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The racket is arguably the most essential piece of equipment for a badminton player. While the court, shuttles and playing conditions are shared by all players involved in a badminton match, the racket is fully within the control of the player. The racket is commonly viewed as an extension of a player’s arm. As such, it should complement a player’s style and level. Whether you gravitate towards pummeling your opponents with a flurry of powerful smashes or outpacing your foes with speedy exchanges of control and precision, a racket should work for you and not the other way around. When chosen properly, a racket can be your greatest ally on court, while carelessly settling for a racket can turn it into your biggest enemy. Learn about the different properties of badminton rackets below to discover which racket is best suited for you!
Yonex Racket Series
|Racket Series||Signature Trait||Post|
If you’re interested in other badminton products, I highly recommend checking out our Badminton Equipment page where we gathered all of our product posts in one easy place for you to access so that you can make an informed decision before any purchase.
The balance of a racket is determined by finding the position on the shaft in which the racket remains stable and completely parallel to the ground. The distance between the base of the handle to this position on the shaft is called the balance point. The balance point is used to categorize the balance of a racket. Understanding the traits of different balances will allow you to select a racket that boosts your gameplay.
|285 – 295mm||Even Balanced|
A head-heavy racket has a balance point that is over 295mm. They are suitable for players who favor an attacking style of play. Players who are smash-happy, enjoy powerful shots or prefer the back-court can benefit from choosing head-heavy rackets, as it adds extra force behind their shots. However, with great power comes decreased racket movement. Since the weight is concentrated at the head of the racket, it becomes more difficult for the player to swing the racket head quickly. Therefore, those who use head-heavy rackets may find it difficult to react to fast shots or play a solid defensive game. As the control of head-heavy rackets takes more effort and practice to master, these rackets are recommended for experienced players vs. beginners. Beginners who lack the experience to manage head-heavy rackets can suffer shoulder injuries from misusage or apply stress to the wrist from attempting quick drives or defensive shots.
Pros: Generates powerful shots
Cons: Decreased racket handling, Increased risk of injury if misused
Recommended for: Attacking players, Back-court play
Head-light rackets observe a balance point typically below 285mm. With head-light rackets, speed is the name of the game. The lighter frame gives players the ability to steer the racket to their will with more ease. These rackets are characterized as being superior at executing shots at the net, blocking smashes, controlling the shuttle and enabling players to have quicker reaction times. Players who enjoy games filled with fast drive exchanges and speedy rallies should look into playing with a head-light racket. Head-light rackets are suggested for doubles games, defensive game play and front-court players. While head-light rackets enable players with great speed of the racket, they give up power in exchange for it. With less mass at the frame, head-light rackets have less momentum transferred from the swing to the shuttle, making it more difficult to produce explosive shots.
Pros: Greater control of the racket, Improves reaction speed
Cons: Decreased explosive power
Recommended for: Defensive and doubles players, Front-court and fast-paced play
Even balanced rackets can be viewed as Jack of all Trades, as they are able to adequately execute all of the different shots. The balance point for even balanced rackets have a length between the range of 285-295mm. An even balanced racket allows you to blend the benefits of head-heavy/-light rackets while masking the drawbacks. It allows you to achieve precision in your shots while also giving you a degree of power. If you are a player who does not have a strong preference towards any particular play style, an even balanced racket would be a solid choice to support you in any situation you find yourself in on the court. Additionally, for beginners starting to play badminton, an even balanced racket can help you uncover your badminton play style. When you make the discovery on whether you are inclined to power-plays or speed-plays, you can switch to head-heavy or head-light rackets, respectively. The even balanced racket is sub-optimal for players looking for specialization, such as playing remarkably fast shots or supremely powerful smashes.
Pros: Capable of executing each shot well (though not exceptionally)
Cons: No specialization towards either defensive or offensive extremes
Recommended for: All around players, Beginners
Author’s note: Instead of purchasing or borrowing a racket with a different balance point to try it out, there are home remedies that a player can take to modifying the balance of point of the racket. To make a racket more head-heavy, a player can add lead tape to the head of the racket. Whereas to make a racket more head-light, a player can experiment with adding different types of grips to the handle.
