The most vital part of any sport is the equipment used in the game, here in badminton, Badminton racket is important equipment for the players.
How do I choose a good Badminton Racket?
The parameters to check before you buy the badminton racket are
- Weight of the racket
- Balance of the racket
- String tension
- Grip type
- Shaft Flexibility
- Grip size
- Head shape
- Brand of Racket
Let’s discuss all the factors in detail.
1. Weight of the racket
This factor is more important while selecting your rackets, as for starters where they don’t build the muscle memory to swing the racket yet, the heavier rackets will be very hard to use.
Alternatively, if it’s too light in weight you will find it difficult to build the muscle required to generate power.
The heavier one will give you more power when compared to the weight of two rackets.
- Badminton Racket Weight Guide:
Rackets weight is usually denoted by “U”; the heavier the weight of the Badminton racket, the smaller the number. 80g to 100g is the usual weight of the badminton racket.
- 1U: 95- 100g
- 2U: 90- 94g
- 3U: 85- 89g
- 4U: 80- 84g
- 5U: 75- 79g
- 6U (F): 70- 74g
3U and 4U are the most common weight you will find in the most rackets. These days you will get rackets in 5U and 6U too, as rackets are getting lighter.
U and 2U are usually found in training rackets meant to workout wrist and forearm muscle, few training rackets weight over 100g.
What is the ideal Badminton Racket weight based on your level?
Lightweight badminton rackets are generally easy to control; they weigh between 85g to 89g and are highly suggested for beginners.
Lightweight rackets are easier on the wrist and shoulders, reducing the chances of injury. With these rackets you will be able to deliver quick serves and switch to different strokes easily.
- Single Player: If you are single player 3U is the best option as this will provide overall mass without affecting the balance, ensuring that at the cost of little speed the racket offers more stability. As standard the majority single players use 3U rackets.
- Double Player: 4U are standard rackets used by double players. It will be best option as this will provide more speed to your game allowing you to react quickly to your opponent.
- Light Weight Rackets: light weight rackets are mostly apt for players who like speed game, counter attacking.
- Heavier Rackets: The players who like power hitting; heavier rackets are the best option.
2. Balance Point
Looking for balancing factor while choosing a badminton racket helps you to understand which racket will be suitable for you. Apart from weight, racket can be classified by their balancing point.
There are three categories of balance.
- Head- Heavy Balance: Head- heavy balance have more mass towards the head of the racket. If the balancing point is over 295mm the racket is considered as head-heavy balance.
Players who like power hitting and smashing more this type of racket is suitable by providing extra mass in the head.
- Head- light Balance: This type of balance has less weight on the head with balancing point below 285mm. Players, who have fast hitting, speed on game this type of balance model is good choice for them.
- Even Balance: In Even balance the balancing point’s stays between 285mm- 295mm. This type of racket is mostly suitable for beginners and intermediate players.
3. String Tension
Depending on the level of your game play you decide the string tension of your racket. The commonly used string in the market is multifilament strings that are popular and durable and are of synthetic type.
a. Higher Tension: If you are an Advance players and hard hitter, you can have higher tension in your racket. Advance player usually gets their racket strung at high tension of 25lbs or more. Racket will be in touch with shuttle for shorter time indicates tighter stringing.
b. Lower Tension: Low string tension rackets have low control and stability but have high durable and high power. These types of rackets are suitable for beginners at low tension of 18- 20lbs.
- Beginners: 19- 21lbs
- Intermediate: 22- 24lbs
- Advanced: 25- 30lbs
Based on your level of your game play decide the string tension of your racket. Low tension string is suitable if you are beginner as it is much durable and powerful.
4. Types of Badminton Grips
Players find it challenging to hold racket as it slides out due to sweat during the game play; this is where good grip is important before you select a racket.
A badminton grip comes in two type’s towel and synthetic.
- Towel Grips: Towel grips are good in absorbing the sweat but require more replacement compared to synthetic grips.
- Synthetic Grip: Synthetic grips are less messy but its poor absorption quality makes the player less comfortable.
5. Shaft Flexibility (Flex)
When you are choosing badminton racket you will have choice between flexible or stiff racket shafts. Stiff rackets can bend hardly whereas flexible shaft can easily bend.
If you are beginner or new player, then you need more flexible type of shaft. There are three categories of racket Shafts ‘Flexible’, ‘Medium’ and ‘stiff’.
Flexible shaft is more suitable for beginners as flexible shaft provides lesser control compared to stiff one. As Advance players have better techniques, stiff shaft is more suitable for the advance and intermediate players.
