You cannot play badminton without a racket, it’s as simple as that, therefore choosing the right type of racket is vitally important.
So how does one go about choosing the perfect racket?
Well, a lot depends on what kind of player you are and what your playing style is. Firstly you need to understand various parts of the badminton racket, namely the handle (grip), shaft, throat and the head.
But most importantly you need to learn how to find the balance point of your racket and possibly measure it. The balance point of your badminton racket is always located on the shaft, either towards the head or towards the grip or exactly in between.
[pullquote]Different balance points on the shaft indicate a different type of racket which most often you can associate to the playing style of the player or the format he plays. [/pullquote]
How does one find and measure the balance point in a racket?
Simple, place the racket across your index finger and move it side to side to find the balance point, then measure from the bottom end of the racket to the balance point to find the length of the balance point.
A head heavy balance means the weight is shifted towards the head. A head light balance means the weight is shifted towards the grip. Any racket with a balance point within the 285-290mm range (length measured from the bottom of the handle) is considered a balanced racket.
Anything lesser than that is considered headlight, and anything more is considered head heavy.
[pullquote]A head heavy racket will give you more power due to the momentum generated from the heavier racket head, but less maneuverability. A headlight racket will give you more maneuverability, but less power.[/pullquote]
If you’re playing style involves a lot of smashing, a head heavy racket gives more power. However, you will have to sacrifice a certain extent of maneuverability. For more defensive players, a balanced or head light racket is better for maneuverability, fast playing and controlled shots.
A lightweight racket is the best option for beginners. You can always replace your racket with a more suitable one upon knowing your style of playing.
A more experienced player would usually go for heavier rackets with a higher balance point. Rackets with heavier head, allows the player to channel more power into smashes but it requires a lot of practice to control the rackets due to extra weight.
Most doubles players would go for a head-light balance racket. The head and frame have less mass allowing the player to handle and manipulate the racket.
An even balance racket provides enough power from the back and enough control at the front. They can still pack a punch when smashing and be quick enough to react to defensive shots.
Professional players usually carry a different type of racket for a different type of opponent. But for someone starting to play badminton, this category of the racket is your safest bet.
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