Per Badminton World Federation (BWF) guidelines, the weight of a badminton racket should not exceed 100g. Yonex’s breakdown is as follows:
|1U||95g – 99.9g|
|2U||90g – 94.9g|
|3U||85g – 89.9g|
|4U||80g – 84.9g|
|5U||75g – 79.9g|
|F||70g – 74.9g|
|2F||65g – 69.9g|
|3F||60g – 64.9g|
Note: the Astrox racket series has introduced racket weight units of 2F and 3F, unseen in any other Yonex racket series!
Lighter weight rackets are easier to control and are more accommodating towards improper form or technique. They allow for quicker recovery from shots and fluid execution of a variety of shots. As such, lighter rackets are recommended for beginners.
Heavier rackets are able to generate bigger force at the cost of racket handling. As it takes more strength to move the racket, it can be an injury risk for players who are not equipped to use it properly. Beginners are not recommended to use heavy rackets when starting their badminton journey.
The grip of a racket is measured by the circumference of the handle. Typically rackets are made in G4 or G5 grip sizes. The table below details the grips and their respective sizes.
|G1||4 in / 10.2 cm|
|G2||3.75 in / 9.5 cm|
|G3||3.5 in / 8.9 cm|
|G4||3.25 in / 8.3 cm|
|G5||3 in / 7.6 cm|
|G6||2.75 in / 7 cm|
Smaller grips are recommended for players who enjoy keeping their opponents on their toes. They allow for a greater amount of racket manipulation and make it easier to make last second deceptions.
Bigger grips allow players to deliver power by using more of their arm rather than their finger and wrist strength. Power players tend to grip the handle tighter, making a bigger grip the more suitable choice.
If you are uncertain about the grip you should select, air on the side of a smaller grip. There is always the option to add overgrips to increase the size of your current grip. Read the following post we wrote to determine the right grip to complement your play style: The Complete Guide to Yonex Badminton Grips.
The flex (short for flexibility) of a racket refers to how stiff the shaft is. The stiffness of a racket’s shaft influences the racket stroke and recovery time of a player and thus is an important point of consideration when choosing a racket. By definition, when a racket is stiff, it does not bend as far back as a flexible racket would during a swing. This property makes it so a stiffer racket will return faster to its base position than a less stiff racket would (with all else being equal), giving the player a smaller time period to exert force onto the shuttlecock. There is an excellent explanation of it in this forum post. While a stiffer racket recovers faster than a more flexible racket because of the decreased vibrations after a hit, it is more difficult to time shots. Flexible rackets are more lenient towards slower shuttle strikes but increases recovery time. This means that a player should use a stiffer racket if he/she can generate sufficient power very quickly and a more flexible racket if he/she takes more time to generate power.
Yonex categorizes its rackets into 4 levels of stiffness: extra stiff, stiff, medium, and hi-flex. As a beginner, we would recommend medium or hi-flex rackets since it is difficult for beginners to take advantage of the extra stiff or stiff properties. Seasoned players tend to use stiff and extra stiff rackets but there are certainly exceptions where they still prefer flexible rackets.
TheThe Astrox Racket Series is a premium racket line released by Yonex that seeks to replace the beloved head-heavy Voltric series. Innovative technologies introduced with the Astrox line boast the ability to unleash steep attacks. While the following features are not present in all Astrox line rackets, let’s take a look at some of the most revolutionary traits and see which ones could amplify your unique play style:
- Rotational Generator System
- Hyper Slim Shaft
- Energy Boost Cap Plus
- Black Micro Core
- Nanomesh Neo
- New Isometric Frame Shape
The Rotational Generator System, present in all Astrox rackets, is a state of the art technology that applies the counterbalance theory. This theory is a deviation from conventional weight distribution throughout the entirety of the shaft and frame of a racket, and instead concentrates weight at 3 points along a racket: the top of the frame, the bottom of the frame (around the T-joint) and the bottom of the racket handle. This provides maximum control by allowing players to transition from one shot to the next with utmost fluidity. An example of this is when a player whips a net kill shot, the recovery of the racket back to neutral position is faster, allowing players to be ready for any response from their opponent. This particular weight distribution is the contributor to Astrox’s namesake quality of steep attacks as it can produce up to 2.3 degrees of a steeper angle on the attack.
