Selecting the best badminton racket is likely to be just about the most important buying decision a badminton player can make. A lot of players no matter their skill level will probably select the wrong racket to cater for their particular game and current skill level.
The market is saturated with many brand names, Yonex, Victor, Ashaway, Carlton, Head, and Wilson to name but a few. The brands recommend you buy the latest racket their sponsored badminton superstars are currently using to great success.
However, it’s very important that you choose the best racket to match your individual technique and standard of play. Many of the champions of today are successful because they have great strength, technique, and physical fitness that has been developed over many years of hard training and dedication. Hopefully, you will aspire to be one of these future champions.
If you visit some of the well-known badminton forums you will read comments like, What gives? I just got the racket that the world top player uses to hit those powerful smashes, but now that I have played a couple of games with it my wrist and forearm are hurting me so much just trying to hit those big smashes as he does. What gives? Well, I will tell you what gives.
You are not a professional badminton player. You have probably purchased just about the most expensive badminton racket the Yonex Voltric Z Force and it is far too heavy and rigid for your style of game. When making a racket choice you must try and be as honest as you can about your physical capability and pick a badminton racket which matches that capability along with your skill set.
There are so many racket brands and technologies within the market to choose from it can be daunting when attempting to select the right racket. Hopefully, by using our guide you will be in a better position to decide on the best choice for you.
A good badminton racket allows a player to fully carry out his playing level. When purchasing a racket, you should consider all aspects of the racket from technical type, material, string, workmanship, style, performance, brands, and price.
3 Steps To Choosing The Best Badminton Racket
Badminton players can mainly be placed within three categories.
The Beginner Player
The best badminton rackets for the beginner player tends to be of lighter weight and have a flexible shaft which will allow the beginner that bit more control. The lightest badminton racket is usually in the range of 84 grams.
These type of rackets generally have a low balance point. In effect, the racket feels light in the head. There are many good badminton rackets to choose from at a reasonable price. The Ashaway Superlight T5 SQ is a good choice as is the Carlton Ignite Fusion.
The Intermediate Player
Good badminton rackets for the intermediate player tend to have a firmer shaft and a bit more weight in the racket. The intermediate player might want the best badminton racket for smashing and that bit more power in his or her play.
These type of rackets would have a higher balance point and will feel that bit heavier in the head. This one from Ashaway the Viper XT750 is a good choice and is just about the best badminton racket for intermediate players you can find. This Yonex Arcsaber 6 racket is also one worth having.
The Advanced Player
Racket choices for the advanced badminton player tend to have rigid shafts and high balance points making these type of rackets head heavy.
Advanced players tend to lean towards the best badminton racket for smashing and also at the same time the best badminton racket for utilizing power play. Advanced players tend to be county and international level.
This Yonex Arcsaber Z Slash racket which is about the most expensive badminton racket you can buy today is a firm favorite with hard-hitting attacking players.
Power players seem to favor the Victor Thruster TK8000 which is a good choice for the big-hitting player who loves to power down his or her smashes. The Victor Thruster is just about the best badminton racket for power that you can buy.
The fundamental conditions when choosing a racket are included of:
- Types of racket frames
- String tension
- Shaft stiffness / flexibility
- Grip size
- The balance point of the weight
Types of Racket Frames
If you take a look at most of the rackets available in the market, you will notice that most of them are manufactured with the isometric shape. If you don’t like the isometric design, then you can still choose the other 2 types of rackets which are rounded square and traditional oval frame.
The traditional oval head is built with a smaller sweet spot. The design of this racket head can offer you with higher force compare to isometric.
While the rounded square head is having a larger sweet spot with lower force compare to isometric.
Which racket frame you should choose actually depends on you. If you do not have special focus and requirement for the sweet spot, then the isometric head is actually the most suitable one, especially for beginners.
Different rackets are designed to hold different string tensions. However, for those rackets that cannot hold high tension doesn’t mean that they are not good rackets.
This is due to each player is having different tension preferences. For my playing experience, I think high or low tension will have its own advantages during gameplay.
Normally string high tension is from 27 lbs and above. Generally, the higher the tension, the shorter the time for the shuttle to stay on the stringbed, and the shuttle bounce speed will be fast.
If you do not have good arm strength, you should avoid using high tension string.
On the other hand, string with lower tension is from 20 lbs and below. The time for the shuttle to stay on the stringbed is longer, and the shuttle bounce speed will be slow. But a lower tension string will give you better control.
