How To Choose A Racquet

How to choose a badminton racquet that best suits you?

No one size pants fits all! That goes the same with badminton racquets too. It is impossible to find a racquet that is able to suit all type of players, as each individual is so unique and so different in term of physical and playing style. One of the most common concept and I would said a common mistake made by many players when selecting a racket is to use what the professional use. “Use what the champion are using and you won’t go wrong?” Many professional players succeed because of their physical attributes gathered from their hard work and tight training programs and not mainly because of their racquet.

 

“Hey, what racquet is he using? His smashes were so powerful but when I bought one and tried it, I can hardly lifted up my arm after a few lousy floating smashes and the worst is I sprained my shoulders and my wrist hurts. What happened to this racquet?”

Answer: It is not the problem of racquet. You are actually a lightweight boxer fighting with a heavy weight glove.

 

We categorized players into 3 categories: - the beginner, the intermediate and the advance group. To cater the needs and wants of each player in these groups, we have prepared some information on how to choose a racquet to maximize performance on each category of players.

While choosing a racquet, you must be sure of your current physical condition and you better know what you are actually looking for in a racquet. Was it a power performance racket or was it a control racquet with comfort feel that you are looking for?

 

If you want a racquet for control, look for the following features:

 

Lighter weight – A racquet, unstrung, which is weight between 85 grams to 90 grams is possibly a good control racquet provided the balance point are not too high.

Recommended balance point: 275mm – 280mm

The weight and balance of a racquet will be affected once the racquet is strung and a replacement grip is added. The following are the changes in weight and balance of the racquet once the racquet is ready to go for the shot.

After strung, which mean 3 grams added on the head, the racquet would weight around 88 grams to 93 grams. If the original grip (Weight around 7 grams that comes with the racquet) is taken off and replaced by a replacement PU grip (approximately 12 grams), and additional of 5 more grams is added on the handle to make the racquet weight around 93grams to 98 grams. The balance point would then decreased slightly to about 270mm-275mm. (with weight moved towards the handle.) This will yield a headlight feeling for better comfort feeling and control.

For those who prefer to wrap an extra PU grip without removing the original grip to make the handle larger would be adding 12 grams to the handle. For this type of player, to look for a control racquet, they need to look for a higher balance point racket. 280mm – 290mm is suggested and the racquet weight should be around 85 grams – 88 grams.

 

Lower balance point – The balance point affected a lot on the feel of your racquet. If your racquet has a high balance point then you will feel your racquet is heavier towards the racquet head and if your racquet has a lower balance point then you will have this head light feeling on your racquet.

The balance point is measured from the handle towards the shaft on the point where the racquet stayed in balance on your finger. The balance point of a good control racquet should be around 275mm – 280mm. This will yield a headlight feeling and best for control and comfort feeling. You can actually adjust your racquet weight and racquet balance.

If you want a racquet for control and power, adjusted yourself.

(Adjusted the weight and balance of your racquet)

Less stiffness  - The flexibility of the racquet do have an impact on the feel of your racquet. In theory, the flexible shafts designed for beginner and amateur players are good for control and easier to maneuver but I have seen champions winning games after games, delivering smashes after smashes using a Pro-speed mid-flex shaft racquet. Thus, the term stiffness and flexible really differs a lot on each individual.

In theory, a stiffer shaft is more suitable for powerful player. Again, not only professional are powerful, some beginners and amateur players do have the strength to handle a stiff shaft and yield powerful smashes. So, to get the right stiffness, you should test play with different stiffness racquet in order to get the right choice of stiffness on your racquet.

In badminton, the weight and balance of a racquet can be adjusted but not the stiffness. Thus, you will have to pay special attention on the stiffness of racquet, the next time you purchased a new racquet though all racquets will tends to lose a certain percentage of stiffness over a period of time.

If you want a racquet for power, look for these features:

Heavier weight - A racquet, unstrung, which is weight between 88 grams to 92 grams is possibly a good power racquet provided the balance point are not too low.

A heavier weight racquet would transmit less shock and less vibration when sending off shuttle, and has a larger sweet spot than lighter weight racquets.

Recommended balance point: 285mm – 295mm.

The weight and balance of a racquet will be affected once the racquet is strung and a replacement grip is added. The following are the changes in weight and balances of the racquet once the racquet is strung and are all ready to go for the shot.

After strung, which mean 3 grams added on the head, the racquet would weight around 91 grams to 95 grams. If the original grip (Weight around 7 grams that comes with the racquet) is taken off and replaced by a replacement PU grip (approximately 12 grams), and additional of 5 more grams is added on the handle to make the racquet weight around 96grams to 100 grams. The balance point would then decreased slightly to about 280mm-290mm. (with weight moved towards the handle.) This weight and balance together with the heavier weight is good for power play.

For those who prefer to wrap an extra PU grip without removing the original grip to make the handle larger would be adding 12 grams to the handle. For this type of player, to look for a powerful racquet, they need to look for a higher balance point racket. 290mm – 300mm is suggested and the racquet weight should be around 88 grams – 92 grams.

Higher balance point - The balance point affected a lot on the feel of your racquet. If your racquet has a high balance point then you will feel your racquet is heavier towards the racquet head, which will be able to yield more power on your smashes and if your racket has a lower balance point then you will have this head light feeling on your racquet. Bear in mind and be honest to yourself as not everybody could handle a racquet with a high balance point.

The balance point is measured from the handle towards the shaft on the point where the racquet stayed in balance on your finger. The balance point of a good power racquet should be around 285mm – 295mm. This will yield a heavy feeling towards the head and would be able to deliver powerful smashes.

(Adjusted the weight and balance of your racquet)

More stiffness - The flexibility of the racquet do have an impact on the feel of your racquet. In theory, the flexible shafts designed for beginner and amateur players are good for control and easier to maneuver. Thus, the term stiffness and flexible really differs a lot on each individual.

In theory, a stiffer shaft is more suitable for powerful player. Again, not only professional are powerful players; some beginners and amateur players do have the strength to handle a stiff shaft and yield powerful smashes. So, to get the right stiffness, you should test play with different stiffness racquet in order to get the right choice of stiffness for your racquet.

In badminton, the weight and balance of a racket can be adjusted but not the stiffness. Thus, you will have to pay special attention on the stiffness of racquet, the next time you purchased a new racquet though all racquets will tends to lose a certain percentage of stiffness over a period of time.

You would sometime experience certain frame shock and frame vibration if you were playing with a racquet that had a very stiff frame. What is frame shock? Frame shock is the unnecessary force felt at the moment of impact when you delivered a stroke and frame vibration is the vibrated feeling when the shuttle speed away from your string (Occurred more frequently on racquet that had a larger sweet spot due to the length of main strings).