Badminton racket manufacturers make several models of rackets to appeal to all kinds of players. Rackets are designed with different weights, grip sizes, flex and other variables to appeal to the skill level, strength and playing style of individual players. Knowing how each feature affects a racket's performance can help you choose the right racket.
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A good quality badminton racket will range in weight from 83 to 100 grams. The weight of a racket will determine your swing speed. A light weight racket is more manoeuvrable and easier to swing, but it is not as stable as a heavy racket. More momentum can be generated with a heavier racket as it will hold its path better and more power will be transferred into your shot.
Badminton manufacturers will designate grip sizes with G2, G3, G4 to G5, with G5 the largest and G2 the smallest. Some companies use this same method, however, they are reversed with G5 being the smallest and G2 the largest. Generally, power players who have an attacking style of play will prefer a larger grip for a secure hold. Players who like to disguise their shots prefer to use smaller grips so they can quickly rotate the racket in their hand.
Rackets are designed to have a certain amount of flex in the shaft. Novice or beginner players generally enjoy playing with a flexible racket as it tends to be easier to handle and they can generate more power. More skilled and powerful players gravitate towards stiffer rackets as they can hit with power and still maintain control. Stiffer rackets do not absorb as much vibration compared to the flexible rackets, and that lack of vibration can lead to arm and wrist injuries.
The weight of a badminton racket can be distributed in three areas; towards the head, towards the handle or evenly balanced. The distribution of the weight will determine how a racket performs. When more of the weight is at the head, it is referred to as a head heavy racket. This type of racket is designed for the power player with an attacking game. A head light racket, one with the weight towards the handle, will feel lighter and is designed for a more defensive and control player. An evenly balanced racket is well suited for an all-court player.
Most badminton rackets have one of two head shapes; isometric or classic. The isometric is slightly wider than the classic and the top of the head is squared off. This design increases the sweet spot of the racket. The sweet spot is the area where at contact, there is no vibration and the shot feels solid. Players playing with this design will have more success on off-centre shots. The classic head shape is more oval, more like an egg shape and has a smaller sweet spot.
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