Getting your first badminton racket isn't as easy as it seems. There's a lot of specific nuances that you need to understand before making the right decision. That's why we created this badminton racket guide. Our main goal is to teach you the mechanics behind a good badminton racket and help you find one that's suitable for you.
A racket is a piece of sports equipment which has a handled frame and an open hoop where the strings are tightly constructed. Most of the time, these rackets are used for hitting a ball or shuttlecocks in games such as badminton and tennis.
A badminton racket must be lightweight and weigh less than 100g when used. The racket's frame can consist out of carbon fiber, ceramic, aluminum, or steel. Your racket shouldn't exceed 680mm in length and 230mm in width.
So how do you choose a badminton racket that suits you?
Don't become fully economical and buy a cheap racket. The lower priced rackets are heavier because they are made of cheaper material. You'll have to do more arm movements instead of your wrist if you want to hit the shuttle. This also causes a strain on your wrist muscle and should be avoided.
This will result in bad habits that can't be easily fixed.
Heavy rackets are preferred by players with stronger wrists and arm muscles. Professional players use the weight of the racket to utilize more power from it. Thus, their rackets might weigh more than the average size.
Your badminton racket should not exceed over 100 grams. Most racket manufacturers tend to use 1U-4U to note the weight of the racket. 1U is the heaviest while 4U is the lightest. The weight of most higher end rackets come in a range of 86 to 94 grams.
Most badminton racket manufacturers provide up to four different grip sizes. In Japan, the grip sizes range from G2 to G5. G2 is the largest size while the G5 is the smallest. In some regions, the opposite applies. Some brands go by a small, medium, and large sizes.
These are parts used in most modern badminton rackets today.
The frame is the body of the racket. The frame consists of the stringed area, shaft, throat, and the head of the racket. As we've stated earlier, the length of your frame shouldn't be above 680mm and 230mm. This rule is regulated by the BWF laws and helps manufacturers create the correct sized frames for widespread usage.
Frames come in various shapes and sizes, some have larger sweet spots, and some can be more or less rigid based on the construction of the materials.
The head of the badminton racket is the piece of material that holds the strings in position. It can have a rounded or oval shape and has holes on the perimeter where the strings are laced together.
The stringed area consists of carbon fiber or nylon string that's interwoven. This allows the strings to make the face of the racket. According to BWF rules, the dimensions should not exceed over 280 millimeters long and 220 millimeters wide.
The throat connects the head to the shaft of the racket. It might be a separate triangular piece that's at the base of the head, or might be integrated into the racket's head itself.
The shaft is located in the center of the badminton racket. They usually come in two types: Flexible or Rigid. Flexible shafts allow the user to hit the shuttle with more control.
Besides balance, your racket's shaft is another important factor to consider. The correct shaft level depends on your wrist/swing speed. Manufacturers unanimously agreed to categorize racket shafts as "Flexible," "Medium," or "Stiff."
The faster and more explosive your arm/wrist speed, the better you are with a stiffer racket. For beginners, you'll want to start with flexible shafts as its easier to hold and allows you to direct your shot wherever it's needed.
Get a medium shaft flex if you don't know what level of shaft flex you need. This gives users the benefit of having enough flexibility to have control while having enough power to create hard and fast shots.
Stiffer shafts tend to bend and unbend quickly. This ensures that the player has an explosive swing speed and utilize their power and control. In comparison, a slower swing-speed player won't know how to use a stiff racket fully. The racket won't bend or unbend, resulting in a loss of efficiency and power.
If you're advanced, consider getting a rigid shaft. These shafts are designed to increase the power when swinging the racket. But, it requires a lot of momentum to swing efficiently. While it will take some time and practice, a rigid shaft is a preferred choice amongst profession badminton players.
Most badminton rackets have a head frame that's in an isometric or classic oval shape. The string bed is made of 20 to 22 gauge strings and has a tension between 22 and 30 pounds. While some models have a throat section that connects the head to the shaft, others have the shafted installed to the frame. This shaft connects to the handle, throat, or head of the racket.
If you think you are stuck with the wrong racket, use this guide to choose the right one.
Based on modern technology, a badminton racket should weight within a range of 85g-92g (Without the grip and string). Rackets come in either lightweight or heavyweight models.
The racket weight is noted by the "U." The smaller the number, the heavier the racket. For instance, 3U (85-89g) weighs more than 4U (80-84g).
If you're a beginner, you're better off getting a lightweight racket. These rackets weigh about 85-90g and have a lower balance point than heavier rackets. This makes the rackets easier to control and hold during a game of badminton.
