So I did it. I pulled the trigger and got a new racket. It’s a Wish brand, which might not be familair to most player, but it’s a common racket in China, and the company is based in Xiamen so it’s a good brand for me to have.
Unlike other things, like technology and medical treatment, I feel like racket technology is a higher degree in China than other countries. That is, a racket made from a mid-level Chinese brand will be higher quality than a racket made from a mid-level western brand. That’s because people have higher standards here for badminton and the causal Chinese player is much more knowledgeable than a casual American player. (It’s like tea. There is a joke that a Chinese tea companies packages tea all day for Chinese customers and then at night, sweeps up all the pieces that fell on the ground and sends those to foreign countries because foreigners don’t know any better.)
For instance this racket, a pretty low level racket (it was only 150 RMB–$23) needs a racket tension of 24-26. That’s already higher than most western beginners and intermediate players who prefer 20-22. Also, the racket came with no strings. That’s because the maker assumes that you have your own preference and will restring it immediately for you. Mine was done at 24lb.
To test the balance or a racket you put your finger along the shaft and find the middle point, where it perfectly balances. If it is in the middle of the racket, that means it is a balanced and light racket, best for general play and control. But for a grip heavy racket the balance point will be more towards the grip. My racket isn’t especially grip heavy, but slightly more so. That is for more power.
The racket is also much heavier than my last one. My original racket was 84 grams whereas this one is 88 grams. Sounds like a tiny difference but I can already feel it in my wrist and arm which tires out easier. I’ll just need to get used to it.
I wanted a solid red one, but the company no longer had that color. Instead I chose this sweet white/black/neon orange color. For someone who prefers quiet and subdued clothes colors, I found I like my racket to be bright. (My last racket had a neon orange grip which I liked.)
I LOVE my new racket and I’m hoping to kick ass with it. But maybe I shouldn’t grow so attached to it like my last one. Rackets aren’t made to be used forever, though, hopefully this one will last more than 10 months. My first racket opened the door for me, and the second racket will usher me down the long road further. Watch out everyone. *Game face*
The racket is dead. LONG LIVE THE RACKET!