Over the last few years the equipment used in just about every sport has undergone a technological revolution. Badminton racquets are no exception. In the beginning badminton racquets were made of wood. They advanced to aluminum and steel, and now words like graphite aluminum, carbon fiber composite, graphite carbon, and high modulus graphite are used to describe the newest badminton racquets. While you might have to be an engineer to truly understand the materials used in racquet construction, recreational through professional players can see the results: The new racquets are much lighter and stronger and give the player more power and control. Many cheap racquets found in sporting goods stores are still made of aluminum–wooden badminton racquets are no longer made. These new high-tech badminton racquets weigh between 80 and 100 grams.
The type of badminton racquets you purchase depends on what kind of player you are– beginner, intermediate or advanced. Players all make different choices depending on their skill and playing style. You can make decisions about whether you want your racquet head to be oval, wide-bodied or isometric, and you can choose the thickness and tightness of the strings along with the type of grip that best fits your hand. Generally speaking, stiffer, higher strung racquets are used by advanced players while amateurs and recreational players choose a racquet with more flexibility and lower string tension.
Most badminton racquets are around 68 cm long–the head is usually in the area of 29 cm with the strung part of the head approximately 28 cm long and 22 cm wide. String tension is measured in newtons and usually range from 80 to 130 newtons. That translates to being strung to about 20 lbs for beginner, 22-23 lbs for intermediates and over 25 lbs for advanced competitors. When buying badminton racquets you can choose what type of grip you prefer. There are several choices but most fall into the PU (polyurethane) category or the group often referred to as a “toweling grips,” with a surface treatment designed to absorb sweat. Most players also prefer to use replacement grips, which can be thick or thin depending on what feels the most comfortable in the player’s hand.
The basic tendency in buying badminton racquets is to start out with a heavier one and then to go lighter as your badminton skills improve. Badminton equipment is not as expensive as that for many other sports–racquets generally range in price from under $20 for a cheap steel model to over $250 for those high-tech designs used by players who compete at the highest levels.