How to Choose a Good Badminton Racket
Today I will try to share my knowledge on how to choose a good badminton racket. I’ll give you all the information you need to be able to make the choice between the hundreds of brands out there.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Regulation Size Badminton Racket?
- 2 How To Choose A Badminton Racket
What Is A Regulation Size Badminton Racket?
According to the rules of badminton, badminton rackets should be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings that are connected to a frame and alternatively interlaced or bonded where they cross. The pattern of the stringing should be generally uniform and not less dense in the center than in other areas.
The racket’s frame, including its handle, should not exceed 26 3/4” in overall length and 9 1/16” in overall width. The overall length of the head should not exceed 11 7/16” and the racket’s strung surface should not exceed 11” in overall length and 8 5/8” in overall width.
If you’re basically a backyard player with a badminton set you bought at your local discount or sporting goods store, you won’t need to worry about choosing a racket. You’ll play with whatever came with your set.
The racket frame will probably be tempered steel, unless you purchased what’s called a “tournament quality” set, in which case the racket may be made from graphite. The rackets that come with low-cost sets usually have nylon strings.
How To Choose A Badminton Racket
If you are, or have hopes of becoming, a competitive badminton player, choosing the right racket is a crucial decision. And not an easy one.
If you didn’t know this, badminton rackets have three major components – the head (or hitting surface), the shaft and the handle. Cheaper badminton rackets have two joints – one between the shaft and the handle and another between the head and the shaft. Better and more expensive rackets have just one joint, as the head and shaft are a single element. There are also even more expensive badminton rackets that have no joints.
Badminton Racket Specifications
Most reliable manufacturers list the specifications of their badminton rackets, such as strength, weight, balancing point, overall balance, resistance to twisting and power – or the effort required to hit the bird a stated distance.
Comparing these features from racket to racket may help you select one that’s good for you. Naturally, as in most things in life, a quality badminton racket costs more than a cheap one.
Buy From An Established Badminton Racket Manufacturer
Second, you will definitely want to choose a badminton racket from an established manufacturer such as Yonex, Wilson, Head or Prince.
Of these four, Yonex is the most successful and prominent racket brand. But this does not mean you shouldn’t buy from one of the other manufacturers.
Evaluating A Badminton Racket
How does the racket look on first impression? Does it appear well made? Are all surfaces smooth? Do the strings feel tight and aligned correctly? Is the grip comfortable?
It’s tough to gauge the performance of a racket in the store but you can get a feel for it using just your hands.
Here are a few simple tests that can help you figure out how the racket might perform.
The balance point of a racket is typically on its shaft. Try to balance it on one of your index fingers. Move the racket left and right until it balances or almost balances.
A racket with a bad balance can cause more misplaced shots. To check the overall balance of a racket, find a flat surface and place the racket’s handle on it so that the head and shaft are hanging over the edge with the head parallel to the floor. Now, push down lightly on the head of the racket and quickly let up.
This will cause the racket to vibrate. If it has good overall balance, it will vibrate up and down. If it does not have good overall balance, it will wobble sideways a bit.
To test a racket’s flexibility, hold its handle in one hand and the top of the head in your other. Gently force the racket to bend slightly. Some racket shafts are very flexible and some are very rigid. The best choice is usually a racket with a shaft that’s neither too flexible nor too rigid.
Resistance To Twisting
To test this, grab both ends of the racket and try to twist it. If it flexes too easily, the racket is not very resistant to twisting which could effect the direction of your shots.
The final criterion is how much a badminton racket costs. You can spend as much or as little on a racket as your budget can handle. You can buy an aluminum racket for as little as $30 or pay $299 on a Sotx 16 Woven racket made of graphite and fiberglass.
The important thing is to not buy any manufacturer’s hype. Price does count but only to a certain point. If you find a racket with a good balance point, good over all balance, and the right flexibility and resistance to twisting – and if it just feels right in your hand – it doesn’t matter much whether it costs $35 or $99.