We served thousands of clients from all around the world in more than 97 countries from beginner to advanced players for almost 15 years. From all their feedbacks, we have gained a lot of insights and have found out the essential needs of real everyday badminton players. At the same time the constant direct dealing with the racket manufacturers enabled us to learn a lot about the design and technology of badminton rackets.
Do you know which TOP TWO most frequently discussed features that badminton players want in a racket? Most players want a “lightweight” racket that can produce “power”. Because the nature of a badminton game is so fast, that every shot is crucial for players to gain a point and make a kill, players think that rackets that are light enough for speedy action, but powerful enough to do smashes and clears will be best for them.
Let’s first have an in-depth discussion on these two features.
A badminton racket weight is an important factor in the game. It affects the way you play and how you feel about your racket. There are three common weight range in badminton rackets which are 88g, 83g and 78g.
Some manufacturers have their racket’s weight printed on the racket but have you ever wondered how is the racket’s weight measured? A badminton racket’s weight is usually measured with the racket frame without any string installed and with the factory grip intact.
Lightweight rackets are usually less than 78 grams in weight. This type of rackets is often preferred by beginners and fast player (eg. doubles players) because it is easier to swing and control. It also provides a faster swing speed which can be more advantageous when playing against stronger opponents.
Light rackets provides better, faster and easier manouverability. This is where more power can be generated from the faster swing speed.
Normal weight rackets are usually 83 grams in weight. This type of rackets is often preferred by intermediate and advanced players who can handle a racket better because the rackets would help return faster and more powerful shots with less effort without sacrificing speed or control too much.
Heavyweight range rackets are usually over 88 grams in weight and they are normally used for playing singles as badminton singles players depends on the extra weight of a racket to generate some power for clears which happen more frequently in singles badminton games.
Also note that there is such thing as the manufacturing acceptable range of parameter variation.
For example, a racket’s weight is declared as 78g +/- 2. This means that the weight of the racket will be between 76g to 80g. This will not be much difference to the players and will not affect the performance of the racket.
Racket Balance Point
There are generally 3 types of balance point of a badminton racket. They can be head light, even balanced and head heavy.
How is the racket balance point measured? Racket has to be without any string installed and with the factory grip intact.
Special tools like the one shown in video below are used to measure the length between the end of racket handle to the point where the racket balances. You may also measure without any tools, just place your finger to balance the racket, and using a ruler, measure the length between the end of racket handle to the point where your finger balances the racket.
Head light rackets
Racket weighs lighter on the head, makes it easy and fast when manoeuvring but lack of power for smashes and base line clear.
Measurement: Below 280mm
Weight is evenly distributed in the racket. Able to provide both fast manouverability and power. Suitable for mid and front court player.
Measurement: 285mm +/- 5
Racket weighs more towards the head. Able to produce powerful smashes, helps in strong drive and easy clear from base line to base line. Measurement: Above 295mm
Will badminton strings and grips change the way your rackets feel?
Many players are afraid that the strings and grips installed on their rackets would change the original feel of a racket and it would differ very much from the intended specifications.
This is the difference that we have measured.
After installing the string and replacing the factory grip with a thicker replacement PU grip, the balance point will almost be the same as the original measurement. However the weight of the racket will increase by 6-10g due to the additional weight from the string and new grip.
In badminton, players especially doubles players require fast reaction and at the same time powerful attacking smashes. To do that they need a fairly light racket to execute the shots needed to win.
Badminton rackets that are too heavy will cause slow reaction time, difficult defensive play and front court interception play. Unless a player is able to handle the heavy weight in the racket, heavy rackets should be avoided to prevent joint pain in shoulder, elbow and wrist.
On the other hand, rackets that are too light will provide fast reaction but players must sacrifice on power generation because hard smashes are difficult to execute at the end of the court using a racket that’s too light.
In a nutshell:
In order to play faster and reduce arm injuries a light weight racket is better.
In order to generate greater smashing power a heavier racket is needed.
But, you can’t have both in a single racket.
Light weight racket is more agile, which means with little effort it is possible to move it around quickly and easily.
A head heavy racquet produces more power as the higher mass at the head of the racket enables a racket to be swung with greater momentum than a head light racket.
Combining lightweight with head heavy balance in a racket will help players to achieve fast racket manouverability, feel good handling and power generation for smashes and drives.
Did you learn something new? Please comment below…
We will answer to your comments and suggestions in our next posts.
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