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Whether you’re a beginner or a pro player, if badminton is something you spend a lot of time doing, you’ll want to keep certain badminton gear in your bag at all times. These are essential items you’ll want to have to make training and playing easier. The following list of gear is made up entirely of items you can fit inside your badminton bag and take on the go to and from your badminton facility of choice!
1. Badminton Rackets
This goes without saying – you can’t play the game without a racket. But did you know there is more than one kind of badminton racket? There are game rackets and training rackets, Both are good additions to your essential badminton gear. Game rackets are rackets that you’ll use to play a competitive match with and should be chosen carefully to accentuate your strengths as a player. Choosing a badminton racket is a process – a process too long to work into this blog post. Lucky for you we’ve already covered choosing a badminton racket here. You’d be wise to have more than one racket in your badminton bag. Strings (and sometimes rackets themselves) break, and you don’t want to waste good training time by throwing in the towel without a racket to use.
A training racket is not your average game racket. It’s heavier than a traditional competition racket and is designed to develop forearm strength. You’d use this heavy training racket during footwork drills and resistance training. For some perspective: The average competition racket weighs anywhere from 80g to 100g. Yonex makes a 150g training racket that would be a solid addition to any badminton gear bag.
2. Badminton Shoes
A great set of badminton shoes offers more than comfort. It’s an additional piece of badminton gear that is a must-have for several reasons. You cannot walk onto a badminton court and play in your everyday athletic shoes. Most facilities actually have regulations around what shoes are permitted on their court surfaces. They must be non-marking shoes.
Additionally, your badminton shoes need to be in your bag any time you aren’t actually playing. A knowledgeable player would never walk into or out of a facility in their badminton shoes. The gum-rubber bottoms pick up dirt and dust easily, which will make them lose their grip factor. This can create for some slick footing in the game that can destroy your speed and footwork, and even lead to injury. In addition to stocking your bag with essential gear, you need to be sure you’re taking proper care of that gear.
A good pair of shoes need to offer the right kind of support and design for your foot size and shape, as well as your playing style. This is another one of those things that need a separate blog post. Luckily, we’ve reviewed some of the best badminton shoe options in this post.
3. Overgrip and Grip Tape
Every racket comes with a grip, this quickly wears over time and play. A racket can be brought back to life with a simple overgrip makeover. Overgrip is simply a soft ribbon of PU padding that wraps the handle of the badminton racket to provide comfort and grip during play. These overgrips can wear out with regular use and need to be replaced. There are several kinds of overgrips and replacement grips. They offer different colors, textures, and absorbencies. Grip tape is used to secure an overgrip at the top of the racket handle. Most overgrips come with a small bit of grip tape in the package, but this sometimes needs to be replaced during play, so having grip tape in your badminton bag is essential.
Overgrip serves many purposes for badminton players. The game requires constant switching of forehand, backhand, and overhead swings, and that’s made virtually impossible with an overly slippery, or overly sticky racket grip. Overgrip can also be used to create a thicker grip if your is worn. You may find that you’ll need to experiment with different overgrips before finding one that feels good in your hand. A local pro-shop would be a great place to check out the many options and pick up a few tips about applying an overgrip. If you don’t have a pro-shop, overgrips are available in many places online. Some examples of popular overgrips are:
- Karakal PU Supergrip – It’s soft, super-absorbent, non-slip, and comes in a ton of fun colors.
- Yonex Super Grap– Absorbent and slightly tacky, this grip is thinner than the Karakal. It also comes in a ton of fun colors.
- Senston New Racket Grip – This grip has a raised edge and perforations for texture. It also comes in several colors.
- You can even buy a towel grip that is super soft and absorbent, though it offers no tacky surface. Some pro players use these types of grips.
You’d be surprised at the kind of intense sweat you can work up during a long badminton rally. You’ll want a towel of some kind in your badminton bag. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or fancy addition, though it is an essential piece of gear. A simple cotton or cotton-poly blend hand towel will do in a pinch. If you’re really a stickler for towel performance and absorbency, there are specific fitness towels on the market. Most are made of microfiber and are designed specifically for absorption during a workout. Sinland makes an inexpensive microfiber towel option that comes in a ton of color combos.
This might seem like a strange piece of essential badminton gear for your bag if you are only a beginner. But the first time a string snaps on your badminton racket, you’ll be glad to have a pair of scissors in your bag. They don’t take up much space but do come in super handy. These Cutter Bee Precision Scissors won’t take up a lot of space at only 5 inches in length but can snip a string in a pinch. Be sure to get a pair of scissors with a safety cover, so that they don’t damage any of the other equipment in your bag in transport.
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
6. Extra Shuttlecocks
It’s unspoken badminton etiquette for players to contribute to a game from their own store of shuttlecocks. It’s considered rude to use up an opponent’s store of shuttlecocks, as they can get expensive with regular play. You’d never want to be caught without a store of shuttlecocks in your bag. The Yonex Mavis 2000 is a decent synthetic shuttlecock and comes in a 1/2 dozen tube. If you prefer a genuine goose feather shuttlecock, Kevenz offers a nice 12-pack of shuttlecocks that is great for practice and games.
7. Grip Powder
Grip powder is applied to absorb moisture and improve grip (obviously). It’s a must-have piece of gear in your bag, but don’t be fooled into using an inappropriate replacement, such as baby powder. Baby powder is talc-based. Grip powder is not. Baby powder is not going to give you the effect you’re looking for. You can even purchase a liquid substitute for traditional grip powder if you hate that dust factor. If you’re in a pinch and can’t find grip powder, chalk-based hand powders, such as those used in rock climbing will do.
8. Agility Ladder
Though it seems huge when you’re using it, you can get an agility ladder folds up into a tiny carrying bag that slides right into your badminton kit. This may seem like a strange piece of essential badminton gear, but let me explain why it’s a must-have. Picture it: You’re looking forward to getting some quality training in at your local badminton club. You show up, but realize all the courts are currently spoken for. You warm-up, but there’s still not a place for you to step in. What can you do? Open up that agility ladder in an out of the way area and work on your footwork, speed and agility. It’s a super-easy way to sneak in some purposeful training without stepping onto the court. Footwork is super important, and working on it at every logical opportunity will only serve to improve your game.
9. Scent Control Balls
You may feel like this is a ‘non-essential’ item, but trust us, it’s a must-have item. Just think about the sweaty shoes and wet athletic towel you’re storing in that closed-up bag. It won’t take long for your badminton bag to have a signature smell if you ignore this sweat-factor. That odor will accumulate quickly. The simplest solution is to toss a few scent balls into the bag, as well as placing one in each badminton shoe when you return them to your bag. A six-pack of scent balls is definitely an essential part of every badminton player’s gear bag.
If you make sure to stock your bag with this essential badminton gear, you are sure to be prepared to play whenever, wherever, and however. If you’re looking for tips on how to improve your badminton play, be sure to check our training blogs or our Youtube channel for drills and exercises to up your badminton game!