Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Badminton Racket Review: Li-Ning TurboCharging N9 Fu Hai Feng

First impressions here.

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
Stiffness: Medium
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 25lbs

I recommend this racket for heavy smashers (it's made for use by Fu Hai Feng, people).

Defense
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.

Attack
"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.

Control
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.

Looks
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
Defense: 8
Attack: 10
Control: 9
Looks: 10



50 comments:

Dennis said...

Hey Arthur!

First off: Great site. Your reviews are of great assistance, as I am trying to decide on what rackets to test and to buy later on.

Now, at the moment I'm playing an old AT700 (and still getting to know it), I want to take a VT80 to the swing next weekend, though. As it looks like the N9 seems somewhat comparable the VT80 - what is your opinion? How do they compare in term of feel?
I don't think I can get my hands on an N9 in the foreseeable future (only, Yonex-specialized shops around), so I wanna know if it pays to go for a greater effort to test this one here of if it's "worth" missing it.

Cheers :)
Dennis

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Dennis, thanks for reading! Glad you like my humble work here.

The N9 seems a little harder to use than the VT80, the latter being one of the easier and least punishing racket I've played with.

The head frame of the N9 is a little sharper, which lends to its increased power, but that also makes accuracy a little more of an issue.

To me the VT80 is also a little more head heavier, what with the N9 having its weight being distributed along the bottom half of the head frame.

So that's about it I guess. But I must say my last experience with the N9 realyl left me wanting more :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur thank for the review. :) I have some questions if you don't mind. How's n9 in comparison with arc 10/11 in terms of overall racquet weight and head heaviness?

Arthur Wong said...

Thanks for reading!

The N9 weighs more than the Yonex rackets, and is a little more head heavy around the t-joint.

It's got a more flexible shaft as compared to the AS11 too.

Anonymous said...

I used n90ii (after i saw your review, i decide to buy it). Every time after couple match i started feeling tired probably because the heaviness and stiffness ( is it true?). Right now i consider to have another racquet to use whenever i feel tired. Is this the racquet that i should buy? Stif or flex. Which one is easy to use.? Thanks

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there! Thanks for reading!

Your problem could be solved by using the N90-II for a little bit longer. Your muscles will get used to the weight and build up to accommodate the head heaviness.

Otherwise, the N9 isn't that much lighter than the N90 series. Won't help much if you're looking for a substitute to use when you're tired though.

Go to a store and give it a swing to see if I'm accurate.

But the N90-II is already a decent racket, so my recommendation is to keep at it and add a little weight training to boost your game :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Arthur, really enjoying your site here!
I have a couple of questions to ask you. Firstly, how does the Li Ning N90iii perform for your/ :)
Like you, I've been looking forward to this racket for a long time. Seeing Lin Dan "make the change" to this racket made me think it must probably be another N90, so what do you think?
How does the N90iii compare to the N90ii and N90i in terms of speed and power? Not really a good player myself, but personally I took a few swings with N90ii and I must say it fitted me quite well.
Oh yeah, and lastly according to your review of the N9, its a rather powerful racket, so how does it compare as well?
Can't wait for your review of the N90iii :)

-Victor

Anonymous said...

Wow Victor you took the words right out of my mouth...

Just another thing to note,which racket, the N9, N90, N90ii or N90iii produces a faster and more powerful smash?

Btw, are you going to buy the new Yonex fastest racket? Your reviews are great!

-Ivan

Anonymous said...

How is the head shape of n9 ? it is bigger or smaller than n90ii ? I feel bigger head in n90ii eventually very helpful when i was playing

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Victor, Ivan and Anonymous!

Thanks for reading, and for the affirmation!

Loads of queries, so I'll try my best to answer them all.

1. How does the N90-III perform?
Not too shabby. I've not had a lot of chances to use it, but what I've got from it was pretty decent.

Power-wise, it's probably the lowest of the three, but as a result it's the speediest.

The N9 is awesome. For now, definitely a harder hitter than the N90-III.

2. Which racket produces the fastest smash?

From what I've experienced so far, N9 > N90-II > N90 > N90-III

3. Will I buy the Z-Speed?
Not really. Had a swing and it didn't really feel good. Looks great though!

4. How is the head shape of the N9?
It's smaller than the N90-II's, and a little boxier than a traditional isometric frame.

