There are so many different badminton rackets out there. We just looked online and one website had over 160 badminton rackets for sale! How are you supposed to choose?!
When choosing a badminton racket you must consider:
First and foremost, you need to look at yourself as a player and consider two things:
You then need to apply your playing style to these three main areas of a racket:
Every racket will sit on the continuum from flexible to stiff. You will see this on the specification of a racket. But what should you choose?
For beginners you probably aren’t generating as much swing speed, meaning that the racket shaft won’t bend as much during your shots. Opting for a more flexible racket will help with this, giving you more power.
The idea is that you can therefore focus on your technique, rather than just focus on trying to get power in your shots.
For more advanced players a stiffer racket is recommended. This is because a stiff racket requires a fast swing action and good technique to generate power. In addition to this, the shaft doesn’t bend as much when you’re hitting the shuttle, helping to improve the accuracy and control of your shots.
It’s similar to why more advanced players have tighter strings, because you get that instant repulsion!
The balance is similar to the flexibility/stiffness as it also sits on a continuum from head heavy to head light. Like with the racket flexibility, this will be indicated in the specification of a racket either online or even on the racket itself!
The balance is the most important factor when choosing a new racket.
A head heavy racket will give you more power in your shots, such as your smash and drive.
A head light racket will provide you with more racket speed in your defence and when reacting at the net.
This is where your playing style now comes into consideration.
For example, if you are predominantly a net player in doubles then you would probably want to look at more head light rackets.
Or if you win a lot of points in attack in singles you may want a more head heavy racket, as your overhead power is more important than rapid reactions.
You may even want to gain advantage in your weaker area so opt for the opposite, it’s ultimately what you decide you want and what suits you better!
The third area of the racket is weight and there are 5 different weight categories.
Most rackets are roughly between 75 and 95g, with the 6U category not being very common.
The table below shows the approximate weights for each weight category.
In general the weight is up to you. You’ll find that most advanced players won’t use a racket any lighter than 80g!
But beginners may want to choose a lighter racket than this as it will be more forgiving on the shoulder if you are not used to playing regularly.
It is important that you feel you can still quickly manoeuvre the racket so if you are struggling to do this then maybe reduce the overall weight of your racket!
You will often see G3, G4 and G5 on a racket. This relates to the size of the grip.
If you’re unsure and you have the choice of grip size it is best to go for a thinner grip as you can easily make the grip thicker afterwards. However do remember that if you do this it may change the balance of the racket!
Grip size varies amongst brands and also between Asia and Europe as Asians do tend to have smaller hands!
If you’re a beginner you won’t necessarily benefit from a more expensive racket. In general, lower priced rackets are lighter and more flexible which are therefore more suited for beginner players!
Generally, the more you pay, the better racket you will get! There can be differences in price in top-end rackets, make sure you choose the right racket for you rather than simply the most expensive racket!
To test a racket you should go through a variety of shots and routines to get an all-round feel of the racket. If you want to learn more about testing a racket and the rackets we have recently tested and chosen, check out our YouTube video below!
We hope from this information you now know how to choose a badminton racket that is best suited to you and your playing style!