Until a few years ago, this was an easy decision. However, with the abundance of options in the market, it is confusing to pick the right badminton racket for yourself. Thus, let us look at the key factors to consider before buying one.
Until recently, Yonex badminton rackets were the gold standard. The Japanese manufacturer was the undisputed leader in badminton equipment and their range of rackets was quite simple. But now, with Li Ning and Victor in the mix and each brand introducing several different series of rackets, choosing one is not so easy.
As per my experience, each of these brands now produces excellent quality rackets and the only way to really choose between them is a personal preference regarding the brand. For example, your favourite player uses a certain brand, or you like the colour scheme of a particular racket. So do not be concerned of any FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) by choosing any of these brands.
Let’s face it – for beginner level and even till intermediate, apart from bragging rights, picking the right badminton racket really does not matter a lot. All the manufacturers make several rackets in the entry-level range.
If you intend to play badminton fairly regularly, even say, a couple of times a week, it is a smart choice to get a racket in the range of ₹2,000. This will ensure that you will get the latest entry-level offering from any of the manufacturers with these basic criteria –
1. Built-in T joint
2. Light in weight
3. Neutral balance
The power in a badminton stroke depends on the racket head speed a player can generate. This is directly dependent n the weight of the racket. Players starting out in the game should choose rackets in the lighter end of the spectrum as its easier to get a fast swing. As your arms and shoulders gain in strength, progress to heavier rackets.
Heavier rackets impart more power into the stroke, but only if you have the strength to generate the racket head speed. Further, they help generate additional power in smashes and clear shots which are more suited to the singles game
Lighter rackets allow for quick, responsive play suited more to the doubles game. Hence, if you are going to play mostly doubles, it is better to get lighter rackets.
The final aspect to consider is the balance of the racket. Head-light rackets are more suited for faster strokes while head-heavy rackets aid power generation in the stroke. Neutral balance rackets aim to provide a balance between the two.
Therefore, in general, singles players tend to use the heavier rackets with neutral to head-heavy balance. Doubles players tend to prefer lighter rackets with neutral or head-light balance.
Thus, I hope you find this piece helpful for you to choose a good badminton racket. One last suggestion – make the choice quickly and get on the court!
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