Saturday, April 09, 2016

Badminton Racket Review: Victor Bravesword 12N and Victor Bravesword 12

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First impressions of the 12N here.
First impressions of the 12N versus the 12 here.

In countries like Singapore where space is a constraint, you will find more people playing the game of doubles instead of battling it out one-on-one on the courts. This to me has caused the increasing prominence of pro-doubles rackets in the victor series to rise in popularity.

Among the slew of offerings that doubles players can turn to for a smashing good time, the Victor Bravesword 12 has a firm footing among the most sought after. Given its popularity, the racket maker deemed more fit to release an N version of the racket rather than a new racket altogether.

Banking on the popularity of a staple is one thing, but can the revised racket give doubles players what they're looking for? Is the original a better choice?

I've tested the Bravesword 12N on doubles and singles games, and the Bravesword 12 on doubles games to get some insight. This review will be written quite differently from the others I've done, in that I'm reviewing two rackets at a go in aspects of doubles and singles badminton play.

Here goes.

Note: This is a review of my experience after using the racket for a few sessions. I am by no means a professional player, and so you should take my judgment with a pinch of salt. I welcome comments of any sorts.

Victor Bravesword 12
Est. Dry Weight: 85g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Even-Balanced
Stiffness: Flexible
Strings: Yonex Nanogy 98 @ 27lbs

Victor Bravesword 12N
Est. Dry Weight: 87g (3U)
Grip Size: G5
Balance: Even-Balanced
Stiffness: Stiff
Strings: Yonex BG80 @ 28lbs

I've always been a pro-defensive player (don't ask me why my defense is so crappy though), and to me the basis of a good doubles racket starts from its defensive capability. Given the generally fast pace of a doubles rally, the speed and flexibility of a racket to excel in various defensive situations stands above all else.

In this respect the Bravesword 12 performs better than the 12N, mostly due to the lighter weight. With slightly head heavier orientation of the 12, along with the flexible shaft, adds to the power that one can deliver with a good lift off a smash.

With flat fast exchanges, the 12 also performs visibly better, it's lighter weight really adding to the amount of reaction time you can get. The racket is also a monster in the front court, intercepting and finishing off from the poorly placed defensive shot of the opponent.

Away from the game of doubles however, the 12N provides enough defensive advantage to be a good racket for singles play, allowing a higher enough level of control and power over the 12.

In conclusion, I prefer the Bravesword 12 in defense for doubles. Both are equal in the game of singles.

Offensive capabilities are probably the most affected by the racket; defense and control are somewhat more player-dependent than equipment-granted.

The lighter weight of the Bravesword 12 loses out here, not allowing enough power for one's game of singles. The more flexible shaft of the 12 allows for a greater potential in the game of doubles, where swings tend to be bigger and more time is given for the big smash.

The stiffer Bravesword 12N gives the single player a greater advantage, allowing for quicker and heavier smashes without the need for a big swing.

In terms of flat and fast drives, the 12N also wins out because you really don't need a lot of back draw to generate an equal amount of strength the Bravesword can deliver.

In conclusion, I prefer the Bravesword 12 in offense for doubles, and the Bravesword 12N for singles.

The most critical aspect of a player's game is control. There's no point attacking if you can't aim, there's no point defending if you're not able to turn it around to generate a reversal.

This unfortunately, is largely in the hands of the player. The racket can only add that little in terms in control, but there are aspects in the racket that allows the player to place the shuttle where they want to with a certain amount of ease.

In the respect, I felt the Bravesword 12N triumphs over the original. The stiffer shaft and heavier weight allowing for better placement of the shuttle with less effort in the game of singles.

At the front court however, the lighter weight of the Bravesword allowed me to perform a larger variety of tight net shots.

In conclusion: I preferred the Bravesword 12N in the areas of control.

The original's blue is striking and offers more character when compared to the 12N's dark grey color scheme. Between the two, I'm placing any preference. I am much more a red / yellow guy.

Bravesword 12
"Doubles' choice."
Defense: 9
Attack: 8
Control: 8
Looks: 6

Bravesword 12N
"Singles powerhouse."
Defense: 8
Attack: 9
Control: 10
Looks: 6


Anonymous said...

Do any yonex racquet similiar to B12 blue ?

Arthur Wong said...

Hey there.. I'd have to say the Duora comes close. BRS12 still wins in my books though.

Anonymous said...

how does BS 12 blue compare with nr 900 ? Thanks

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