The stiffness of a badminton racket plays an important role in how it behaves. The stiffer the racket the more difficult it is to make it flex or bend. This can be a problem if you are a beginner because you may not have the necessary skills to swing the racquet fast enough to make it flex.

The extra stiff badminton rackets require even more skill to make them flex, so you really need a fast swing to get the most out of these types of rackets. Flexible versions are the best bet for beginners because they flex much easier, and so give a bit more power for the same effort.

You will find that the top end rackets have stiff or extra stiff ratings. The reason is that more stiffness gives more control. This works because the racket does not bend as much and so there is less movement of the racket head on impact with the shuttlecock. This gives you more control than a more flexible racket does. The most expensive rackets are geared towards offering this control, and they are aimed at advanced players.

The manufacturers assume that if you buy one of these stiff versions, then you already have the ability to swing fast enough to get the power, you just need extra control over your shots, hence the extra stiffness. You have to make sure that you are capable of using these kinds of rackets before you spend your money on them. Again, it will all come down to you and your skill level.

Another problem with the very stiff designs is that they can cause injuries. Vibration is a major disadvantage with stiff rackets because you feel every impact just a little bit more compared to a more flexible racket. The disadvantage of the flexible rackets is that they are harder to control, although this is all down to personal preference. Many players are totally comfortable with flexible rackets and have no need to move up to the stiff models.

If you look at the product descriptions of some of the most popular racket makers like Yonex you can often find little clues as to the stiffness rating. For example the Nanospeed series have the 9000S and the 9000X. In this case the “S” refers to stiff, and the “X” refers to extra stiff. You will also find this information, hopefully, fom the actual description of the badminton racket. There are many manufacturers on the market these days, all trying to make you buy their products over the next one, and each one has their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own way of making rackets. The next post will take a look at some of the more popular badminton brands.