Done. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Wow your specifications are awesome
Is the head size about the same as the traditional racket or as small as a Z Force or only a tiny smidge smaller than the N09ii? As a not very professional player, I find it a breeze to play with the N90ii as it has a much bigger sweetspot. I tried the VTZF for about 3 months and it was sure horrible for me.
However, I have come to notice that despite some rackets have a smaller head size, they also have a bigger sweetspot compared to other rackets with larger heads, indirectly providing more accuracy and power.
Lastly, you once claimed that the VTZF had "The Strongest Smash Of The Lot". How does the N9 compare to the VTZF?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Lol sorry ARthur just want to add how does the N55iii do as well in the speed and smash factor~
Since it is a head heavy racket should have lots of power
Thanks! Keep up the good reviews!

Arthur Wong said...

That was Yonex's claim, not mine! :)

The N9 may actually offer a better smash for long swingers because of its more flexible shaft.

But for those wrist ones, the Z-Force might come off stronger.

The N55-III is a mystery. Not really here nor there.. guess I need more time with it to find out.

Chen Hua Xuen said...

Hello Arthur! :)

Excellent review, and it helped clear up a lot of my doubts. I even bought an N9 after reading your review, going to try it out tomorrow. I've also got some questions, so I'm hoping you'll help me clear my doubts. Thanks!

Firstly, when I bought the N9, I tried to weigh it personally, and I discovered that the shaft was actually rather even-balanced, nowhere near the head heaviness of N90 (or even N90iii, which rather disappointed me in the power factor). As such, I would like to ask you about how you managed to identify it as head heavy.

Secondly, how is the size of the racket head for N9? I have heard that the N90ii has a large racket head (which I really need, because I've only been playing for 2 years, and my aim is not very good). How does the N9 compare to it in this?

Thirdly, how is the sweetspot of the racket as compared to other rackets? My aim is not very good, and I often mis-hit the left and right parts of the racket head(on the string). Since I am rather lousy in identifying racket sweetspots, would you please share this information with me?

That's all. Thanks very much and please post more reviews soon! They rock!

P.S. The Nanoray Z-Speed seems kind of appealing to me because of its expanded sweetspot, speed and power. You seemed to have used it before. Would you also mind sharing about your experience with it? Thanks!

Arthur Wong said...

Hi there Hua Xuen, thank you for reading!

I felt the racket was head heavy after using it. Might be different from how another feels it though.

In fact, I think the N9 has a fair amount of weight at the t-joint.

The N9 has a slightly boxy head shape, smaller than the large isometric one of the N90-II.

The boxier head seems to have given it a larger sweet spot. I didn't suffer from much off-centre hits with the racket.

Hitting the sweet spot will be a breeze after more time on the court, so don't you worry!

The Z-Speed does have an expanded sweetspot according to Yonex, but the power is kind of lacking to me.

Great backhand racket though!

Chen Hua Xuen said...

Hello again, and thanks so much for the clarifications!

Had a swing with the racket today, and I'm pleased to say that the racket worked rather well for me, especially in my point-zero smash where I had to use my arm and my backhand rallies.

However, the flexible shaft of the N9 did not seem to generate as much power as the stiff one of the N90, which I still personally feel is the best rallying racket except it makes one's arms ache easily :(

The N9 also seems to have an odd effect. The more I play with it, the more powerful it seems to become, contrasting with the N90.

I 'll have another game tomorrow, hope I can fully unleash the power of the N9. But the smashes are really very satisfying indeed!

P.S. Any tips on how to fully utilize the power of the N9?

Thanks!

Arthur Wong said...

Glad ya like the N9 so far. Take bigger swings so the flex will aid you more.

Stiff rackets tend to become harder to use as your arms get tired. That's where the flex shafts come in handy.

Happy smashing!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Wong

I have seen your review of the N9 and I feel tempted to buy it. May I request from you where did you buy this racket?

Kind Regards,
Ken

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Ken, I actually for mine at a shop in Queensway. Not really sure what the name is, but the indian shopkeeper was really friendly and patient when I made my choice.

Anonymous said...

Hello

How is thjavascript:void(0)is n9 compare to n50ii ?. This month, i am planning a holiday to singapore. Where can i find place to look and buy this racquet ? Is it more expensive to buy in mall ?

Arthur Wong said...

Sorry dude, I don't have an N50-II so I can't comment on the difference between the two.

