How to choose the right Badminton racket?
The Racket is the most important part of the Badminton equipment. A suitable racket not just supports the skill level of the player but also enhances their power and manoeuvrability. The player needs to take many aspects of the design of the racket into consideration before choosing one. Hence it is extremely crucial to be aware of the technical details before purchasing a racket.
Things to know before buying a Badminton Racket
Weight of the racket:
The weight of the racket is a telling factor in deciding the suitability of it. Depending upon the skill level and kind of game the player is aiming for, the weight of the racket can be decided. The letter ‘U’ represents the weight of the racket. For example 4U, 3U, 2U etc. Smaller the number heavier is the racket and vice versa.
Heavier rackets like 3U are mostly used by single players which help them in stability of their game and the lighter ones like 4U are used by doubles players for better pace and sharp returns. However, 3U weight rackets are ideally preferred by beginners as they are comfortable and easy on the shoulders as wrists.
Material Composition of the Racket:
The durability and resistance of the racket largely depends on the material composition of the racket. Rackets made of steel and aluminium are best suited for beginners considering their cost effectiveness. But investing in rackets made of carbon fibre or graphite is wise given its durability and high performing qualities.
Rackets are also classified based on their balancing points. This is determined by observing where (head or grip) the maximum amount of weight of the racket is concentrated. The test is done by placing the finger at the middle of the racket and observing how the racket is tilting.
- Head heavy : Racket tilts towards the head
- Head light : racket tilts towards the grip
- Even balanced : does not tilt
A head heavy racket is usually preferred for lengthy rallies and for some power games. The head light racket is used for speed and quick returns during a doubles match. This helps in playing a sharp front court game. However, if the player is not sure about the kind of racket to choose, it is always advisable to go for the even balanced one. As the name suggests, even balanced racket is designed to break this dilemma.
Shaft Flexibility refers to the flexibility of the racket. It is generally classified into three types; namely stiff, medium and flexible.
- Flexible : It is preferred by beginner level players as they do not yet possess swift arm speed.
- Medium flex : It is preferred by intermediate players who have started picking up technique with less arm speed.
- Stiff : It is preferred by advanced players as they have faster arm/wrist speed. This will also help them improve their technique.
All these factors of determining a suitable racket are extremely important. A detailed perusal of these pointers is advisable before going about with the purchase. The player needs to choose the racket depending upon his or her skill level in terms of the game and also the kind of game they are aiming to master.
How to choose the suitable string for your racket?
The rackets that come with strings are quite popular among players. However most of the elite players prefer buying strings separately and get them strung onto the racket as per their desired tension. With the number of overwhelming types of strings available in the market, it can get slightly confusing to zero in on one type. Hence we have decided to give elaborate information and pointers on how to select strings for the racket.
The thickness of the strings and the tension with which they are strung onto the racket largely determine the performance of the racket. Based on the requirement of the player the strings are selected and strung.
Things to know before selecting the strings for the racket
If durability is what the player is looking for, slightly thicker strings than the regular ones are advisable. Thickness of the string can be from 0.69 mm to 0.70 mm. They are durable and perform well for beginners and also intermediate players.
If the player is aiming for a power game and quick returns to the opposition slightly thinner strings should be preferred. Strings with thickness ranging from 0.65 mm to 0.68mm work well for slightly advanced players. They offer a great mix of durability and control.
Strings with lesser thickness of 0.60 mm are great for control, higher power and better hitting sound. They ensure powerful cuts and smashes. But they tend to break and snap easily. Hence most players opt for a combination of strings that are 0.61 mm and 0.67 mm. This mix of strings offers better durability, control and repulsion.
Apart from these factors the tension of the strings also plays a crucial role in shaping the performance of the player. Hence a detailed study and perusal of the product is necessary before selecting one. The players are also advised to have a clear understanding of their needs and targets and then go about with choosing the right strings for the racket.
How to pick the right pair of Badminton Shoes?
Badminton Shoes are the second most important part of Badminton gear after the racket. They are an extremely crucial aspect of the game as they enhance the game of the player in terms of speed and swiftness. They also help in avoiding injuries during the game. Hence a lot of examination of the feet and shoes should be done before selecting the right pair. The following are some of the key characteristics of the shoe to be kept in mind before selecting the one.
Things to consider before buying a pair of Badminton shoes:
Sole of the Shoe:
Badminton is mostly played on synthetic and wooden courts. Hence a no-marking sole is needed for the shoe so that it does not leave marks on the court which might damage the court. Most of the manufactures mention the type of sole on the sole itself making it very easy for the buyer to make an informed choice.
Material of the Shoe:
The material of the shoe is a principal factor in determining the quality of the product. The material of the shoe needs to be breathable with easy flow of air. This avoids sweat accumulation and foul smell. For this the buyer needs to look for pores on the shoes and non-sweat absorbing fabric for the collar of the shoe.
Design of the Shoe:
Every player has a different shape of the feet. One needs to select a badminton shoe accordingly. The most important part of the shoe is the toe box which is the front part of the shoe. The other aspect of shoes that is of utmost importance is the cushioning of it. The right cushioning helps in avoiding knee injuries. Apart from these parts of the shoe, the ankle support is also very crucial. A mid collar ankle support helps avoid ankle injuries like twisting and straining.
