The fact that badminton is billed as one of the most impressive cardiovascular workouts you can find comes as no surprise to me and my friends. Admittedly, when we first started playing 20 years ago, this wasn’t at the forefront of what we were looking or was it the reason why we started playing. We were looking for a fun game we could all play, and make a social element of. It wasn’t always easy to get a tennis court but the space allocated to badminton at our local sports hall but so we fell into the sport by default.
However, two decades down the line and it’s a sport that I love and highly recommend to anyone. We knew that there was a fitness benefit to it but the workout you receive is phenomenal. If you are looking for something that will get your heart pumping and leave you feeling as though you have pushed yourself to the limit, this is the workout for you. There is a great deal of focus on training with a high level of intensity these days and badminton is the sport that provides you with an extremely high workout level. You don’t need to spend a lot of time worrying about badminton rules or spending too much money on badminton clothing, badminton shoes, badminton trainers or any other form of equipment.
Of course, if you are looking to enjoy badminton and to make sure you receive a good workout, make sure you get the right equipment. Sensible trainers that are suited to the shape of your feet is crucial and your sports clothing should be comfortable and fitting. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on sports clothing, just as long as you feel comfortable. If you think that the right label or looking good will push your game to a higher level, by all means include that in your consideration when shopping for badminton equipment but it shouldn’t be at the forefront of your thoughts. There is also badminton rackets to think of.
What makes great badminton rackets?
There are a number of different things to weigh up when looking for a great quality racket for badminton. Different people will place a different level of emphasis on certain things, so you should have a think about what you are looking for, but the following elements will all be important in the final decision you make.
If you don’t know much about badminton and the array of rackets on offer, you may be shocked at how many brands there are to choose from. Companies such as Yonex, Carlton, Wilson, Head and Victor are all major brands for badminton racquets, badminton nets, badminton equipment and well respected and are instantly recognised around the world. It is probably fair to say that Yonex is the best known brand with respect to rackets but many people find that they are the most expensive brand as well. This means you need to weigh up whether the additional cost of this brand provides value for money or not.
Although many people believe that the power you get from a shot when you play badminton is down to the racket, this is not the sole factor. You need to be able to create a high level of speed with your racket to make a hard shot because the power is a combination of the weight and speed. If you have a racket that is so heavy you cannot properly grip it, lift it and swing it, the speed is going to be greatly affected. This is why you should not always think that heavier is better, there needs to be some consideration made as to what you can lift and properly use.
As a market leader, Yonex has created a classification for the weight of their rackets with 2U, 3U and 4U rackets all indicating a certain weight. 2U rackets are the heaviest but they enable less speed, 4U rackets are light, which means you can generate a good speed but they lack weight. The 3U range is the medium of the three options and as such it tends to be the most popular.
The distribution of the weight
It is not even the weight itself you have to think about, how this weight is distributed is important too. The three main styles of rackets to choose from are head-light, head-heavy and even-balanced. A head-heavy racket will provide you with more power than a racket that is head-light but the racket speed will be slower. Over the years, there has been a trend towards head-heavy rackets being utilised by players playing singles and doubles players opting for the head-light options. The even-balanced rackets are suitable for all players.
Even though professional players will often ensure that their string tensions are higher than 26lbs, this is not the guideline for amateurs. Don’t forget that professional players have more experience, likely more strength and of course, they get rackets and strings for free, they’ll have an abundant supply and they’ll have a team who will string and replace their rackets almost at will. This is not the case for amateurs and players that play for fun, which means that having a slightly looser level of tension, say around the 23lb mark is the best bet for non-professional badminton players.
There are three main grips to choose from, the G3, the G4 and the G5. The G3 is the largest style grip and it is the most popular grip option in Europe. However, many people are opting for the G4 grip because this provides them with the option to maintain the original grip if they desire or place more grips on to achieve a G3 style grip. This offers a level of flexibility that is often of benefit to players.
The fact that there are so many variables involved with choosing a badminton racket ensures that there is a need for people to think about their own needs and playing style. These guidelines will provide the perfect platform for finding the best racket for playing badminton but each player will have their own decisions to make.
I use a G3 Yonex racket that is even-balanced and has a 3U weight classification. You could say I’m a bit boring and bit middle of the road but this suits my playing style and provides me with flexibility. Given the amount of years I have played badminton, I find myself playing singles, doubles and a lot of games at short notice. This is why having a good all-rounder is ideal for me but this style of racket may limit another players ability to reach their potential. There are plenty of rackets to choose from and as long as you show some patience and understanding of your game, you’ll find a racket that is perfect for you.
Top 10 Rackets For Badminton Players
adidas Precision 8 Racket – Orange/Silver
This is a great racket for players making their way into badminton and if you don’t know much about the sport or the industry, the adidas brand will provide you with an added level of confidence. The strong nature of the frame will provide you with confidence but it retains a good aesthetic style, which will appeal to the casual player. There is no doubt that this is the sort of racket that can help people to develop their confidence in the game. It is a head heavy racket that provides added power when striking the shuttlecock and the racket is supplied with its own cover.
