How to Select a Perfect Badminton Racket

Selecting a perfect racket as per individual game style and aspiration level is very important. These parameters impact the player performance up to a great extent.

Following are the key parameters during racket selection:

Individual Game Style: 

Badminton player need to select a racket which suits player playing style. Its means, if a player is having offensive playing style then he or she need to select the racket which helps in placing good smashes, quick returns and Sharpe angle cross corner shots. Similarly, player with defensive playing style need a racket which helps in placing good drops shots, quick returns and cut shots

Aspiration Level of players: 

Aspiration level of player needs to be check properly by his/her coach or mentor. If a player is serious for making Badminton as carrier option then he needs to carefully check the playing style. For serious player, proper guidance is also important for selecting the racket.

Characteristics of Racket :

Balance Point: 

Basically 3 types of balances are most common in racket:

Head Heavy Balance: 

Head heavy balance refers to rackets in which weight of the racket is more towards head side. (Player can check the balance of racket by balancing racket on finger. If finger is close to head then it will be head heavy racket). Following are the key benefits of Head heavy racket:

# Head heavy racket gives more power on shots as it’s generate more momentum due to mass distance from hinge point.

# Head Heavy racket are suitable for those player who wants more power in shots.

# In head heavy rackets player may feel sluggishness in swing speed due to weight towards head side.

Head Light Balance: 

Head light balance refer to those racket in which weight of the racket is more towards handle of racket.(Player can check the balance of racket by balancing racket on finger. If finger is close to handle then it will be head light racket) Following are the key benefits of Head light racket:

# Head light racket gives racket swing speed.

# Player who wants fast racket handling will like this type of balance.

# With head light rackets player can do better counter attack and enhance the deceptive skills.

Adjusting the Racket Balance with the Help of Grips: 

In order to adjust the balance of the racket to head heavy side (More Power),player can do following grip adjustments:

# Add lightweight grip on handle.

# Use heavy string.
In order to adjust the balance of the racket to head Light side (More Control), player can do following adjustments:

# Use more than two grips on handle

# Use heavy grips on handle

# Use lightweight string

Stiffness of Shaft: 

Stiffness of racket shaft is important parameter. Stiff of shaft changes the overall playing characteristics of racket. Two types of shaft properties are commonly known: 

(1) Flexible Shaft (2) Stiff Shaft

(1) Flexible Shaft :

Flexible shaft gives better bending while it comes under shuttle contact. Different manufacturing companies use different material to make shaft flexible. Like Yonex use HM graphite to make shaft, on other hand, Li Ning use graphite material to make shaft flexible. Flexible Shaft provides following performance advantages to player.

(A) Quick Repulsion:

Flexible shaft bends under the shuttle impact and store the energy. During release of energy , it amplify the power and helps player to hit powerful smashes or 3rd line clear. Quick repulsion is suitable for drive shots, quick return to opponents.

(B) Moderate level of Shuttle placement:

As shaft bends during shuttle impact and hold the shuttle for longer time. This phenomenon holds of shuttle and creates direction instability. So, player may feel some level of direction instability with flexible shaft. Modern racket comes with additional innovation to overcome this problem. For E.g., Yonex used T Anchor technology to minimize the vibration in flexible shaft.

(C) Suitable for All Round type of Game:

Flexible shaft with modern technologies will be suitable for those players who want all round type of game play. Player with defensive playing style will definitely like to play with flexible shaft.

(2) Stiff Shaft:

Stiff shaft gives very less or stiff bending when shuttle hits the string bed. Due to less or stiff bending, player gets more power on shots with better directional control.

(A) Optimize Repulsion:

As shuttle repelled from racket quickly so racket offers optimized repulsion to badminton players. With optimized repulsion, player can put more power to shots with more stability and direction control.

(B) Accurate Shuttle Placement:

With stiff shaft player gets stable head which results into less frame vibrations. Due to less vibration and stable head, player can effectively place the shuttle into opponent's court.

(C) Suitable for attacking type of game Play:

Stiff shaft racket are suitable for attacking game style as it generates explosive power. With stiff shaft player gets lighting fast racket speed which helps in placing quick return and fast drive shots.

Shape of the Racket head:

Different types of head shapes can be produced but two types of head shapes are commonly known in racket manufacturing. 

(1) Isometric (2) Oval Head Shape

(1) Isometric Shape:

Isometric or square head shape is very popular nowadays because of following points:

A. Isometric head shape gives enlarge sweet spot area by which player gets more opportunities to hit off-center shots.
B. Isometric head shape offers best aerodynamic to racket frame.

(2) Oval Shape:

Oval shape is conventional racket head shape in which head shape look like oval or round

A. Oval shape head gives low sweet spot area which minimizes the opportunities to hits off-center shots with more power.
B. Oval head shape gives fast racket swing speed.

Weight of the Badminton racket:

Weight of the racket is very important and it puts direct impact on player performance. Heavy racket considers good for powerful game but heavy racket gives sluggish swing speed whereas lightweight racket gives fast racket speed and quick repulsion. Yonex use U nomenclature to define the racket weight and it is like 2U (90 to 94 gms),3U (85 to 89 gms), 4U (80 to 84 gms) and 5U (70 to 75 gms).

Grip and Grip Size of Badminton Racket:

Grip and Grip sizes are important as player hold the racket from grip and handle. Following are the table of Grips sizes and its dimension:

1. G1 = 3 in
2. G2 = 3 1/4 in
3. G3 = 3 1/2 in
4. G4 = 3 3/4 in
5. G5 = 4 in

String of Badminton Racket:

Most of the professional racket comes without string because different string can change the paying characteristics of the racket. And professional player wants customize stringing option.