So after playing a number of random pick-up games of badminton at the local rec centre, I finally made it out to my first badminton club session in more than two years.
The level of play was good. I've managed to play a few good players at the rec centre, but the club is a few levels above. Because of my schedule and how busy life has been (marriage, multiple moves, work and travel) I haven't played at a competetive level in about 3 years. Needless to say it felt amazing to get back out and play. I definitely felt some rust for the first hour of play, but as the night wore on, my shots were crisp and my footwork improved throughout. It was good to feel I was closer to my regular level of play than I expected. I played doubles for most of the night, and had one match of singles at the end which was close but I lost to one of the better guys there. I'm just happy I could hit the shuttle, so I was very pleased with my performance.
I've only ever wore court shoes (I've used asics tennis shoes and have a pair of Yonex badminton shoes) playing badminton at this level. I decided to try my Komodosports out, knowing that there would be some intense rallies. After just one session, I'm retiring my Yonex shoes. They have a special grip formula on the rubber to stick to the floor, but when you play on hardwood that's even slightly dusty they are like slippers. This is not the case with the Komodosports. Last night I played on a fairly dusty hardwood floor (IMHO the worst surface you can play badminton on) and I didn't slip once through all of the crazy rallies I had. The VFF's eliminated what I call the 'Scooby Doo effect' where you are moving your feet, but you don't move anywhere for a split second, like when cartoon characters try to run. Even with aggressive lateral movements, I was still able to stop on a dime and change directions without any slipping. I even had a couple of nice jump smashes that were nicely placed.
All in all, I'm very happy at how well the Komodosports handled last night's matches on the hardwood. I had only used them on a rubber-composite floor which is amazing to play on, at a more casual level of play. It feels like you are glued to the ground when playing on that surface, compared to the wood. I lost some of the gold foil stuff off of the toe, but they seemed to hold up well. I'll be interested to see how long they last as a badminton shoe. With all the starting, stopping and sprinting I think they will be more abused than in most other sports. Some of those rallies were intense, crazy and scrambly.
I'll see about getting some video at the club, and post it. Feels awesome to be back playing again!