With badminton racquets costing up to £200 these days there is a bit of a market for cheap “fakes” which can often appear on sites like eBay. The normal giveaway is the price, but the are sometimes explicitly advertised as “clone” racquets, and these days even at first glance you might not be able to spot from the hologram or shape of the logo that a racquet is a fake.
So here are some pictures of a real and “clone” Yonex Voltric Z-Force II. This racquet is one of Yonex’s popular high-end racquets, selling for around the £150 mark. The clone is around £30. It’s not necessarily a bad racquet for £30, but it’s certainly not the same as the real Z-Force II. In all these pictures the racquet on top is the clone, the one below (with the orange strings and blue grip) is the genuine one:
Here you can see there’s a difference in the frame. The genuine Z-Force II has the holes recessed a little and has a more complex design than the more traditional look to all the holes near the tee joint that the clone has.
This is a difference that’s quite noticeable to the stringer. The real Z-Force II has “channels” that stop the main strings covering the holes of the cross-strings towards the top of the racquet – the clone racquet doesn’t have this.
The shafts have almost identical printing on them – if you hadn’t seen them together you wouldn’t spot the differences, but the printing isn’t at the same place on the racquets. The Yonex logos next to the handle also don’t seem noticeably different, other than a very slight difference in the colour
Would you have spotted the fake? Unless you’d seen an original I think you’d have to be quite an expert in the racquets to notice. So don’t think that the bargain you’ve found on ebay for a high-end racquet being shipped China is necessarily going to get you a racquet the same as one five times the price. The clone is also lighter (not necessarily a problem) and doesn’t come with a copy of the full size Yonex cover, although it does feel noticeably cheaper than the real covers.
I’ll follow-up this article later with one that shows some racquets from other manufacturers that I will call “colour clones” which aren’t designed to be fakes, but have “suspiciously” similar colour schemes and names to some of the Yonex ones!
If you need your racquet restrung, Stewart has a machine for doing it. Prices start from just £10 depending on what sort of string you want. So if you need a racquet strung, bring it to Stewart and he’ll usually be able to do it before the next club night, or contact him via the @sxaStringing accounts on twitter or facebook.
Last Friday I set the fixtures for our entry into the WDBA mixed league. I’ve listed the dates below. My expectation is that we will use two courts for the duration of the home matches and leave one for non-match club members to play so as not to disadvantage non-league players but we may share the middle court too if there are a lot of other people on any given home match night.
I want to try and give everyone who registered an interest the chance to play in some of the matches, so I’m not fixing the pairs yet, but here are the dates and locations:
Fri 11 Nov @ 1900 – Fair Oak (H)
Sun 9 Oct @ 1900 – Falcon 2 (A) SO40 8WU (3 courts)
Fri 25 Nov @ 1900 – Brookfield (H)
Fri 13 Jan @ 2030 – Fair Oak (A) SO19 7TB (3 courts)
Fri 20 Jan @ 1900 – Portsmouth (H)
Fri 27 Jan @ 1900 – Falcon 2 (H)
Mon 30 Jan @ 1930 – Winchester (A) SO22 5AZ (2 courts)
Fri 10 Feb @ 1900 – Winchester (H)
Sun 19 Feb @ 1800 – Brookfield (A) SO31 6DX (2 courts)
Wed 15 Mar @ 1900 – Portsmouth College (A) PO3 6PZ (3 courts)
I will likely put more frequent updates on progress during the season on the facebook post.
Good luck to everyone in the team!
[EDIT: Final results and league table]
We’ve had a facebook group in place for a while, but we haven’t really used it for some time. If you’re interested, feel free to join us at:
There is some work going on to repair the air conditioning units and hopefully repair the leaks in the sports hall. This means that the sports hall will be closed for the next two weeks – Februaru 28th, and the 5th, 7th and 12th of March.
Sorry for the inconvenience. We’ll see you all back in a few weeks!
It’s that time of the year again! We will be holding our annual general meeting in the first hour of the club night (from 7pm-8pm) on Wednesday next week (4th September) with the normal club night starting when the meeting finishes. The format will be as usual with reports from the committee members, election of committee members, announcing of fees for the next year (hopefully!) and anything else people want to bring up – if anyone is interested in standing please let us know.
The subject also mentions a closure on Wednesday the 11th September (the week after the AGM). This is because Iv’e received notification that there is going to be carpet laid in the hall that evening prior to a Hursley event the following day, so please do not come to the hall that day as there will be none of us there and the hall won’t be in a suitable condition for playing badminton 🙂
BBC link with a three minute video of Gail Emms talking about how she got involved in badminton: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/badminton/16288127