How To Choose The Correct Badminton Racket For You
If you are new to this sport or have not been playing badminton for centuries, searching and then choosing what racket that suits you well can be a headache as there are numerous brand out there which comes with their own line of products and different physical specifications. It is very important that you choose the right racket for you because:
- It increases/facilitate the chances for a more better outcome in all the quality of your hits from the point of validity, accuracy and power/deception (assuming your technique and knowledge about how to play badminton is correct)
- It can reduce unnecessary prolonged/usage of physical strain to your shoulder/forearm/wrist muscle and joints while playing and thus reduce the risk of any injury.
1. Where to Start
a. The first and most important key in knowing the CORRECT information about which CORRECT racket to choose (from all the racket that exist in the market or recommended by your friend) should logically derive first from having the CORRECT information and understanding about yourself as a player. UNDERSTAND correctly about your self first as a player because with that correct information about yourself, it is more easier for you to find the correct racket for you.
b. Why it is important to have the CORRECT INFORMATION about yourself first as a player in regards with searching the CORRECT choice of racket for you?
- Since the physical specifications that is built with the racket comes with different information, by generally knowing first THE CORRECT INFORMATION about yourself as player can increase the chances of searching the exact or at least narrowing the list of racket that has the most preferred physical specifications that correctly match with your correct information as a player.
2. How to Choose
a. As a player, what are the correct information that i should know about my self?
The correct information and understanding about yourself as player can come from your own self assessment and as well from the guidance of an experience friend who is a player by himself or coaches. 2 important information that you should know about yourself:
(i) Information about yourself as a player
- Level of play : Are you a beginner?
- Style of play : Are you an attacking type of player ( who often play attacking type of shot ) or a balance@control type of player
(ii) Physical attributes
- Forearm strength and swinging style
- Any injuries sustained?
b. What information about the racket physical specifications that you should understand to help in facilitating you in searching the correct racket after you've already understood about yourself as a player?
All racket comes with it's own specifications. There are 3 important specifications that comes with the racket that you should understand.
- Racket balance point measurement (BP measurement)
The feeling of how heavy is your racket head frame while making a swing while playing is dictate by the racket's balance point measurement (BP). The greater it's measurement, (in mm), the heavier your racket head will feel while making a swing.
Therefore and by knowing this, the measurement that comes with the racket balance point will also dictate your SWING WEIGHT PREFERENCES. If more weight is put into your racket head frame, more extra force can be translated to the birdie on contact to facilitate in making a more powerful hit such as a smash.
BP measurement = Swing weight preferences
(Greater measurement = Heavier the racket head = Heavier swing weight = valuable specification to facilitate for producing powerful hit)
If you can understand correctly about your style of play. it is easier already for you to identify correctly about your preferred own swing weight preferences that you want to exist into that choice of racket of yours and it is is just a matter of listing down what brand that comes with that preferred BP measurement that matches with those information.
An attacking type of play = Should preferably use a head heavy racket = List down all the preferred choice of racket that has a BP measurement value for such preferences
A control type of play = Should preferably use a balance head / light head racket = List down all the preferred choice of racket that has a BP measurement value for such preferences
- Racket Shaft Stiffness
The stiffness of a racket shaft comes with variable value starting from flexible to the more extra stiff shaft. Why racket shaft comes with different stiffness because different player has different swing style depends on the player's level of play and forearm swing strength. Logically as your level of play improves, your swing style also becomes faster as your technique become better with improve forearm/shoulder muscle strength.
Why it is important for you to have a correct idea about your own swigging style is because by matching that correctly with what type of stiffness that you decide to choose into a racket will better your chance for a more OPTIMAL RACKET HEAD-BIRDIE CONTACT TIMING while making any hit when you're using that racket.
A player with a slower swinging style should used a more flexible racket shaft as this will allow the racket head to moves at a same proportional swinging speed together with the racket shaft in order to produce a higher chances of an optimal contact timing that will unload a more satisfactory hitting outcome
Therefore, the stiffness of a racket shaft will dictate your SWING SPEED PREFERENCES
If you can understand correctly about your swinging style. it is easier already for you to identify correctly about your preferred own swing speed preferences that you want to exist into that choice of racket of yours and it is is just a matter of listing down what brand that comes with that preferred shaft stiffness that matches with those information.
A faster swinging style = Preferably use a stiffer racket = List down all the preferred choice of racket that has the stiffness value for such preferences
A slower swinging style = Preferably use a flexible racket = List down all the preferred choice of racket that has the stiffness value for such preferences
- Racket Weight
Racket comes with different weight value varying from a lighter value (5U/4U) and much heavier (2U). The smaller the numerical value, the heavier will the racket feel in your hand.
The weight of the racket will dictate it's maneuverability while held in your hand when playing. For beginners especially and those player who has history of past injuries, playing with a lighter racket is preferably useful to allow such player to sense the full control in all his swinging action and also reducing the stress to the joints/muscle arising from a much heavier racket.
As your technique and your forearm/wrist strength improves then it is a wise choice to upgrade yourself using a much heavier racket if you can adapt with it.
3. The Final Decision
You must try and test all the racket that comes into your searching list. Since in the end of your searching quest, it is you that ultimately will use that racket afterwards therefore, the final decision in choosing which correct racket for you will not be decided by your friend or the beautiful salesgirl and indeed not the racket itself but it is you. TEST, FEEL and JUDGE the outcome in all of your hitting department and make a decision.
While knowing the importance of the above fact, it is also important that you should know that:
- A suitable racket used by another player DOES NOT necessarily will be a suitable racket for you since you are unique by yourself as a player with your own physical attributes and style of play.
- Regardless even if you already made a satisfactory decision about what racket to choose, the racket is just still a tool to facilitate you while playing and it is still your full understanding and sound knowledge about the correct technique of how to play badminton will ultimately will decide the outcome in all your hits.
- Other factor that you should also understand that comes into the equation before and after choosing the right racket for you are the budget constraint, string tension preferences, grip size preferences and racket frame shape preferences. While for the later, you can only decide what preferences is suitable for again through testing and making the correct decision later.