had short-listed - the Voltric 70 and the Arcsaber 11. I couldn't get the timing right with the Voltric 70 but I loved the Arcsaber 11. The Voltric 70 has a slightly heavier head than the Arcsaber 11 which is closer to even balance, so I put it down to that. The other two on my shortlist are the Voltric 60 and the Arcsaber 7 so I'll have to track these down at a later date.
Next weekend, I'm attending an advanced badminton training course at Lilleshall. The badminton coach is sponsored by Victor and he'll be bringing some demo racquets with him so I'm looking forward to seeing how these fare against the Yonex ones I've tested. I'm obviously also looking forward to the training course too and I'll let you know how that goes!
This is a short video partway through the 2nd exhibition match with Andy Ellis and Lauren Smith on the left and Rhys Walker and Jenny Moore on the right: