Badminton/Equipment: How to Purchase the Right Badminton Racquet

Badminton/Equipment: How to Purchase the Right Badminton Racquet

Antony Cassidy

Badminton racquets can be expensive so it would be wise to know the basics before you buy. Novice players need not spend more than $60. There are many good racquets around this price.

There are some basic fundamentals to look for in any badminton racquet, the most important being the weight, balance, head shape, flexibility and grip size.

Racquet Weight
Most racquets weigh between 80-100 grams. More weight should give you extra power, but less manoeuverability. A heavy racquet will be more difficult to swing through the air, but it will be more stable than a lighter racquet.

A lighter racquet will offer more swing speed and manoeuvrability, at the cost of power and stability. The lightest badminton racquet I have come across is the Karakal SL-70 weighing just 70 grams. This is the weight before you add strings and the overgrip, so you need to be aware of this.

Yonex, the most popular badminton racquet manufacturer, has a unique system for determining racquet weight, the U system, which ranges from U= 95-100g all the way to 4U= 80-84g. Other racquet makers have their system.

A novice player should not bother about weight. It is far more important to concentrate on your badminton skills.

The balance of a badminton racquet refers to just that. There are three kinds: head heavy, head light, and evenly balanced. Head heavy racquets offer more weight at the top of the swing, giving more power and stability on contact with the shuttle. Head light racquets will enable you to swing the racquet quicker, but less weight means less power and stability. Evenly balanced racquets give you a neutral feel.

Oval Head Shape
Oval Head Shape
Isometric Head Shape
Isometric Head Shape

Head Shape
The classic head shape is usually an oval, but you can also buy isometric head shapes. The isometric head is more square, which creates a larger sweet spot. With an enlarged sweet spot you will have more chance of getting power from off-centre shots. For a novice this is be a useful advantage

The flexibility of the racquet relates to the amount of flex in the shaft. A stiff racquet will have less flexibility and is unforgiving for a beginner. A flexible racquet will obviously have more flex and this will give a beginner more power by providing a sling -hot effect. The downside is you will have less control. You should only buy a stiff flex racquet when your technique is up to scratch, otherwise you may get shoulder problems when the vibration from hitting the shuttle travels through your arm and into your shoulder joint.

Grip Size
Grip sizes also come with different systems. Yonex badminton have their G system, which ranges from G2 (the largest) to G5 (the smallest). Other brands use small, medium and large. Your grip size is your own personal preference.

These are the badminton racquet basics and I hope this will help you when you choose your next racquet.

Reference: Antony Cassidy, Badminton Racquet Blogspot, 2008.

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