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Introduction

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There are generally two types of players in badminton: power or control. 

Power players seek to dominate their opponents through brute strength and overwhelming offense. They are determined to penetrate their opponents’ defense and deliver shots that are simply irretrievable.

Control players, on the other hand, favor the technicality of the sport. They grind on perfecting their racket handling skills, refining the variety of shots in their toolkit, and win by outmaneuvering their opponents through finesse and placement. 

If you identify with the latter type of player, then this post is for you! In order to play at the top of your game, you need to choose a racket that will enhance your game instead of detracting from it. What we mean by this is, choosing a racket that is meant for smashing and expecting it to aid your control is counterproductive.

While a racket alone cannot make a badminton player exceptional at control, the right racket can significantly elevate a player’s control game when paired with good technique and practice. Without further ado, let’s explore the key factors to consider when looking at a racket to enhance your control and what our top 4 recommendations are to help you achieve your goal. 

The following 4 rackets are the ones we would recommend for badminton players focused on control:

#Racket
1Yonex Arcsaber 11Learn More
2Yonex Nanoray 750Learn More
3Victor DriveX 9XLearn More
4Yonex Arcsaber FBLearn More

If control game play is not your cup of tea, check out our other racket recommendation posts to find the right racket fit for you:

Factors in Rackets that Boost Control

Head-Light or Even Balance Rackets

The balance of a racket refers to whether the distribution of weight of the racket is towards the handle or the head of the racket. Balance is typically determined by where the racket’s balance point is, which is the point along the shaft of the racket you would need to position your finger to have the racket rest perfectly horizontal.

The three different balances that rackets are categorized under are: head-heavy, head-light, and even balanced.

To maximize racket-handling and control, you should choose a head-light or even balanced racket. Head-light rackets have weight concentrated towards the handle of the racket. Weight concentrated at the handle allows players to maintain optimal command over the racket since the force applied from your hand is closest to where the weight is situated on the racket. There is an immediate response from the racket with head-light rackets, as opposed to head-heavy rackets where the force from your hand needs to reach the opposite end of the racket where the weight sits. 

Even balanced rackets merge qualities of responsiveness with a more solid hitting feeling. This leads to shots not falling short from lack of power, but still providing players the benefit of easy racket handling.

As the balance of the racket shifts towards the head of the racket, players will gain more power at the expense of control. Players prioritizing control should avoid choosing head-heavy rackets.

Stiff or Extra Stiff Flexibility

The flexibility (flex for short) of a racket refers to how stiff the shaft is. The stiffness of a racket’s shaft directly impacts how fast the racket will recover during the execution of a shot. The stiffer the racket shaft, the less it tends to bend during the swing. With less bend, the shaft has a shorter distance to travel to return to its natural upright state, otherwise deemed as a shorter recovery. Rackets that have a higher flex will bend more and take longer to return to its natural upright state.

In order for control players to exhibit maximum authority over the racket, they require a racket that is responsive. Let’s explore what this means in terms of shaft flexibility. 

The responsiveness of the racket as it pertains to flexibility is marked by the speed of its recovery. Stiffer rackets require more quickness in a player’s swing to bend further from its neutral position, but is also able to recover in a shorter duration of time. This phenomenon allows the player to time and execute shots with greater precision, which contributes to a control player’s handle on shot placement. Flexible rackets have elongated recovery times, which result in lagginess in shot execution. 

Flexibility is usually plotted on a range and may be categorized differently per manufacturer. Yonex, one of most popular badminton brands in the world, for example, categorizes flexibility in 4 distinct buckets: Hi-Flex, Medium, Stiff, and Extra Stiff.

For control oriented players, we recommend choosing a stiff or extra stiff racket. This will offer the shortest recovery time for the racket to respond during each of your backswings. The shorter string bed-to-shuttle contact time optimizes your ability to control your shots. 

While a general piece of advice is that stiff rackets are typically recommended for intermediate or advanced players, this usually refers to the difficulty of executing powerful smashes with stiffer rackets. In order to generate a powerful smash with a stiffer racket, players need to employ a quicker swing to match the quick snapback speed of the shaft to strike the shuttle at an opportune time. 

Beginners or recreational players should not choose stiff rackets as they do not yet have the strength or skills to navigate the demands of a stiff racket. Forcing a quick swing to extract the full power of a stiff racket may lead to injury. If you are a beginner, check out the 4 Best Badminton Rackets for Beginners to find the racket that best suits your level and play style. 

However, as it comes to control, a stiffer shaft will more likely be beneficial than detrimental as your game is more focused on technique, shot choice, and placement instead of power. 

Aerodynamic Racket Shape and Design

In the modern day, the badminton racket has evolved leaps and bounds from its wooden origins. Manufacturers have experimented with several concepts to improve the badminton racket. From frame shape and size to shaft length and thickness, the badminton racket is modified to improve specific attributes of badminton play.

