When looking for a badminton racket for singles, there is one key idea you need to keep in mind. The most important thing is the person, not the tool. A very expensive badminton racket will not make a big difference in the outcome of your game. Therefore, don’t worry too much about which badminton racket you pick, especially if you are a beginner’s player. The same time invested in the court will improve your level much more.
Having said that, there are three main aspects to picking a badminton racket that you should familiarize yourself with.
- Stiffness: This means how much can the shaft of the racket bend
- Balance: This means where the weight of the racket is, towards the head or the handle
- Weight: This means how heavy the racket is
In order to understand what is their impact and why they are important, please read on.
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Stiffness of a badminton racket
As I briefly described before, the stiffness on a badminton racket means how flexible the shaft (the center part) is. Some rackets will be able to bend a lot. Some beginners are surprised at home much a racket can bend without breaking. Other rackets will not bend so much.
This can be quickly checked by holding the racket by the head and the handle and try bending it. Don’t go too crazy, though, you don’t want to be breaking it. However, the more difficult it feels to bend the racket, the stiffer the racket is.
Why is stiffness important in a badminton racket for singles?
Stiffness is important in badminton because it helps to leverage the power of your shots. When you are about to hit a shuttle, the racket bends a little bit while you are moving it, so when hitting the shuttle that bending helps to bring more power to the shots.
To understand this, we can think about a slingshot. If you wanted to throw something with a wooden slingshot, the more you could tens the rubber, the faster and further the projectile would go. But if the rubber is too worn down and cannot be tensed anymore, then the projectile would not go very far.
The same is with the racket. A stiff racket is good if you can put a lot of power in your shots, so the racket bends and you can use that leverage for a powerful shot. However, if you cannot put a lot of power on your shots, you will not be able to leverage the stiffness and you might want to pick a flexible one so you can get the same leverage without having to add the power.
A more flexible racket will come at a cost, though. The more flexible a racket is, the less control you have over your shots. So, if you don’t have too much power and think that a flexible racket will help you to cover that weakness, please be aware that it will but at the cost of slightly less accurate shots.
Balance of a badminton racket
As I briefly described before, the balance on a badminton racket means whether the racket has the weight more towards the head or more towards the handle.
This can be quickly checked by trying to keep the racket balanced holding it only with one finger somewhere in the shaft. The closer this point is to the head, the more “head-heavy” a racket is.
Why is balance important in a badminton racket for singles?
Balance is important because it has a big impact on the performance of the racket. If the racket is head-heavy, you will be able to bring more power to your shots.
If this is not easy to grasp, we can take the example of a hammer. Hammers have a very heavy head compared to the handle. It helps with the power so you can easily make the nails go in.
However, as it happens with hammers, the extra power comes at a cost. Because of the weight being on the head, it will be more difficult to swing your racket and the accuracy of your shots will also go down.
To understand that, let’s go back to the example of the hammer. If you have ever used a hammer, you will know that, the heavier it is, the more difficult it becomes to control that you are hitting the right place and also the more difficult it is to swing.
The same happens with the racket. As the balance veers towards the head, it becomes more difficult to move the racket and to make sure that your movement is accurate.
Weight of a badminton racket
The weight of the rackets usually varies between 75 and 100 grams, the more common being between 80 and 90 grams. The most common unit of measure divides the rackets between 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U, and 5U, with 3U and 4U being the most common and recommended options. In this unit of measure, 3U are rackets between 85 and 89.9 grams and 4U are rackets between 80 and 84.9 grams.
Why is weight important in a badminton racket for singles?
Weight is important in a badminton racket because, the heavier the racket, the more power it will deliver. You can quickly see the logic of this by thinking back to the hammer example. If you have two hammers at your home of different weights, you will know by experience that the heavier hammer can deliver more power to your task at hand. But, again, the heavier it is, the more difficult it is to move around.
A similar thing will happen with the racket, even though the differences are not so big because are talking about just few grams of weight. But, in any case, the heavier the racket, the more difficult it will be for you to move it around.
Which racket is right for me?
So, with the above explained, let’s move now to the interesting part and that is, which racket is right for you. As you can imagine from reading the above, the right racket for you will depend on your own skills.
Therefore, any blog that you read where they just list several rackets without making differentiation of what it provides and for who the racket is, is a blog you should not be taking into account.
So, without further ado, let’s move onto the recommendations.
Badminton racket for a beginner
If you are just starting, I wouldn’t recommend picking a racket that helps enhance a specific skill. Instead, you can pick a more all-around racket and once you start developing specific skills, you can then upgrade to a racket that matches them.
With that in mind, I can give you two options.
If you are on a budget, you can pick one racket from the B-series of Yonex, which is the series dedicated to casual players. For example, you can find the Yonex B-350 in Amazon for a very cheap price.
If you want to spend a bit more money, I would recommend going to the VOLTRIC series. This one from Amazon is also a great deal. Moreover, the isometric head makes the “sweet spot” of the racket bigger, which is a nice feature for a beginner.
Badminton racket for a defensive player
If you are an intermediate or advanced player, you will have your playing style a bit more defined. You will know your strengths and weaknesses and you can pick a racket that complements you.
If you are the type of player that focuses on moving your opponent around and does not focus too much on smashing to finalize points, then you should be choosing a racket that is head-light and that is not very stiff. This will improve your control, which is what you need the most with this style of play.
For this type of player, I can also give you two main recommendations depending on the budget you have.
If you are on a budget, I would recommend that you choose a racket from the NANORAY Series. The YONEX Nanoray 7000I is a great option that can be found on Amazon.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money and you have a good level, then the Yonex ArcSaber 11 is an option that I really like. You can buy it on Amazon following the link. It is a great option for defensive players but at the same time, you can still get powerful smashes while keeping the control that you need.
Badminton racket for an offensive player
Now we go to those players who really like keeping the initiative of the point and that, whenever even the smallest opportunity presents itself, will smash the shuttle. In this case, we are looking for a head-heavy racket. The stiffness will depend on how good a player you are.
For intermediate players, I would choose a flexible racket since that will give you more power.
For advanced players, I would choose a stiff racket since that will give you more power if you know how to use it while still keeping the maximum control.
If you are on a budget, the MUSCLE POWER Series has some affordable options that, as the name suggests, will help you reach a lot of power in your shots. You can find them following this link to Amazon.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money and you are an advanced player that can take advantage of a stiff shaft, then the Astrox 99 would be my go-to option. You can find it on Amazon following the link.
Badminton racket for an “all-rounder”
If you are neither defensive not offensive player but more of an all-rounder, you want to be looking for a balanced racket, neither head-heavy nor head-light.
In that case, if you are on a budget, my recommendation would be the Carbonex 8000, which sells for a very cheap price on Amazon. This racket will give you a great overall performance for a very affordable price.
If you are an advanced player and want to spend a bit more money, my recommendation here would go to the Yonex ArcSaber 11. It is a very versatile racket and that is why it is great both for defensive players and for all-rounders.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you have any doubts about any of the above, let me know in the comments.
If you enjoyed this post, you can also check our badminton equipment and gear post, where all the different equipment needed to play badminton is explained.