Friday, December 1, 2017

RSL Ultimate

Just tried using the RSL Ultimate when I joined a friends' friend session over the weekend.

Pix from internet

Playing using the RSL Ultimate really reminds me of what the Tourney No1 used to be like  ... before 2007, when profits weren't the only thing which matter to the MNC(s).

Performance: Great! Slows only slightly after a few hard smashes, unlike the Supreme which starts "accumulating air-brakes". The Ultimate then retains the "broken-in" performance for quite some time.

Durability: As good as the pre-2007 Tourney No1 aka Very good!

Price: Not cheap but atleast you get what you paid for!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Kason KS70 (Orange)

Have not tried this shuttle before and adding for documentation purposes.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shuttlely (local SG brand)

Was informed by a visitor to the blog of this brand. I then proceeded to the website to request for samples.

Self collected the samples of 2-tubes, with 3 shuttlecocks per tube. Speed-77.  

Cork structure is 3-layer as per stated on their website.

Out of the tube, the shuttle has an acceptable feel - not too heavy nor light. Feather quality is above average. 

Sample tube with 3 shuttlecocks

I then introduced the shuttles into our next weekly game. Managed to locate only 5 of the 6 samples provided. No idea what happen to the 6th sample??

The following are the pix(s) of the resultant usage.

Sample-1/6 (normal wear and tear)
Sample-2/6 (slight ridcage lob-sided)
Sample-3/6 (slight ridcage lob-sided)
Sample-4/6 (ridcage very lob-sided)
Sample-5/6 (broken feather)


PERFORMANCE: Flight characteristics is good until the shuttle need to be replace.

DURABILITY@Statistically (based on available samples), more than 50% had a lob-sided ribcage structure which was resultant of high intensity smashing games.

@ To be fair to Shuttlely I must point out that most of the players in our group have undergone some form of formal training. Hence the intensity of their smashes are above that of the average players. It's like comparing the intensity of a Karate chop blow from a white belt (beginner - injury to hitter!!) vs red belt (intermediate-slight injury to opp) vs black belt (advance-atleast moderate injury to opp!).

A tube of Shuttely No3 (if extrapolated) would last roughly about the same duration as the RSL Supreme - 40min for my regulars; we do use other brands and models of shuttlecocks from time to time to keep pace with market developments.

COST: $25 per tube. Good value for most of the player population, Why pay for gold plating when it is not required! About time...

In summary, I can recommend Shuttlely shuttlecocks for most games. GOOD value for money in the Singapore market when compared to the available products at that price bracket, as there is balance of durability and performance together with reasonable cost.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ling Mei Golden

A friend recently switch to the following brand and model of shuttles after trying out various shuttlecocks available in the Johor and Singapore market.

Tube colours for the Golden

Ling Mei states it is a China branded product. Searching the China market for the Golden, there is clearly no such model as Ling Mei uses numeric designation(s) in PRC. My guess for the most likely equivalent is the L-10 (see pix below), based on the colour of the sticker on the back of the shuttle head.

Ling Mei line-up

How does the shuttle fare?

Durability - Enough to last a set most of the time, for a game with about 50% smashing. Very apparent once the shuttle need to be replaced. 

Performance - Nice and consistent performance at the proper speeds. Shuttle itself does not feel heavy nor light - in the middle.

Cost - At RM68 per tube in the shop in Johor, it is priced at the lower end of the upper bracket.

In summary, this shuttle provides a good alternative to the established products with similar pricing as it provides good consistent performance with reasonable durability. Why? Because the established products in that price range has either performance or durability but not a decent balance of both these attributes.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Information from internet - Victor Carbonsonic

I did try to buy a tube of Carbonsonic No1 to try-out from the local Victor agent but was informed they have no plans to make the Carbonsonic available to the Singapore/Malaysian market. No further clearification received on the matter. Sometimes you really must wonder why the local agent would not want to bring this shuttle into the market ....

Checking around on the internet, the Ozzie agent is selling the Carbonsonic at more than AUD34 per tube of 6 shuttles in Australia!!! Hence importing a tube for testing would became extremely expensive.

Thus I did the next best thing - search the internet for any additional information and found the following.
Carbonsonic cork structure and external appearance

Real feather shuttle (LHS) vs Carbonsonic (RHS)
Feather length of feather shuttle
"Feather" length of Carbonsonic shuttle

Width of feather (LHS) vs Carbonsonic (RHS) shuttle
Weight of feather (LHS) vs Carbonsonic (RHS) shuttle

The only real review (not staged) I could locate on the Carbonsonic was on YouTube by couple of Canadian(s) sports shop owner who are also professional badminton players. Basically they rate the Carbonsonic as an stand-in between feather shuttlecocks and nylon shuttlecocks - as a good replacement for the lower end feather shuttlecocks eg AS10, etc. The Carbonsonic is a bit faster than a feather shuttle when they were stroking. Durability is reported to be outstanding by the original Victor demo on YouTube by Zhao Jian Hua, Martin Frost and Sun Jun.

Will update once I am able to obtain the Carbonsonic for testing.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Revisit - Yang Yang 300B

Joined a friend for a game and they were using Yang Yang 300B shuttlecocks.

It was a hot day and we were playing at the new Tampines Hub in Singapore. There are 16 badminton  courts available for booking in the facility.

The Yang Yang 300B shuttlecock feels lighter than the past review.

Flight was acceptable. However did note that the shuttles tend to fly faster as time goes by as the ribcage structure tend to shrink inwards and became a little more arrow-like after few hard whacks.

Durability was acceptable for non-competitive games. Did note it was necessary to use 2 shuttles for a smash happy game.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Babolat 2

Received a few samples for testing.

Initial feel of the shuttles were not light but not heavy as well. Shuttles does not have a solid feel to them. 

We were provided with Speed76&77 for testing.

Honestly I could not really distinguish between the 76&77 during play. The shuttle performance and feel are quite nice. A shuttle could almost last a set with about 50% of shots were smashes - the ribcage structure on 3 of the samples were lobsided, by about 16 or 17 points in a 21 point set. The last sample had a broken feather 3/4 way along the stem.

Condition of the samples after the session.
3-layer cork structure

As these are by Babolat, they won't be competitively priced. On the net, they are priced in the mid-upper range with more established competitors. Unless Babolat reduce the prices, they will be just another of the major tennis manufacturers who may quit the badminton market in the long run.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ling-Mei Dimgray

Received couple of samples for testing. The Dimgray is one of their better products.

The Dimgray has a nice solid feel when held. Ribcage structure feels solid. Each shuttle was only good for a game with heavy smashing. Feedback received from the players indicate the shuttles had a nice feel to them.

These are the pix from the rear after usage. Although the pix does not show it so well, both samples are deformed.

Condition of both Dimgray after the game

Here's an interesting "feature" for one of the shuttles tested. Please note the uneven cut of one of the cork layers - it's actually slanted at an angle on one of the samples.
Uneven cut of the layered head

Uneven cut of the cork layers on one shuttle vs the other Dimgray

Prices on the internet for the Dimgray are not cheap. One of my regulars from Malaysia inform that another Ling-Mei model had better durability.