HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BADMINTON RACKET
According to professional players, the proper equipment is responsible for 15% of an athletes overall performance. Whether you're just starting out or competing regularly, having the right badminton racket will definitely make an impact on your game. 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 for their particular game and current skill level. The market is saturated with many brand names, each one having their own claim to fame. 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.
Your Skill Level.
The best badminton racquets for the beginner player tend to be of lighter weight and have a flexible shaft which will allow the beginner that much more control. The lightest badminton racquet is usually in the range of 84 grams. These types of racquets generally have a low balance point, in effect the racquet feels light in the head.
The Intermediate Player
Good badminton racquets for the intermediate player tend to have a firmer shaft and a bit more weight to the racquet. The intermediate player might want the best badminton racquet for smashing and that bit more power in his or her play. These types of racquets would have a higher balance point and will feel that much heavier in the head.
The Advanced Player
Racquet choices for the advanced badminton player tend to have rigid shafts and high balance points making these types of racquets head heavy. Advanced players tend to lean towards the best badminton racquet for smashing and also at the same time the best badminton racquet for utilizing power play. Advanced players tend to play at the regional and international levels.
Racquet Characteristics to Consider
How the string interacts with the shuttle is crucial to the feel of each stroke. Depending on your skill level and the style of your game, you should pick a string and tension that is suitable for your game.
The general rule of thumb is that the harder you can swing or hit the shuttle, the tighter your tension can be. A higher tension rewards a hard hitting player while robbing power from a light hitting one. On the opposite side, a lower tension string helps light hitting players by providing them with a more forgiving sweet-spot.
There is always the temptation to go higher in tension, but this is a case of bigger is not always better. Higher tension does not give you more power as mentioned above. Beginners should begin with lower tension and subsequently increase it when they gain more power in their technique.
The effective stiffness of a badminton racquet is similar to the effect that string tension has. A stiff racquet has the similar effect as highly strung strings, while a flexible racquet is similar to strings strung at a lower tension.
Head balanced rackets have more mass near the head of the racket. A head balanced racket is more stable and has increased momentum when swung. On the flip-side, an even balanced racket is more maneuverable.
Isometric, square and Oval. Oval is the most traditional racquet shape (Oval heads are slightly bottom heavy, similar in shape to an egg). Oval rackets in general have a small but more concentrated sweet-spot. The other shapes are the isometric or square head racquets. The isometric head has a wider and more squared top half of the racket head. The advantage of the isometric shape is an enlarged sweet-spot which gives a better response.
The typical length of a badminton racket is between 665 and 675 mm. The extra 10 mm can offer more power to a player's swing, but the length should not exceed 680 mm as this may greatly compromise maneuverability of the racket on the court.
Racquets come in different weights. Normally the racquet alone weighs between 80 to 95g. Racquet weight determines how fast you can swing the racquet, the lighter a racquet is, the faster one can swing it. In general terms, a lighter racquet is more maneuverable than a heavier one. Moreover, a light racquet is less stable than a heavier racquet, more force is necessary to keep it on its intended trajectory. Furthermore, a heavier racquet has more momentum and thus more effective in transferring its speed and power to the shuttlecock.
Racket Material – Modern Construction Choices
Years ago rackets were constructed of 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 in stroke selection. Here is a list of some materials you'll come across in modern rackets today.
How to Care For Your Badminton Racquet
When not in use, always refer to the manufacturer's instruction for storage.
Generally though, be aware of extreme temperature changes as the materials used in racquet frame construction are often sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Too high or too low a temperature may deform the racquet and impair it's function. We strongly suggest using a thermo cover for your badminton racquet(s). Whether you have a thermo cover or a regular cover, make sure the racquet is completely dry before storing it.
Needless to say, badminton racquets are delicate in nature; be sensible when handling them. For example; a graphite frame, though lightweight, is highly susceptible to structural damage brought on by impact against a hard surface which may cause the frame to shatter.
Shuttlecocks are available in two varieties; natural feather or synthetic.
Typically formed using 16 goose feathers inserted into a cork cap (base) which is then covered in leather. High quality shuttlecocks have great aerodynamic characteristics and are used in competitive matches. The play of this type of shuttle is highly desirable despite its higher cost.
A cheaper and more durable alternative to the feather shuttle, usually used by recreational players and for training sessions.
Selecting the proper shuttle may be based on the skill level of the competitors and the weather conditions. There are two different colour varieties available: White or yellow (for greater visibility) and three speed varieties:
- (red stripe) - perfect flight characteristics in colder conditions up to 15°C,
- (blue stripe) - suitable for normal temperatures, both indoors and outdoors,
Slow (green stripe) - slow shuttle for high temperatures and matches played at higher altitudes.