Sunday, April 08, 2012

Badminton Racket Review: Victor Bravesword 15

Awhile back I had the chance to get my hands on a member of the coveted Bravesword series from Victor. What struck me first about the even-balanced Bravesword 15 was its design (what else right) - pure hotness. With the usability of the racket out the window, all that's left is to pay.

I must admit that I've not been a Victor fan. The previous rackets that I've happen to get my hands on - Spira 21 and Meteor X80 - were disappointing to say the least. Perhaps I wasn't skilled enough to use the rackets, perhaps they just didn't suit my style.

So when I took to the courts with the suave BRS15, there wasn't much expectations. Boy was I surprised!

This review's my opinion of the racket from using it in my games, my style. No one plays badminton the same way, so take this with a pinch of salt. I'm here to tell you, in as much accuracy as I can, how my games went with the racket. Comments welcome!

Ok here goes.

Victor Bravesword 15
Est. Dry Weight: 86g (3U)
Grip Size: G2
Balance: Slightly Head-Heavy (4/5 by Victor standards)
Max String Tension: 28lbs
Flex: Stiff (4/5 by Victor standards)
Strings: BG66 Ultimax @ 24lbs

I use this racket for singles and doubles play.

Defense
There's this thing about even-balanced rackets when it comes to defense. It brings the swiftness of the head-lights and the power behind the head-heavys into a lovely combination (well, the good ones anyway). The Victor Bravesword does this beautifully, allowing controlled returns from smashes and drives that adds an element of awareness to my games.

The Bravesword 15 is excellent when it comes to flat drives as well, pushing the shuttle straight across to the other side with the speed you'd expect from a head light racket. The added weight to the front of the racket frame gives it an extra power boost, so watch the tape to check your shots don't go straight out the back tramlines. That happened to me a few times already.

Let's say this again, because I want to do this justice - the Victor Bravesword 15 gives you a fast, fast defense that comes with enough power to place the shuttle comfortably. BUT, watch the smaller head frame; it's going to give you a bit of frame hit and a paint chip here and there if you're not careful.

Attack
Explosive. Very bloody incredible.

Control
Even-balanced rackets have always given a good sense of where the court is, and this one is no different. Perhaps the smaller head frame makes it a little more challenging to place the shuttle, but it all adds up in the end.

The stiffness makes it easy to push and slice the shuttle around the court. Much of the game was then used for thinking where to place the shuttle instead of worrying about whether the shuttle will fly out. The back-to-backs were also well-placed, with less shuttles sailing out of the back tramlines as compared to the other racket I brought along (VT80).

Looks
Glittering black serves as the canvas for the golden motifs that line this gorgeous racket. A hint of red adds that subtle ferocity that comes out of its smashes. All this on a slim head frame with the infamous Sword frame shape gives this piece of equipment all the reason you need to own it.

Racket Royalty.


Victor Bravesword 15
Defense: 9
Attack: 9
Control: 9
Looks: 10

65 comments:

ant said...

Being a z-slash fan, I'm hoping to get my hands on one of these to compare them. Since you gave it a good review, I'd be interested if you are still using bs15 to this day?

Arthur Wong said...

Hello, I'm quite a fan of the a-slash myself! In fact it was the first ones racket I got and it's got a sentimental soft spot in my heart.

The Bravesword 15 is still in my possession, if that's what you mean. I've got so many rackets that I switch between them during different sessions.

Comparing the two, the Bravesword definitely has a larger hitting area and is less punishing than the z-slash. It also feels slightly heavier and that counts for a stronger smashes and clears.

Swing speed-wise, I feel they both come off about the same. I like the sensation of the z-slash more when it comes to smashing though.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,
Do you know the marketing price of Victor Bravesword 15?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Do you know how is the defense,attack,control and look has how many point?


PLEASE REPLY ME FAST I WANT TO BUY A RACKET AFTER TWO DAYS!

Arthur Wong said...

Hello, I gave it in the review.