Lightweight rackets grant quick recovery and fast stroke speeds. You'll be able to deliver fast serves and switch your strokes easily. And, lightweight rackets are easier on the shoulders and the wrist, which reduces the chance of becoming injured.
Seasoned players should get heavyweight rackets. Heavy rackets weigh around 92-100g and have a higher balance point. The increased balance point makes it easier to exert force from the player onto the racket. As a result, heavier rackets are powerful and require more energy to use effectively.
Most modern badminton rackets come in two different types: oval-head or square (isometric) shaped.
Isometric shaped rackets have a more squarish head in comparison to an oval racket. The tip looks flatter and is used has a larger sweet spot for beginners to play more effectively. The large sweet spot makes it easier to hit a shot without exerting too much energy.
However, they are harder to control than oval head rackets. Some square shaped rackets have an uneven balance which might throw players off. If you want to know where your shuttle is going after your serve, then an oval head racket is better as it adds more control.
If you're advanced, an oval head racket is good for you. While it has a smaller sweet spot, it delivers more power if that spot is hit. Also, oval rackets allow users to have more control over their shots. This is great because you'll have more composure and have the ability to place the shutter in whatever location you desire.
But, these are harder to use than their square shaped counterparts. Unless you're skilled or you've played consistently with an oval head racket, you might as well use a square shaped racket.
No matter what sized racket head you obtain, make sure that it's suitable towards your skill level. Following this step ensures that you save money on your racket and ensures that it will work during your next badminton match.
The strings of your racket can be constructed to fit tightly or loosely. Remember, every racket has a sweet spot. If the sweet spot comes into contact, you'll exert a lot more power when serving the shuttle.
Newer players don't have the technique to hit the shuttle correctly. They tend to mis-hit it on the wrong section of the string bed. This leads to them missing the sweet spot, and hitting the shuttle with half of the expected power.
That's why we suggest novice players start with a lower tension. This is because the higher the tension, the larger the sweet spot. Having that large sweet spot makes it easier for you to hit the shuttle properly and gives you extra momentum.
Once you've gotten acquainted with badminton, you'll need a racket to help you transition into a professional player. At this stage, you'll want to have a string tension that's higher than your initial racket.
We suggest getting a racket with a medium level of tension. While the sweet spot is smaller, it gives you enough power to start taking advanced shots. After you increase your skills over a period, then it's time to go for high tension rackets.
Higher tension rackets are for more advanced players who have a higher level of knowledge about the game. You'll need to have a higher hitting technique and swing speed to these rackets correctly. Because of its high tension, you'll have more control over your shots and while giving you the strength you need to play at a higher level.
Whenever you are in doubt, you can always ask an experienced player for advice on most important specs of racket you are buying.
These are the most used materials of today's badminton rackets.
Wooden badminton rackets were heavy in size and weight. But, players were unable to hit the sweet spot on this racket type. Also, the wooden rackets weren't durable and were expensive to produce. Because of this fact, players refused this racket and went for ones made of more sturdier material.
As time progressed, manufacturers began to create steel badminton rackets. Steel provided strength and durability and was cheaper to create than wood. This was because it took less manufacturing time creating the rackets than their wooden counterparts.
Now, you'll see steel rackets being mixed with other metals such as carbon, iron, and magnesium. If you are looking for a cheap racket, you can't do wrong with a steel badminton racket.
Carbon fiber is also known as graphite fiber. It's a crystalline version of carbon fiber that can be weaved or twisted together. This material caused a revolution in different fields such as the sports, equipment, sports cars, and the aeronautics industry.
Carbon fiber is lightweight while still having added strength. If you're looking for your first badminton racket, carbon fiber is the best material to choose from.
After the development of steel rackets, aluminum rackets were beginning to be manufactured. While this material isn't as durable as steel, it's more lightweight and is great if you need extra mobility during games.
Plus, it has more power when exerting a force on the shuttle cock. That's why it's one of the more popular choices on this list. You should look into aluminum rackets if you want something that's fast and has a larger sweet spot for returning serves.
There have been some cases of badminton rackets being made of titanium, ceramics, boron, and other composite allows. However, their quality doesn't match up to a carbon fiber badminton racket. If you do buy a racket out of a different metal, make sure that you check to see if it works and matches up to your personal preferences.
You need to choose a grip size that feels comfortable to you. Usually, offensive players prefer the G2 grip as it gives them a tighter hold on the racket. This gives you more power when you swing and is great for advanced play.
Rally players and players who use deception should look into a smaller grip racket. This makes it easier for the racket to turn when placed in their hand.
