1975 vs. 2018 - Badminton performance & gear over the years

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by s_mair, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    Buried in the Mizuno rackets thread we've hit a topic which I think is worth giving some separate room for discussion.

    For reference, here's the link: https://www.badmintoncentral.com/fo...no-badminton-2017.160986/page-73#post-2680713
    From the way it developed there, I expect an interesting and controversial discsussion. :)

    And once more for reference, here's a classic clip from the MS finals of the All England '75 with 8 times AE-winner Rudy Hartono vs. Sven Pri:


    Both should be using full aluminium rackets given the time.

    So the main questions are as follows:
    How would a professional player from the mid 70s (including the original gear) perform in a match against a 2018 player with 2018 equipment?
    How big would you rate the diffference in certain areas like stamina/fitness, court speed or hitting power?
    How big would you rate the impact of the improved equipment (racket) alone?

    And last but not least, how do you think a Rudy Hartono of '75 would perform in a match against any intermediate to advanced hobby player of today using today's equipment?
     
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  2. j4ckie

    j4ckie Regular Member

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    The '75 players wouldn't score 5 points. The difference of graphite vs Aluminium rackets plus the tension is enormous - better power, better control, better everything. Additionally, players are more athletic, although I'm guessing that would be far less impactful than the equipment difference.
    More specifically, players are more explosive due to better strength training (and getting rid of the notion that muscle and weight lifting slow you down), and they should have a bit better endurance under periodic stress (like badminton) as the training is geared towards that more heavily.
    I think the old school player would actually perform better in a pure endurance test than modern players, or at least very comparable.
    Difference in court speed should be roughly in line with the strength difference, maybe a bit smaller (timing and good coordination make up a lot of that and haven't improved much, if at all).

    Rudy Hartono would still win vs the intermediate player, because he was definitely a great player, and would probably deceive the modern intermediate despite the equipment difference. I'm almost sure an advanced player (semi-pro or slightly below) would have a good chance of beating him, as training at the lower levels has gotten much better and the advantage of high tension graphite rackets would outweigh Hartono's advantage of talent and reading of the game.
    Personally I believe 2008 LD was the peak of badminton for now. Doubles, I'm not so sure, that is so much more tactical that you can't really say how different styles would perform against each other...I want to say 2010-2012 CY/FHF / JJS/LYD, but I think that's a matter of opinion and preference :D
     
    #2 j4ckie, Oct 9, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  3. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    I don't think the '75 player would match any modern player. They can barely grip the floor in those shoes.

    I think we also need to consider the shuttles here. Shuttle construction has changed since 1975. Would a modern player use the same shuttle speed as an older player? It might be that the older players are using faster shuttles (as necessary for their hall and equipment at the time), and wouldn't be able to produce good length with modern standards. I remember seeing a picture of a really old shuttle - from the 20s I think - and the feathers are at a much steeper angle than any modern shuttle.

    And I think the final thing, would they *survive* in those sweater vests?

    I think the last question is very hard to answer. If you just handed them the racket and said "Play with this", I think they'd struggle; it'd be a huge shift in their muscle memory. They'd make a lot of mistakes I think. If they grew up with the kind of technology we have now, I think they'd beat intermediates without any real problem. Their techniques, particularly footwork, aren't what we would consider as standard now, but they'd still be strong enough to play county level easily.
     
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  4. ubootsg

    ubootsg Regular Member

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    Just watching that clip of the Sven Pri/Hartono match, the rackets used were not aluminium at all. They were wooden with steel shafts. It's especially obvious with Hartono's racket. Looks to be a Yonex B9100 Slim Stainless.
     
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  5. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    Actually, I found it hard to clearly tell the rackets. I looked for the Yonex racket history and found that aluminum rackets were out since the early 70s - and being one of their top stars back in the days, I found it logical that at least Hartono was using a state of the art racket.

    Anyway, even more impressive if these were truly steel/wood rackets. Of course, they wouldn't stand a chance against a top #500(?) player of today using today's equipment. But still they would wipe the floor with any recreational player out there. Just look at their shot consistency, court speed and stamina. No way that anything below "semi-pro" would be able to counter that over a whole match.
     
