The Ultimate Size Guide For Badminton Rackets
Whether you’re a complete newbie to the badminton world or you are struggling to find a racket that best suits your style of playing, we have got you covered. All the research has been done for you. From grip size, racket size, weight, stiffness, and most importantly, racket size. All these topics will be discussed in great detail for your convenience.
This will allow you to make the best-informed decision on your future purchase and to get you playing like a pro in no time.
What Racket Size Do You Need?
There are a variety of factors that need to be considered when picking a racket. Weight is one of them. The weight of the racket affects how you play the game. This influences your speed and strength. Along with this, balance plays another huge role. Therefore, the racket specifications can only be decided upon once understanding all these factors.
The right grip size plays a massive role in how a racket performs. If you are unsure of your grip size, there are two easy ways in which to measure this.
Using an eastern forehand grip, you should be able to fit the index finger of your non-hitting hand in the space between your ring finger and your palm. Please take of what an eastern forehand grip is. This is when the palm is placed against the same level as the string face. If there is not enough room for your index finger, the grip is too small. If there is room between your finger and your palm, the grip is too big. The result of having a grip that is too small is that it requires more muscle strength to keep the racket from twisting in your hand. This can cause damage to your wrist and elbow later down the line. However, a grip that is too big also has its problems. This will result in wrist snaps occurring during serves. Along with this, it also requires more muscle strength and can result in the player experiencing tennis elbow problems.
If you do not have a racket handy, which will be the majority of you reading this, you can still measure your grip size by using a ruler. With your fingers extended close together and your hand open, align the ruler with the bottom lateral crease of your palm and measure to the tip of your ring finger.
It would be in your best interest to keep the following in mind. It is easier to increase handle size on most rackets. In saying this, the majority of lightweight rackets’ handles cannot be reduced in size. Therefore, if you are in-between, you should go with the smaller size. This is because you will be able to add an overgrip, which will be better fitting to your original grip size. Typically, an overgrip can increase a grip by 1/16 inches.
Another option is a heat shrink sleeve which will increase the grip size by 1/8 inches. In both cases, the overall racket will be increased by about 7 to 16 grams. However, it should be mentioned that the benefits of a correct grip size greatly outweigh the disadvantages faced when mass is added to the racket.
It is also recommended to replace the grip regularly. A properly wrapped grip provides you will better racket control as well as increased confidence.
Below is a grip size guide to give you a better understanding and for you to determine your size conveniently.
Grip Size Racket Grip Size Size in mm
- X-Small Grip G5 83mm
- Small Grip G4 86mm
- Medium Grip G3 89mm
- Large Grip G2 92mm
- X-Large Grip G1 95mm
A badminton racket can be categorized based on their balance. Three categories can be seen as Head-Heavy, Even-Balance, and Head-Light. There is no better balance for a racket. This is because the balance of the racket is subjective to the player using it.
Head-Heavy Balance Badminton Rackets
A head-heavy racket is most popular for players that like to play a powerful game from the back of the court. Having a heavy head provides them with the extra mass in the head, which increases the power of their clears and smashes. If you are looking to ensure that you can consistently produce lengthy clears, then you should consider purchasing a head-heavy racket.
Head-Light Balance Badminton Rackets
Contrary to a head-heavy racket, head-light rackets are more suitable for club players who play doubles on a more regular basis than playing singles. The benefit of using a head-light racket is that the head and frame weigh a lot less. This makes the racket easier to manipulate and swing. Having this racket is crucial when defending against opposing smashes, as you will need to react as quickly as possible to return the smash. Along with this, head-light rackets are seen as a lot more desirable when playing shots at the net, especially if you look to finish off rallies at the front of the court. This racket is highly recommended if you prefer to play driving, fast, and attacking badminton while playing doubles, or you have excellent technique and swing speed as a singles player.
Even Balance Badminton Rackets
Even balance rackets are designed to provide a middle ground between head-heavy and head-light rackets. By doing this, there is an attempt to bring together the advantages of both rackets, giving you enough power from the back and enough control and maneuverability at the front. This is perfect for beginners as you may not be sure if you like playing at the back or near the net just yet. This racket allows you to play in both positions without you feel unequipped to handle the shots from your racket. Using this racket will help you play an all-rounded game.
Shaft Flexibility (Flex)
Shaft flexibility is seen as just as crucial as balance when deciding on purchasing a racket. When making this decision, it is important to know that the correct level of flexibility is dependent on your wrist or arm speed. Simply categorized, you get three different variations of flexibility in rackets. These are flexible, medium and stiff, of which each have their advantages.
A stiffer racket will bend and then unbend very quickly. This will ensure that the shots have the maximum power and control possible. Therefore, having a stiff racket would work best for an explosive swing-speed player. However, a slower-speed player will not be able to reap the benefits of this shaft and would not be recommended for these types of players.
A more flexible racket will bend and unbend more easily. This will allow the racket to bend and unbend to the required level. By comparison of a stiff shaft, a faster swing-speed player using a more flexible frame will connect with the shuttle prematurely which will result in a loss of power and control.
A racket with medium flexibility will bend and unbend in a way that is easy than that of a stiff racket but quicker than that of a flexible racket. The result of this is more control of a medium swing-speed player. This would be the recommended flexibility to anyone that is just starting badminton. It is the most forgiving one of the three and will make playing badminton easy for someone that is less experienced.
The weight of the racket is also dependent on the style of the player. A light racket is generally used for a more defensive style of play. This makes the maneuverability quicker. Whereas, heavier rackets are used for smashing. Along with this, there is a general idea that you should use lighter rackets when playing doubles and heavier rackets when playing singles. Lightweight rackets are highly recommended for beginners. This is because they are easy to control as well as quick stroking speeds and recovery. Added to this, lightweight rackets are easier on the wrist and shoulders, therefore reducing the risk of injuries.
The weight sizing categories are as follows:
- 4U: 80-84g
- 3U: 85-89g
- 2U: 90-94g
- 1U: 95-100g