unless you are using an old steel racket with fishing lines, buying a new racket will do you little good. perhaps you will get a small margin of improvement, but it will not give you that edge that you are looking for, and by the time you know that, you will be what, US$100 poorer.
and no, if you can hit the birdie ok, then trying to improve the strength of your smash isn’t going to make that much of a difference, it will be marginal, once again.
the one and only thing that i recommend, is free, the only thing you sacrifice in getting this imho, pretty sizable improvement, is you need to spend the time to practice it.
and what is it? the old saying, “if you can’t get there, it doesn’t matter how good you can hit the birdie.” i recommend you practice your footwork.
here is the rational why i recommend footwork. many people i have seen, and that’s including myself, usually play in a open gym or with friend, playing games. or may be you will even try to spend time doing some drills, clears, drop, smash, etc. but hardly have much time to do footwork drills. and the reason for that is simple, footwork drills are not natural, you need to occupy your own side of the court, and your friends won’t be able to play “with” you.
besides, if there are ppl waiting for the court, i’d feel strange to have to take up the court. footwork is then the least practiced of all skills, and as a result, unless if you are natural for it, it will be the weakest part of many ppl’s skillset.
but footwork imho is the most important skill to have. i will say it again, “if you cannot get there, it doesn’t matter how good you can hit the birdie.” the collorary of that is that if you get there early, you have many more choices of shots to hit, you will have all the time to do your stroke, trick shots, you will be less pressuerd so you can have the choice to smash anywhere on the court, you can even peek at your opponent and see where the holes in their formation are, and the list goes on and on…
furthermore, if you have good footwork, you spend less energy moving around the court, you don’t need to lunge and bent down so much, you ended up having more reserved energy at the end, perhaps that will help you outlast your opponent…
i have always known that footwork is important. but as the situation with gym i mentioned above, i never had the chance to practice it. now i have forced myself to spend more time practicing it. and the improvement is very apparent, many shots that i used to feel pressured and have trouble with, i am getting them with ease these days. i no longer feel like i am on the wrong foot all the time, and movement around the court is smoother than before.
so, if you think a new racket or trying to increase the power of your smash is the next improvement you are looking for, think twice and go practice some footwork. if you really want to spend some money, go buy yourself a better fitting pair of badminton shoes..
there ends the lesson, of the day….