What Are the Different Types of Badminton Smashes & How to Perfect Yours

Published June 11, 2021
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A smash is the most powerful, offensive shot in badminton. Generally speaking, a smash shot is when you hit the shuttle from a high point in your backcourt with a forceful, downward trajectory into your opponent’s midcourt.

If your opponent hits a high shot to the back of your court, you can use this shot to end the rally. Done properly, a good smash shot can win you the match.

Keep reading to learn the different types of badminton smashes, how to execute them, and other tips to keep in mind as you’re getting the hang of these techniques.

The Main Types of Badminton Smashes 

1. The Forehand Smash

The forehand smash can be one of the toughest shots for your opponent to return — if executed skillfully. 

To perform a forehand smash, you’ll first turn sideways with your non-racket side foot and shoulder facing the target. Your racket arm will be raised and bent at the elbow, with the wrist straightened and your racket pointed towards the ceiling. Your non-racket arm will be pointed at the incoming shuttle. 

Then, tilt your wrist backward so the racket is pointed at the floor. Your weight will shift from your rear foot to your front foot as you step forward and swing your racket arm towards the shuttle. Your arm should straighten as you swing, with a wrist flick forward just before contact. 

In short, you’ll use a throwing-like motion with your racket arm. Aim for the highest point of contact in front of your body with a downwards motion to fire the shuttle into your opponent’s court.

2. The Jump Smash

A jump smash is similar to the forehand smash but will boost the power and speed behind your shot. It’s recommended to practice this shot once you’ve mastered the forehand smash. 

In a jump smash, you’ll use your racket foot to jump off the ground, with your non-racket arm pointed outwards for balance. Then, you’ll reach your racket arm as far back as possible with a gentle bend in your knees while you’re in the air.

Finally, you’ll contract your abs as much as you can while swinging your racket forward. Swing the racket just like you would in a forehand smash from the ground. Afterward, you’ll want to land with your racket foot in front.  

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t jump smash too many times in a game — unless your cardio can handle it. Too much jumping can wear you out pretty quickly.

One final tip is to regain your balance quickly in case your opponent was ready for that smash!

3. The Backhand Smash

The backhand smash is a more advanced shot that you should probably only do when a forehand shot isn’t possible. 

Using the backhand grip, with your back facing the net, and your weight shifted onto your racket foot, hold the racket diagonally towards your non-racket side. Make sure the racket is in front of your body.  Then, hit the shuttle in front of you by flicking your wrist downwards towards your opponent’s court.

4. Around the Head Smash

This smash shot is like the forehand smash with a few key differences — one being that you’ll be smashing the shuttle from the non-racket side of your body. 

While facing the net squarely, lean your weight towards your non-racket leg. Your elbow should be bent with the racket behind your head. 

When you hit the shuttle, your forearm should graze your head while you bring your arm forward, straightening your elbow to complete the shot. At the same time, you’ll quickly shift your weight to your racket leg as you make contact.

5. Half Smash 

The half smash is simply a forehand smash at 50% to 75% power. Although it’s less powerful, it can be useful for catching your opponent off guard due to the difference in speed.

6. The Stick Smash

A stick smash is a quick downward shot using a forward flick of your wrist.  It’s patterned after the forehand smash, but the driving force is generated through the wrist movement.  It isn’t a powerful smash, but it contains the element of surprise that can throw your opponent off during a match.

7. The Slice Smash

The slice smash is a forehand smash using your racket at a slicing angle.  You can confuse your opponent when you slice smash because it changes the angle of your return shot and can slow the shuttle speed by spinning it.

Final Tips for Mastering Your Smashes

Here are some final tips to keep in mind as you practice these smash shots on the court:

  • You’ll want to hit the shuttle at the highest point possible, so you can hit it at the steepest angle. Getting yourself behind the shot quickly will help you accomplish this.
  • Before you hit the smash shot, get your balance to be as solid as possible. You can’t hit a good shot without balance, and it’s especially important for smashes. Your power comes from the ground, so a sound center of balance is imperative to maximize the power and speed of the smash shot.
  • Your muscles should be loose and relaxed. This is because relaxed muscles move faster and have a greater range of mobility. Your muscles should only tighten as you need them to move a part of your body.
  • The most important piece of a properly executed smash shot is to make sure that your opponent is not ready for it. The element of surprise is important, and you’ll want a clear path to your opponent’s midcourt.  

The Bottom Line on the Different Types of Badminton Smashes

Try out these techniques and practice until you feel confident in them. You’re always taking a risk when you decide to hit any type of smash shot — but following the tips above will make you feel like a pro in no time

So, make sure you surprise your opponent with your next smash shot!

If you’re interested in learning more about badminton techniques, check out this article on returning smashes in singles.

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