  6. ubootsg

    ubootsg Regular Member

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    I decided to watch a clip of the following year 1976 All England final as well, this time a showdown between 2 Indonesians - the veteran Rudy Hartono and the up-and-coming Liem Swie King. As the clip was in Color I could see that Hartono was still using his wooden Yonex but Swie King already made the transition to an all-metal Carlton 3.7. One could hear from the sound of the smashes the lower tensions used in the strings. The pace of the play was also quite slower than contemporary championship play is now. Definitely the new technologies/materials have made a lot of difference in making the game a lot faster and the current scoring system kind of 'encourages' that as well. It certainly makes for a speedy and powerful us exciting court craft on display.
     
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  7. j4ckie

    j4ckie Regular Member

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    Stamina and consistency don't matter if the shuttle gets punched to the floor though. I feel like they'd get smashed by good 4th league players here I'm pretty sure, although I'll readily admit that's kind of an unfair comparison as we're talking about taking someone and literally throwing them over 40 years into the future :D it'd obviously be different if those guys grew up with today's training.
     
  8. colekwok

    colekwok Regular Member

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    I wonder how many of you here have played with a full wooden racket or a wooden racket with a steel shaft, and with the lower tensions, usually with guts (sheep guts to be exact) at around 18lb, it is a lot more bouncy than modern synthetic strings. Somebody told me not long ago that 3U rackets are too heavy, for an old timer like me, I seriously do not know how to respond as I learned to play with a steel racket....

    The strategy was also quite different, the reason why they played at a slower pace was not just about the equipment and technique, it was also about stamina preservation. If I am not mistaken, they still needed to get service before you score. A 15pt game can stretch on for half an hour simply with the exchange of service.
     
  9. ubootsg

    ubootsg Regular Member

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    AFAIK I'm probably the only person around who played regularly with a wood & steel racket back in Singapore and even now that I'm living in NZ. I'd rather not speculate on what if scenarios but rather speak from my own hands-on experience. Using those vintage rackets I'm able to take on players up to my skill level (about club standard) without too much difficulty.
    All things being equal player-wise (age, skills & fitness level) the player with the current equipment of racket and shoes will have some advantage especially with the present scoring system in place which seem to work well for fast, attacking play.
    Just to further qualify my statement. I've been playing for the last 40+ years and did play competitively at club level back in mid 80s through to the early 90s. I'm now in my mid 50s and only play socially. I've not stopped using vintage wood & steel and aluminium & steel rackets all through the past decades and have them very using for training, warm-up and refining my strokes.
     
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  10. colekwok

    colekwok Regular Member

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    We have one wooden frame racket hanging around at the club, I sometimes use it to play against beginners who just join the club (we are a very casual club anyway). It is always fun because the string is so loose that no matter how hard you smash, the shuttle simply does not pick up any momentum.

    I believe that some players tend to adapt quicker than the others such as swapping rackets or shoes. Unless you are playing in top tournaments where minute differences or consistences can give you the edge, most can adapt and adjust quickly.
     
  11. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    What if the current players using the 70's equipment and played the older players?
    I did start playing with wooden racquets and then to Carlton 3.7X, then YY Blacken, and so on...
    Hard to talk about comparisons of players of the older days vs current players. I remember speaking to my (former) coach once many years ago, asking to compare the then top players, Taufik, Lin Dan, Bao CH, Gade, Lei Chong Wei with him and players of his time. He said in terms of speed and power, the current crop could match theirs and probably a bit faster, but technically speaking, the older generation were better. Thinking a bit, didn't Lin Dan follow Tang Xinfu's directions to improve and became better player.
     
  12. j4ckie

    j4ckie Regular Member

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    Sounds like bias on his part tbh. I don't think we've seen players that were technically significantly better than Taufik for example, and there is no doubt players today are the most athletic they've ever been. Even compared to 2004 it's a massive difference, personally I'm not sure Taufik could win the Olympic Games today with his motivation issues. Although he'd also benefit from the improved training, so maybe he could, who knows :D
    Theres just no comparison between the LD generation and 70s/80s players speed-wise. I still think 2008 LD is probably the fastest we've ever seen on a badminton court, and with how the game has evolved, I'm not sure we're gonna see someone play that aggressively again anytime soon.
     
