By Nicole Lee
The racket is your most important badminton equipment. The type of racket you choose should match your playing ability. Here are four things to consider when it comes to choosing a racket.
1. Weight of the racket
Lightweight badminton rackets are recommended for beginners. They should weigh between 85g to 90g and have a lower balance point (Point 2). Such rackets are usually easier to control.
Lightweight rackets also allow for quick stroking speeds and recovery. You will be able to deliver quick serves and switch to different strokes easily. Lightweight rackets are also easier on the wrist and shoulders, reducing the chances of injuries.
2. Balance Point
On the other hand, seasoned players may opt for heavier rackets with higher balance points. This basically means that the racket is heavier at the head. Such rackets will allow you to channel more power into your smashes. However, they are not as easy to control due to the extra weight. Hence, such rackets are not suited for everyone.
3. String Tension
Test the tension of a racket by pressing your palm against the strings and see how far it sinks. A 1mm sunken depth of the strings is the ideal tension for most players.
If you have a tendency to channel more force into your strokes, you will need a higher tension for your racket strings. For beginners, 22 – 23 lbs is a good tension to start with. Do note that tension standards varies from region to region due to how temperature affects string tensions – higher racket tensions are usually required for people living in the tropics as strings tend to expand in hotter places.
4. Hand Grip
There are two major factors that affect the grip of a racket, namely its type and size.
a. Types of badminton grips
There are two types of badminton grips - towel and synthetic.
Towel grips are softer and good for absorbing sweat. However, this makes them prone to accumulating germs and bacteria. As such, towel grips will require frequent replacement compared to synthetic grips.
On the other hand, synthetic grips are slick and less messy. However, this makes them less comfortable due to its poor sweat absorption ability.
b. Size of badminton grips
Most racket grips come in four sizes. Bigger grips are favoured by players who prefer a tighter feel to generate more power. On the other hand, players that like to employ the use of deception in their games will prefer smaller grips as it allows for better manoeuvrability.
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