Arthur Wong said...

I've not visited a Victor store for a long while, but I'm guess between S$170-200

Anonymous said...

Hi,
sorry I want to know is Victor Bravesword 12 attack,defense,control and look.

Arthur Wong said...

Never used one of those before, sorry. Rather ugly racket in my opinion.

Smush9 said...

Hey, me again. jJst recently came across the brave sword 15, along with your review. Once again, very well written!

Been interested with the brave sword line of rackets recently (along with yonex voltrics, specifically the VT80, as you know) due to all the hype about their speed and maneuverability. I've read around forums that it is the most head heavy brave sword currently. Just wanted to clarify that with you and also ask how much more head heavy the voltric 80 is? I'm torn between the power of a VT80 and the speed of the BS15. Because if the BS15 can still generate a decent amount of power, as your review says, "Explosive. Very bloody incredible.", then i'd be very inclined to get the BS15. And i might as well ask you which racket you prefer to use? Haha.

Again, I really appreciate the time you take to reply to comments. Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for reading, and I glad you liked the review.

To me, the clear is probably the most important shot in the game of badminton, followed by the drop shots. Smashes are nice to have but just try performing a good one when your opponent has a good clear.

With that said, I'm for the VT80 because it's easier to use. I play more singles than doubles games (for now) and tend to like whichever racket allows me to clear better.

I'd choose the BRS15 for doubles play because the faster speed and the stiffness of the racket allows for good flat exchanges.

Hope this helps in making your choice.

Smush9 said...

Thanks for the quick reply!

Yes, totally agree with clears being very important. As much as I like to get quick points in singles through winners, I still prefer to rally and outsmart or wear-out my opponents.

I'll probably be playing doubles a lot more, but will still be playing singles occasionally. I only really play singles a lot during our university tournament.

And it's surprising to hear that you find the VT80 easier to use, since a lot consider it a challenge ..I guess mostly due to the weight in the head. Though I actually agree with some people's thoughts, as well as yours, that the extra weight in the head can actually help your defense since there's more meat behind your returns. How do you find the maneuverability of the VT80 especially for doubles play? Is it really hard to master or is it more just getting used to the weight in the head? A lot of people seem to suggest that it's actually very maneuverable considering its head heaviness.

Also, since you mentioned that you find the VT80 easier to use compared to the BS15, are you referring to the smaller head of the BS15 that makes it a tad bit more challenging to use? Since it obviously can't be the lack of speed and maneuverability since the BS15 certainly excels on both fronts. And lastly, I'm also wondering whether it is difficult to generate power with the BS15? Or is the shaft not too overly stiff that it'd be too hard to flex?

Once again, thanks and hope to hear from you soon!

Arthur Wong said...

Here's my take on getting quick points. I want to get them whenever I want to.

That's why a good racket can never outdo solid training :)

I've never used the VT80 for doubles play (expensive!), but the racket doesn't seem to be hard to move around. A little slower than the BRS15, but not crawling if that's what you mean. Successive attacks might be a problem though.

The BRS15 actually has a large head. The resultant shorter shaft is what gives the racket the stiffness and power.

On the lack of power because the shaft is too stiff, you'll have to evaluate your own playing style.

Long swingers will benefit more from a stiff shaft. Those who like to use their wrist when smashing will find stiffer shafts faster to generate power.

Smush9 said...

Once again, thank you for all the advice! Will consider all this when I get the chance to get a new racket. Leaning a little towards the Brave Sword now since I'll be playing doubles a lot more for the foreseeable future. Thanks again!

Arthur Wong said...

Just for that I think I'll bring the BRS15 out for a spin on the doubles court when I get chance :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, do the spira 21 & the bs15 share the same head shape?

Arthur Wong said...

Nope, the Bravesword 15 is slightly bigger if I'm not wrong.

Shaun T said...

Have you had a chance to compare this with the Li ning N80. I see a lot of similar stats.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there thanks for reading! I don't think I'll be picking up the N80 anytime soon..

