I got a morning of singles play with this racket and feel like it's enough to write up about it.
Let me first state that I'm no pro, and this is just my evaluation of the racket to my playing style and experiences with it. If anything, I'm a high-beginner level player looking to improve myself by playing more often with people of higher skill level than I am.
I would say this racket is suitable for both doubles and singles play.
Carlton Air Rage Tour Specs
Dry weight: 87g (3U)
Max String Tension: 28lbs
Strings: BG6 (in black coz it looks better) @ 28lbs
Carlton Air Rage Tour Technology
(I won't go into detail coz you can go read on the website)
- Xtreme Tension Frame
- Stabilisor Top Cap
- Pro V12 Grommets
I have good things to say about the even weight balance of the Air Rage Tour, and I might as well start with the defense capabilities. Even though I found the handle of the racket a little longer than the usual ones I have, it soon because an afterthought with the good defense that this racket gave.
Shorter, lighter swings definitely gave better returns from smashes. The flex of the racket also gave the long straight drives some amount of threat.
I still found myself wishing the handle was a little shorter (I tend to hold upwards on defense and that kinda reduces the reach of this racket in particular), but overall good!
I gave this racket the nickname of Tiger due to the dominantly yellow design and vicious sounding smash. I credit the strings a little (28lbs!) but I guess a bulk of the credit has to go to the engineers at Carlton for making such a powerful racket.
A visit to the Carlton website will see that they gave the Air Rage Tour a high power rating. I can vouch for that one!
I was surprised that I could clear better with the racket than with my Yonex ArcSaber Z-Slash. Although I had a little control loss on the distance occasionally, the power to sent the shuttle back was certainly there.
I also posted a few days back that even-balanced rackets suffered from a little control loss, and it felt that way with the Air Rage Tour. It took awhile to place the shots around the court, and even then I couldn't get a good fix on the distance and direction towards the end of the sessions.
Drops from the back were sometimes missed as well, hitting short of the net at times. I'd say my netplay suffered a significant decrease in accuracy. Service with this racket was also noticeably harder.
I'll put this down to my lack of skills, but then again this review is based on my experience and I found that this racket gave me less control than the others I own.
Tiger comes with yellow with black and grey markings down the sides of the head. The shaft breaks into a nice grey/yellow/black patterning that ends off with the chrome cap en-lined with yellow paint down the four sides.
Added the black strings and a black grip to complete the look.
I don't feel quite as comfortable with this racket than with some of the others I have, and I think it's mainly because of the control issue. I asked my stringer for his advise and he shrugs it off a just a matter of getting used to an even-balanced racket.
I've been on the heavy heads from the start, so I'll be giving this aspect of the Air Rage Tour a little more time for development and maturity.
Hopefully in time I can fully harness the potential of this lovely piece of engineering.
Carlton Air Rage Tour