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Ashaway Superlight 79SQ - Badminton Racket View

Ashaway Superlight 79SQ - Badminton Racket

Best suited to intermediate level players, the Ashaway Superlight 79SQ badminton racket offers a great blend of power and head speed. This super-lightweight racket weighs only 76g (2.7oz) and has an isometric head shape for a bigger sweet spot and more accuracy on off-centre hits. The racket is head heavy balanced for added power and ensures quick acceleration through the shuttle. It is perfect for hard-hitting, aggressive players seeking fast swing speed and guarantees increased stiffness and strength thanks to graphite layers reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Plus, the Ashaway Superlight 79SQ comes strung with ZyMax 70 string for maximum durability and tension maintenance.

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Yonex Voltric Lite Badminton Racket View

Yonex Voltric Lite Badminton Racket

A great choice for casual / recreational players seeking to improve their stroke power, the Yonex Voltric Lite badminton racket features a head heavy frame and isometric head style to ensure maximum power potential and impressive power generation on each stroke. Also, the frame is made with durable tungsten and graphite material combination, and boasts the AERO+BOX technology to ensure a phenomenal shot sensation and vastly improved striking speed. The racquet features a highly flexible shaft, and it arrives already pre-strung as well as it’s shipped with a head cover to ensure proper safety between use.

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Yonex Nanoray 10F Badminton Racket View

Yonex Nanoray 10F Badminton Racket

The Yonex Nanoray 10F badminton racket is best suited to club players seeking a fast and controlled swing. This head light balanced racket with an isometric head shape is made using Aero Frame technology to minimize air resistance and has a graphite frame for more stiffness and strength. To accelerate frame recovery after impact, there is TFA CAP technology and the racket comes pre-strung with BS1801 string for easy playability and enhanced durability. It is perfect for those who like to force their opponents to the back of the court with extreme speed and boasts Nanomesh + Carbon Nanotube technology to provide sharper drive shots, increased repulsion power and faster handling. The 10F is supplied with a 3/4 cover for protection.

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Karakal Pro 88 290 Badminton Racket View

Karakal Pro 88 290 Badminton Racket

The Karakal Pro 88 290 badminton racket helps players generate maximum power and ensures a larger sweet spot thanks to its isometric head shape. This flexible racket weighs 88g (3.1oz) and uses Fast Fibre technology to increase frame recovery time by 10% after the hit. The 88 290 is designed for advanced players and has a head light balance providing speedy handling and greater accuracy. To make the frame incredibly stable, there is Nano Gel system and the ‘Thumb Print’ Top Cap allows for easier finger location. The racket comes strung with Hot Zone 68 black string for a combination of power and responsiveness and offers extra tacky and absorbent Karakal PU Super Grip for added comfort. It is supplied with a full cover for protection when not in use.

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Yonex Nanoray 9 Badminton Racket View

Yonex Nanoray 9 Badminton Racket

Designed for casual players wanting to develop their skills, the Yonex Nanoray 9 badminton racket provides a combination of a fast and controlled swing and easy manoeuvrability. The racket ensures good all-round performance and weighs 88g (3U) for a lightweight feel and improved control. The use of Aero Frame technology results in reduction of air resistance, whilst Nanomesh + Carbon Nanotube technology delivers increased repulsion power, sharper drive shots and faster handling. This head light balanced racket comes strung with BS1801 string for optimum playability and enhanced durability. It includes a head cover for protection when not in use.

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Wilson Blaze S1700 Badminton Racket View

Wilson Blaze S1700 Badminton Racket

The Wilson Blaze S1700 badminton racket is designed for fast and nimble players looking for additional edge in the game with lightweight manoeuvrability and superior control over strokes. The racket features a good-sized classic oval head, and head light balanced frame to aid players with rapid reaction time and extra accuracy. Furthermore, there is the Spider Silk Ballistic Frame Armor which makes the racquet both light in hand, and extremely resistant, whereas the Super Kick Shaft helps generate some extra power points and whip when going for those drop shots. The frame is strung with Wilson Fierce string for improved touch and durability, and supplied with a head cover for your basic protection between practice and use.

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Yonex Astrox Smash Badminton Racket View

Yonex Astrox Smash Badminton Racket

An excellent choice for recreational players and those who simply what to learn and get better at it, the Yonex Astrox Smash badminton racket provides an excellent way of aiding players with substantial potential power - vastly improved with a head heavy balance and an isometric head. The racquet offers increased shaft flex and greater manoeuvrability, and the frame is built with H.M graphite and Nanomesh Neo technology for increased durability and superior feel. The Astrox Smash is supplied pre-strung with BS1801WH string, as well as with a head cover to ensure essential protection from minor damage, and storage between use.