The racket just doesn't look nice to me... and for me it's all about the first impression :)

Anonymous said...

Hi

Which is better, BRS15 or nwood 90 II ?

Because u give a very good score for this 2

Arthur Wong said...

I would prefer the N90-II for singles and BRS15 for doubles play.

Anonymous said...

Which one is more head heavier ? brs15 or nwood 90 II ?

Arthur Wong said...

The N90-II is head heavier.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur enjoyed your reviews very much would like you to answer some questions for me thanks... how would you rate the Voltric 70, voltric 80 and the Brave sword 15 on power? which one would be the best?( and frankly im quite surprised u havent tried the bravesword LYD or Meteor JJS or X(london ed))



Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for reading!!

For my style of play, I'm putting the VT70 first, Vt80 next, and the BRS15 last.

Those three rackets are too expensive for their own good. Until I get a good deal on them I don't see myself getting a swing at those :(

BigB3n said...

Damn, I was just about to ask you, any comments on BS 15 vs BS LYD

Arthur Wong said...

I might... in the future.. If all goes well I might actually get my hands on one of them LYDs.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried the Thruster K8000? I heard its a all new line of rackets by victor , except that its very flexible, yet head heavy.the flexibility according to victor gives a 9.75% additional power, and some people claim its entirely composed of graphite. What about this???

Arthur Wong said...

I've heard about it and seen it on the Victor website.

They call the shaft flexibility Catapult, and it's nothing new; have seen it going around rackets for quite some time now.

Don't get the completely composed of graphite comment, since most good quality rackets are all graphite wrapped around a rubber tube.

Vaguely interested, but not enough to fork out the cash to buy one :)

Anonymous said...

Should I get a BS15 or BS12?

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur, thanks for your comment :)

Like I had once mentioned, the flexibility of the racket is rather great. If you'd like to know more, you can go badminton forums. One of the members of the forum posted a video of which a national player from some foreign nation , when hitting the floor with this racket, was able to generate an extreme bend: @ least 30 degrees according to some members.

Also, as you had previously mentioned, you had claimed that this concept has often been used by other racket manufacturers as well. Do these rackets involve the same power factor as well or does it benefit them in other areas, say control?

Lastly, not that I am doubting your statement or meaning any offense, but the "good" rackets (Li Ning, Yonex, Victor etc other well known brands) practice no such concept. For as long a time as I am concerned, stiff rackets with a head heavy balance have always been the key to a powerful racket, so I find it vaguely confusing when you claimed that this was nothing new. And so, even if the vaguely recognised brands use this concept, they may not really be as good as their Yonex or Li-Ning counterparts.

PS I may seem a bit rude or blunt at times, directing questioning you, but I mean no offense. Please pardon me on this aspect! :)

Arthur Wong said...

Nameless reader who asked about the Brs12 or 15.

It's pretty hard to give my opinion based on a question like that, so here's my five cents'.

Whichever color you like more.

Arthur Wong said...

To the other nameless reader who asked about the K8000.

I've got a few head heavy rackets with a good flex on them - Carlton Powerblade 9902, VT80 / 70, Li-Ning N90-II.

Those are what I feel to be more flexible shafts, and they perform well for me.

That's why I said that the concept of a higher flex head heavy racket doesn't seem new to me.

I've had good experiences with these rackets, and I'm sure the K8000 will prove that point correct.

No worries, I started this blog to share experiences, and it's always nice to hear from other players :)

Anonymous said...

ok, I'm an all around player. I play both singles and doubles and like to utilize as much strokes as a I can - nameless reader who asked about bs12 or bs 15

Arthur Wong said...

Hello NRWAABRS12/15! (sorry, lazy fingers today)

I'm sort of that kind of player as well, and I find that I enjoy the game more when I get to use less effort to play my shots.

I've not used a Brs 12 before, but if you're looking at the stats for the rackets, I find that the slightly head heavier Brs 15 would give me more ease around the court.

