Thursday, November 27, 2014

Badminton Theme for Windows

I have collected some of the pictures that I have taken during India Badminton League and compiled it into a theme that can be used on Windows. Hope you like it.

Click here to download Badminton Theme for Windows.

Note: Size of the theme file is around 76MB due to the size of image files.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Review of Badminton shoes Yonex SHB 01 Limited Power Cushion (SHB 01LTD)

Since my black SHB 85 LTD got worn out, I wanted to buy yellow color SHB 92 MX, but it was not available anywhere in India.

After a lot of searching, I ended with SBH 01LTD yellow colour. My regular shoe size is UK size 8 (same as Bata size) and since this has power cushion I had to go for UK size 9. This model is also known as SHB Y01LTD.

This shoe is a bit heavy weighing at around 350 grams each. Exact weighing scale readings are as following:
Weight of the right shoe - 352 grams
Weight of the left shoe - 356 grams

Fitting is really tight and nice. This shoe has a Quattro fit which is a actually a more tapered fit towards the front than the Ergo fit.

This shoe has 3 layer power cushion. Overall this shoe appears a bit rigid for me, maybe since my footwork is not that great. It feels heavy. I also saw the SHB F1 Neo Ltd. This is more light weight and I feel that I should have gone for that shoes.

The insole towards the front have ribs on it, maybe for grip, initially I found it irritating but later got used to it. Since the Quattro fit is good, I feel I can do without that.

Out sole is as usual and has hexagonal grips as with other Yonex badminton shoes:

Towards the heel, there are extra reinforcements to ensure that there is no ankle twist. The sales guy also told that in addition to three layer Power Cushion, this shoe also has silicon gel, which prompted me to take this.

Overall, it is a nice shoe, once you get used to Quattro fit, it is difficult to switch back to Ergofit. I am very happy with the purchase of SHB 01 LTD. Comfort level is actually better than my earlier SHB 85 LTD.

Review of Victor Wrist Enhancer 140 Badminton Training racket

I have read about the heavier rackets for training. Finally I came across few and I bought Victor Wrist Enhancer 140. I bought it via Victor distributor in Delhi. They person with whom I interacted was really helpful in getting the racket across. It cost me around Indian 4000 rupees in total.

There are two version of training rackets from Victor, Wrist Enhancer 120 and 140 which are weighing at 120 grams and 140 grams respectively. I went for the heavier one since in general normal rackets that we use weighs in at around 90 to 100 grams with grip and guts.

WE 140 is really helpful when doing toss and strokes. In general the usage pattern that I follow is to use it while doing shadow or mostly when doing strokes. Use this racket only for short duration. I use it from 5 minutes to 15 minutes depending on how fatigued my hand is from previous day's games or how energetic I am feeling. Because of the heavy swing, there is a chance that you might yourself. After using this, I was able to feel the difference in wrist power. I was very careful when using this during initial days and did not go overboard, as it easy to injure yourself.

Weight of this racket with thin grip and guts come to around 144 grams.

Weight range of the basic racket is marked as between 130 and 140 grams but with grip and guts added it goes up to 144 grams:

Initially I used it only for tossing. Maximum tension that can be given for WE 140 is 24lbs which is fine. But right now, I think the gutting that has been done is at a lower tension, hence its is a bit tough to send it from one baseline to the other baseline.

This racket is like a long term investment. Do not expect over night returns. This racket along with upper body strengthening can show some results is my observation based and that too based on your skill levels.

Link to Victor site with details of WE 140:

Other training rackets I came across are Yonex Isometric TR1 badminton racket. The weight of this racket was coming in at around 120 grams. In addition to that they had a mesh cover that can be put on the racket to increase with the weight of the racket while doing shadow. This was not available in India and I even called Yonex Sunrise India to no avail. Link with pictures and details of the racket:

Another training racket I came across was Strength Pro. They also had two variations at 140 and 160 grams each called SP 140 and SP 160. SP stands for Strenght Pro. This would have to be imported to India from UK. They do ship to India but due to the customs hassle I did not go further with this. They respond very quickly to your query and was helpful with suggesting racket suggestion and usage. Link with pictures and specifications of this racket:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review of Powerizer LT-6 from Victor

I was searching on how to increase the head weight of a racket and came across this product and came to know about this LT-6 Powerizer product from Victor site. These are basically lead weights in thin strips suitable for a badminton racket.

It was not available in any stores in Bangalore, India. A bit of search took me to STAG India site who is the distributor for Victor products in India. I got in touch with a person at STAG and was able to get a packet of LT-6 Powerizer from them. Folks at STAG were helpful during my purchase. Price of a packet was around Rs.400/-. I bought it in second half of 2013.

Each packet contains 6 pieces of lead weight stickers:

Back cover has instructions/suggestions on how to use it:

Each Powerizer sticker weighs at 0.18 gram:

Initially I applied the sticker at 12 O' Clock position on either side of the racket and was able to get a slightly better feel in the swing of the racket. I did not feel any drag on swings when I was using the racket while playing. Unfortunately I stuck the Powerizers in reverse way :D than the way it is mentioned at this link but this should not matter in terms of the impact that these stickers have:


Then I added the stickers at 2 O' Clock and 10 O' Clock position. This is when I felt a good addition to the power I get with this sticker. There was no negative drag on the
racket that was preventing me from playing my usual game. Please see image below:

Later I added weights at 3 O' Clock and 9 O' Clock position. This is when I felt the drag of the racket impacting my game. I do not have a strong arm so that could be the reason why it impacted my game.

