What first struck me was the design of the racket (what else, right?), and also the amount of flex that Li-Ning gave to it. They're a fan of stiff rackets, but this one came across with a medium flex feel, which made me feel good.
About time they made head heavy rackets with a slightly flexible shaft.
The results were notably good, with the N9 performing well in many areas of the court. If you're looking for a slightly flexible N90 without the overly head-heavy distribution of the N90-II, this one might be a choice for you.
The N9 also comes with a rather innovative head shape. It's sword shaped on the top half, but cuts inwards to form a armored shaft ala the Nanoray 700RP. This gives it a very unique feel - it brings the head weight distribution slightly lower towards the t-joint, makes the swings a little faster, but delivers the punch because of the heavier and more stable t-joint area.
This would a lot more welcome if they were to win the BWF World Championships, but this is a good racket that's worth shouting about so here goes.
Note. This review is my opinion of the racket for my use. Take this with a pinch of salt since I don't play the game as well as most of you out there. I'm here to tell you, in as much accuracy as I can, how my games went with this racket. Comments welcome!
Ok here goes.
Li-Ning TurboCharging N9 Fu Hai Feng
Est. Dry Weight: 89g (3U)
Grip Size: S2
Balance: Head Heavy
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 25lbs
I recommend this racket for heavy smashers (it's made for use by Fu Hai Feng, people).
Anyone who's ever used a head heavy racket and compared it to a head light one would tell you how it usually swings slower. This slower swing speed is compensated with a heavier block towards the back court.
Remember what I said about the unique head shape of the N9? This comes into play when I try to explain why this racket isn't as slow as I had initially thought it would be.
The Li-Ning TurboCharging N9 Fu Hai Feng feels like an even balanced racket on the defense. This is largely due to the weight distribution closer to the t-joint instead of being at the very top.
The racket suffers less from the slower swing than its head heavier counterparts, but has enough mass at the t-joint to deliver a good lift to the back if needed.
From lifts to blocks and drives, the N9 performs admirably in the games that I've given it. The medium flex might take a little more power from the hard blocks, but overall I was pretty impressed with how fast it responded.
"TurboCharging" and "Fu Hai Feng" sounds like this racket has steroids imbued into its graphite. The sadistic thing is that it actually feels like it does.
Attacking strokes with this racket feels true and powerful. The heavier t-joint gives you a very good accuracy on the smashes and the drives, and this is always a nice gift to someone who doesn't rely much on attacking like myself.
I've always been a fan of flexibility in the shaft when it comes to giving that long big swing to smash it home. It was made the Yonex Voltric 70 a winner, and it is what makes the Li-Ning N9 such a potent attacking racket.
Very powerful attacks.
Here's when it sounds a little too good to be true. The Li-Ning TurboCharging N9 Fu Hai Feng actually gives you a pretty decent aim, given its propensity to put its users into overdrive berserk mode.
I give kudos to the solid t-joint (I have got to figure out what they call this head frame shape...).
Ok I just checked the racket and it's called the Dynamic-Optimum Frame.
So kudos to the solid Dynamic-Optimum Frame, which grants this racket the accuracy without losing out much on the power. Rackets that feature variations of this technology (i.e. Yonex Voltric series, Nanoray 700RP) tend to also be devastating in both attack and accuracy, and the N9 doesn't come across as any much different.
When I take a shot, I tell myself where I want the shuttle to go, move to the shuttle, swing, and see how it turns out.
The N9 gave me very few surprises. Nice.
Black and gold adorns the entire racket, making this a very majestic beast. Li-Ning rackets have progressively improve in design (seriously, has anyone seen the first generation N50?), and this is a tremendous effort in making badminton look sexy.
Li-Ning TurboCharging N9 Fu Hai Feng