Brian Tran said...

Hi Arthur,
I really enjoy reading your racket reviews!

I'm a reasonably young player, 15 yrs old, and I've only been playing badminton for about a year so I am quite new. I'm really enjoying the game but I feel I cant really find a racket that suits me.
I don't have a very powerful swing so it makes it difficult for me to keep up against my badminton friends who are a few years older than me.
I like player with lighter rackets and I was wondering if the Victor Bravesword 15 might be suitable for me?
If not, what racket would you recommend for a player looking to improve in general? (I play singles and doubles)
Thanks again!!!

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Brian, thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoy it!

I remember when I was one year and getting more serious in the sport. I had cravings for new rackets and was really curious about the various types of rackets and how they would feel or add to my game.

So I went on a acquisition spree, decided to share what I experienced in a blog, and here I am!

For your swing, you might want to try and convert power into speed. Get a fast swing and all you'll need to do is learn the proper gripping timing to change that speed into a momentary burst of power.

Use this for clears and smashes and quick drives to throw your opponents off. With a good grip timing you can turn smaller swings into powerful strokes, making it more difficult to gauge what sort of shot you'll play.

Lighter rackets will help in that aspect, and the Victor Bravesword series will really add to that swing speed.

They're probably the fastest rackets that I know of. The Brs15 comes a little head heavy, so it might just be the racket you're looking for.

I'd give it a try if you've got the resources. Otherwise, a similar racket that swings fast and has a slightly flexible shaft will also do the trick.

Hope that helps!! Do keep me updated on your game play!

Anonymous said...

hi arthur,

came to ur blog which i was researching some racket in today markets and surprising it's fantastic of all the reviews and comment on the racket u'd share with us.

I would like to get some advice from u regards this Victor BS 15 VS Yonex AS 11. if possible AS Z TH too :). i Play double most of the time and sometime single.

I'm having some old school racket pro-ace till today and planning to get 1 in a week later.
Hope to hear from ur comment and review to share with me for the above 2.

Thank you.

Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for reading!

I don't an ArcSaber 11, so that's out.

Between the BRS15 and the ArcSaber Z-Slash, I'd choose the Bravesword.

For a doubles game, I feel that it would be able to give me more consistency for the faster pace and defense that's demanded.

Anonymous said...

Hey just wondering your preference between the BS15 and the voltric 80, any similaritys?
PS: love the reviews, keep em coming :-)

Arthur Wong said...

I've always liked the Yonex Voltric 80. It's a great racket with excellent control and power.

Can't say the same for the BRS15 though... I did sell it after all :)

Thanks for reading!!

Anonymous said...

Is there a top end yonex that is more head heavy than a arcsaber, but less head heavy than vt80?

Arthur Wong said...

Try the Voltric 70. Or a 4U VT80.

Renmazuo27 said...

Hi Arthur,

I'm looking for a less brutal counterpart to the Zforce 2.

In regards to the BS15, do you think this is just as stiff & head heavy as the z force 2?

The reason I ask this is because I bought a couple of Z Force 1's but after a few months my shoulder doesn't seem to like it. Zforce 2 is probably the most my shoulder can take hence the need to cover 2 bases.

I began using a ti10LTD and this was heaven for my shoulder as I was able to get the power I want yet still have very good defence and maneuverability on court. Would the BRS 15 be similar to this?

Regards,

Vernard

Arthur Wong said...

Nice to hear from you again Vernard!

The ZForce 2 in 4U is awesome!

Comparing it to the BRS15, the Victor racket is less head heavy and less stiff. Probably good for bad shoulder days..

I just used the BRS15 over the weekend, and the defense was awesome. Defensive drives came to me so easily!

Long Le said...

Hi Arthur,

Is BRS15 a mid-end racket of Victor?
I'm interested in the look of BRS15, but still wonder how it is compare with BRS12N.
My favourite BRS12N just broken last week :(, and looking for a new racket now.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Long Le, I think it belongs right up there with the BRS10, 11 and 12s - being MIT and all.