The Hyper Slim Shaft is Yonex’s slimmest ever. This feature is exclusively offered within the top of the line Astrox 100 ZZ. A shaft of this caliber greatly reduces air resistance and gives players the ability to shred through the air with rapid swing speeds.
The Energy Boost Cap Plus, located where the racket shaft meets the handle, is unique in its design and shape. It contains a flatter surface for players to rest their thumb comfortably on which enables definitive control. Dips in the front of the support cap allow for the racket to flex purposefully to deliver increased power.
The Black Micro Core is a material that dulls the vibrations of the racket when it comes into contact with the shuttle, maximizing the solid feeling players get from striking the shuttle with power.
Namd is a new dimensional graphite material that attaches nano material directly to the graphite fiber compared to the conventional method of adding nano material within the resin. This revolutionary material allows for greater storage of energy during the larger flex of the racket, which is then delivered in the form a thunderous strike on the shuttle upon contact. The longer stroke of the racket due to the larger flex can equate to increased shuttle speeds of up to 7.1%! While the Namd technology allows for flexibility during quick shots such as explosive smashes, it remains stiff during slower shots such as net drops, allowing players to retain utmost control in net play. This allows for rackets that utilize Namd technology to display superior qualities throughout the entire spectrum of shots. While the majority of the rackets see Namd technology in the shaft only, the Astrox 99 and Astrox 100 ZZ employ Namd throughout the shaft and frame of the racket. What this phenomenon achieves is the doubling of contact time between the racket and the shuttle to deliver tremendous force, as there is minimal loss of energy from the player to the shot.
Nanomesh Neo is a cheaper alternative to Namd technology that serves to offer the same benefits for the economically friendly rackets in the Astrox racket series.
The New Isometric Head Shape available in the Astrox 100 ZX and Astrox 100 ZZ grants players the punchy feeling from a compact frame without the trade off of the larger sweet spot of an Isometric frame which is more forgiving to players who may not consistently strike the shuttlecock at the correct position on the string-bed.
Decide for yourself whether the Astrox racket series is a worthy successor of the beloved Voltric Series. For attack-oriented players, the Astrox racket series will simply not disappoint you!
The Astrox 2 is one of the three rackets designed for beginners in the Astrox racket series. The Astrox 2 has a box racket frame shape which is sturdy and transfers more momentum from the player to the shuttlecock.
This racket should remain positioned as beginner-friendly only, as it does not offer anything exceptional for more experienced players.
The Astrox Smash is a lightweight racket that can help beginners to unlock their smashing potential. The Astrox Smash combines the Astrox technologies and features with a light weight to aid players who may not yet have the strength to generate powerful shots. The racket is fast and smooth through the air, allowing players to clear and play overheads shots with ease.
The Astrox Smash is budget-friendly, giving beginners an option to tune up their shots before upgrading their racket to better suit their play style.
The Astrox FB is supposedly the successor for the Voltric FB. The Astrox FB is another lightweight racket geared towards beginners who have not yet mastered how to efficiently manage their energy when executing shots.
The Astrox FB’s lightness offers great whip, which is the hitting of the shuttlecock with a short strike. The racket’s responsiveness allows players to excel in control at the net and mid-court play, while still being able to produce threatening smashes.
Astrox 5 FX
The Astrox 5 FX uses a technology known as Light Feel Carbon Neo which produces a lighter feel and flexibility upon impact, minimizing the vibrations being felt by the player.
A mid-tier racket, the Astrox 5 FX will require skill to achieve overhead, smash and defensive shots as it does not offer great swing speeds or quick repulsion. Beginners will find that the Astrox 5 FX offers little to no assistance to their game.
The Astrox 7 is a racket that can perform in both singles and doubles matches. The Astrox 7 is able to achieve great power, but requires strong arm power to do so as a result of having a rather stiff shaft. Players without the strength to create their own power will struggle to respond to off-balanced shots.
While the thicker frame of the Astrox 7 impacts the aerodynamics, the racket displays great maneuverability making it a great tool for defensive play.
