Monday, December 26, 2011

Badminton Racket Review: Fischer Speed 33

This is a weird one. I've not had a racket feel like this so I thought I'd do a write-up about it. The Fischer Speed 33 is a fine-looking specimen - black and white with silver accented with a matt finishing. Beneath the solid exterior hides a peculiar characteristic, which is a love-or-hate thing with me.

I just can't decide to love or to hate it.

This review is form from my own opinions of the racket, and of the game of badminton. Take this with a pinch of salt, unless of course you're my exact duplicate in which case trust every word with your life.

I'm a low-intermediate level player who enjoys the occasional smashing game, but more entertaining is to see how you can move the opponent around to get that smash. I'd much rather see the shuttle drop to the floor after a well-placed rally than zoom through the air at amazing speeds.

Ok, now on to the review.

Fischer Speed 33
Dry Weight: 87g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Head-Heavy
Max String Tension: 28lbs
Flex: Stiff
Strings: Tolsen Fire 66 @ 24lbs

I've only used this racket for singles play.

Technology
Fischer Stability System (FSS)

Defense
I got this racket because I felt it had a good weight. I'm going through a phase in my game which involves more smashing and attacking play so the heaviness of the Speed 33 caught my attention.

The weight of the Fischer Speed 33 seems to be distributed all along the racket, culminating at the head, instead of mostly at the head (like in the case of my good friend the Voltric 80). This characteristic gave it an odd feel after the strings were tied, and I can't for the life of me figure out what to make of this.

Being so freakishly heavy, defense basically took a stumble. Although returns from defensive shots were pleasing and controllable due to the weight, getting the racket head there is the main problem.

With the bulky frame, the Fischer Speed 33 feels a tad slower than my other head-heavy rackets when it comes to delivering the block. I found myself with more frame hits and slower reflexes.

Attack
Again, the strange weight distribution of the racket comes into question here. I'd expect something to heavy to deliver a pleasant smashing experience, but the shuttles tend to lose speed really quickly after leaving the string bed.

Drives and check smashes were satisfactory, but the full-on arm-breakers were sorely lacking in power. I could to much, much better with a Yonex Voltric 80 or my Carlton Powerblade 9902.

Seems to me the Fischer Speed 33 is made more for fast wrist motions than the long swinger. If you're able to generate enough power off the wrist, then I'd dare say that this racket won't disappoint. The stiff bulky frame lends to the stability needed to crack the shaft like a whip without too much flexing to take away the power.

Control
So far so average, but this is where the game turns.

I've experienced a lower level of control with my head-heavy rackets. I love the accuracy of my even-balanced ones (Yonex ArcSaber 10 and Carlton Vapour Trail Vanquish to name a few) and found it difficult at times to control the path of flight with my head-heavys.

But the Speed 33 changes the game a little by offering me a level of control previously seen only with the even-balanced ones. It feels right when I hit the shuttle, my arm guiding the bird where I want it to. Clears from back to back felt really easy, and drop shots were coming off the right spots on the string bed.

I know I like a racket's control when I start doing trick shots and they come off ok. The Fischer Speed 33 tested out fine in my singles games, leaving me baffled as to whether it's worth keeping.

Looks
Primarily black with white accents, the Fischer Speed 33 looks elegant with silver streaks down the shaft. The matt finish kind of seals the deal with me - not many rackets decide to do that now. I've got on black strings to complete the look. It's not the sexiest of rackets, but it's pleasing enough on the eyes.

Fischer Speed 33
Defense: 6
Attack: 7
Control: 9
Looks: 7

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