One of the most essential attributes a control player should seek out in a racket is maneuverability. Maneuverability refers to how well a player is able to move and direct a racket through the air. Rackets that are seemingly effortless to swing and move through the air quickly have high maneuverability. Rackets that are sluggish and tiresome when swinging have low maneuverability.

Popular badminton manufacturers like Yonex or Victor have crafted the frame of their rackets to be aerodynamic, in order to cut through the air during a player’s swing for heightened maneuverability. Furthermore, creation of thinner and more resilient racket shafts reduce air resistance, allowing players to achieve faster swings. 

Racket technologies have also been developed to minimize shock transfer and vibrations from the racket back to the player. This seeks to maintain maximum player comfort and authority over the racket. 

Specific rackets are designed with technologies that target specific types of players. I will cover more about how each of the following racket recommendations prioritize the qualities a control player should care about. Let’s dive right in!

We’ve covered each of Yonex’s 5 prominent racket series in individual posts. Dive a little deeper into each series to discover just how unique the series are from one another and determine the one that resonates the most with you!

Racket SeriesSignature TraitPost
AstroxSteep AttackLink
DuoraDual ImpactLink
NanoflareRapid FireLink
NanorayLightning SpeedLink
VoltricCrushing PowerLink
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CRAZY Badminton Saves Part 1 video

1. Yonex Arcsaber 11

The Arcsaber series is known to store and then release energy through the racket’s composition to deliver precise shot-making for players seeking a higher level of control. This makes the Arcsaber racket series perfect for players who favor a game defined by technical, precise, and controlled play. While this series is an older series, it definitely fits the saying “old but gold”. 

The Arcsaber 11 reigns supreme in the racket series. Even-balanced, the Arcsaber wonderfully blends racket handling with a sturdy feeling behind each and every shot. 

The Arcsaber 11 is equipped with technology that enables a sleek and aerodynamic design, which leads to speedy swings to stay on par with any shot that your opponent throws at you. The racket frame itself is AERO + BOX, which means that it combines the air resistance minimalizing qualities of an AERO frame with the solid and stable feel from a BOX frame in a single racket. Specifically, the AERO frame boosts racket maneuverability through faster swing speeds. 

Unwanted shock and vibrations that could throw off the precision of technical players are combated through the SOLID FEEL CORE technology in the racket frame that reduces the vibrations traveling down the shaft of the racket from the point of impact on the racket’s string bed. Ultra Poly Ethylene Fibres (PEF) in the shaft is extremely sturdy, allowing it to withstand the pressure from shuttle contact, further dissipating the shock and vibrations away from the player. 

Specifically to boost control and precision, Yonex introduced a combination of Neo CS CARBON NANOTUBE and regular CS CARBON NANOTUBE throughout the racket frame, creating a “hold and bite” phenomenon where the racket is able to keep the shuttle on the string bed for longer and transferring more repulsion power into the shuttle for a controlled, yet strong return. A New Built-in T-Joint located where the frame meets the shaft further stabilizes the shuttle on the strings to give the player added advantage in controlling the shuttle’s destination. 

Near the bottom of the racket where the shaft meets the racket handle, a Control Support Cap provides a wider surface area for the player’s thumb to rest on, with the intention to amplify racket control. 

Together, these technologies make the Arcsaber 11 a fearsome racket in the hands of a control player. This racket performs exceptionally well in the mid-court, through fast and furious drive exchanges with opponents. The lightness lets you stay even-paced with opponents, with the ability to masterfully place shots and change the shuttle pace at your convenience. 

Shots from the rear can be disguised with ease, as the quick swing speeds allow you to mask your overhead shots as either effortless clears or tricky drop shots. 

And from an all-important defensive stand-point, the Arcsaber 11 allows you to play fearlessly across from a power-starved slugfest opponent, returning. their shots with ease and minimal energy expenditure. 

Grab your Yonex Arcsaber 11 and present yourself as a force to be reckoned with on any court.

2. Yonex Nanoray 750

As you may have caught in the Yonex racket series table above, Yonex’s Nanoray series is known for lightning speed.

The Nanoray series is equipped with NANOSCIENCE technology within its racket frame and shaft to create a sleek and streamlined final product. This ingenious design enables the racket to seemingly cut through the air like butter, effortlessly and with unparalleled speed. 

The Nanoray 750 racket specifically is a formidable racket designed with a control player in mind. Its head-light racket balance gives the player optimal racket responsiveness as the motions from a players hand is immediately registered in the racket’s movement. 

Two distinct NANOSCIENCE technologies that amplify a control player’s game play are NANOMETRIC and X-FULLERENE material. NANOMETRIC material within the racket serves to minimize racket twisting upon impact, which helps with stabilization and enhanced racket handling. X-FULLERENE graphite, as compared to conventional graphite material, is able to produce up to 5% more repulsion power and 15% greater stability in its shots, which gives players an added edge in managing the shuttle’s placement. 