So when choosing a racket, ensure to choose those racket that can withstand the string tensions that you want.
Most rackets will be bought pre-strung. They will be strung to the manufacturers recommended tension. They will usually be strung in synthetic gut. If you are a player who plays competitively, you will probably want to get a restring not long after purchasing your racket.
This is because manufacture stringing is not as good or as tight as you will find is carried out by your local restringing professional. Your local stringer will usually string in Ashaway or Yonex strings are these are the two most popular and quality brands.
When going to choose for your racket, you need to pay great attention to the shaft stiffness and flexibility.
In reality, the shaft stiffness and racket string are having the same theory. The stiffer the shaft, the force for you do the shot will be greater. Therefore, you will need to exert more arm strength when playing the shot.
In the other hand, for a racket with a flexible shaft, you will not need to have a great arm strength to do the shot.
Thus, my suggestion is that for beginners or for players with weaker arm strength, you should not buy a racket with a stiff shaft.
The smaller the grip, the heavier the racket head. In opposite, the bigger the grip, the lighter the racket head. Choosing different grip size will have an effect on the overall racket feel.
You may try to adjust the grip while playing and you will be able to feel the difference grip for different rackets.
Weight Balance Point
The balance point of a racket can be categorized to high, medium and low. Personally, I prefer the medium balance point because this type of racket is good for playing a balance in offense and defense.
Racket with a higher balance point will have a heavier head. This racket is for offensive players. It can give the player with greater force when hitting the shuttle.
Racket with lower balance point the weight will be focused at the grip. So the racket head will be lighter. The swing speed will be fast. We will talk more about this later.
Relationship Between Weight, Balance, Shaft Flexibility, and Your Playing Style.
Having a good grasp about the relationship of these 4 features will help you to pick the right racket for you to play the game. If you didn’t get it right, you may end up buying the wrong racket which may cause you to waste your money on the racket that is not what you are looking for.
When considering what type of racket for you to buy, first you need to know what type of player you are. This is because each racket is unique and is catered for a specific playing style.
Your Playing Style
If you are an offense-oriented player who needs a lot of power when playing on the court, then you should choose the rackets that featured with a higher balance point. These types of rackets can offer you higher balance points as they are having a heavier head and can offer you with a great deal of striking.
If you are the ultra sharp offense-oriented player in which you smash aggressively and defends solidly, then you should go for the racket that can help you shift from offense play to defense play very fast. This type of racket is featured with a highly elastic shaft that can help you produce fast swing speeds. The weight of the racket is also lighter.
If you are a quick hand player, then you can choose the lightweight racket for you to do fast play. You can use this type of racket to react very fast and lay decisively.
These types of rackets are features with flex shafts and frames with lightweight which make the badminton rackets more active.
If you are the control-focused type of player, you should choose the racket that allows you to perform multi-control.
The racket can offer you with a strong offense, defense, and control. They build the racket with flexible shafts that features vast head and large sweet spots.
If you are a balanced and well-rounded style player, you can choose the racket that can offer you with solid offense and defense.
These types of rackets are having the balances of the weight with the shaft. The racket can help you to perform a good power shot and frontcourt play.
It is hard for you to find a racket that is having the same weight, balance, and flexibility.
A racket with more flex means it will offer you more power but with less control. With the stiffer shaft, you need to supply more of the power, but the racket will offer great help to control the shot.
With a medium flex racket, you will get a good balance of both power and control. While heavy racket helps the shuttle to travel further if you can generate the head speed.
If you lack the strength but have a steady stroke, then a head heavy or an even balance racket with a flexible shaft would be good for you.
What I can say is that a medium balanced racket is the best that suited to be used for most players.
If the racket head is light, you will have a great feel on it. And if you are on the weaker side, you can speed up this type of racket more easily.
Combine this with a medium or stiff shaft and you will have more control and head speed.
How Do I Find The Appropriate Racket
The key to picking a good racket if you need to test it out and feel it by yourself.
You need to try out different rackets of different weight and see if they are a good fit with your body and your feel.
There are many players who love the feel of the racket when they are trying in the sports store, but when they bought it and bring to play at the court, only they found out that the racket is actually not the one that they are looking for.
Therefore, before you buy a racket, you need to test it out and see how your shoulder, elbow, arm, wrist react. Then only you can know whether the racket is the right one for you.
