You’ve spent a lot of hard-earned cash on nice expensive rackets, and when you get on court, a clash happens and you see chips on your racket. It's painful, isn't it? I have been searching high and low for solutions and after months of testing, I am proud to say that I have finally found one.
If you have seen my YouTube video (link below), you would know that I have recently launched a Premium Racket Protection Tape on my store (https://www.ckyew.com/product-page/premium-racket-protection-tape). When creating this product, I thought about how we would treat our mobile phones. If we can have screen protectors to protect our mobile phone screens, why can't we have similar, transparent protectors to protect our badminton racket frames?
Let's face it, accidents happen pretty often, and racket decals wear off quicker, if you are a regular player and especially if you play competitive matches. One moment you are going for your shots, and the next thing you know your racket catches the floor or clashes with your partner's racket. It's such a common scenario that it's almost part and parcel of the game. We see this at all levels, even amongst the pros.
So I’ve been working on the Premium Racket Protection Tape for a little while now and some of you actually saw it a while back in my video where I showed you what's in my badminton bag. How I stumbled across them was completely by accident. Initially, I was actually looking at ways to create a customised livery for my rackets. If I didn't like the visual designs of my rackets, is it possible for me to have a new design? Sort of like our mobile phones again, on which we can apply different skins or simply, phone cases with different designs.
I got as far as getting my racket 3D-scanned and in that process, I was introduced to an amazing protection film material that caught my eye and ultimately became the material for the Premium Racket Protection Tape. With the material sorted, I then spent a lot of time trying to perfect its size and shape, as well as the best ways to apply these protection tapes onto my rackets with minimal fuss.
The Premium Racket Protection Tape is a premium, self-healing, PU polyurethane film which is less than 0.2mm thick. It protects your racket frame from scrapes and chips and is super transparent with excellent UV and chemical resistance. From my testing, it's worked amazingly for me!
For starters, they are transparent and blend in well with glossy rackets. Filming them was so hard as they are almost invisible. You won't notice them on your racket, especially if they are applied well (with no air bubbles). Although I must say that they would be more obvious if you have a matte racket as parts of the racket with the protection tape on will give off a little shine.
I’ve made every sheet of the Premium Racket Protection Tape to be smaller than A5 size so that they can be shipped easily and at a lower price. They now come in two sizes: the Standard and the Thin & Long. In a Standard Pack, you will get sixteen 9.5cm x 1cm strips and eight 8cm x 1cm strips (total material length of 216cm). In a Thin & Long Pack, you will get nineteen 10.5cm x 0.8cm strips and five 9.5cm x 0.8cm strips (total material length 244.5cm).
The width of these strips ensures that they won't cover any of the grommets, so your stringer won't hate you when they have to string your rackets. The rounded edges also help reduce surface tension so they won't curl as easily when they are stuck on the racket frame.
In terms of application, I would first wipe my racket frame with a piece of cloth to make sure it doesn't have any dust or dirt on it. Then with clean dry hands, I simply apply the strips onto the racket frame from the inside before folding them outwards, pushing them with my thumbs to ensure there are no air bubbles. They are fairly stretchy so they will conform and stick well to your racket so long as your frame and fingers are clean. I also prefer to have the strips sit flush against each other but I know some players prefer to have them overlap at the edges and that’s ok too.
When I was testing the product, I applied it throughout the entire racket frame. However, when I spoke to other players who were happy to test the product for me, most of them were of the view that they would only apply it to the top half of their rackets as that's where chips normally happen.
If you are wondering whether the protection strips would change how your racket feels, I’ll be honest and say they did for me as I felt the strips increased the head weight of my racket. However, a proportion of the players who tested the strips also said that they didn't notice any difference. I suppose it depends on how many strips you applied and also how sensitive you are to the head weight of your rackets. For those of you who are currently putting lead tapes on your rackets to add more head weight, this might be a better alternative to lead tapes as it will add just a slight bit of head weight while protecting your racket frame.
Personally, I’ve not had any issues removing the strips, even after it has been applied for months. I just simply pull them off when I feel like replacing them and that’s it. So far, removing the strips has been pretty easy for me and none of the paint on my rackets has ever peeled off from the removals. Although, you do need to be careful when sticking the strips on areas that are already chipped as some paint may come off when you subsequently remove the strips from already chipped areas.
You can buy the Premium Racket Protection Tape from my website at ckyew.com/shop for £9.99 (Standard Pack) and £11.99 (Thin & Long Pack). Use the code MATESRATES and get 1 pack for free when you buy 4. Free delivery is available worldwide for this initial period.
Although I am extremely happy with this product, I am also conscious that it is not perfect yet and therefore your feedback is invaluable to me. I would be extremely honoured if you would come along with me on my product development journey and help me improve the Premium Racket Protection Tape. I am also currently testing more materials, including cheaper materials for players with a tighter budget.
For those of you who have already bought the Premium Racket Protection Tape, a big thank you to you for your support. If you would give me your feedback that would be really helpful. If it's good for you, I want to hear about it. If it's bad, I want to know too! Along with those who’ve purchased my merch, your purchase of the Premium Racket Protection Tape will help support the CK Yew channel, allowing me to review a wider range of badminton equipment, make better videos and show you more badminton events too.
Once again, thank you for your support and I’ll see you in the next post!