Friday, December 28, 2012

Badminton Racket Review: Victor Spira 22

First Impressions here.

I'll be honest. I've sold every single Victor racket I've come to own so far. Somehow they all seem to fade away after the first few uses. What seemed to be a good racket seems to get its ability sapped away by time and more frequent use.

I fully believe in the term "familiarity breeds contempt", and it seems really apt in the case of my experience with the Victor brand.

Unfortunately, this is also the case for the Spira 22. I wrote a resoundingly good First Impression of the racket, all in the hope of this being the one good one that slipped through the Victor curse.

Not that it's a bad racket, mind you. The Spira 22 has it's qualities, it just seems to become less and less useful the more games I play with it.

Note. This review is my opinion of the racket from using it in my games. Take this with a pinch of salt since we all play the game differently. 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 Spira 22
Est. Dry Weight: 97g (3U)
Grip Size: G2 (Yonex G5)
Balance: 4/5 (Victor's rating system)
Stiffness: 3/5 (Victor's rating system)
Strings: Pro-Kennex Pro Flex 85 @ 27lbs

I recommend this racket for singles play.

The defense for the Victor Spira 22 isn't very memorable. I don't recall having a lot of difficulty fending off attacks, nor can I truly say that the racket offers me the ease of placement on defense like the lighter Karakals.

Being on the head heavy side, I seemed to be able to block smashes and drives better than lift them. The slightly flexible shaft also lends to the difficulty in lifting after a smash. Having such limitations narrow the game play and won't allow me to move the opponent around as much as I want to.

However, I do notice that the Spira 22 delivers a very decent drive defense. If the smashes come too flat, it's all too easy to have the racket twist it's head and send the shuttle zipping down the opposite

Brutal. The Spira 22 has a fast swing speed. Coupled with the high tension-high repulsion qualities of the Pro Kennex strings, the attacks from the racket is one to be looked out for.

At the front of the court however, the Victor Spira 22 becomes a liability. Somehow I can't seem to lift the racket head fast enough to intercept shuttles. The racket soon becomes one that is more suited to play the back court, sending clears and smashes down the enemy line.

Shot-making with the racket is easy. The head is stable enough to give right direction to most of my shots. However I did notice that I get more mis-hits with this racket than most. I usually stop making frame hits after I get warmed up to the shuttles, but that problem continues to bug me with the Spira 22.

Being less head heavy than my usual singles rackets, the Spira 22 also didn't allow me to clear as accurately. Having to use more strength from the back contributes to the larger amount of unforced errors to the sides.

This fact contradicts the point I made earlier about the racket being a back court racket. Not being able to move the shuttle across the back lines is a bad trait to have for something more suited to a rear attack style of play.

Unlike the long clears, drop shots and net play didn't seem to disappoint. The Victor Spira 22 is heavy enough to shift weight to the shuttle on the tight net shots, and also makes the drop shots a little more efficient since the natural weight of the head on the down swing will take care of the flight towards the opponent's front court.

I've been having a blue racket craze of late, and the Spira 22 adds to the collection with its electric blue exterior lined with streaks of black and silver.

Add the very matching Pro Kennex strings to that and you've got a very cool-looking racket.

Victor Spira 22
Defense: 7
Attack: 9
Control: 7
Looks: 8

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