Astrox 22 LT
|Weight/Grip||3F (63g) G5|
|Learn More Here||YC Sports|
The Astrox 55 is a racket that can pack a punch through steep and powerful smashes. Quick maneuverability is offered by means of the racket’s light weight. Players who use the Astrox 55 can transition smoothly between mighty smashes and defensive blocks or drives.
While overall light, players should not neglect strengthening their wrist as the stiffness of the racket still requires players to exhibit proper technique in their swings.
The Astrox 66 was designed with a female audience in mind. This racket is capable of smooth interchanges between offensive and defensive play within a rally.
The Astrox 66 is an all-round racket that helps players improve on their fundamental game by delivering deep clears and impactful smashes while being easy to handle.
The Astrox 77 is an all-round racket suitable for all players and that receives high remarks across the board. Even the 3U version of the Astrox 77 feels much lighter due to the Rotational Generator System feature, making its usage easier on the player’s wrist and forearm. This racket can produce a rather quick swing through the air, giving players the opportunity to produce smashes and clears effortlessly.
The Astrox 77 is made of a slightly longer shaft – and consequently shorter grip – than the majority of other rackets on the market. This allows for increased energy transfer from the flexing of the racket to the completion of the snapback. The Astrox 77 aids in improving a player’s power and is recommended for those who gravitate towards smashing and back-court play.
The Astrox 22 holds the title as the racket with the lightest frame produced by Yonex, which will be dethroned by the new Astrox 22 LT racket. Contrary to popular belief that power is unachievable by lighter rackets, the Astrox 22 can deliver a strong smash for a racket in its particular weight class. However, it would be inaccurate to compare the Astrox 22’s smash potential to that of the Duora Z-Strike or Voltric Z-Force II.
The Astrox 22 can easily produce back-court to back-court clears and drives to the back-court, while also performing remarkably in defense. True to the nature of light rackets, net kills and net drops are executed without difficulty. The lightness of the frame head helps intermediate players to execute shots that utilize the wrist with precision. However, more technical shots at the net will still require technique and experience to execute with the Astrox 22.
The Astrox 68D (the D is short for Dominate) is a cheaper alternative of the Astrox 88D that is more similar in qualities to the Astrox 68S. The main difference with the Astrox 68D is that it is more flexible than the Astrox 68S and is designed to be used by back-court players.
The stiffness of the Astrox 68D is not one that is beginner-friendly, but when used properly can translate into quick responses and great control. The Astrox 68D is a Jack of all Trades as it can deliver each shot well, but none of them exceptionally.
|Weight/Grip||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
The Astrox 68S (the S is short for Skill) is a mid-tier version of the Astrox 88S. This racket is able to deliver good power at the cost of player fatigue. The Skill sub-series within the Astrox line of rackets is geared towards players who prefer the front-court.
While the Astrox 68S does not boast impressive swing speed or movement through the air, it can aid a player in producing solid net play with a high degree of accuracy.
The Astrox 69 is a solid racket that is even more head-heavy than the Duora Z-Strike. The racket sports a 10 mm longer shaft than a regular racket’s shaft. True to the series, the Astrox 69 performs well in the smash category.
While the Astrox 69 consumes a player’s energy, the investment is paid off in the form of breaking down the opponent’s defense. The area of caution for the Astrox 69 is with net play, as the racket feels a bit sluggish at the net.
|Weight/Grip||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
The Astrox 88D is the brother of the Astrox 88S that produces big hits. Even though it is head-heavy, the racket is not concentrated at the top of the frame, as the Astrox 88D has a flex point at the middle of the racket frame which allows for more generation of power from the racket to the shuttle. Fearsome smashes can be produced while still allowing the racket to the be nimble, quick and easy to maneuver in the air. While a full smash from the Astrox 88D is just shy of what can be produced by supreme smashers Voltric Z-Force II or Voltric 80, the half to 3/4 smash is truly devastating.
This racket is the front-runner for players who prefer the back-court in doubles. Clears are effortless, smashes are pressing, and drop-shops catch opponents off-guard as the Astrox 88D can disguise the back drop masterfully as a smash or clear. While the heavier head in comparison to the Astrox 88S makes it a little slower at the mid-court, the Rotational Generator System allows for the player to recover from each shot quickly to be ready for the next shot. This quality is the saving grace for a head-heavy racket in doubles play, where players are required to constantly shift between offensive and defensive shots to stay on par with their opponents.