Browning Nanopower Ti Racket + 3 Shuttles
Browning has a sterling reputation for creating affordable yet durable rackets and this is a package that is perfect for people looking to make their way in the game. Technology lies at the heart of this racket with the use of Nanocarbon and Titanium creating a racket that looks light but is surprisingly deceptive and strong. The comfort grip makes it easy for players to feel comfortable when playing and alongside the 3 shuttles, there is a protective cover supplied for the racket. You should find yourself pleasantly surprised by the amount of power that can be achieved when using this particular racket.
YONEX Basic 550 Racket
While some people hear terms like Basic and worry about what they will receive for their money, this is not the case with this Yonex product. Although the firm produces some high end rackets, this is aimed at the beginners and entry level market. The racket is a G3 one, providing you with a strong grip and a reliable sense of power. Once you develop your confidence in using the racket you can make the decision whether to move up with a more professional racket but this is an affordable and excellent choice for players beginning to enjoy badminton. With an aluminium frame and a steel shaft, there is a combination of durability and effectiveness on offer from this racket.
Browning Fireblade Ti Racket + 3 Shuttles
With an unstrung weight of 80g and use of Nano Titanium, there is a great sense of reliability and durability that comes from this racket. The addition of 3 shuttles adds value for money but it is the strength that is the biggest aspect when it comes to this racket. If you want a stiff and powerful racket at your disposal, which is ideal for beginners and intermediary style players, this Browning racket is exactly what many basketball players been calling out for. The widebody frame allows players to have a greater sense of control and power when they play.
Browning Platinum Nano 75 Racket
This racket utilises the latest in modern technology with a Nano Carbon style in place which offers players confidence in many areas. This racket is light enough to develop good speed when playing, it is durable enough to be confident of giving your all and it offers a high level of consistent performance that comes in handy for all levels of players. The racket utilises titanium strings to provide a higher level of response and there is a comfortable grip maximising the comfort a player feels when using the racket. For players keen to find a racket that looks modern, this is the perfect choice thanks to its space age style and finish.
adidas Precision P580 Racket
This racket has been created from carbon offering a reliable amount of rigidity in the frame. This racket is an example of the technological advances that are being made with rackets for badminton. The Aero Power element provides a greater level of resistance to torsion and the Power Arch elements provides a stronger level of control and power. This is an ideal choice for intermediate level badminton players that find themselves prowling the perimeters of the court. Adidas may be more of an all-round manufacturer as opposed to being a badminton specialist like some firms but the company has developed an excellent reputation with their attention to detail on these products.
Carlton Powerblade Titanium Racket
With a 95g frame weight, this is a racket for players that are looking for more power when they play. This is an even balanced racket that has a fairly flexible flex and it has been constructed from graphite. With Power in the name of this racket, this is a great choice for players that are looking to add some bite and strength to their style of play. The Carlton name is not the biggest when it comes to finding rackets for badminton but the company does have a solid reputation that should ensure players get the support and reliability they need when playing.
Yonex Nanoray 10 Racket
The isometric shape of the head of this racket helps to create a larger sweet spot for badminton players. This should help players to deliver a greater degree of accuracy when making shots, even when they are off centre. This racket has a head light balance which aims to provide an easier ability to move and manoeuvre the racket around. This is a durable one piece racket that delivers power, strength and durability to all players. There is also an additional benefit from the support cap which helps to increase the area of flat surface in this racket in comparison to other rackets available on the market place.
YONEX Voltric 5 Racket
This racket is a perfect example of the Voltric level of technology that has been driving Yonex rackets in recent time. There is a stiff structure to this racket at the upper part of the frame and this enables a level of bend to be undertaken in a controlled and deliberate manner. There are very thin sides to the frame which helps to deliver more energy into the shuttle when playing, which is ideal for players that are keen to smash when playing. The thin nature of the racket frame will also boost the level of air resistance and can make handling the racket a simpler process for players.
The hi-tech nature of this racket is best shown by the fact that it utilises sound filters to provide sharper and louder sounds which can help to unsettle opponents and add a higher level of aggression to a player’s game. This racket is a 3U and G4 style racket.
Yonex Voltric 7 Racket
This racket is a welcome addition to the Voltric range of badminton rackets as it is provides a lighter alternative to the Voltric 5 racket. This racket is the ideal choice for an intermediary level of badminton player that wants to have more control and flexibility when they play without feeling that they are giving up any level of control. The isometric head shape of the racket increases the opportunity for players to hit clean and successful shots, regardless of their position on the badminton court. With a strong yet comfortable grip, this is a request that can be utilised on a regular basis by players.
Badminton is a sport that offers fantastic opportunity and potential for people. It is a fun sport that can add a great element to your social life and it can help you to stay fit and active. There are plenty of great rackets and affordable equipment to choose from so if you are keen to develop your fondness for the sport, you can do so in a confident manner without spending too much money. No matter what you are looking for from badminton, you will find that it is possible to do so in a way you feel very comfortable with.