SOTX Badminton Rackets – Yonex Rival?

SOTX badminton rackets are a relatively new name in the badminton world, but they are growing rapidly in China. They have now entered the UK and US market, selling a wide range of badminton equipment such as rackets, shuttlecocks, bags, clothing and shoes. SOTX was established in China in 2002 and now has many outlets in many major Chinese cities. SOTX has also expanded globally, into 20 other countries, and is extremely active in promoting the sport of badminton. This can only be good for our sport, the extra competition doesn’t hurt anyone and can help keep costs down for those buying badminton rackets.

I guess it was inevitable that a big badminton racket company would emerge in China, the only mystery is that it didn’t happen to me sooner. Yonex is the most successful manufacturer in the Far East, selling millions of rackets every year. However, SOTX seems to be making a big impact and is already eating into market share. This rapid growth led to the emergence of SOTX Badminton in the West, in the UK and in the USA.

There are nine ranges in the SOTX series, and the flagship missiles are the CP series, which stands for Commax Power or circular power. These racquets are made from high modulus carbon and also feature a new technology exclusive to SOTX, force pro nano. Force pro nano technology is designed to minimize vibrations that can cause injury and strain to the wrist, arm and shoulder muscles. The CP Series is designed to withstand higher string tensions, up to 31lbs. This tension causes excessive vibration in normal badminton rackets, but with force pro technology this is no longer the case. The benefit to badminton players can be huge and SOTX seems to be the only current manufacturer offering this protection for players. I guess the only way to know if this technology works is to try it yourself. String your racquet with 31lbs of tension and see if your arm hurts after a few hours of play. The only other problem is finding a string that can take that tension without breaking.

The downside of this engineering is the cost. The range-topping CP 7000 retails for around £109 in the UK and $300 in the US. This puts the SOTX in direct competition with Yonex’s best offerings, which already have a solid reputation for quality and innovation. The CP 7000 is also very stiff which increases vibration and as such is only recommended for experienced players who can get the most out of these types of racquets.

At these prices I think it will be difficult for SOTX to sell many racquets, but over time, as their reputation grows and more online retailers stock their products, the prices will drop to more reasonable levels, in line with most of the competition. The rest of the CP range is the 6000 which is a bit more flexible, the 5000 which is even more flexible and lighter, right up to the CP 1000 and even this entry level racquet will set you back around £60.

Things get even more expensive with the SOTX Woven range. The Woven 16 costs a whopping £129.99… gulp. It is developed from high-quality carbon fiber and glass fiber, which makes it more stable and easier to control. It can also stretch to high voltages, but it doesn’t have the force pro technology, so you will most likely feel all the vibrations at high voltages. Target arm and shoulder injuries. There are 9 other racquets in this range which are very similar and the bottom of the range is the Woven-2i which is still £49.99.

The SOTX Diamond Fighter range is made from a special memory alloy that reduces the aging process of the racket. I don’t know how this works, but it looks very similar to the Yonex ArcSabre range.

There is also a super light range which, as the name suggests, offers very light rackets, down to just 75 grams, which is in direct competition with the Karakal badminton equipment, only the SOTX is more expensive. The choice is yours…

SOTX seems to be the new kid on the block and the more established brands may be under threat. The main hurdle for SOTX badminton rackets is gaining an honest reputation for quality and durability, and only time will tell if they are successful.

Source by Antony Cassidy