The 5 Types Of Smashes In Badminton (+ How To Do Them)

The smash in badminton is one of the most popular shots to play, and is hit with both power and speed in a downwards direction.

But did you know that there are 5 types of smashes, each with specific times of when they should and shouldn’t be played, as well as differences in technique in order to execute them well?

The 5 different types of smashes in badminton are:

  • The standard smash
  • The stick smash
  • The jump smash
  • The jump out smash
  • The backhand smash

We’ll now go through each of these 5 badminton smashes, including what they are, when you should play it, and how to do them successfully!

1. Standard Smash

The standard smash is a powerful and aggressive shot, hit in a downwards trajectory. This shot is most often hit using the scissor kick movement.

For each smash, there will be times when you should and shouldn’t play them. For the standard smash, you shouldn’t hit it when:

  • When your opponent has lifted onto the backline
  • Or when you’re off balance and out of position.

This is because, if your opponents have good defence, it could get you, and your partner if you’re playing doubles, into trouble!

Instead, you should wait until the right opportunity, or a shorter lift to use this smash!

Standard smash preparation

To improve your smash technique and maximise your power:

  • Try to be around half a meter behind the shuttle. This is because a lot of power comes from rotating your body forwards into the shot. If you strike the shuttle when it is slightly behind you, then your momentum won’t be going forwards which reduces your power.
  • You also need to rotate your hips, torso and shoulders in a very fast sequence, followed by your elbow, forearm and then wrist. This is a huge part of creating good power in your smash, and we break this all down in a lot more detail in our step-by-step smash tutorial here. 

💡 You can hit a smash off balance, but you need very good power and placement and it ideally needs to be a winner as you’ll probably have a slower recovery!

2. Stick Smash

The stick smash is an aggressive shot that has a steep trajectory. It is hit with a short snappy hitting action, making it more suitable to play when you are off balance.

There are 4 important differences between the stick smash and the standard smash:

  1. The stick smash has less power than the standard smash.
  2. You can hit the stick smash from a variety of positions – both when you’re in a good position, or unlike the standard smash, when you’re taking it a little later.
  3. You have a slower swing speed in the stick smash and when your elbow is roughly in line with your body, it almost stops and stays in the same position (compared to moving forwards and down in the standard smash). You then use your forearm and squeeze your grip to ‘snap’ your wrist over the top of the shuttle.
  4. You don’t use your whole body to rotate in the stick smash, which means you’re more in control of your body so you can hit more accurate shots and recover better!
Elbow stays in the same position after striking the shuttle

💡 The slower swing speed helps make the shot deceptive as your opponent thinks you’re playing a drop or clear. But for this to work you NEED to be relaxed in your arm and grip - if you’re really stiff and tense then you can’t create this ‘stick’ or ‘snap’ to add the power needed!

To learn more about the stick smash technique, check out this article here.

3. Jump Smash

The jump smash is when you jump up to the shuttle to get more angle and force on the shot when you smash it down.

This is the one that’s difficult to master but everyone wants to do!

There are two main benefits to using a jump smash as opposed to the other  smashes:

  1. You have a higher contact point with the shuttle and can create a better angle on your shot.
  2. You can look more threatening and scare your opponents!

A very important point is that you should only use this type of smash when your opponent has hit a high lift, and you have time to get behind the shuttle AND jump up to it! If you’re behind it, but don’t have the time to jump, then you should use the standard or stick smash instead.

You also need to start the jump smash by facing sidewards, and go down into a half squat to be able to jump as high as possible! As you push off from the ground you should open your chest out and pull your racket arm back as much as you can, which will help you generate a fast racket swing speed, and therefore a more powerful smash.

We cover the jump smash in a lot more detail in our YouTube video here.

4. Jump Out Smash

Not to be confused with the jump smash, and as the name suggests you jump OUT to the side rather than only up!

Jump out smash

You can use this smash on both the forehand and round-the head side, and you would use it when your opponents have hit a flat lift and you jump out to intercept the shuttle before it goes too far past you and you have to take the shuttle late!

A key tip for both the forehand and round-the-head jump out smash is that, unlike the other smashes we’ve shared so far, you actually keep your hips facing the net!

This is because it’s a flat lift, so you don’t have enough time to do a full body rotation, but you do need to get your elbow back as this helps you still have a fast racket swing speed.

Learn more about the jump out smash technique in this article here.

This shot can be incredibly effective in both singles and doubles at all levels of the game, but you can only do it if you have good strength and explosivity. This is not only to play an effective shot, but also to absorb your landing and prevent injuries.

5. Backhand Smash

The backhand smash is a powerful downwards shot hit from the backhand rear court and is hit with a backhand motion rather than a forehand motion like in the other smashes.

This is typically more common in singles (or for the lazier players who automatically turn to take a backhand)! It should be used when the lift is short so you can still play an effective shot AND when you’ve either already turned your feet to play a backhand, or the shuttle has gone past you. Otherwise you’d be able to play a jump out smash instead! 

Backhand smash

We have a few key tips to maximise your backhand smash power:

  • You need to be in a bevel (not backhand) grip as this allows you to create maximum rotation and therefore power!
  • To generate even more power you also need to use the muscles in the back of your shoulder. You then rotate your forearm to be able to generate the ‘whip’ needed.
  • You need to be really relaxed right until the last millisecond, which is actually a key part of all 5 smashes we discuss here!

You can see our backhand smash tutorial here (from time 8:24)!

💡 Whilst it’s great to have all 5 smashes in your arsenal, we think the most important to learn are the standard smash and the jump out smash because these are the ones you should use in every game!

Learn More

We hope you’ve found this useful and enjoy adding these different smashes into your game! Don’t forget to check out the individual tutorials for each of these smashes (linked below) to learn detailed technical and tactical tips!

And if you’d like to see more visual examples and explanations of what we’ve discussed here, you can watch our full YouTube video below!