Stiffer shaft has less power on shots as there is lesser repulsion. These rackets have better control over shots. The stiff shaft will bend and unbend easily and quickly. This stiff shaft is suitable for the players who play fast game with control shots.
- This stiff shaft has higher potential power.
- Return of the shots is faster
- Good wrist action is required
- Mostly suited for intermediate and advanced players
The flexible shaft will be more apt for the slow swing players. Badminton is the game of speed; Flexible Shafts lacks the speed to execute a badminton shot.
- Without applying much strength easy access to power is given by flexible shaft
- As beginners use this to practise their technique this is suitable for beginners
- Low potential power
- Return of shots are slower as the shuttle stays on string bed for a longer time due to flexibility of shafts
6. Grip size
The grip size is denoted by “G”, the larger the handle size the smaller the number. Grip sizes also vary just like weight, along with rackets weight they are usually found on the cone of the racket.
- G1: 4in
- G2: 3.75in
- G3: 3.5in
- G4: 3in
- G5: 3in
- G6: 2.75in
The grip size differs from player to player depending upon their personal preference. Bigger grip size will utilize more of arm; smaller grip size will allow more finger power and wrist action.
7. Head Shape
Badminton rackets available in the market is in two shapes, one is oval shape and other one is isometric.
The size of the SWEET SPOT is the only difference between the two shapes; the sweet spot is centre of string bed.
If you have a good control over the game, then oval shape rackets are good choice to go with. Intermediate and advanced players are suggested to go with oval shape racket.
Beginners don’t feel comfortable with oval shape racket so isometric is the better option for beginners.
8. Built material
Badminton rackets should be made of higher quality material as it must withstand a lot of power hitting during the game play.
Rackets wood, Steel, Carbon fibre and aluminium are the four types of material used for making badminton.
It is sensible to invest in carbon- fibre or Graphite rackets. These are durable, lightweight and high in performance rackets than aluminium or steel rackets.
9. Racket Brand
Best brand provides all essential quality of racket which is essential got better game play. Yonex and babolat the most popular badminton manufactures, and many players have faith on these brands.
Should I buy a junior-sized racket for a child?
When kids start playing and need to select the first racket mostly shorter racket is suggested for racket to match their height. Junior size [xxmm] and 675mm are the two standard lengths of badminton rackets.
As the timing and weight differs from the regular sized racket and shorter rackets it can be harmful to young players.
Age of 4 to 5 years is the only time to use smaller rackets
Do this test to know when short racket is required. Raise their elbow up with the pinky side of their hand pointing upwards and racket pointing downwards.
Choose your Racket
4U even balance, 3U head light or 4U head heavy rackets are best if you would like play occasionally. Even balance 4UG5 racket is best if you are selecting for your child.
It is up to you on what kind of racket you would like to purchase, depending on your budget based on the information above choose your racket.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Ans: String Tension is the amount of pressure applied to the string when it is tied to form the net inside the head frame. It is measured in terms of pounds and Lbs. For beginners, it is ideal to have a lower string tension whereas pro players tend to have higher levels of string tension. Most rackets have their string tension mentioned on the racket but it is suggestable that you have it checked out with the retailer. For unstrung racquets, string tension can be measured and developed depending on the player’s choice and requirements.
Ans: Most of the badminton racquets come pre-stringed with factory standard tension and string quality. But not all racquets come pre stringed. Professional and high end racquets are often shipped out un-strung because pro players prefer to string these by themselves to suit their specific requirements. If you are a beginner, it is advised that you buy racquets pre-stringed both online or offline.
Ans: Big brands such as Yonex have their retail outlets which can act as authorized service outlets. It is just a matter of finding them. As is the case with repairs and modifications, it is advised that players get their equipment repaired and altered only with authorized dealers. Self-Service may cause more harm than good.
Ans: The grip size of a racquet is how big of a handle does the racquet has. It is usually denoted by G size. Higher the G number, bigger is the grip size. G4 is the standard size of grip size for most racquets. But the size number is dependent on how big or small the size of the hands of the players. Bigger hand player choose bigger handles where as smaller players choose smaller handles.
The amount of wrist and finger space and movement also define the choosing of grip size. Smaller grip uses more arm power and is used for precision shots. Bigger grip size is for stability and flexible shafts.
Ans: A cover is typically provided to protect the racket from any air / dust or anything as such. But not all racquets come with a protective cover. While most racquets do come with a protective cover, professional and pro racquets are often shipped out unstrung and without cover.