Here is the replacement badminton racket for my Yonex B-2000 which cracked last week. This time, it is not Yonex anymore. I understand that Yonex is still one of the most favorite brand in badminton sport, but that's also the reason it's price is higher than other equivalent products.
So, this time around, the brand of my choice is Fleet. Maybe this brand is not as well-known as Yonex in badminton products range and it not yet be seen on international tournament, but recently I noticed the rise of this brand for being the major sponsor for various local badminton competitions.
As claimed, Fleet is a Taiwan brand using Japan technology. Japan technology sounds confident to me, but that's not the reason I bought this racket. It is the key features of the racket as well as the price that attracted me.
I am not sure the exact model of this racket, it should be Fleet Smash Power FT-555 (by combining the printed wording on the racket). I tried multi-time searching for information regarding this model, but just can't get the exact one. Perhaps it is a phased out model?
Anyway, who care? What I am more concern is its usability. The first thing impressed me at the very first sight is the weight. It is light and good to handle.
However as a player who prefer attacking style, a light weight racket doesn't bring advantage to me. Lighter racket will only mean the power of smash will depend more on my arm strength. Well, I am pretty confident of my arm strength, so I would like to give it a try. ^^
The price is pretty reasonable, affordable, and suits my budget. That's the main reason of my choice! RM150 with free string, grip, bag, wristband and a pair of Fleet stocking, I just couldn't find any reason to reject it. It is probably a promotion item.
The frame is made of Hi-Modulus Graphite while the shaft is made of Utility Titanium High Modulus Graphite. Sorry, I couldn't elaborate further on these technology terms, what I know is just they are some sort of latest technology material used to produce the racket. For an amateur badminton player, I guess that information is sufficient for me!
However if you look carefully on the shaft, you will notice it is flattened in the middle. This is a new technology in badminton racket evolution which give extra flexibility to the racket. A flexible shaft said to be better in defensive playing where you can flick the shuttle further and easier.
I found that it is quite true. I think it was the combination of light weight and flexible shaft that gave me the backhand hitting experience that I never had before. Backhand which require much wrist strength tends to be a weakness for me, but with this racket, I could perform it with less energy yet more accuracy.
Talking about the smashing power, well... with 23 lbs of string tension compare with 18 lbs on the old racket, I not dare to say the power was double up, but I am pretty sure that the smashing sound was pretty scary! My smash became sharper as the light weight of the racket allows me to bend my wrist easier.
However I still couldn't get use to the drop shots with this racket. With the used amount of energy applied to the drop shots, the shuttlecock tends to get too high or over powered. I think it is the matter of getting used to the racket. I am sure the situation will improve after more practice.
As a whole I conclude that I personally feel that Fleet Smash Power FT-555 is a nice badminton racket to have especially if you prefer a light weight racket with flexible shaft. It gave me a good experience of badminton playing and I am looking forward to the next badminton session!