Updated: Nov 8
The Halbertec is Li Ning's latest badminton racket series and the Halbertec 8000 is the first racket of this series. It falls within Li Ning’s Control category of rackets and the Halbertec 8000 model is a high-end model. If you would like to understand Li Ning’s complete racket series, check out this post here.
I'd also like to thank Li Ning Studio for letting me test this racket so remember to use my ‘CKYEW’ discount code if you’re shopping with them.
At first glance, I really like how the Halbertec 8000 looks. Officially, the Halbertec 8000 has a pink and green colour scheme, but I personally think its colour is closer to turquoise than green. Its turquoise parts are holographic too. You all know I have a thing for matte rackets and this one certainly hits that sweet spot. The pink and turquoise works really well symmetrically on the racket. Even the cone of the racket reflects this symmetry with one side in pink and the other in turquoise.
In terms of paint job and finishing, the Halbertec 8000 shows off Li Ning’s usual high-standard racket design and finishes with lots of shiny decals and a futuristic design. I especially like the dotted decal section around the shaft and the racket's 5 and 7 o'clock regions.
P.S. Do keep nice paint jobs like this looking good with the Premium Racket Protection Tape at ckyew.com/shop.
Another feature that is immediately noticeable on the Halbertec 8000 is that it possesses a fully recessed frame profile. I get very excited when I see that in rackets because it means we should have a smooth swinging, fast, high-speed racket. With Li Ning pushing the Halbertec to be a control racket series focussing on repulsion and a good feel, you can tell why this is worth getting excited about.
The Halbertec 8000 has 2 nice-looking arrows at the 12 o'clock region of the racket to help stringers identify the starting point for stringing purposes. Obviously, many other manufacturers also do this too, but normally it would be just a simple dot or small triangle at the same area to signal the starting point of the main strings. It's certainly a little bonus design feature on the Halbertec 8000 and I’m sure all the stringers out there find these very helpful, I know I do!
However, I noticed that Li Ning has changed their grommets on the Halbertec 8000 as they certainly look different from the previous Li Ning high-end rackets I’ve reviewed, such as the AxForce 80 or BladeX 800. The grommets on the AxForce 80 and BladeX 800 have a sharper edge with the usual Li Ning logo on. It makes the grommets look pretty premium and high quality. The grommets on the Halbertec 8000, on the other hand, have a more rounded edge and they also have the Li Ning logo, but I thought it looked a little less premium.
Another thing that I noticed visually was the cone seems to be a little larger than usual. But having put a few rackets together side by side, they were almost identical in length, if not only ever so slightly larger. Perhaps the white colour made it look bigger than usual.
In terms of specs, I measured the handle length to be 17cm, which is normal, and coincidentally it is the same handle length for the newly released BladeX 900 Max racket. The handle is connected to a shaft of 21cm in length alongside a diameter of 7mm. Not the smallest or thinnest but certainly not bad. The Halbertec 8000’s frame measured 24cm in height and 18.5cm in width with a thickness of 9.8mm. Its frame also has a fully recessed frame profile which I’ve mentioned earlier. From my experience, rackets with a frame thickness of less than 10mm generally swing pretty smoothly and fast so this Halbertec 8000 ticked all the right boxes so far.
In terms of stringing, the Halbertec 8000 I have is a 4U model and rated up to 30 lbs of tension. For testing, I strung it in my usual Yonex Aerobite string at 27 lbs by 29 lbs with no issues and dry swings after stringing felt pretty stiff and responsive. Certainly a good sign there.
In terms of racket feel, the Halbertec 8000 feels very fast. The head weight feels to be on the lighter side for an even balanced racket, I would say even leaning slightly towards being head-light. It had a head weight feel which is similar to the Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro, but feels crisper and stiffer.
I personally feel that although the Halbertec 8000 is fast, it has that slightly hollow feel to it too. But because it has that little bit more stiffness to it, that hollow feeling is actually quite nice. Based on my experience with Li Ning rackets thus far, their rackets generally feel slightly softer and a little spongier when they come in contact with a shuttle. In other words, they just feel slightly less responsive compared to their Yonex and Victor counterparts. This Halbertec 8000 certainly surprised me with how well the shuttle felt during hits and how responsive it felt.
In addition to the responsive feeling, I also find that the Halbertec 8000 is very good at changing angles, which I believe is helped greatly by the stiffer response. Slices, stick smashes and cross-court shots were fun and pretty easy to pull off.
You will definitely struggle with pure raw power with a racket which isn't a head-heavy variant, but if you have good technique and timing, you should have no problem finding power. Due to the lack of obvious head weight, I found myself struggling with some of my dig-outs deep in the rear court when I couldn't get enough height or length. If you are not physically and technically strong, watch out.
And speaking of timing, I did find myself mistiming slightly when I was testing this racket. I tested it over a few weeks then stopped for 2 weeks before coming back to it again which is when I hit some of the timing issues. If you are coming from something head heavier like my usual Yonex Astrox 88D Pro, you might find yourself mistiming slightly on your first game or two on certain shots.
Overall, this is a really nice racket to play with and certainly the first one from Li Ning that I liked the racket response immediately from the first swing. I don't mean to throw shade at other Li Ning rackets, but the other rackets that I’ve tested generally have a softer or laggier feel than what I personally prefer. I often find myself having to coax a performance out of a Li Ning racket and allow myself to get used to it over time instead of hitting it off and getting a good feel and response instantly. I don't say this lightly but as I was writing this post, I went through the Li Ning rackets that I’ve tested and the Halbertec 8000 is the first Li Ning racket which I’ve gone, yep, I like the feel of this one and I think Li Ning has done a good job with it.
For those of you who have had the chance to have a go with the Halbertec 8000, let me know how it felt for you in the comments section down below. I’m also curious if Li Ning will be making a slightly head heavier model of the Halbertec in the future. Maybe the Halbertec 9000?
The Halbertec 8000 was launched late in 2022 and at the time of writing this post, I was quite surprised to find none of the Li Ning-sponsored pro players were playing or endorsing it on the international circuit. In Li Ning’s official catalogue, the legendary Fu Hai Feng was the only one named to be playing with the Halbertec 8000. I wonder if any of Li Ning’s pro players will be taking on board any Halbertec rackets moving forward.
I’m aware that there will be a Halbertec 5000 and a Halbertec 2000 being released later this year so we’ll keep an eye out for them.
Do check out my other Li Ning racket reviews or learn more about Li Ning’s full badminton racket series lineup here, I’ll see you in the next one!