You need to buy a head cover with the racket, and use it when you're not playing. Remember not to store your racket into dangerous areas such as a radiator or exposed to direct sunlight in your car.
Here is a table displaying the different weight types of each badminton racket.
As displayed on the table, your badminton rackets range from size 2U to 5U. The higher the number, the less weight the racket has. If you're just starting off, a racket that has a 5U setting is perfect for you. For players with more expertise, a 3U and 2U racket will work as long as your skill permits it.
Flexibility relates to the string tension of your badminton racket. The less flexible, the more power you'll have over your shots. Flexible rackets have a larger sweet spot, but give you less control over where the shot goes during a serve.
Here is a table showing the difference between flexible and stiff badminton rackets.
Here are some of the best badminton rackets manufacturers:
Yonex is a Japanese manufacturer that specializes in delivering sporting equipment for badminton, tennis, golf, shoes, clubs, shuttlecocks, and other equipment used in those sports. Ever since its beginnings in 1946 the company gained its reputation by making high-quality rackets for any occasion.
If you're looking for a lightweight racket that's easy to use, you should look into Yonex. Yonex badminton rackets have a moderate flex, which gives you a balance between power and control. Their rackets are made of durable material and can last up to 5 years before needing repairs.
Li-Ning Badminton Rackets have gained their reputation as the leading sports manufacturer in China. This company exploded in popularity after supporting the Olympic Chinese Badminton Team. All of the players in the team such as the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lin Dan uses the Li-Ning Rackets.
We like the rackets because of their overall stiff design. This means that you'll receive and generate more power when using them. Get a Li-Ning racket if you're serious about improving the overall quality of your serves and play more effectively.
Babolat is a French manufacturer that started in Lyon, France in 1875. This company gained recognition for creating the first natural string badminton rackets. The company has always found ways to innovate their products and created the first connected tennis racket in 2014.
When it comes to badminton, Bablot Badminton Rackets are worth the investment. They are slim, lightweight, and the strings can be adjusted to the user's desired setting. Look into Bablot if you're a beginner or an intermediate player trying to improve their skills.
Founded in 1989, Wilson is one of the most popular sporting good brands in today's market. The company began in Chicago and made a name for itself by creating high-end sporting equipment for sports such as Basketball, baseball, volleyball, and badminton.
This company is known for their iconic and functional rackets. Wilson badminton rackets are no different. Buying a racket from this company ensures that you'll have a long-lasting racket that will support you during your games.
Carlton Sports is sports equipment manufacturer that began in 1946. Throughout its history, the company created a lot of revolutionary changes towards badminton rackets. For instance, they created the first metal designed rackets to be used in tournament play.
Carlton badminton rackets are perfect for intensive gameplay. Their metal rackets are constructed of tough steel and carbon fiber. Buy a racket from this manufacturer if you want to get a strong racket for your next match.
The correct way of holding a racket is by having a handshake grip. Grip the racket like you were giving a handshake to someone else. This ensures that you'll hold the racket properly and prevents the racket from falling out of your hand.
Your thumb needs to be comfortably pressed against the wide surface of the racket handle. The rest of your hands must hold the racket as if you were giving someone else a handshake.
Holding the racket properly can affect your wrist flexibility when swinging. To execute strong serves and strokes, your wrists have to be flexible. To achieve this, you must:
Don't grip the racket lightly. Having a loose grip will make the wrist less flexible when flicking or rotating it.
Use ONLY your index, middle finger, and thumb when controlling the racket. The rest of your fingers should be placed comfortably on the grip of the racket. This ensures that your wrist moves more freely and is more flexible when playing badminton.
Here are a few badminton tips that most players tend to avoid. Follow them to ensure that your racket lasts for a long time.
Find a professional stringer in your local area. They can help you restring your badminton racket if the strings fall off. Professional racket stringers come in handy if you need help adjusting the tension of the strings to your playstyle.
You need to change your grip often. If you sweat often, you'll want to have a racket that's highly absorbent. The common way to change your grip depends on how sweaty your hands are and how often do you play badminton.
Replace the grommets of your racket. Over time, the grommets lose their quality and can result in destroyed racket strings and a weaker frame. You should clean the grommets of your racket at least twice a year to prevent any further issues.
Now that you have read our badminton racket guide you know everything about badminton rackets, there are still a few things you need to know. You must know what badminton rackets are available that are good for you. We invite you to look into our buying advice section to see which badminton racket is worth your investment.
Ultimately, the best badminton racket is up to you. Everyone's playstyle and skill level is different, and you must know which racket works the best with your gameplay. Look into our buying section to see which racket will enhance your performance in your next badminton game.