Putting your faith into a new piece of equipment can be daunting. Will it be the right one for me? Do I even know that the right racket is for me? It is all well and good looking through the reams and reams of options out there, but you need to know what each of these highly specialised tools can offer, and you need to know if what they are offering is for you. These are the best badminton rackets in the UK market if to are a beginner to intermediate player. Read our reviews below:
1 – Senson N80
3 – Yonex Arcsaber
4 – Yonex Nanoray 10
Badminton Racket Buying Guide
The badminton racket is built and designed to be an additional appendage, it must feel like it is just an extension of your arm. That is a very good way at also going about buying a new racket, you need to look at what the racket is, and you have to look at what you are, in terms of a badminton player.
At its basic level, the game is about putting the shuttlecock over the net. You can strike it hard, and you can strike it soft, but you want a piece of equipment that can aid you in doing both seamlessly. So, you want both powers, and you want to control – sometimes one more than the other – therefore you have to look at the construction of a racket to see what it can give you.
As this is the striking point, a key part of the game, you want it to give you the biggest advantage possible. Quality strings, at a tension that suits, and in a shape that will aid in what you are looking for all counts when selecting the head. Do you want a bigger size for better accuracy? Isometric shape for more of a sweet spot? Elongated head for reach?
The connection between you and the striking point, the head, is an important thing to get right as this affects the whole feel of the racket. All of the flexibility of your chosen equipment comes down to the shaft. Are you looking for bend and whip for power? Do you want the racket to be firm and precise? Or is a medium flex your go to in terms of overall play?
This is where you join to the racket, and it is usually quite a personal experience, so much so that you can easily change grips and covers to suit. However, make sure the feel is right from the handle. Does it feel comfortable in the hand? Does it feel connected throughout the construction? Is there a feeling of connection from you, through the handle, to the head?
In A Nutshell:
All of these different bits of a racket can influence how it performs, but you have to first understand what you are looking for personally. A bit of introspection is always required when buying a new piece of kit.
Ask yourself a few key questions, such as: what level player are you? (beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced) What is your playing style? (attack, defence, all-around) Do you aim for power or precision? Simply getting to grips with these questions will guide you in picking the right racket.
For instance: Player A is a beginner and a defensive power hitter. Player B is an advanced attacking shot maker.
Player A should aim for a heavier racket to aid with his power hitting and smashing. With some weight behind you, you will find it easier to get speed and power onto the shuttlecock. Player A should also look for a racket that has a balance point that is closer to the head, a higher balance point, as this is will be a handle-heavy racket again designed for power hitting.
For the shaft, Player A can also look for a more flexible one as it is better suited for defending smash shots, as well as making general hitting easier as less power is needed to be generated.
Player B should be looking for a lighter racket. As an advanced player, there is more ability and ease in controlling the racket for more difficult shots, fast attacks, deception, and net kills. All of this will come easier with lighter choices.
A stiff shaft also goes hand in hand with this as it adds a lot of the accuracy of the shot making. Less bending means less inaccuracy when striking the shuttlecock which ends up in perfectly placed shots.
With a stiff shaft, it is also a lot harder to generate power, so sitting back in defence and hoping to power back shots won’t work, it is about control and shot making with a stiff shaft.
Q: How do I know what type of racket I need?
A: Identify the key traits of your style of badminton, it is a sliding scale in many cases. Decide if you are attack or defence, or somewhere in between. Do you like power or control? Are you just starting or an advanced player.
Knowing the answers about yourself will help you choose a racket that can complement, or improve, your traits.
Q: Do I really need to buy a new racket?
A: Of course, if this is your first time buy, then, of course, the answer is yes! However, if you are looking for an upgrade, you need to ask yourself two questions. What do I not like about my current model, and what am I looking for, or looking to improve, with my next one.
If you feel your game is improving for instance, and you need more accuracy, then you know that perhaps your old racket is too flexible, and you are looking for a less bendy design.
Or, are you simply looking for a better version of the current type of racket you already have? While equipment can be similar in approach, not all of them are created equal. Decide if you are happy with the type of racket you have and if it is simply going to be an upgrade.
Q: Will a new racket improve my game?
A: A lot of people will set out for a new racket simply in the hopes of suddenly being a better player. Unfortunately, it is not as clear-cut as that, equipment can only aid you slightly, and can only help certain parts of your game. If you are hoping to improve your serve power, then yes, perhaps it is worth buying a new racket that is heavier and has a higher balance point.
However, it is important to remember if you start looking for improvements in one part of your game, you could compromise the other. A firmer racket will make you more accurate, but you could lose a substantial amount of power on your shots.
Q: Is it worth buying a new racket?
A: There needs to be a reason to buy a new racket. If you feel you have reached a plateau in your game, or you feel the type of player you are changing, then new equipment can facilitate the changes. However, it is not worth buying a new one in the hopes that it will change, or improve you.