Badminton Racket Guide
Choosing The Right Badminton Racket
With tons of new rackets in the market we understand choosing the right racquet for yourself can be very daunting. Our staff at SMASH have many years of experience playing with different rackets from different brands. We believe that essentially it comes down to three main factors; the flexibility of the shaft, the balance of the racket and the overall racket weight.
Once you have understood the difference between these three criteria than you can take into account the different technologies utilised by the various brands. At the end of this guide, we have provided a list of the top rackets that we tested for the year and you can browse through them to read up more. If none of them suits your needs, then head back to the main page and filter via balance and flex to find the best racket for your game. The final step after choosing the best racket for you is to check our guide for choosing the right string and tension for the best performance possible.
If you are still confused on which racket to choose, please do not hesitate to drop us an email or call us, our staff will be more than happy to assist any enquiries you have.
The flexibility of the racket shaft is often neglected but is actually one of the most important factors when purchasing a badminton racquet. Choosing the right flexibility is dependent on your arm speed and strength. The shaft stiffness ranges from the following : flexible, medium flexible , stiff and extra stiff.
Flexible Shaft (For Developing Players with Slower Swing Speed)
Pro : A flexible shaft will bend and return to its original shape much more easily, allowing players to generate power much quicker. Furthermore, a flexible shaft will place less stress on your arm and will help slower players to sustain the momentum during long rallies. A flexible shaft will tend to be more suitable for beginners and developing players to help generate more swing power.
Con : Lower control.
As the shaft is flexible and bends easily, players will find it harder to dictate the precision of the shuttlecock. When the string bed connects with the shuttle the repulsion will cause the head of the racket to vibrate, leading to uncertainty in the flight direct. Therefore it is harder to control where you want the shuttlecock to be placed with a flexible shaft racket.
Suitable Playing Style: Stroke Players and Defensive Players
Players who prefer a stroke game with lots of rallies such as lobs and drop shots will suit a flexible shaft. This is because stroke/defensive players can fully utilize the power boost provided by the flexible shaft and will not need to exert too much strength on their own. They are able to focus on playing their defensive game without worrying about exerting too much strength in their swing motion. Defensive players will also find it easier to return smashes as the increased repulsion power allows players to return smashes with a soft touch.
Stiff Shaft (For Advanced Players with Explosive Swing Speed)
Pro: A stiff shaft will bend and return to its original shape much quicker, providing dynamic players who possess explosive swing speed with the maximum power and control possible. A stiff shaft is not suitable for beginners or players with a slower swing speed as they are unable to rely on the flexibility of the shaft to generate power. A stiff shaft is more ideal for players who are able to generate their own power with fast and strong wrist movements. Furthermore, a stiff shaft provides excellent shuttle placement as there is less vibrations with the string bed connects with the shuttle, allowing players to better control where the shuttle is landing.
Cons: A stiff shaft offers little or no repulsion. The shuttle will bounce off immediately after it comes into contact with the string bed of the racket. With less repulsion, shots are less powerful. This means that the holder of the badminton racket will have to swing harder in order to generate more power.
Suitable Playing Style: Stiffer shafts suitable for advanced players who play matches with fast rallies. A flexible shaft offers increased power at the cost reduced speed in returning the shuttle, a stiff shaft increases the speed at which the shuttle is returned at the cost of reduced power. Advanced players who are able to generate their own wrist power will generally prefer stiff shaft rackets as the shuttle is returned much quicker during rallies. Advanced techniques such as half smashes and deceptive shots require fast executions and a stiffer shaft will enable players to execute them smoothly.
- Head Heavy Rackets
With a head heavy racket most of the weight is distributed at the top of the racket frame. These rackets are designed for increased power and are tailored for attacking players who like to play from the back of the court. Players will find their shots more powerful and steeper, especially for smashes and clears. Head heavy rackets are normally preferred by singles players and back-court doubles players.
- Head Light Rackets
In contrast, head light rackets have less mass in the head and frame and are much easier to manoeuvre and swing. This is especially popular amongst doubles players as the increased manoeuvrability is an added boost in defending smashes and handling fast past rallies. Head light rackets also standout at the net as front-court players’ a are able to react faster to intercept shots and finish off rallies. Head light rackets are suitable fast attacking players who possess excellent technique and like to drive and counter-attack
- Even Balance Racket
Even balance racquets are designed to provide the middle ground between a head heavy and head light balance. They provide the advantages of both, providing decent power at the back and good handling at the front. If you play an all -round game with no preference between playing at the front or back than an even balance racket is the best choice. Social players or beginners also tend to prefer even balance rackets as they develop an understanding of their own playing style. These type of rackets are suitable for both singles and double and are very versatile.
TIP: If you have purchased a head heavy or even balance racket and still find it hard to control a useful tip is to build a thicker grip. This will shift the weight balance of the racket lower making it more suitable for control play.
Badminton rackets come in a range of weight categories with the most common being 3U (85- 89g ) and 4U (80-84g). A new superlight category has also developed recently with weight ranges of 5U (75-79g) and 6U ( 72- 75g).
We generally recommend that beginners and developing players start off with a lighter racket as they allow for increased swing speed and recovery. They are much easier to handle and place less stress on the wrist and shoulders. Singles players generally tend to use a slightly heavier racket (3U) for increased power and stability while doubles players tend to choose 4U and above for faster speed and reaction times.
Grip sizes is denoted by “G” and the larger the number, the smaller the handle size. Bigger grips are favoured by players who prefer a tighter feel to generate more power. Smaller grips are preferred by players who like to employ deception in their games as it provides increased manoeuvrability. If you are unsure which grip size to go fore we will normally recommend with the standard or smaller grip size as you can easily build the handle by using thick grips.
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