  13. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    You may be right when you say bias, but Lin Dan still had to listen to him regarding the aspects to improve in order to raise his game. Then, has badminton evolved that much or was just a catch-up by most of the countries? Do we see different schools of badminton in the current badminton powerhouses? I haven't really follow much the international scene lately, but most players I see plays the style (form) similar to the Chinese school.

    My coach was a national team player in the 60-70s. When he compared the (then) current players was with past China top players. His analysis was speed and power were about the same - you can also try to find a past thread with references to an interview with former Chinese national player Fang Kaixiang with similar views.

    It is very difficult to compare objectively speed and power when we do not have the players' data during training - as example, was told by an old-timer, Hou Jia Chang, a Chinese player in the 60-70s did under 30s, 30 repetitions from base to net in training; a female doubles player could lift over 200lbs, etc. This information while believable to me, there's no way I can prove them. Also, I do not have the numbers for the actual players to compare with. But to me, the technical aspects of the game, the older players were better.
     
  14. j4ckie

    j4ckie Regular Member

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    It's useless if you can do something in training one time and then not apply it in competition. Training doesn't count. And all we can see on court is that the 70s/80s players were MUCH slower than LD in his prime. Also, going back to net 30 times isn't a good test of speed. Truly explosive speed is one, maybe two repetitions, 30 is strength endurance. Like the difference between a 100m and 1500m run - the 1500 dude is still really, really fast, but he couldn't hold a candle to the others in a 100m event. Same with badminton, maybe someone was really good at changing direction (at least in training) and was fairly quick with 30 repetitions back to net, but those 30-50cm they were behind LD going to the net with their maximum effort are absolutely crucial and game-changing. Also, jumping wasn't at a high level back then either, and that's almost entirely explosive strength (strength to body weight ratio, to be exact).
    I'm not saying that the guys back then had less potential, but with training being way worse and sports science being in its infancy, not many came close to realizing their physical potential. What you describe as 'better technique' may just be the mechanics of moving a heavy racket being more pleasant to you, because I sure dont think anyone at that time was way better than today's technically gifted players (watch Goh V Shem's backhand drive, for example, insane...or Zhang Nan's drives....or Momota's net play...)
    Anecdotes of someone lifting a lot dont say anything whatsoever about the overall level, even if we assume they are both true and the lift was clean. I've heard stories about LHI lifting huge weights as well, and LCW was rumoured to squat over twice his body weight almost 10 years ago...but without actually seeing the lifts, I will maintain reasonable doubt. Strength training as a whole has certainly improved, though, coaches being much more attentive to proper form and injury prevention.
    Oh, and stamina/endurance training as well, with interval training being used instead of just long runs, which dont carry over to badminton very well (low intensity endurance training not preparing you for high intensity rallies).
     
  15. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    And what about the flooring? Sounds like they are playing on the deck of an old schooner or something, the floorboards are creaking so much! I'm sure modern flooring has a lot to do with quicker speeds and perhaps less injury.

    But yeah, I would say these guys would get killed against a modern player. Forget the equipment (and the sweater vests) their footwork looks sloppy compared to the efficiency of a Lin Dan or LCW. So regardless of their power I think they would get killed on footwork alone. But I guess I can't really blame the players for that...those socks are riding up so high they probably cut off all the blood flow to their feet. :D:D
     
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  16. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    I am not quite sure if you are referring to raw speed and power or a player's speed and power on court only during competitions. Lin Dan as you mentioned is very fit and athletic and can move fast around the court. But how do you measure his speed around the court? Is he faster than Chen Tianlong, Yang Yang, Zhao Jianhua, Gade, Lei Chongwei, etc. He may or may not, and how fast can you move wearing the Dragonfly or Double Coin badminton shoes or how much power can he transfer to the shuttle with a wood or metal racquet of the 60's.

    I played with some of the players' of the 70's and their speed and agility on the court is way past us as common players even past their prime. If you ask me, my impression was that these players around 40 and past their prime were faster than the juniors playing 2004 here for the Juniors World Championship, Chen Jin included.
     
    #16 viver, Dec 14, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
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