I, like most people, started with Yonex when it comes to my first few rackets when I began to play badminton. There is no reason not to since it is THE BRAND. Yonex sponsors everything from shuttles to net to rackets and clothing for professional players in almost all major international tournaments. Yonex is from Japan, and like everything else from Japan, is known for quality, authenticity, and luxury. People may even feel like you are a chump if your answer is not Yonex when they ask what racket you use.
Learning about Your Racket
However, over time when I learn more about the sports, I developed a belief that the racket doesn’t really matter much at all if your skill is not good enough to effectively use an expensive racket. So I picked up a much cheaper brand called SOTX. Specifically, I bought 3 SOTX Power Boss Woven 8A. They are great rackets – balanced for both power and control shots, light for quick drives and defense, and strong for lasting three and a half years. I’ve been able to improve my overall game with this racket and will not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
The fact that I know this racket in and out also exposes its weaknesses. I recently found out this racket is good for defense, drives, and control. But it is a little lacking when it comes to power. This means it is a great racket for doubles, but not so much for singles. It is sufficient for mixed doubles (for guys).
The point I am trying to make when it comes to choosing a perfect racket for you is – you really have to use a racket for a long time to know its strengths and weaknesses and also your own strengths and weaknesses. In order to do that, I suggest you buy at least two rackets of the same brand and model, preferably in the same batch (it means it has almost identical weight and balance point). If you break the string on one, you can use the other one. You don’t have to get used to another racket before you get your normal racket restrung. Needless to say, get it restrung as soon as possible. String them with the same tension with the same stringer. At the beginning, also use the same string on both rackets because you are trying to learn the racket. You don’t want any changing variables. After you learn more about the racket, you can then try different strings to see what string you like on this particular racket. Keep one variable at a time. A/B testing FTW. I believe this is the only way to find the best racket for yourself – slowly experiment. The first time you try this is going to take a long time. But the next racket you try is going to be much faster because you then know what is lacking of the racket and what you want in your racket.
Trying New Rackets
The owner of Badmintonian has been very nice to me for letting me try different Forza rackets recently. Since I used the SOTX Power Boss Woven 8A for 3+ years, I know exactly what I am looking for in a racket to help my game – enhancing my strengths and covering my weaknesses. I can pick up a racket, hit a few clears, drops, smashes, net shots, and know immediately if and how the racket can help me.
This post is not a review of Forza rackets, but I want to point out two particular rackets that I like personally. They may or may not be right for you. They certainly cannot be right for everyone. But if your game is similar to mine, you may really want to check them out. I am fairly quick, but am not particularly powerful when it comes to smashing. I like to start a rally off with a good serve and serve return to set up my partner to initiate the attack. I play a fast game with many drives and like to attack the opponent’s body. I play mostly double and mixed and have a ton to learn in singles. I like to be the setup man and intercept shuttles in the forecourt.
N-Forze 10000 i-Power
I’ve played with this racket for almost 2 months and also gone back and forth between this and the SOTX. I must say the N-Forze 10000 i-Power has a lot of power. It feels a bit more head heavier than the 8A but it is not head heavy. I don’t like head heavy rackets because they put a lot of stress on my wrist. The i-Power is a racket that I can totally handle. I found my smashes and drives stronger. I even have to adjust my drives a bit so they don’t go out but it was easy to get used to. It is also fast, but not faster than the 8A. It is plenty sufficient to play defense. However, when I am really in trouble when the opponent is smashing from the mid court at my forehand side, I used to be able to pull my 8A back and block it back at the net with touch. I took me a while before I could do that with the i-Power. But you know what, I should not have put myself in that situation in the first place. Control shots like drops from the backcourt and net shots took me a while to get the feel for them, but that is true with any new racket. I attribute most of it to the string because it is a Forza string, not my usual string. Now I don’t have much problem in these control shots with the i-Power anymore. I find it to be a really great racket that can maintain my style and add a lot of power to my smashes.
N-Forze 10000 Furious
I tried the N-Forze 10000 Furious at a recent tournament sponsored by Forza. When I held it and just swung it a few times without even having to hit a shuttle, I could immediately tell this is a racket very similar to my 8A. It felt extremely comfortable in my hand. It gave me that familiar feeling of the 8A. I was very anxious to try to hit with a shuttle to see what it can do when it comes to power. It doesn’t disappoint at all. I can hit all my control shots right away and it is more powerful than my 8A. It is definitely a step up. I like it a lot. At the same time, another player came up to describe his game and asked for recommendation for a racket. Based on his description, he has a somewhat similar style to mine. I immediately told him to try the Furious and he felt in love with it and ended up buying it. I helped make a sales!
If I have to give a score for these two particular Forza rackets, I would give a 9/10 for both. Considering I almost never give out perfect score in anything. That has to be pretty darn good! But take it with a grain of salt because rackets are pretty personal. There isn’t a perfect racket for everyone. You really have to try it out long enough to know if it is right for you.
I am open to trying more new rackets from Forza, Yonex, SOTX, or any other brands and share my thoughts about them if you send them to me. I believe good products should be put into the right customers’ hands. If you sell good products, you absolutely deserve the business.
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As always, hope this helps!