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About Badminton Rackets

The Birth of Badminton

The evolution of badminton as a sport it long and varied.  Shuttlecocks were first used recreationally in Ancient Egypt, Ancient China and Ancient Greece.  Back then they were kicked from player to player.  In the 1860s in colonial India the shuttlecock was hit over a net using a wooden paddle.  This game was called Poona and the aim of the game was to sustain the longest rally.

The game was introduced to Great Britain by returning officers and soon became popular.  It was given its name in 1863 when it was played at Badminton House at a party hosted by the eight Duke of Beaufort.

Around this time rackets as we recognise them today were first used and the popularity of the sport grew. The rules were introduced in 1877 by the Bath Badminton Club and regulations concerning courts and equipment became established.  And since then badminton rackets have evolved their shape and composition to speed up the sport.

The custodian of the modern game is the Badminton World Federation, (formerly the International Badminton Federation) established in 1934.  Amongst other things it determines the allowed shape size and composition of competition rackets.

The anatomy of a badminton racket

The key components of a badminton racket are the head, the string bed, the shaft, the throat and the handle. 

The head

Badminton racket heads come in a variety shapes and sizes.  Larger heads offer bigger sweet spots - the point on a head where you get maximum power.

An oval head is more traditional and more typical of lower-end rackets.  The head on these is smaller in relative terms and so the sweet spot is smaller too, requiring a more skilled player to get the best from this head shape.

An isometric head, which is squarer in shape and larger too offers a bigger sweet spot and so a greater chance of a better serve and return.  Typically isometric heads are the preferred choice.

The string bed

The string bed is flat and the stringing pattern a uniform one.  On all rackets it covers the head area.  On some it continues down to the throat, this is allowed when the throat is 35mm or less in width and the length of the stringed area is 330mm or less.

Badminton racket strings typically fall within gauges of 20G (0.85-1mm) to 22G (0.7– 0.85mm).  Thinner strings usually offer greater power and natural product strings typically outperform synthetic ones.  The tension with which they are strung also affects play; generally speaking the tighter the tension the lower the power. 

The throat

The throat (AKA the T-head) is where the head and shaft connect.  There are two types: externally attached and carbon fibre shafts.

Externally attached throats are most often found on rackets where the head and the shaft are made of different materials.  It is the job of the throat to connect the two.  The throat is proud of the rest of the racket.

Carbon fibre covered throats are a more recent development.  As well as being lighter they are also stronger and most rackets now feature this type of throat.

The shaft

The shaft connects the handle to the head.  Shafts are available in varying degrees of flexibility. 

Stiff shafts rebound quickly.  Badminton shots are best played at the point of rebound, so if your reflexes and hits are fast a stiff shaft is best for you.  Fast players using more flexible shafts will compromise their game, if they try to smash the shuttlecock before the racket has rebounded they’ll end up playing a clear.

A slower player benefits from using a more flexible shaft.  Flexible shafts complement players who use slowly accelerating strokes. The downside of a more flexible shaft is that accurate shot placement is compromised.

The handle

The handle is where you grip your racket and is the part of the racket that usually fatigues the quickest. 

It’s wider than the shaft for comfort and there are a variety of grips that come with each racket at point of purchase and many more which can be added once you’re playing regularly. 

Obviously you need a handle that’s comfortable for you but you also need to consider the weight of the handle since this is key to you getting the most from your racket.

Most grips are made of synthetic materials like polyurethane.  They’re textured like towelling and easy to replace.

Badminton racket frame composition

Early racket frames were wooden and as they evolved new, lighter and more durable materials were introduced like aluminium and more recently graphite, titanium, carbon and keylar. 

Each material offers something different in terms of weight and flexibility. Rackets can vary from 80 to 100g in weight, and those at the heavier end offer the greater power.

On some models the head, the throat and the shaft are all different materials giving an incredible choice of strength, flexibility, weight and balance points.

Racket balance point

Every badminton racket has a balance point where you can balance it on the finger of one hand. If that point is closer to the racket handle it has a lower balance point and offers more control to the player. If that point is closer to the head the racket has a higher balance point and offers more power to the player.

In the middle there is the balanced racket which offers equal power and control. Doubles players like a balanced racket as the game is typically faster-paced and features more power shots.

Once you’ve committed to a racket you can adjust its balance point by simply making the handle heavier and the strings lighter for more control or the handle lighter and the strings heavier for more power.

So, which racket is right for you?

Given all the variables above answer is far from simple.

A weaker, slower player will do best with an isometric head, thin strings, a flexible throat and a head-heavy racket; while a faster, stronger player should consider the opposite.

A newcomer might go for a balanced racket and experiment with different strings and handles to see which works best for them.

The best thing is to try a few before you commit. Ask your fellow players to borrow theirs, see which feels best and then research rackets with similar properties to find the closest match.

Then continue to try others as you improve your game, because when you do it will improve your performance even more if you continue to use a well-suited racket.

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