I will take this chance to revisit an old racket of mine that I've not been able to use. I took it out to court this morning and felt that it was about time to write a review for this gem.
The Li-Ning Flame N36 was my first Li-Ning racket. Prior to this, I have had a lousy impression of the brand. To me it was lacking in research and all it did was throw together some graphite into a mound.
This racket changed everything.
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.
Li-Ning Flame N36
Est Dry Weight: 96g (3U)
Grip Size: S2 (Yonex G5)
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 25lbs
I recommend this racket for shot accuracy and control.
Being even-balanced basically means that the N36 is fast to swing, and offers a little more power than head-light rackets. I had little difficulty blocking smashes with this racket, and with a little proper footwork I do see myself directing the shots into empty areas of the court.
Lifts to the back court might take a little beating though, since the weight of the Flame N36 is a on the lower end of the 3U scale. I found myself missing the back lines a couple of times, but at least the speed of the racket in defense gives me a better bet when the shuttle comes flying down.
Drive defense is great. I could turn the shuttle downward and with good speed, thanks to the lack of gravitational forces pulling down the head of the racket.
Here's where the Li-Ning Flame N36 lacks. I was able to get a good angle on my smashes, but the speed and power were sorely lacking. There just isn't enough weight to get a good punch in.
I would recommend using drives as your main point clincher, since the racket excels at the flat exchanges. I was able to get a very good pace on the drives, much better than how I performed on the smashes.
If you're a fan of drop shots, then this racket might just make your to-buy list. Thanks to the very good control rating, the Li-Ning N36 allows you to perform almost any sort of drop shots you want.
If there was any racket that could practically hit any corner of the court, this would be it. I felt very at ease with the N36, and the shots that I performed showed it.
The best plays were when I was casually throwing the shuttle around, picking and dropping the pace when I wanted to. There was no fear of losing control of the shuttle because it became so easy to place. From forehand clears to backhand drops, there was no shot that felt out of control.
This quality supplements the lack of punch in its power play, allowing you to win points through superb placement and by simply out pacing your opponent.
Gold and red go very well in the Li-Ning Flame N36. The oriental motifs around the head frame give it a very asian feel, and is seldom seen in rackets these days. The usual sleek lines and illustrations are replaced with tasteful curves and shimmer.
Li-Ning Flame N36