Of all the racket sports, badminton is perhaps one of the easiest to learn, but it is immensely difficult to master the mechanics. The irregular paths that the shuttle can fly through the air, as well as the high speed with which the opponent returns a shot, make this sport an entertaining and exciting challenge.
It is also an excellent workout as you will be darting, hopping and running for an hour or two around the playing area/court. Acquiring the skills you need on the course and the athletic style you need on the way there will require more than time: You also need the right equipment.
The shuttlecock is a standard piece of equipment, but rackets vary from person to person. Which one is right for you? Whether you want to replace an old or broken bat or take the sport for the first time, this is an important decision.
Looking at a racket alone won’t help much in choosing the perfect one for you. You have to pick it up and see for yourself. If you do, what criteria should you use to evaluate the racket? Let us summarize the important components of this important badminton equipment.
Choosing The Right Head Shape
The shape of your racket is an important factor and is one of the first things you should consider. You need to look at the racket head. Luckily, there are only two forms that are common to today’s players, so you don’t have to work hard in choosing your badminton racket head shape.
We refer to these shapes as the oval and the isometric racket head shapes. An oval bat is exactly what you would expect from its name. It has a generally oval shape and not much more than that. An isometric racket, on the other hand, has a slight taper on top, which makes the equipment almost like an egg.
What is the difference? If you are a beginner, an oval club will best suit you. Its larger surface leads to a larger sweet spot. This is the area on the strings, with which you can meet the birdie with the most comfort and strength. Oval rackets are easier to adjust to the use and do not tire the arm of the amateur.
However, if you want to track more power and control over your shots, select the isometric bat instead. You will get the ability to deliver more scorching returns but at the expense of a reduced sweet spot. With the right amount of practice, however, you can place the shuttle directly on the spot during almost every volley.
Choosing The Right Weight For Your Racket
What kind of weight feels best in your hand? After you have chosen the shape of the head, it is time to get acquainted with the overall weight of your equipment. Since you will move a lot with the racket, you have to find a good balance in its weight.
A racket that’s heavier allows you to smash with more force, but requires a much stronger wrist and a stronger arm to play with impact. A light racket is the best choice for a beginner, since it gives them time to adapt to their movement.
It allows faster movements and efficient volleys, but it may miss if you want to strike back close to the grid. To choose the weight of a racket, you have to hold it in your hand and give a few practice turns. You don’t have to guess if it’s the best choice for you. Clubs are divided into four different categories, which are marked with a “U” and a number.
The heaviest rackets are marked U1, while the lightest ones are marked U4. Do not choose an excessively heavy racket, especially if you’re a beginner. Too heavy and you’ll overcompensate. That’s not good for your arm or your game!
Try out all four weight classes in the store to see what you like best. Balance is important: the different balance points of the rackets and the distribution of weight is just as important as the total mass. In fact, the balance of the racket could be its most important asset.
Three Different Balance Points in Rackets
Evenly balanced, head light and head heavy are three different balance points in rackets. What you choose depends on the kind of play that you love to do. However, if you are looking for a good all-around choice, we recommend that you go straight to the well-balanced racket. Whether you play on the back of the game field or right next to the net, a balanced racket always delivers a constant performance.
A racket with more weight against the shank head will be top heavy but provide more power. An isometric shape racket that has a heavy head can shoot the shuttlecock at high speeds and zoom in on the opponent.
It also makes precision strokes more difficult and requires a lot of extra exercise and practice to master. It is a good choice for those who play at the back of the square. In contrast, a head-light racket allows fast swish and gentle movements.
It is ideal for double or tactical work on the net to end volleys or return enemy smashes. Balance the club at the center of the shank with your finger? The direction in which it leans will tell you which part is heavier and if it is balanced. Bending or not bending?
Flex Or Non-Flex: How to Choose Racket Stiffness
Have you looked at any rackets? If so, you may have noticed that the labels often list whether they are flexible or stiff. Stiffness is also an important but underestimated aspect of the badminton racket. To assess flexibility as you choose your badminton racket, hold it at the top and the handle then try carefully to bend it from side to side.
The flex should give you a good idea of how much movement is available in the shaft. It has everything to do with how the racket acts under the stress of moving through the air while swinging. If you swing at a quick, hard and fast manner, do not choose a flexible bat.
During the flight it will just bend back so far that they beat too early. The result is a poorly hit birdie without the right placement. Instead, choose a stiffer model to withstand the stresses. If you use a slower motion, however, as is often the case with amateurs, it is best to use a racquet with more flex.
In this way, you can still achieve the level of performance you prefer, but without loss of control, other clubs can deliver. The practice will show you the way forward here; It is largely a matter of matching rackets to your playing style! Considering these things, it shouldn’t be hard to choose the best racket for your game.
Additional Features To Consider
There are a few other tips on how you can choose your badminton racket. The size of the grip is important, just for convenience and control reasons. Too big and you might have trouble controlling your racket. Too small and the racket slips from your hands.
Pick up several rackets to find a good grip for your hand. If you don’t find any that is ideal for you, try adding grip-tape yourself. The string tension can also vary. You can always have your racket withdrawn, but choosing the right tension to start can make your exercises easier.
Rackets show their tension range. Tighter strings provide a solid surface for strong strokes, while a loose tension provides better control. Start with a tension at the bottom range. As you develop your skills and play style, you can increase the tension to your liking.
Practicing with your new racket makes the perfect impression at first glance, buying a badminton racket seems to be a simple and straightforward task. However, if you want to take your game seriously, you need to delve deeper.
By evaluating a racket according to all the criteria we have discussed here, you can find one that best suits your playing style. A comfortable racket will help you not only in placing strokes and keeping volleys; It will be easier and less tiring to keep you in the game for a long time. The next time you pick up a new racket, don’t forget to give it a flex test and give it some practice shots.