Last month we talked about the technical properties of badminton rackets. Today, I would like to address the counterfeit industry when buying your rackets.
Counterfeits are best avoided by purchasing your racket from an official badminton store. However, we are often unsure about their business practices or we purchase rackets secondhand from Marktplaats. Knowing the difference between authentic rackets and counterfeits will come in handy and prevent yourself from any heartbreak. From personal experience, it is not common that you find a counterfeit product here in the Netherlands, but they do exist! Most brands show you how to identify counterfeits on their website. In this article, I will point out the most effective methods known and give additional tips that I personally use!
Since Yonex has the largest market share in badminton to date, many counterfeiters try to replicate their rackets. As other brands (i.e. Victor, Li-Ning) are catching up, the counterfeit market is growing as well.
Below are some differences between real and fake rackets:
1. It is hard to peel off the hologram sticker
It is difficult to remove the hologram sticker on genuine rackets due to the special glue used. With counterfeit rackets, the hologram sticker is easy to peel off with your nail. Recently, Yonex has released a new hologram making it harder to counterfeit.
2. Engraved production numbers on the racket cap & shaft
All genuine rackets have laser engraved production codes on the cap above the handle giving that 3D feel. In counterfeits, the code is often painted, giving a 2D feel only.
3. Check the colour and Yonex logo on the handle cap
If you already have a genuine racket, compare the colour of the handle caps. A counterfeit racket will often be a different shade of green: too light or too dark. The Yonex logo is often flimsy and not very sharp.
4. Check the racket cap, screw and barcode under your grip!
This step requires you to remove the handle grip. Underneath the grip, you will find three things that can identify the racket’s authenticity. First, the racket cap circled in red (Figure 4). An original racket has a “hump”, whereas a counterfeit has a plain flat cap around. Second, counterfeit rackets do not have any screws on their handle. Third, the genuine racket has a barcode sticker glued to the handle as circled in yellow in Figure 5. Only genuine rackets have these stickers, I have never seen a counterfeit racket without these stickers in any brand of racket. These stickers are a bit fragile and can easily come off when you are undoing your grip as shown in Figure 5
Points 1-3 are often hard to identify as counterfeits are being disguised better. Point 4, however, always works 100% to distinguish between the original and counterfeit. Below is a link pointing out some other things to better identify a fake racket. I wish you all the best!
Written by Indra Fadly
All images in this article were retrieved (and adapted) from https://www.badmintonmaster.com/badminton-tips/10-easy-ways-to-spot-a-fake-yonex-badminton-racket-in-2020/