I got the Perfly BR 990 P almost by chance.
I had been playing with a 2-for-1 set of picnic rackets from Decathlon for a while and figured that buying a new and more expensive racket would be a meaningful upgrade.
There was only one teeny tiny problem. I hadn’t played badminton in more than a decade, and there are what feels like hundreds of similar-looking rackets available out there.
My skills picking rackets were rusty at best so I figured that going based on price would be a simple solution.
At the time, the Perfly BR 990 P was the most expensive racket I could find in stock at Decathlon. It came out to about $85 when converting the currency, so I took my chances as that was still less than half of the price of high-end rackets from Yonex, Victor, and LiNing.
I had no luck finding an official matrix showing where this racket falls in terms of flexibility and balance point so I’ve created my own to give you a general reference point.
This Decathlon badminton racket has a head heavy balance point and is categorized as semi-stiff on the flexibility scale, but take it with a grain of salt as rackets can be made with different materials that can skew the feeling when you’re playing with it.
Table of Contents
Before we get into the review I should note that the tension I used was 10 KG and the string was a generic one from Decathlon with a focus on durability rather than the Yonex BG80 strings I now use in my racket tests.
Perfly BR 990 P review: my experience
For the first few months, I switched back and forth between this racket and my picnic racket as I wasn’t ready for the semi-stiff shaft even though I later came to love it.
Decathlon classifies the Perfly BR990 P as an advanced racket, but I found it suits me well as an intermediate player as many rackets out there are either too flexible or too stiff. This one fell right in the sweet spot.
In fact, I ended up liking it so much that it still pains me that my elbow isn’t complying with its 3U weight class and I’ve been forced to switch to something more lightweight.
It’s a head heavy bastard that suits singles games better than doubles due to its weight class. I did play doubles games with it but often found myself at a loss during fast drive duels, interceptions, and other quick shots like pushes or net play that forced me to swing my racket fast.
Net game felt similar to playing with the Yonex Astrox 100 Game, where I found that it’s all about controlling and limiting the power as it’s challenging to play tight net shots without the shuttle flying comfortably over the net and offering your opponent an easy kill.
This racket doesn’t feel like a slow, rusty, ax from the barn, but rather as if the head weight requires extra anticipation and power to maneuver around quickly enough on fast consecutive returns. At least it doesn’t require that much swing to get the shuttle over the net due to its power.
On the other hand, blocking smashes was fun as I often just had to put the racket on the shuttle and it would crawl over the net without too much work. I won so many points in my doubles games on this one item alone that it got me hooked on power-based rackets for another reason than smashing.
Midcourt, blocks, and drives
Speaking of smashing.
Naturally, as the Perfly BR 990 P is head heavy, it’s built for power. In fact, it has so much of it that I tricked myself into thinking I was actually technically skilled at smashing. When I later switched to a less head heavy racket I discovered just how much help I had gotten.
That also means when you’re late to the shuttle it’s often easy to get it back over the net without strong technique, even on late and out-of-position-clears. On the other hand, drop shots felt slightly challenging to control.
This racket is a beast and at a reasonable price.
One downside to this racket is that the grip size is only available in G4, which might be too large for some players compared to the more common G5 but I didn’t find it a problem. More importantly, though, this racket doesn’t exist in a 4U version which is a shame.
I’ve also noticed that it’s often harder to compare an unknown brand like Perfly with popular brands like Yonex when you want to change gear later, as it’s hard to get a reference point or find reviews.
Perfly BR 990 P specifications
- Flex: Semi-stiff
- Balance Point: Head Heavy
- Weight / Grip: 3U / G4
I should note that while Decathlon’s website suggests the racket to be semi-stiff, the racket itself is printed with “medium” flex.
Decathlon doesn’t offer specific string recommendations.
Who the Perfly 990 P is for
With brands like Yonex redesigning their badminton rackets catalog to make it easier to understand, Decathlon’s Perfly brand is mostly relevant if there’s a Decathlon store near you or you are particularly looking for a racket that isn’t from “the big three” badminton brands.
That’s not because this racket is bad but because most players inevitably want to try those brands and then don’t have much of a reference point coming from a brand that isn’t well-known. It’s often easier to sample well-known rackets and figure out what you like before dabbling in unknown brands.
The ideal player type
The Perfly BR 990 P is well-suited for the intermediate or upper intermediate singles player who likes to attack with power and smash.
This racket requires a strong player as your shoulder may get tired over time.
Who should avoid this racket
There are better suited options for doubles players who want similar power but need a faster racket, especially for quick defensive action.
The same goes for singles players who prefer a fast and agile playing style with a focus on pressure at the net.
Perfly 990 P compared to other popular rackets
Yonex Astrox 100 Game
Yonex’s Astrox 100 Game is similar in terms of flexibility but the BR 990 P might be slightly stiffer.
Both rackets feel as if they have about the same head weight. The BR 990 P is a 3U racket that feels more study and is heavier to swing around, whereas the Astrox 100 Game I tested in the lighter 4U class felt just as powerful while being lighter, and thus better suited for the defense and fast swings we often use in doubles.
Perfly BR 990 P: the verdict
This is actually an awesome racket, so a score of 55% may seem rough on the surface.
It’s good value for money for a singles player and the critical downside is that ends up feeling quite slow in doubles.
That could be fixed by making it available in the lighter 4U weight class. You’ll be able to get similar power benefits and stiffness from, say, Yonex’s 4U Astrox 100 Game while being faster in the midcourt.
- The Perfly BR 990 P is a great racket that offers loads of power to singles players but might not be worth the hassle unless there’s a Decathlon store near you