The badminton racket may appear simple and easy but there is a lot more to the construction of a racket. The height, weight, size of the head – each component adds something to the game.
That is why it is important to know which aspect of the racket you will be most comfortable with.
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The long neck like part which gives the racket its length is called the shaft. Much of the precision, strength and control during the game depend on the length of the shaft. A professional player will get more benefit from a longer shaft as it increases the energy input and gives more power.
On the other hand, beginners will be more comfortable with shorter shafts as it provides more balance and control. The player can also achieve more smashes with a shorter neck, which means even professionals can reap benefit from it.
Shorter shafts are also more durable and do not bend as easily. The standard length of the shaft is 675 mm which is considered as the longer neck. 670 mm or shorter is counted as short shaft.
The Racket Head
The main part of the racket, the head is where the magic happens. It seems as though the strings are aimlessly woven and a frame is added to hold the strings. But, the shape of the racket actually plays an important role.
Traditionally, the head is oval shaped which generates a resonating bounce for the shuttle. The oval shape is also an ideal space for the game of badminton.
However, now a day, a new shape is trending. It is known as the isometric square head. As the name suggests, the head has a square shaped frame, which is not that eye catching.
Even so, the square shape drastically changes the stroke strength. The shape changes the sweet spot and makes it easy to hit the shuttle. Professionals are more drawn towards the isometric head as it increases the chances of accurate hits.
The Racket Hand
The handle or the hand is also an important element in the construction of this tool. It ensures how securely you can hold the racket and swing it in the proper direction. If the player is not comfortable with the handle then they will serve flimsy shots.
The most common size of a badminton handle is G4, but there are other sizes such as G3, G4, and G6. You can choose any size based on the comfort.
However, if the player is satisfied with all other components but the size of the handle is not suitable, they can always choose an over grip. There are also grip tapes available in the market that increases control and reduces the chances of dropping the racket.
The Connection of the Components
The primitive style of connecting the head and the neck was by joining the two parts by melting and welding. This is seen more among steel rackets and has a double lining of steel.
However, a new method is used for joining the two parts, known as the T-Joint. It is placed internally and secures the connection between the handle and the head. This type of joint also provides longevity to the racket by minimizing the chances of breakage.
Balancing the Racket
Since the racket has multiple components, each adds a specific weight to the overall product. Depending on the weight of each element, the player will be able to know which strategy to apply.
Badminton rackets can be neutral, head-heavy or head-light depending on which direction it tilts more. This can be determined by balancing the racket on its center of mass. If the handle part is heavy and it leans towards that side, then the racket is head-light and vice versa. A neutral racket will stay still on its center of mass.
A racket becomes head-heavy when most of the weight falls on the top of the frame. Since the shafts are made of carbon fiber, the frame tends to get heavier than the shaft. A head-heavy racket usually weighs around 290 to 310 mm.
A heavier frame can be more useful for players who need more momentum and power. The rackets swing more and provide more power to the player as most weight lies at the frame. More momentum also causes for longer range shots. This weight is especially beneficial for players who play offense.
The tail end of the racket is heavier than the frame; as a result the player can gain more speed and agility with this tool. Players who play defensive will be most benefitted by the speed they get.
Beginners can also be more comfortable with a head light as it does not tire the player out. A head light frame weighs about 280 to 287 mm.
Neutral balance is the most versatile way to go. It can offer something from both worlds. A player can gain strength as well as agility from this balance. This is why a beginner will be most comfortable with such weight. It weighs about 289 mm.
The tool is composed of different material which is why they vary in flexibility. Knowing the composure of the racket is extremely important as it will decide how much pressure and speed the player has to apply.
On a range of flexibility, it lies at 8.5. Professional players have more demand for stiff shaft as it helps in achieving powerful smashes and also provides more accuracy.
This range is more suitable for teenagers and female players as they have to apply less force for gaining more momentum. A flexible shaft can provide more range because of the catapult effect and it can store more potential energy. After the shot, the racket takes its original shape. The flexibility range is 9.5.
Semi Stiff Shaft
Beginners would enjoy this racket immensely as it is versatile and comfortable. With proper practice, a player can achieve both smashes and miles with this range. The flexibility of this racket is at 9.
The Right Rope
Spring tension of the racket is vital for effective play. The tension depends on how strongly the rope is woven and can be played to advantage. If the player is a beginner and wants a wider sweet spot, they can opt for lower spring tension which is 19 to 24 lbs.
This increases the chances of shot every stroke. However, professionals want strong tension as it generates more accuracy. More technique is required for higher tension which ranges from 25 to 30 lbs.