You can try Queensway shopping Centre for Li-Ning rackets. Apart from that place I can't really think of anywhere else that'll sell the brand.

All the best!

Kennith Teng Khee Yang said...

hi there , good reviews thank u so much ... im planing to get n80 or n9 ... and i need ur information for n80 ... nt reli know about that .. i have no idea ... bt i gt a lot of customer said that n80 is a good racket .. good in defense and offense ... i need ur information thank you

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Kennith, thanks for reading!

I've not used the n80 enough to give it a proper review, so keep a lookout.

Here's the link to the first impressions for now.

http://everythinggoeshere.blogspot.sg/2013/10/badminton-racket-first-impressions-li.html

Anonymous said...

Hi Artur,

Could you compare the shaft stiffness of N9 vs N90-3 and N9 vs Voltric 70

brgds,

Arthur Wong said...

Sure dude. Just got them out of the closet for ya.

N90-III > N9 > VT70

Anonymous said...

Thanks mate. Got one yesterday and was very pleased with 1 r of play. Have you also tried N7 Cau Yun's racquet ?

Rgds

Arthur Wong said...

Glad ya like it! Awesome racket I tell you...

Not had the chance to get my hands on the N7 though... looking forward to the day.

Felix Tan said...

Hi Arthur,,
How does N9 compare with F9...both used by Fu HF? Is it worth getting N9 when I have already a F9? I'm not a power player, not a strong smasher and wanted to have a suitable racket to help in this department. What do you suggest? Considering N9, N7, VT70, and RSL X7 Carbon.

BR,
CK

Arthur Wong said...

Hey CK,

I've not used an F9 before, so I can't really say much about the two.

Between the two rackets you've listed, I've only used the N9 and the VT70.

I will have to side with the N9 for this one. It's got more control than the VT70, though the Voltric might have a slight edge in attack.

Anonymous said...

hey Arthur thank you for the review for the N 9.

i have recently broke my shaft for my yonex z force and i am starting to look for a new racket. i am looking for a racket that is head heavy and is excellent at the back.
i am still deciding on whether to get a n9 or n90 III or victor brave sword 12 or brave sword lyd or the li-ning n55 iii. i would like your opinion on what racket to get. thank you Arthur and keep up the reviews

hamish ho

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Hamish, thanks for reading!

I've only use the N90III, N55III and the N9, so I'll comment on those.

If you're looking for smashing strength it'll be N55III > N9 >N90III

For defense it'll be N90III > N9 > N55III

For control it'll be N90III > N9 > N55III

For stiffness it'll be N55III > N90III > N9

So if you're looking for something that gives you a lot of firepower from the back court, my bet is on the N55III.

For something all round, the N90III is actually a good choice.

The N9 is actually an in-between. it can deliver a little heavier than the N90III, but defense suffers a little more.

Nhan Hoang said...

Hey Arthur,

Can you compare the N9, N90-III and the VTZF2?

-Head weight
-Stiffness
-Maneuverbility
-Accuracy

Thanks a lot!!!

Arthur Wong said...

Sure, to the best of my ability (since it's been quite some time since I played..)

Head-heaviness: N9>ZF2>N90III
Stiffness: ZF2>N9>N90III
Speed: ZF2>N90III>N9
Accuracy: ZF2>N90III>N9

MR X said...

Hi

Nice Review. Have you tried the Li ning N7?? Would be nice to compare the N9 and the N7 agianst each other.

cheers

br

chris

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Chris, been trying to get my hands on one, but to no avail.

Maybe when I get lucky :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Arthur

I hope to get your advice on picking a Li Ning racket suitable for me. I have an arc 10 which is great,tried the voltric 80 which is too head heavy for me to handle,MP99 is a little too stiff but the head heaviness is still manageable. I am looking at which rackets you would recommend for me who plays doubles, but i am not someone who likes to smash. the rackets im looking at are n36, n90ii s stype and n7 or n9. I previously was keen on the n36 but i think it seemed a little too flexible and head light. Which of the above rackets would you recommend or if not based on your experience which other li ning racket would you recommend? Gladly appreciate your advice. =)


-Sean

Arthur Wong said...

I think you'll be quite happy with the N9, if you've not got a budget cap.

It's a little head heavier than the Arc10, and less stiff too.

Otherwise, an N55-II would be good if you want to look towards adding more power to your smashes from the back.