It is best for you to buy the racket from a store that allows you to do a demonstration. Then you can be sure that you won’t wrongly buy the racket that is not fit for you.
You can also try the different rackets in the store and do some different swings. You can move your body a little with appropriate footwork and see how you feel with the racket until you get the one that you have a good feel with it.
One thing that you need to pay attention to is that you need to try the racket that has the string attached on the racket. Don’t swing a racket without string as you may get the racket that is not well fit for you after putting on the string. It can carry more weight and you may not get a good feel to it anymore.
Once you know the weight balance and the length of the racket that fit for you, then it is easy now for you to choose the ideal racket that well suits you.
Another thing you need to take into consideration is whether if you are playing more on singles or doubles.
Singles players normally will go for stiffer racket since they tend to do a lot of offensive shot. While doubles players like to choose for more flex rackets because they are more focused on the fast defense shots.
Racket Material – Modern Construction Choices
Years ago rackets were constructed in wood and had to be kept in a press when not in use, this helped to stop the rackets head from warping. These wooden rackets were very heavy when compared against modern-day models.
Modern rackets are manufactured in a variety of materials which are much lighter and provide the player with greater flexibility of stroke selection. Here is a list of some materials you will come across in modern racket being manufactured.
The rackets you find in the shops today will be manufactured in a composite made up of a selection from some of the materials stated above.
You can check out the workmanship of the racket to see if it is quality or poorly made. If you do not understand how you can carry out some test on the racket to know if the racket is a quality one or not, you can take a look of some testing I shared with you here.
- Look at the overall straightness of the shaft. You can place the racket in a horizontal position on a flat table to see if the shaft has an arc with the table. If there is, then the workmanship is poor.
- Check if the paint on the shaft is evenly sprayed. If a certain area is not getting paint or some areas are having little or more paint, then the painting craftsmanship is not so ideal.
- Look at the details of the racket. Check if got any defective on it like bubble, bump, crack, etc.
- Check if the grip tape is broken. Hold the racket in your hand and see how you feel when gripping it.
- See if the string is complete and if any string is broken.
- Swing the racket to check and see if the T-shaped joint or any connection is loose. Check if the shaft and the frame is parallel.
Look at the elasticity of the racket. Press the handle on the table and hang the body. Then pull the racket head and release your hand. Observe the swing of the head. The higher the level of swinging, the better the elasticity of the racket. If the racket is flapping left and right, it is best not to buy it as the balance of the racket is not good.
6 Tips To Help You Decide On The Best Badminton Racket For You
- Check out some badminton rackets reviews online to get a feel for how other players felt about their racket purchases.
- Some cheap badminton rackets will be suitable for you, so do not overlook checking them out.
- Some of the best badminton racket brands are Yonex, Carlton, Ashaway, Victor, and Babolat.
- Some rackets are usually only made in one grip size. Use a Karakal super PU grip to enlarge the handle size.
- Isometric head shaped rackets are the most popular choices amongst all standards of players.
- If you locate the racket you really like, buy two if you can afford it, they might not be available next season.
Is It More Expensive Racket Is Of Better Quality?
Generally, the price of the badminton racket is related to its materials, craftsmanship, and brand. The new model is generally more expensive, and usually, the price will drop a lot after a while.
Typically, the expensive badminton racket is mainly used by professional players, and they may not suitable to be used by amateurs or beginners. Besides, the average players can hardly feel the slight difference between different racket models.
So the most important thing for you to do is to pick a racket you are most comfortable with instead of just looking at the price. Of course, if you don’t consider the price factor and you are afforded to pay for the expensive racket, then you may just go and get the latest branded racket that sells at a high price.
It is a lot of personal preferences when come to pick a racket. You should know about all these before you go to buy one so you can get the racket with the characteristics you want and match your playing style.
The rackets mentioned above and their suitability to the level of the player is only a general guide as you can have a beginner or intermediate player who is strong and powerful enough to use a heavier more rigid racket. You also get top international and county players using lighter more flexible rackets and winning many tournaments with them.
The best thing to do is go into your local racket shop and hold a few of the badminton rackets in your hand, this will let you experience the balance and weight of each racket.
If possible, try to demo a racket at a piece of badminton equipment come and try a session. If there are no come and try sessions in your area, you could try to borrow one from a friend or club mate and try it out for a game or two during a club night, or a hired court session at your local sports center. This will ensure you know whether it feels right for you before you buy it.
You can learn more about badminton racket here.