As a recreational player, not much thought is given while buying/choosing a new racket but as you start practicing you came to know that racket can play a significant role in your performance. In this article, I will be telling you each and every aspect of a racket which you need to have knowledge of to buy a racket which will suit your playing style.
Note:- If knowing all this factor is too much for you then I have selected my personal preference of these feature according to your skill level so if you want a quick answer skip through these features and read that paragraph, but I would highly suggest you to understand these features first because some of the term which I have used in that paragraph will not be clear to you if you don’t have any prior knowledge about basic terminology used by companies.
Badminton racket can be divided into three parts:-
I am going to explain how each of these parts affects the overall performance of a racket.
An overview of what you need to look while buying a new racket
- Weight of the racket
- Material which it is made of
- Tensile strength of the frame
- Length of handle
- Balance of Racket
- Head Shape
Weight of Racket
Most standard badminton rackets usually weigh between 85 to 92 g (without the string and grip). A Heavy racket is considered a power racket, while a light racket gives better control.
So how much weight is good for a racket, well it depends on what type of skill you’re having and how much command you have on your technique, because if you go for a heavy racket but your arm pronation is not perfect then chances are high to injure your shoulder. So I would recommend, go for a light racket if you are a beginner first work on your technique and then when you start to gain confidence in your stroke buy a heavy racket.
Now you have learned what weight you should use according to your technique let’s talk about the benefit of buying a heavy or light racket.
- Good for smashes as it provides extra force in your swing.
- Need less control in a stroke.
- More durable.
- Good for the quick action of racket example in defense (that’s the reason most Doubles player use lightweight racket)
- Need more control in your Stroke.
The weight of a racket is classified into a few categories like 5U, 4U, 3U, 2U, etc. These are for Yonex and other badminton rackets you will get a better understanding by looking at the table below.
When I was looking to buy racket for myself and didn’t have any knowledge I watched a couple of videos on YouTube and now looking back to that information I cannot believe how much false information is there on the internet about this particular part of racket,
Misconception:- Most people believe that if your racket shaft is flexible then it is good for smash and a stiff racket is more useful in defense but this is completely wrong.
I am not going to take the names of Youtuber which is passing this type of information, but if you go to any authoritative site then you will learn that stiff racket is not that useful in defense and vice versa.
Now let’s talk straight facts
The shaft of a badminton racket can be flexible or stiff, it is the area between the handle and the strong area of the frame. For a beginner, the flexible racket is more suitable as they don’t have to exert extra power to play strong shots since energy is needed, whereas stiff shaft is more helpful for intermediate to an advanced level player.
- A flexible shaft will give the player easy access to power without exerting much strength (little energy needed to bend the shaft).
- Good for beginners as they can use this to practice on their technique since they don’t have to focus on generating enough power for their short.
- It can easily defend smashes since you have little time to put strength into your shots.
- Less control of shutter placements since the shaft is easily bent leading to Uncertainty in the flight direction of the shuttlecock.
- Return of shot is a slow process, the shuttle stays on the spring bed for a long time due to Flex of the shaft.
- Low potential for power.
- Return of shorter faster since the shuttle does not stay on the bed As Long due to stiff flex of the shaft.
- More control of shuttle placements is the shaft is stiff and will give instant rebound of the shuttle.
- High potential power.
- A stiff racket will require is a stronger swing and good technique in order to generate power.
- Require good use of wrist action.
- Most suited for intermediate to advanced players.
The material of Badminton Racket
I remember my first racket was made up of Steel, but nowadays as the technology in the racket is evolving companies are using more premium material to make their racket superior in the market.
Badminton racket can be made up of wooden, Steel, Carbon fiber, aluminum, graphite, etc. but I would never recommend steel and Aluminium racket for beginners.
They might be available at a cheap cost but trust me you cannot do much with these rackets instead save some money and buy racket which is at least made up of carbon fiber so that you can get your racket string with a stringing machine.
The material of your racket frame decides how much tension your racket can hold and survive those hits with your partner’s racket when you are playing doubles.
Tensile strength of Frame
It refers to the capacity of your frame to hold wires at a particular tension.
In a badminton racket wire tension can range from 18 lbs to 32 lbs, now before going for higher tension look at the specification of your racket, how much tension is recommended by the manufacturer.
Low wire tension, is good for beginners as they do not put much pressure on your frame, automatically keeping your racket save from breakage, also low tension wire has more durability.
High wire tension good for the intermediate and advanced players because now you know how to control shuttle. In High tension strings, the shuttle will spend less time on racket bed so your stroke will be much faster but also it will keep your racket frame will be under stress so before going for High Tension string look at the quality of your frame to avoid any breakage.
Length of Handle
Most badminton rackets come with a standard grip of G4 this is found in almost all badminton racket G5 grip size is specially designed for the player with small size hand while G1/G2 grip size is designed for the player with relatively large size hand. Smaller grip size will allow for more finger power/Wrist action to be used whereas a bigger grip size will utilize more of the arm. There are different ways you can grip yours depending on your style of play.
