Racquets, Socks, and Shuttlecocks — Best Price And ValuePublished June 11, 2021
In this article, we want to assist you in knowing how to obtain the best value for the price of the essential badminton gear: the racquet, the shuttlecock, and the additional accessories that bring court comfort.
The Goldilocks Moment
To get this power and control means looking at the racquet balance, weight, shaft flexibility, grip, and the type of strings. It is a ‘goldilocks’ moment of deciding what works best for the style of play — singles or doubles, and individual arm swing proficiency.
- Balance: The three categories for racquet balance are head-heavy, headlight, and even balanced. If you are an expert in stroke technique and enjoy singles play, choose head-heavy. Headlight or even balanced is best for those players who delight in ‘doubles.’
- Weight: Lighter racquets provide faster swing, aka stroke. A heavier racquet is better for delivering greater power and speed to the shuttlecock. Those players who have a more muscular physical build and stroke techniques refined would be best to consider the heavier racquet.
- Shaft Flexibility: The shaft is that long rod that connects the head to the racquet handle. If the stroke is fast and powerful, a stiffer shaft would be best. If the arm speed is in the intermediate skill range, consider medium flexibility. If one is beginning to play badminton, a very flexible shaft is better.
- Grip: Strictly personal preference. If you like net rally excellence, choose a smaller grip that will ease switching from forehand to backhand grip. If ‘smash shots’ are your forte, you probably want a larger handle grip to get a good firm hold on the handle.
- Strings: The type and tension of the string are important to racquet power and control. The pro players prefer the natural animal gut string and higher tension to control the shuttlecock birdie better. Use a lower tension in the string if a beginner as the string itself will provide the power, rather than arm stroke.
Racquet Brands and Prices
The question now lies in which racquet brand provides the best value for the price. To ease that ‘goldilocks’ moment and limit any ‘sweat’ to the actual badminton court, we narrowed racquet choice down to the top three well-known manufacturers’ brands and prices for that brand.
When you think of sports equipment, specific names come naturally to the mind. Since the sport of badminton is to Asia as Tennis is to America, it would be logical to select from brands made by Asian manufacturers.
- YONEX: Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with distributors of their product in 45 nations. Besides racquets, they produce shuttlecocks, badminton shoes, apparel, and a wide range of badminton accessories. Yonex is the dominant choice for the badminton pros of Asia!
- LI-NING: Founded in 1989 in China, LI-Ying supplies competitive badminton teams worldwide and is noted for high-quality racquets, high performance in power and control, and a higher price cost.
- VICTOR: Victor is well known for producing racquets to meet every individual playing style and ability. With Victor, you will find head-heavy, light, and even-balanced racquets created for speed, power, and all-around athletes.
If the value is found in a variety, you won’t go wrong when shopping these three badminton racquet brands!
Best Birdie Brands And Buys
Real feathered birdies will naturally be more costly than those made of plastic or nylon. Still, real feathers give better performance, though not always better durability. All shuttlecocks are rated for their speed, which is the distance the birdie flies over the net. If playing in a high altitude or hot climate, choose a shuttlecock with a slow speed. For cold areas below sea level, a fast shuttlecock speed would be preferable. When play is at sea level, a shuttlecock numbered 77 is a good bet, providing moderate speed.
The three feathered favorites or synthetic shuttlecock brands are:
- YONEX: In feathered or nylon birdies, Yonex is a good choice for finding a wide range of quality and price. The best of feathered shuttlecocks by Yonex is the Yonex AS40.
- RSL: RSL is a Chinese firm known for being the largest supplier of feathered and synthetic shuttlecocks and most meticulous in selecting only optimum goose feathers with zero tolerance for inferiority. The quality of the RSL product does make these birdies costly.
- CARLTON: Durability and aerodynamic stability made Carlton a recognized shuttlecock brand of feathers or synthetic material for over 150 years, with distributors of their brand located in the U.S. and Europe, predominantly the United Kingdom. Prices are moderate.
Best Badminton Brand Apparel
Polyester and nylon clothing dries the sweat more quickly, while cotton absorbs and will weigh you down as you make that jump shot. Choose fitted, not tight, skirts, shorts, and tees, which do not restrict movement. Avoid the dark type of colors that absorb heat. Besides clothing, consider thick socks to cushion the feet, a headband that absorbs sweat, caps, and visors to block sunlight.
When most people shop for badminton ‘anything,’ Yonex naturally rolls off the tongue, including clothing, shoes, and accessories.
The three most recognized and trusted brands for badminton apparel and accessories are:
- YONEX: It is known for clothing quality that includes mesh fabric for enhanced airflow. Part of their clothing line is a technological fabric design to keep body temperature 3 degrees cooler than conventional clothing.
- LI-NING: Li-Ning clothing provides moisture management technology to draw sweat away from the body and offers clothing for men, women, and children in various colors.
- VICTOR: Provides a popular clothing line for badminton players, as well as shoes and accessories.