Have you ever wondered whether you and your badminton racket are an ideal match? Sometimes, there can be signs that your current racket isn’t the best fit for you. For instance, it might be hard to generate enough power in each shot, or it might feel heavy and awkward to maneuver on the court.
If these scenarios sound familiar, it might be time to invest in a new racketor badminton set. But it’s key to know which features and factors you should be looking for before you buy.
Figuring out how to pick the best badminton racket can be tricky—but it doesn’t have to be. Below, discover five factors that can help you choose the best badminton racket for your game.
How to Pick a Badminton Racket
Before you get started, think about the way you play badminton. Your play style and experience level will determine which factors can help you most. For example, an experienced offensive player will choose different badminton equipment than a player that prefers a strategic defensive game.
With that in mind, here are the five badminton racket features to think about as you browse:
1. Racket Weight
Racket weight is one of the most important features to pay attention to before you buy.
- A lighter racket offers rapid, easy movement for defensive (or newer) badminton players. Lightweight rackets are also great for beginners because you might not have the arm power for heavy rackets yet.
- On the other end of the spectrum are heavy rackets. Generally, these work well if you gravitate towards strong, offensive play. More weight will give you more powerful shots, but it can be difficult to maneuver if your hands aren’t strong enough yet. This is all the more important when looking into kids badminton rackets.
2. Weight Distribution
You’ve probably seen people refer to rackets as head-heavy, head-light, or balanced. Here’s a quick rundown, before you run down to your local badminton shop, on each of these terms (and what they can mean for your game.)
- A head-heavy racket lends itself well to aggressive power, making it best for offensive players.
- A head-light racket is helpful for defensive players. That’s because it allows you to move your racket more rapidly to respond to offensive shots from opponents.
- A balanced-weight racket is great for players who use an even mix of defensive and offensive shots.
3. Shaft Flexibility
When purchasing a racket, you should take its flexibility into account. Rackets are usually marked as:
- Extra stiff
- Extra Flexible
In general, a stiff shaft will give you more control over the accuracy of your shots. But it’ll also make it harder to get that sought-after power that some pros and high-level players can produce. For this reason, stiff shafts are best for more advanced players who know how to use them skillfully. Guiding the birdie exactly where you want it to go.
On the other hand, flexible shafts can boost your power, making them more suitable for beginner and intermediate players. However, this power comes at the expense of some accuracy.
If you’re not sure which flexibility is right for you, it might help to head to your local sports store to test how some of the rackets feel in person.
4. Frame Head Shape
- An isometric frame has a larger sweet spot to hit the shuttle with, making it a suitable choice for players who haven’t perfected their precision quite yet.
- An oval frame comes with a smaller sweet spot. But if you’re skilled enough to maneuver it, it can also give you more powerful and accurate shots.
5. String Tension
Badminton racket string tensions can range anywhere from 17 to 30lbs. The good news is that you can adjust your string tension when you restring your racket — but it still helps to know how it can affect your game.
- Higher string tension allows you to generate more power behind the shuttle. At the same time, it also shrinks the sweet spot on your racket. If you choose this tension level, you’ll need to focus on having accurate and precise movements. By keeping this in mind you’ll know what certain people prefer when they refer to what they believe a good badminton racket is like.
- Lower string tension gives you a larger sweet spot to work with, making it incredibly beginner-friendly. However, keep in mind that too low of string tension can take away from the power and accuracy of your shots.
How to Pick a Badminton Racket: The Takeaway
Before you bound to the store and grab the most high-tech badminton racket on the market, be honest with yourself about what your current strengths and weaknesses are.
You’ll want to choose a racket that improves your game right now. After all, you won’t be stuck with the same racket forever. As your badminton game changes and evolves, so will your racket!