The combination of a racket’s overall weight, shaft stiffness, balance point, head shape and aerodynamics define how well a racket will perform . Below is a breakdown of a badminton racket section by section, as well as some of the commonly used terminologies explained. On the Racket Review E-Zone you will find all the sections populated for over 500+ rackets, giving you access to a vast searchable compendium of data that will identify your perfect racket, perfectly suited to your game.
Badminton Racket Head
Most rackets are produced with isometric head shapes, although there are still some oval and squarer head shapes available. With a larger sweet spot, we would recommend sticking to isometric heads in order minimise the chances of off centre hitting.
Badminton Racket Shaft stiffness
The stiffness of the shaft has a massive impact on repulsion (physical energy input vs shuttle flight distance), shuttle control, power generation, wrist, shoulder and elbow wear and tear.
Racket stiffness varies from flexible to stiff, however every racket manufacturer has their own way of rating the stiffness of their rackets, which makes it confusing when comparing rackets across different manufacturers. Badminton racket review’s shaft stiffness testing is carried out consistently and uniformly on all rackets and so therefore all results can be reliably cross-compared using our Racket Review E-Zone review platform.
Shaft stiffness has a significant impact on wrist, elbow and shoulder strain. Many people find stiffer rackets more strenuous on their arm joints as opposed to more flexible rackets.
So why do people choose stiff rackets? They are said to have better control over the shuttle and, provided the player can generate enough swing speed, they can generate lots of power.
Flexible rackets can generate good power using less effort; in reality, they actually have one of the highest ratios of power vs input for many club players. Why? Take for example the clear shot: When the racket is swung backwards, a flexible racket shaft will flex further back than a stiff shaft, leading through to a snap-forward on contact with the shuttle, which would generate a greater amount of force without the player having to exert too much energy. They are also less strenuous on arm joints because they require less movement to be put into motion. However, the player compromises on control, the greater the flex.
Badminton Racket Weight
Similar to racket stiffness, the physical weight of a racket has a significant impact on arm joints and muscles. Some players find that super light rackets require too much effort to generate power as do very heavy rackets. However, advances in technology and material research have meant lighter rackets are becoming increasingly more powerful.
Badminton rackets are generally weighted in classes set out below:
|2U||90g & above|
|3U||85g – 89.9g|
|4U||80g – 84.9g|
|5U||75g – 79.9g|
|6U||70g – 74.9g|
|7U||65g – 69.9g|
|There are very few rackets below 65g|
Heavy rackets combined with a stiff shaft and a heavy head balance (explained below) can be much more physically exerting compared with more flexible and lighter rackets. However, stiffer, heavier rackets can produce a lot more power compared with lighter more flexible rackets. Understanding these fundamental aspects of a racket are crucial in order to ensure you are choosing a racket optimised for your game. Find your optimum racket on the Racket Review E-Zone today.
Also, note that the advertised weight of a racket is not always the usable weight of a racket. See video below for a clearer explanation:
Most racket manufacturers provide four grip sizes. In Japan, they range from G2, G3, G4 to G5 where G2 is the biggest size and G5 is the smallest size. In some countries, the opposite applies. Some brands go by small, medium and big sizes.
Again, different manufacturers refer to a racket’s balance point in different ways. Some are referred to in (mm) millimetres, where the length is measured from the bottom of the racket handle, with grip in place as supplied by manufacturer. Others use descriptions i.e. “head light or head heavy”. To haromnise these differences, we have applied uniform testing and used the same terminology for all rackets’ results on the Racket Review E-Zone. See our test results by becoming a member.
The diagram below highlights the effects of opposing balance points. The balance point can make notable differences in both smash and defence capabilities. Broadly speaking, a racket that is weighted towards the head (regarded as a ‘head heavy’ racket) helps to generate better smash power, whilst conversely a racket that is more evenly balanced or ‘head light’, tends to have better defensive qualities of movement and control.
As with Racket weight, flexibility and shaft stiffness the racket balance point does have a significant effect on arm joints and muscles.