Based on my experimentation I feel that just having it at 2 O' Clock and 10 O' clock would be best to increase the power. It is best to have the stickers on either sides of the racket. For example, if you are pasting the sticker at 3 and 9 O' Clock position, please stick it on both sides of the racket at 3 and 9 O' clock position.

Link at Victor site to this product:

Note: I have seen this product available on ebay, but they do not ship to India.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Weight of badminton racket grips

A short article on the weight that gets added to badminton rackets when grips are applied on the racket. I have tried the regular comfy thick grip and thin overlay grips.

Weight of the thick grip with the plastic protection cover and sticker paper is around 15

Before putting this grip onto Yonex Voltric 80 racket handle, I cut and removed a short
length of the grip so that the grip does not go beyond the handle. Weight of this piece was at
3 grams:

The weight of paper and plastic cover was coming to 2 grams:

So, that makes the total grip weight to 15grams - 3 grams - 2 grams = 10 grams.

With the grip added, Voltric 80 was weighing at 99 grams:

There was an existing grip on the racket which I removed. Removed grip along with its tape (black tape used towards the top of the handle) was weighing at 12 grams:

Weight of thin overlay grip was at 7 grams (without the plastic coating removed). Plastic coating
might be hardly a gram, so the weight of thin overlap grip can be assumed at 7 grams:

I don't use cloth grip, so I do not have information on that, sorry.

Next, I will try to get the grams that get added when gutting is done for a racket as part of my next blog.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Yonex SHB-85 LTD - my new shoes

SHB-85 LTD is the shoe that I am using currently. I bought this after my earlier shoe (SHB-SC5EX) started getting cracks on the side around the side of front toe area.


Initially I felt that sole was thinner since I was using SHB-SC5EX which had thicker cushioning. Since SC5EX got a hole on the left shoe near to the right toe, I put two layers of white medical plaster around that area on the new shoes as soon as I bought it. The wear and tear leading to a hole in the show near to the right toe side on the left shoe happens due to the fact that the left foot is dragged along when lunging on the right foot.
After using it for a month, it had expanded bit and it feels roomy, sometimes a bit too roomy and I have to tighten the lace a bit too much. No cracks on the side or on the sole anywhere. I play almost 3 to 6 days a week, both singles as well as doubles and this shoe feels comfortable. I bought it in May 2013 and it is around 7 months as of now.
I feel pain sometimes under my heel when I play with this shoe on, but this happens only when I play for 3 to 4 hours continuously, so not sure if this is related to the shoe.
I paid around Indian Rs.4200 for the shoe and feels it is worth the money. I wanted to buy the maroon one of the same model but was not able to get it. Now I feel that black looks better as it goes with any color of tshirt and shorts. Also this is the color that was used by Taufik Hidayat :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

IBL 1, 24th August 2013, Awadhe Warriors vs Mumbai Masters at Bangalore

After booking the ticket on with lot of struggle, got the tickets by courier. It was great to get the ticket for the first ever IBL. Have been hearing about IBL on and off and finally the day has arrived to see the first match live. This is between Awadhu Warriors and Mumbai Masters.
Main stars I was looking forward to were Sindhu and Srikanth from Awadhe Warriors and of course the legend and world number one, Lee Chong Wei from Mumbai Masters!!! Was eager to see Marc Zweibler, Kido, Tina Baun and Ivanov as well.
Arena was Kanteerava Indoor Stadium. Reached there around 6:30PM. It was late as we were planning to reach early. Charge for 4 wheeler parking was Rs.50/. There was a stage set for some kind of show but on this day they did not have permission hence no one performed on the stage that day. Stadium is there in the background. Unfortunately I did not have my camera so had to be content with my mobile.



My friend and myself walked over to Gate.No 3. It was open at that time (around 6:30PM) and we entered the stadium. Found a seat in second row in the lower tier. And, behold, there was Mr. Lee Chong Wei sitting few meters away in the players arena!!! It was great sight. The world number one right in front of your eyes!!! Bad that I did not have my camera with me! :( Here are few pictures of Lee Chong Wei immediately after I entered the stadium. Apologies for the picture quality. I have better ones which I took on the semi-final day, will be posting those shortly.

LCW checking something on his mobile:

LCW checking his racket:

Marc Zweibler walking across:

LCW testing speed of the shuttle:

Team get together before the start of the match:

Following were the matches scheduled for the day (Mumbai Masters vs Awadhe Warriors):
MS - Vladmir Ivanov vs RM V Guru Sai Dutt
WS - Tine Baun vs P V Sindhu
MD - B Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri vs Markis Kido and Mathias Boe

MS - Lee Chong Wei vs K Srikanth
MX - Vladimir Ivanov and N. Sikki Reddy vs Markis Kido and Pia Z Bernadet

In the end, Awadhe Warriors won 3-2 over Mumbai Masters. Results are shown below:

Matches won by Awadhe Warriors:
P V Sindhu beat Tine Baun: 21-12 19-21 11-8
Markis Kido and Mathias Boe beat B Sumeet Reddy and Manu Attri: 21-16 21-14

Markis Kido and Pia Z Bernadet beat Vladimir Ivanov and N. Sikki Reddy: 21-19, 21-15

Matches won by Mumbai Masters:
Lee Chong Wei beat K Srikanth: 21-15 20-21 11-5
Vladmir Ivanov  beat RM V Guru Sai Dutt: 21-18 20-21 11-8