Weight of the Shoe:
An average badminton shoe weighs about 250g to 330g. Since Badminton is a fast paced game, the weight of the shoe needs to be comfortably light. And too much weight of the shoe might make the player feel tired very quickly. A player needs to be at ease to move and run around quickly in those shoes.
The materials used to develop the upper part of the tennis shoe varies and each of the materials benefits to players in a different way.
Since badminton is a fast paced power game that involves quick movements of legs and arms it is extremely important to choose the right pair of shoes. They help in overall body balance of the player. It is always advised to try on the shoes and move and run before buying them.
How To Choose The Right Shuttlecock?
There are many factors that demand keen attention before choosing a shuttle. Shuttlecocks are made of different materials like synthetic/plastic, feather and hybrid. Apart from the type of shuttle other factors like the weather conditions, skill of the player etc also need consideration. Though these factors aren’t very technical, it can get slightly overwhelming for a layman. Hence we have broken them down for better understanding.
Things to keep in mind while choosing a shuttlecock:
Type of shuttlecock:
- Feather Shuttles : They offer greater performance and hence preferred by advanced players. Feather shuttles are easier to control and achieve the desired slice and spin. But they are less durable compared to the synthetic ones and hence are advised to be stored in humid places so that the feathers don’t turn brittle.
- Synthetic/plastic shuttles: They are widely preferred by beginners and low level club games. They are highly durable, cost effective and work decently well for fast paced game.
The hybrid ones are a recent development made of feathers and synthetic frame. They are relatively more durable and cheaper compared to the traditional feather ones.
Speed of the Shuttle:
The speed of the shuttle is generally mentioned on the bottom part of it. However the speed and the functioning largely depend on the weather conditions of the place where the shuttle is being used. Temperature, altitude and humidity are the three most important factors. The shuttle speed ranges from 75 to 79 and based on the weather conditions the appropriate one is chosen.
|Speed||Meaning||Suitable Weather Condition|
|75||Slow||Very hot countries|
|76||Quite slow||Hot countries|
|78||Quite fast||Cold temperatures|
|79||Very fast||Very cold temperatures|
Skill level of the Player:
Shuttlecocks and their performance depend upon the standard of the player’s game.
- Beginner level game synthetic and plastic shuttles are suggested.
- Advanced players feather shuttles are advised considering their excellent shuttle flight.
Apart from these factors, the shuttle needs proper care for it to last longer. It is supposed to be stored in humid conditions so that it does not lose its moisture owing to high temperatures. Proper maintenance and care also improve the durability and performance of the shuttle.
After going through all these factors one needs to understand that a shuttle’s flight and durability depends on various complicated factors and a thorough perusal of the product is crucial.
How to choose the right Badminton Bag?
Badminton kit/bag is one of the most essential things a player needs to own. If the player is serious about the game and aims to travel and play tournaments it is all the more necessary. Since the players put almost everything, starting from rackets to food into a badminton bag, it needs to be of decent quality and a comfortable one to carry around. Before going about with the selection of the bag, one needs to take several factors into consideration.
Things to consider before buying a badminton bag:
The player should firstly understand the very need for the badminton kit. If the requirement is just to carry a few rackets and clothes a basic badminton bag would do. But if the player is advanced and looking for something that accommodates the entire badminton equipment a premium one should be opted for. These bags come with separate compartments for clothing, shoes, food etc. They make it extremely easy to maintain and use the product. Some bags even come with a temperature control carriage to keep drinks and other food items cool for long durations. The separate compartments especially for shoes help in keeping the rest of the bag clean.
To select the appropriate badminton kitbag the player needs to have a preference in the size of the bag.
3 racket bag:
This size of the bag accommodates 3 rackets and maybe a water bottle. It works well for beginners for their everyday practice. It is light and easy to carry and definitely cost effective.
6 racket bag:
This size fits close to 6 rackets and a few other essentials. They are comfortable for local tournaments, when the players wish to carry extra rackets and some other stuff like food, drinks etc.
9 racket bag:
This size of the kit bag which fits 9 rackets is ideal for travel and tournaments in different cities and states. They accommodate a lot of stuff like shoes, clothes, strings, food etc.
12 and 16 racket bags:
These are large bags that accommodate more than 12 rackets and a whole lot of other stuff. This size is mostly preferred by advanced players especially the ones who play international badminton.
The badminton kits can be very heavy if they contain things like shoes, food, drinks, used clothes etc. This can also make it very uncomfortable to carry, especially after a tiring match. Hence kit bags with padded straps should be preferred. Some badminton bags come with a single strap which can be slightly difficult to manage especially if the bag is heavy. In such cases bags with double padded straps are advisable. These are extremely comfortable and easy on the shoulders.
- Material : Most of the badminton bags are made of polyesters and heavy duty nylon. Considering the amount of weight they carry the material with which they are made is a major factor in determining the durability of the product. Of late most of the kit bags are come with a thermal lining to provide extra care and protection to the things that are kept inside. Since these bags are something that need not be replaced or changed regularly the quality and the material of the bag is an important aspect. Bags made of sturdy polyester material are durable and long lasting.
Since a badminton kitbag does not have any technical specifications per se, it can be easily selected by following the above mentioned pointers. It is a product that is generally used by a player who is serious about the game and wants to play tournaments in the future.