Unfortunately, they've discontinued the BRS15. So if you're really interested, do grab whatever you can find.

Long Le said...

Hi Author,

Thanks so much for your advice/review.

Anonymous said...

hey Arthur thanks for the review, i was just wondering could you give me your opinion on the victor jetspeed 8st? thanks and keep up the blogging


jimmy

Arthur Wong said...

I'm really not in touch with the racket circuit now man... so I can't really say about the Victor Jetspeeds.

shekhar's bloggggggg said...

Any comment on brs 11??

Arthur Wong said...

Not really.. haven't tried the racket so can't tell.

BenBenCEJ Ok said...

Short comparison between bs15 and duora 10?

Arthur Wong said...

BRS15 has a larger head, is easier to use, and less gimmicks than the Duora 10, which requires you to decide on which side of the frame to use to achieve the desired effect.

Weight-wise, they're similar. The BRS15 seems to give more power, and at a consistent rate. If you like backhands, the Duora might come off better.

Finally, the black/yellow color scheme of the BRS15 appeals to me more.

Neel Akash said...

Hi,

I am mostly a single semi-attacking player. I like to play with high tension as I believe it gives me more control over my shots. I am using vzf2 right now, 3U/G4 with Nanogy 98 @ 28 lbs.
the problem is this racket is giving me pain in my arm after playing for 3/4 of an hour. therefore,I am looking for another alternative racket preferably of Victor brand in the range of S$150-180. can you suggest me a racket within this amount that will handle up to 32 lbs.

Thanks in advance

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Neel, 32lbs is a crazy high tension. I wouldn't recommend going there if you're already getting aches from a 28lbs ZF2.

If after my advice you still want to give 32lbs a try I'd recommend something with a less stiff shaft. That'll give your arms a break from the high amount of feedback you'll receive from the shaft.

New Victor rackets are hardly in that price range you mentioned, but my theory for something you love is that there's no price too high.

Anonymous said...

How would you compare this to the bs12?

Arthur Wong said...

The BRS15 is heavier, has stiffer shaft, is more powerful, has less defensive capabilities.

Anonymous said...

Between these two rackets I assume the bs12 is closer to bs10? I'm looking for a replacement for my broken bs10.

Arthur Wong said...

The best replacement for a broken Bravesword 10 is a new Bravesword 10. Failing which I would personally prefer the BRS12. The 15 had too little weight going for it to cause any threat.

Edmund said...

any ideas on the 4u version of the BS15?

Arthur Wong said...

Nope. 4U rackets are really out of my scope. Found that they often lack the weight for proper play.

Edmund said...

Thanks for the reply Arthur! Am looking for a slightly head heavy but not too heavy racquet. I realised that i am a bit slow in defence with my VT80.. any recommendations? :D thanks in advance

Arthur Wong said...

I'd go for the Bravesword 12 or 10.

If you're a Yonex fan, the ZSpeed does well too, though the smaller head frame might affect control a little at first.

Chris Nguyen said...

Hi Arthur,
It has been a while since I write a comment here. I switched to Victor now since I find it suit both my singles and doubles games. I wonder if you have tried any other Victor rackets beside Brave sword. If you do, have you tried Hypernano 800LTD Power (Royal Blue) and Control (Yellow), how do you feel on these rackets?

Thanks

Regard,
Chris

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Chris,

My experience with Victor, and especially the China-made ones, hasn't been good. They seem to hit it off at first, but I find shots coming off them quite inconsistent.

The Bravesword 10 that I rave about is Taiwan-made, and I suppose proper QC was the one factor that made it work for me.

Afraid I don't have experience with the two you've mentioned. All I've got are the ones I've listed on the blog so far.

Been out injured so no new reviews for now... will be writing a post updating the situation, but that's about all I can do for now.

Glad you found Victor rackets working for you! Keep at it and happy smashing!

Regards,
Arthur