How to Choose A Badminton Racket

Thomas Roterd
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How do I Choose A Badminton Racket?

Pick a racket that suits your style of play, not necessarily a racket that has a big name attached to it.

Imagine someone getting a Ferrari for a first car. They will think that they can race around the streets in that either and show off to everyone. Of course, a Ferrari isn’t a bad choice but not the best choice for someone who has just got their licence.

Rackets are the same: it is better to start with the basics and work your way up to the best racket you can afford.

When choosing a first racket, you have a lot to consider and not much direction to follow. There are a number of factors you should think about that will aid in your purchase and potentially save you from an expensive mistake.

You should also consider the level of skill you have with your current racket. If you play your sport regularly, then you’re going to know the feel a good racket gives you and what you expect a good racket to be. If you’re new to the game or just play occasionally, then you may have no idea of what to expect from a racket.

The following guide will teach you about different components of a badminton racket and their importance. By knowing about the different parts and how they all work together you will be able to make a more informed and balanced decision regarding the racket you want to get.

Balance of the racket

Badminton rackets have traditionally been sized according to the diameter of their head, a measurement that was inherited from tennis rackets. The larger the head size the heavier the racket, but the more power it will have and the less control the player will have over it. Sub-11 rackets are the lightest, while sub-15 are the heaviest, with sub-13 rackets falling in the middle of the size range for this category.

The larger the head size the more it favors power over control. Beginners and recreational players do well with the sub-13 category (ranging from 275-285), with more advanced players gravitating toward rackets sized at sub-15 (ranging from 285 to 300 in diameter).

Balance is a more important consideration than whether you get a light or heavy racket, because a larger head size isn’t the only difference between sub-13 and sub-15 models. Racket design plays a role as well, with many sub-13 models being more headlight (where the head is in front of the shaft) than rackets sized 75 or higher. If you’re just getting started in badminton or are on a tight budget, a noticeably headlight sub-13 racket is just fine – and a bargain at that.

Effect of Weight

The size and weight of a racket has a major impact on what it can or can not do. Purely because of its size, a heavier racket is not only harder to maneuver, but it is also tougher to control. A lighter racket doesn’t necessarily mean a weaker racket, but it does let you swing faster and harder. As a result, if you are beginner, it is recommended that you stick to a lightweight racket. This will allow you to gain speed and strength without sacrificing control.

Grip Size

As a general rule, the grip size should be in proportion to the size of your hand. For most individuals, this means a grip between 4 – 5 1/2 inches. This is based on either the middle or ring finger fitting on the tapered section of the grip. Generally, you can use your middle finger to measure the grip size; it should be slightly less than the widest part of your hand. The more overlap between your middle finger and the grip, the smaller the grip.

Check it now, and plan to have it fitted again, if needed, once you become more familiar with the sport and you grow the muscles in your hand. Be sure to keep in mind that grip sizes can vary between companies.

Check with the company if you are unsure, as different badminton suppliers may have different models of the same racket. Rackets with the right grip size will help reduce hand and wrist pain, and help you maintain a consistent swing.

Choose Your Racket

Based On:

SUBJECTIVE

WEIGHT: The weight of a racket is directly related to a player’s strength and style. If you’re a beginner, you want a lightweight racket.

SIZE: The size of the racket is a little more difficult to determine but requires you to get what’s comfortable for you. The size is directly related to the height of the player. If you’re average height, get an average sized racket.

QUALITY: The quality of a racket is directly linked to how expensive it is. You can honestly play badminton with any quality racket, but if you love to play, you’ll want a quality one.

CONDITION: Your racket’s condition is self-explanatory. If your racket is damaged or in disrepair, fix or replace it. It’s easier to maintain your racket than to buy a new one.

Should I buy a junior-sized racket for a child?

While buying a 3” racket for a 7” tall child may not sound so bad, there are some badminton racket size restrictions.

Many junior rackets come in lengthwise measurements. Can you guess why? So kids can get ready for official tournament play at an early age.

The official distance between the ear and the top of the shoulder, for children, is 15 in (38 cm.) while for adults the distance is 18 in (45 cm.).

So technically speaking, junior rackets aren’t supposed to be any lower than 15 in (38 cm.) for children.

If you have a child who is less than 38 in (96.5 cm.), you should consider the length measurement on junior rackets to get the right size.

However, what is often overlooked is a combination of the length and the weight of this type of racket.

So, when you look at a junior’s” badminton racket, the length will always be a touch shorter than the official regulation size, while the weight will be lighter and suited for smaller hands.