Anonymous said...

which is better in overall?
n9, n55iii, or n90iii

Arthur Wong said...

I think I've answered this before somewhere in the above slew of comments.

But in a nutshell, I think the N90III is a better overall racket.

You should be able to deduce the reasons why by reading the above string of comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arthur,

How would you compare the N9 to the Li Ning Flame N55 II?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Clarence,

I've not had a lot of experience with the N55-II so I won't be able to give you a good comparison.

However, from what you described in your email about your playing style, I think the N9 will be a good pick.

The racket is very versatile in play, allowing you to carry out a good attack while giving you the assurance that your defense won't be wide open should you need to lift.

Looking at how the second generation Li-Ning rackets tend to be more head heavy and flexible, I'm going to reckon that the N55-II won't offer much control, though your offense will prob go up a little.

The only think you might want to look out for is the weird balance point of the N9, as detailed in the review.

The weight's at the t-joint, and it'll take a bit of getting used to.

With that, I hope I gave you enough to make a decision. Let me know how it goes.

Happy smashing!

Clarence said...

Hi Arthur,

Thank you for your detailed response. Again, after further investigation and research, with more insight from your reviews, comments and other sources, I've narrowed my choice down to either the N90-II or N90-III, with more inclination towards the 2nd gen.

Even though there weren't many sources that explicitly compares the difference between the two rackets, I had to use bits and pieces of information to form my judgement.

One big reason is that it seems the improvements of the N90-III were more detrimental to its performance than really increasing it. Neither is it as head heavy as the N90 or N90-II, nor is it as stiff. Rather, it seems as though the N90-III combines the worst specs of its predecessors.

The second biggest reason is its price. With my reason above and its price being substantially greater than the N90-II, I would lean much towards getting the N90-II.

Although with that said, it would be great if you can shed some more light on the technical differences between the 2nd gen and the 3rd gen N90s, to make a more informed decision.

Clarence said...

As to moving away from the N9 to the N90s, I was willing to sacrifice a bit of power for more defense and control, given that the N9's power isn't too far off from the N90s.

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Clarence,

Nice to meet a guy who does his research :)

I'm quite the fan of the N90-III. I am not a fan of the N90-II.

Reasons being the N90-II is unreasonably heavy, given the flexibility of the shaft, leading to a very loose control of the shuttle.

The N90-III gives a very tight control, despite the lack of power from the racket head. For a control freak like me, that's a good quality to have.

Next, the design for the N90-III is simply wicked. Really.

Lethal control and a pretty face to boot. The N90-III is my racket of preference between the two.

Looking forward to your thoughts!

Clarence said...

Hi Arthur,

I finally went for the N90-II. After taking it out for a spin, my feelings of the racket were quite similar to your review. The defense and control of the racket was outstanding. I found myself returning a lot of smashes that were being thrown at me. And stringing it at 28/29 (crazy I know) made the touch shots really sweet. Drives in fast rallies felt pretty awesome too.

Drawbacks to it would be the smashes. It's heavy, no doubt about it. But I think it just takes time getting use to. And yes, the arm does get tired really easily from using it after about an hour or more. However, that just gets me more motivated to perfect my smashes with this wonderful heavyweight.

Overall, I probably would give similar ratings to what you've given in your review and I'm looking forward to playing many more games with the N90-II.

Arthur Wong said...

Hi Clarence,

Glad you like the racket! High tensions really make the delicate shots come off really well, I agree.

The N90-II is a good racket, and I'm sure you'll have many great wins with it.

All the best for your game, and happy smashing!!

Arthur

Boris said...

have you tried li ning n7 or new li ning racket like turbo x1.0, turbo x2.0 and razor 95?
which is better between n7,n9,razor rz95?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey Boris, afraid I'm quite out of touch for Li Ning rackets. Not a lot of them to be found on the market either, what with Yonex flooding it every few months with their sales tactics.

Pepe54 said...

Hi Arthur,

How does the N9 stack up against your 3U ZF2 in the attack department?

I ended up getting a ZF2 thanks to your comprehensive reviews and am loving it!

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there Pepe54,

The N9 doesn't attack as hard has the ZF2, though it does carry its own weight in offense. What you will get with the N9 is a higher speed rating, since you're basically lugging around less weight in the head.

Head frame is also slightly larger, and will lend to less mishits.

Glad you found the review helpful. Happy smashing!