Based on balance Badminton racquets are divided into three categories
- Head-Heavy Balance: Ideal for powerful and smash play
- Head-Light Balance: Good choice for defensive and safe play. Known for perfect control
- Even Balance: Provide good between control and power.
Most of the item balance of the racket is mentioned in the description when you purchase online, but while you are purchasing from a store then you can ask the store manager.
But if you are interested in learning how to find the type of balance that your racket is having then this will help.
How to find the balance of your racket
Everyone has different style of game summer more attacking player summer more defensive and others are all-rounder so keeping in mind you have to select your racket accordingly and there is a technique from which you can determine what racket is perfect for your style
In the above picture as you can see that a person is balancing the racket on index finger the whole purpose of this to find out what is is the balance point of racket you can also do that by following these steps:-
- First, take the racket and put it on your index finger in such a way that both the side are equally divided.
- Then see which way the racket is more going down if it is from the head side, It’s head heavy which state that this racket is good for smash, and if it goes down from handle side that means it is a defensive racket
But if a racket is evenly balanced on your index finger then and it will be perfect for an all-rounder player means not to light so that your Smashes will have less power and not too heavy so that you will find it difficult to defend smash.
Head Shape of Racket
In market mainly there are two types of Shape available in racket head isometric and oval
this frame of racket is squarish as the area is larger in this racket it has a large sweet spot for beginners to play more effectively large sweet spot makes it easier to hit a short without exerting too much energy.
It is an egg-like shape so you can clearly conclude that it has a smaller sweet spot it delivers more power if that spot is hit all records also provide better control giving the ability to place the shuttle in where ever location new Desire over racket is recommended for advanced players.
Remembering these factors while buying racket can be difficult so for you I have selected optimum features, what racket features are best on the basis of your skill level.
How to find the sweet spot in a racket
Every racket in the market has a different sweet spot depending upon there shape size and many more factor
You may have seen professional player hitting string bed to there lower palm
This is to know that where is the racket string producing the maximum sound
A sweet spot of a racket is where it produces the maximum sound
Grip size, as a beginner I would suggest you go for G4/S3 size because it is in the middle of all the grip size available in the market, currently, you do not have much skill to take advantage of comparatively small or large grip handle so selecting the mean length is optimal for you.
Weight, in terms of weight I would suggest you go for 3U/4U reason is the same as above because it is in the middle of all the weight available.
You don’t want to go for a too heavy or too light racket, because you still have to learn how to swing a racket and without proper technique, a light or a heavy racket can cause you injury
Head shape, now here I would suggest you to select isometric shape because it has a large surface area meaning giving you more space to work while hitting shuttle as compared to oval shape racket
Flexibility, here going for a flex racket is more optimal choice for you because Stiff racket demand more power from your shoulder and it can be a lot to handle so go for flex racket
Balance, same as before go for a mean racket means neither head heavy nor handle heavy.
Material, if I would have written this article 4 years ago that I would have suggested you to go for a steel or aluminum material racket but now as the technology has improved and more options available at cheap price going for a carbon fiber or graphite racket is possible
String tension, just play with the string which comes with your racket no need to restring it and if it did break then go in a range of 18 to 22 lbs
Grip size, now you I have learned some Basic technique so go for a group size that suits your playing style.
As I have explained earlier in the article that grip size below G4(size increasing) demand more arm power and above it(decreasing size) more finger power is used,
So if you are attacking player goes for arm power but if you are a front Court player in Doubles or like to place the shuttle in single then go for wrist and finger power.
Weight, Same as Grip size weight class of racket will also depend on your playing style
Attacker:- 85- 88 g
Defensive(singles):- 82 g
Front court player(doubles):- below 80 g
Head shape, I don’t have much to say on this topic because even the oval-shaped racket has a less sweet spot but provides a more sharp shot, I have rarely seen any player using it so just go for isometric shape.
Material, now you have improved your skill level so there is no reason not to buy a medium-class racket, so go for Carbon fiber or graphite.
Balance, Here it will also depend on what type of playing style you have,
Attacking:- Head heavy
Defensive/Front court doubles:- Light head
Balance:- balance racket
String tension, now your technique is much polished to get the benefit of high string tension getting racket strung above 25 lbs is more beneficial.
If You are in this skill level group then, of course, you don’t be needing my help but if you are still struggling.
All the feature of your racket will be the same as intermediate player accept string tension which I would suggest above 28,
Now one thing to know that there might be racket available with the same feature at different price, For example, an intermediate player racket can cost around $100 but the only thing that differentiates a professional racket is the material used in it and dynamic design following a specific Technology like in astrox 99 or voltric Z Force 2(all-time best).
Thank you for reading!!!
Source :- Amazon