The bound, the wind, and the electric crack of a well-executed smash. The shuttlecock coming down like lightning at 200 miles per hour. For fanatics, a pro badminton match is as mesmerizing as the roar of a thunderstorm. And now, you want to get in on the fun. Step one: get a good racket. Rackets vary in size, flexibility, and weight; each adjustment is made to suit a certain playing style. So, what racket should your humble amateur play with?
For casual players, our pick is the Senston N80. It's lightweight, making it easy to control and easy on the joints. Use it to perfect your form and technique and then move on to a more advanced racket. See more of our top badminton rackets below. And if you're having trouble deciding which one is right for you, check out our buying guide, which is full of information about racket weights, shaft flexibility, string tension, and more!
Here are our favorite rackets for all play styles and skill levels. Whether you're an agile defense player or a power smasher, we hope you find a racket that meets your needs.
Dynamic Shuttle Sports
Titan G-Force 7
Nanoray Light 18i
Matchpoint Badminton Racket
Muscle Power 22 Plus
Muscle Power 29 Lite
Arcsaber 69 Rudy Hartono Special Edition
Carbon Fiber Composite Badminton Racket
Badminton Racquet (Prism Pack)
A Lightweight Pair for Casual Play
An All-Rounder for Offense and Defense
Slice Through the Air Like a Blade
A Solid Beginner Racket
Perfect Your Smashes
A Powerful Racket That Won't Tire You Out
Develop Your Defense Skills
A Low Investment Racket to Get Your Toes Wet
Rackets for Two Get You Ready to Play
A Racket Party Pack
|Weight||5U||4U||5U||Not provided||3U||4U||5U||Not provided||3U||Not provided|
|Balance||Even||Even||Head light||Not provided||Even||Not provided||Head light||Not provided||Head heavy||Not provided|
|Flex||Not provided||Medium||Stiff||Not provided||Medium||Flexible||Flexible||Not provided||Not provided||Not provided|
|Grip||G4||G5||G4||Not provided||Not provided||G4||G4||Not provided||G4||Not provided|
|Tension||24-26 lbs.||30 lbs.||30 lbs.||Not provided||Not provided||30 lbs.||30 lbs.||Not provided||20-22 lbs.||Not provided|
Whether you're playing singles or doubles, your badminton racket will be your most important partner. Here are some things to consider when making your choice.
Note that weight systems can vary by manufacturer, so look at the weight in grams for the most accurate measurement.
Lighter rackets (around 4U) are easier to hold and maneuver. They also put less stress on the shoulders and wrists, making them ideal for beginners and older players.
They also make it easier to switch between different strokes and recover quickly, leading to faster reaction times. For this reason, they're also great for technical players and doubles players.
On the other hand, heavier rackets (around 3U) are more powerful. Since they weigh more, they can be unwieldy for beginners, but for more experienced players they provide stability and an extra boost of power. Singles players tend to prefer heavier rackets.
Head light rackets are easier to control and suited for the kind of fine work needed at the net during doubles play. However, they generate less overall power. Head heavy rackets are better suited for singles games and add extra power to shots. They're slower than head light rackets and can be tiring if your game lasts a long time.
Even balanced rackets are good all-rounder rackets and fall in between head light and head heavy. They can be used in singles or doubles games, providing a balance of power and mobility.
Most manufacturers categorize the shaft of the racket as flexible, medium, or stiff, depending on how easily it can bend.
Flexible rackets will bend easily, store energy, and then snap forward during your swing. This means that the player has to exert less overall force, although it's more difficult to land perfectly accurate shots. But for beginners, who should be focusing more on form, the flex comes in handy.
Stiff rackets require more power to bend but unbend more quickly, leading to increased power, control, and accuracy for strong players. If you have a slower swing, a stiff racket will absorb your power rather than sending it into the shuttlecock, so stiff rackets are best for intermediate to advanced players.
Grip size standards vary across manufacturers but are often denoted by a G, with smaller numbers for larger hand sizes. G4 and G5 are the most common. The grip size can be adjusted by using different grips or adding grip tape, so as a general rule, a smaller grip size has more flexibility.
A lower tension (18 to 23 pounds) is better for beginners, while a higher tension (24 to 30 pounds) provides improved control and accuracy for more advanced players.
Manufacturers will list a recommended tension range on their rackets. Pay attention to this; stringing outside of the range can void your warranty.
If you're looking for a new hobby (or a new way to tire out your kids), physical activity is a great way to get those endorphins flowing. Here's more of our favorite athletic equipment for both home and away.
All that volleying and smashing can tire you out. Don't forget the importance of staying hydrated! This insulated water bottle, recommended by nutritionist Kara Swanson, will keep your water ice-cold for hours and has a straw so you can drink quickly between games.
Robin's Egg, 25 oz.
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