Be it badminton, tennis, table tennis, or squash, we spend a lot of time for choosing the best racket. We have many brands to choose from, those ensure quality and reliability. Even though, many copycat rackets are also available in market. But are these counterfeits of branded rackets good ? Many of them are of very low quality and will break under high string tension, or stress.
Top quality rackets from the Yonex, the leading badminton brand, are made in Japan itself. These rackets are used by top players around the world. They are made and tested in manufacturing/R&D units in Japan itself. Yonex also have some manufacturing units in Taiwan and (may be) in China (not disclosed by the company though). Some of these factories also produce rackets for other brands also. Therefore duplicate Yonex rackets are common in Market. But branded rackets are made with patented technologies, materials.
Identifying copycat rackets is easy for experienced players but beginners need to be careful. Following are some tips and tricks to spot cheap and fake rackets from Yonex /other top brands easily.
Spotting imitations of branded badminton rackets
Hologram sticker is of good quality and not easy to peel it off
Special type of glues are used in yonex rackets for Hologram stickers. Hologram sticker itself is of good quality. Therefore it is not easy to remove the hologram sticker from an original racket. Stickers on fake rackets can be easily peeled off. Fake racket manufacturers use cheap quality sticker and glue. Also there is significant difference in fonts and logo image used in counterfeit rackets.
Changes in the brands logo
Imitators don’t care about creating exact same font, spacing, colour and proportions while creating logo. This makes it easy to compare it with original one. If you have access to the same original model, you can easily find these variations.
For example: In original Yonex rackets YONEX logo and text “YY”are printed in a certain way. Text in counterfeit racket is often distorted and not clear, with a different spacing and font weight.
Check the production numbers on the racket cap
To verify production number you can contact customer care, they will verify it. Serial number of yonex is in the format of “DDMMYXCC”. All genuine racket have laser engraved production codes on the cap above the handle. This represent date, month, year, racket revision number and country code(distribution) etc. In fake rackets these number is usually printed or glued not laser engraved.
Check the colour of butt cap
If you already have a genuine racket, please compare the butt caps colour. A counterfeit racket will often be a different shade of colour, too light or too dark.
Additional information for spotting Fake rackets
Price of racket – too low price ?
You may get some offers and discounts on branded products. But if the racket is too cheap, its because fake rackets are extremely cheap. If the price is 12,000 rupees and someone is offering it for 5000/4000 then it is definitely fake one.
Quality of carry case
Fake rackets often comes in cheapest carry cases available.
Nowadays all good rackets comes with inbuilt T-joint. Even if they are original, these are old models in stock. If you do some research you can easily find a racket with inbuilt T joint in a budget above 1000 rupees.
Weight of racket
If you have been in the field long enough, you should be able to know how genuine rackets feel with just a few swings and hits. In most cases, a counterfeit racket is lighter than the genuine version of the same model. Reason is the use of cheap replica material used in them. You can also check for balance, shape, colour of strings (Yonex rackets usually come with a white sting) etc
Rackets made of aluminium and steel are widely sold & are getting good user feedback’s. But high quality badminton rackets are made with carbon composite materials like titanium, graphite etc. New rackets from top brands also use patented materials and technologies. Always look for latest models from each brand.
Fake rackets will break under high tension. So if you are buying from a local store and you doubt the genuineness of the product, you can ask them to about string tension tension it can hold, or test under high tensions.