Racket Buying Guide
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Badminton Avenue proudly presents the Badminton Racket Buyer's Guide, written by Bay Badminton Center's (parent company of Badminton Avenue).
Rackets themselves are as individual as the player. A racket that feels the best to one player may not have the same effect on a different player. For this reason, making a racket decision is extremely important.
The head of the racket comes in several different shapes. It comes in standard (oval or egg) shape, isometric shape, diamond shape or teardrop shape. The different shapes of the racket will highly affect the feel of the racket. Many diamond or teardrop shape rackets will have a longer main string. This will make the racket feel "bouncier." The standard or isometric shape rackets will have a shorter main string and making it feel tighter or stiffer. Some racket heads also come in "wide body." This means the frame of the racket is wider from the side. This is meant to add more power to your shot.
Racket Weight Distribution
There are 3 main balances for rackets: head heavy, head light, and even balance. In general, a head heavy racket is designed for more power, a head light racket is designed for faster defense, and an even balance is designed for a balance between power and defense.
The racket shaft is the main part of the racket that will dictate how much a racket flexes throughout the stroke. Stiffer shafts will provide better control for your shot and more flexible shafts will provide more power. There are some rackets that have a longer shaft creating more flex. Shorter shafts will feel stiffer.
The racket grip (type) and size will vary depending on the preference of the player. There is no "standard" sizing for grips. This will depend on what the individual player likes. Some players with small hands may prefer bigger grips, some players with big hands may prefer a smaller grip. Just go with what feel comfortable to you. Standard G4 grip is on most rackets. Some rackets are especially designed for smaller hands that come in a G5 sized grip. Players who feel that the grip is too small may add additional over grips to thicken the grip.
Nowadays, there are so many different types of strings on the market. The two major materials for strings are nylon and natural gut. Due to the cost of the strings, natural gut strings are not as popular today as they were many years ago. Also, the advancement of technology has increased the quality and playability of nylon strings. Choose a type and brand of strings that you like and stay with it. You may have to test play several different types of strings but this makes it fun. Selecting a string can be an enjoyable experience. Have fun with it and try as many types of string as you can. You may end up liking the feel of several different types of string. It will also make a difference on what racket you are putting the strings in.
Remember this general rule of thumb:
Stiffer shaft on a racket = more control
Flexible shaft on a racket = more power
Tighter strings = more control
Looser strings = more power
Note: There will definitely be a threshold point of string tension that will optimize both power and control. This may differ on each individual player. Again, you have to test play different strings along with different tensions.
(For example: Restringing a racket with the same string but with different tensions will make your racket feel different)
Remember that it is always better to have your racket restrung by professionals that know how to care for your racket.
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