Badminton rackets all have the same basic parts, these being the handle, shaft and head. They vary in the shape and the materials used in them, but basically these are the main parts to look out for. There are a few more terms you will need to know such as the weight, the balance, the stiffness, and the grip size.
The weight of a badminton racket refers to exactly that- how heavy it is.Over the years the weight of racquets has reduced considerably, and you can now find certain models that weigh as little as 70grams. Most rackets weigh between 80-90g. Different manufacturers have their own systems for telling you how heavy a racket is. For example, Yonex have the “U” system, where “U”= 95-100g, and “4U”= 80-84g.
There are 3 kinds of racquet balance, head heavy, head light and even balance. A head heavy racket will be more difficult to move around and feel more sluggish than a head light racket. An even balance is a compromise betweeen the two, and is aimed at all round badminton players.
The stiffness relates to how much flexibility the racket has. There are different grades of stiffness, from extra stiff to stiff, and then there are flexible rated rackets. The stiff versions are usually aimed at more experienced players, whilst the flexible one’s are aimed at beginners and intermediate players.
The grip size refers to how large the diameter of the handle is. Which grip size you use depends on how big your hands are, and your own personal preference. Different manufacturers have their own systems to tell you the grip size. Yonex have their own “G” system, which goes from “G5” which is the smallest grip size, to “G2” which is the largest size.
There are also different head shapes, and the two most common are classic and isometric. The classic head shape has an oval shape, and the isometric head shape is squared off at the top of the head. An isometric design helps to increase the sweet spot and aids off centre shots, so it offers a bit more forgiveness than the classic shape.
If you look at the online shops that sell badminton rackets you will usually see some or all of these terms being used in the description. Once you know what they are on about you can make a more informed choice before you part with your cash, but you will also be able to tell if the racket will be suitable for your standard of play.
One important point is that if you are a beginner you do not need to go out and buy the most expensive badminton racket available, in fact this may even have a negative effect on your game. The expensive models are geared towards advanced players who can the most out of these rackets. The less expensive one’s are aimed at beginners because they are more forgiving and will help you a little bit. By far the most vital part in all of this is you. A badminton racket cannot make up for bad technique and skills.