A super slim shaft reduces air resistance encountered during a player’s swing, amplifying a player’s swing speed. The X-FULLERENE material adds to the stiffness of the shaft, which generally aids a player’s timing and subsequent precision.

Similar to the Yonex Arcsaber 11, the Nanoray 750 also has a the New Built-in T-Joint for stabilizing the shuttle on the racket strings to exert greater power and maintain more control and the Control Support Cap for heightened racket control through thumb placement at the base of the racket shaft. The Nanoray 750 has the SOLID FEEL CORE through the racket frame which decreases the vibrations generated upon shuttle impact. 

These racket technologies come together to offer a player a speed advantage on the court. Players who wield the Nanoray 750 can go rally after rally of speedy exchanges without experiencing fatigue. 

Pick up a Nanoray 750 and out-pace and out-maneuver your opponents!

3. Victor DriveX 9X

The Victor DriveX racket series, launched in 2019, is Victor’s equivalent to Yonex’s Arcsaber racket series. The DriveX series is designed to be an all-around racket that is meant to address racket controllability. It achieves this through an emphasis on balanced weight distribution throughout the racket and targeting racket handling experience for the player. The DriveX’s catch phrase is: precision to control the situation authoritatively.

Victor DriveX 9X

The DriveX racket series saw an upgrade in 2021 through the introduction of the 9X line of rackets. Revolutionary racket technology such as the FREE CORE was equipped to improve the range of motion of the racket shaft for optimal smoothness in the swing, resulting in maximum racket handling experience for the player. Unlike the conventional wooden handle, the FREE CORE implements a synthetic handle to offer its benefits. The FREE CORE innovation alone took 3 years of development to bring to reality!

Check out this awesome promotion video from Victor, introducing the game-changing FREE CORE technology. 

The Victor DriveX 9X specifically is even-balanced to give its player the ability to maintain a quick swing with a solid feel behind each shot.

The racket is made with PYROFIL and NANO Fortify TR+ material which work hand-in-hand to absorb shock and keep the racket resilient under the stress of impact to deliver a comfortable feeling and boost racket handling experience.

The DriveX 9X has what Victor claims the stiffest shaft in any of their rackets. Paired with its thinness, these characteristics provide amplified swing speeds and fast racket responses for greater precision. 

The DYNAMIC-HEX design found in the top, middle, and bottom parts of the frame enforces greater racket stability to minimize disruptions to the fluidity of the swinging motion. Hard Cored Technology compresses the material through compacted layers throughout the racket to achieve more with less space occupied. This contributes to a sleeker overall racket and a finer overall feel. 

The DriveX 9X will enable its wielder to out-perform their opponents in the front and mid-court. Speedy responses and superior racket handling potential will allow its user to out-wit their foes. 

4. Yonex Arcsaber FB

Coming back full circle to Yonex’s Arcsaber racket series, we have another contender for top rackets recommended for control players. We’ve already covered above that the Arcsaber series is renown for its frame technology to hold onto the shuttle for a longer period of time and then releasing the shuttle with a powerful, yet controlled response.

Coming back full circle to Yonex’s Arcsaber racket series, we have another contender for top rackets recommended for control players. We’ve already covered above that the Arcsaber series is renown for its frame technology to hold onto the shuttle for a longer period of time and then releasing the shuttle with a powerful, yet controlled response.

The Arcsaber FB does not have as many state of the art technologies as the top of the line Arcsaber 11 racket, but does have the staple features that control players would benefit the most from.

These include the: AERO + BOX Frame for an aerodynamic racket design for speedy swings, SOLID CORE FEEL to reduce vibrations and prevent a large degree of distressing shock from being transferred to the player, Built-In T-Jointwhich enhances the racket stiffness for faster racket responsiveness to the player’s swing, NANOMETRIC NANOSCIENCE to reinforce the racket’s durability and structural strength to prevent frame distortion, and finally the Control Support Cap to allow for maximum gripping comfort for the player. 

What stands out specifically for the Yonex Arcsaber FB is its namesake of being the lightest racket racket ever created by Yonex. While it may lack offensive pressure, it is second to none when it comes to speediness of the swing and potential for maximum control. 

A player using the Arcsaber FB may be shocked to discover just how light the racket is, almost forgetting that they are even holding a racket at times. The lightness allows the player to severely compress the time it takes to react to each and every one of the opponent’s shots. Combined with a control player’s heightened technical abilities, the Arcsaber FB can make a player truly unrivaled as it comes to defense. 

Quickness to respond to any of the typical shots in badminton an opponent may fire your way is just the first step to mitigating an opponent’s advantage over you. By reducing the time to get your racket in place to return a shot, a player using the Arcsaber FB can then capitalize on the gained time to place the shuttle to their advantage. 

Consider the Yonex Arcsaber FB to leave your opponents speechless from the sheer speed of racket maneuverability you’re able to generate from this spectacular racket

You will not go wrong by choosing any of the 4 recommended rackets above to optimize your play style as a control player. 


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