The Astrox 88S is a top of the line racket designed for the ultimate front-court player in a double’s setting. The Astrox 88S is the perfect complement to its formidable brother, the Astrox 88D. The Astrox 88S sports a lighter frame for a head-heavy racket, which allows for quicker swinging speeds. The potential for great racket maneuverability makes the racket optimal for front-court play, where players can execute delicate net drops and placement with masterful precision.
The Astrox 88S has a unique flex point near the T-joint located at the bottom of the frame, allowing the player to hold the shuttle on the string-bed slightly longer and be able to dictate the direction of the shot with more finesse. While the smash from the Astrox 88S is not as great as the Voltric 80 or its Astrox 88D counterpart, it remains true to its strengths in the front-court. Drives can be discharged with power and speed for a prolonged period without tiring the player. The racket supplements shots that require subtle movements in the wrist and fingers such as backhand shots, cut-offs or deceptive drop-shots from the back-court.
The Astrox 88S is the ideal racket for play makers who seek to transform a defensive position to an offensive opportunity for their partner deliver the decisive final blow.
The Astrox 99 has gained the attention of the badminton world as the racket of choice by the World No. 1 Men’s Singles player Kento Memota. The Astrox 99 sits between the Astrox 88S and 88D in terms of its weight distribution in the frame of the racket. It is the first racket to boast the Namd technology throughout the entirety of the racket (frame and shaft) in contrast to the other rackets in the Astrox racket series which deploys this technology in the shaft only.
A defining characteristic for the Astrox 99 is its ability to produce a stellar smash with a noticeably steeper angle. The racket maneuvers well through the air, with a quick and nimble feel. The Astrox 99 has a more solid feeling in comparison to the Astrox 88D, as observed in its crisp clears. Contrary to the typical fatiguing from conventional head-heavy rackets, the phenomenon is not felt through continuous drive exchanges. However, as it pertains to offensive drives, the Astrox 99 is outshined by the Astrox 88S and thus is not suitable for offensive doubles play.
While the benefits are clear, beginner and intermediate players should be cautious in selecting the Astrox 99. The benefits of the Astrox 99 are fully unlocked by players who have mastered hand speed, timing, technique and physique. Players with not enough practice or wrist/arm strength may put their bodies at risk of injury. As such, this racket is an exceptional choice for experienced players.
Astrox 100 ZX
The Astrox 100 ZX is a pair to the Astrox 100 ZZ, which are the latest edition to the Yonex Astrox line of rackets. These rackets feature a new isometric frame which gives players the punchy feel of a compact frame without sacrificing the larger sweet spot offered by an isometric frame. With more weight distributed at the top of the racket, the Astrox 100 ZX produces solid and powerful smashes that are just a hair less than the Astrox 88D.
The relatively fast snapback of the racket allows for the Astrox ZX to recover from a shot quickly, whether that is executing fast flat drives or delicate shots at the net. The touch of the racket does not match that of its Astrox 100 ZZ counterpart.
While the Astrox 100 ZX is swift through the air, it can be difficult to nimbly change the racket’s direction or achieve the highest degree of reactive response times. The Astrox 100 ZX, with its extra stiff shaft, is designed for advanced players who are back-court oriented attackers who enjoy a harder feel, with enough control for precise shot generation.
Astrox 100 ZZ
The Astrox 100 ZZ is regarded as the true successor of the legendary Voltric 80 racket. The Astrox 100 ZZ was introduced alongside its twin, the Astrox 100 ZX but seemingly outshines it in many aspects. Both of the Astrox 100s sport a new isometric frame for better feel and new support cap for better comfort for thumb placement.
The Astrox 100 ZZ exhibits a Hyper Slim Shaft, Yonex’s slimmest shaft to date, produces unparalleled snapback speeds while also being able to slice through the air with lightning fast swings. Yonex boasts that this revolutionary shaft can reduce air resistance by up to 11.8%! The Astrox 100 ZZ joins the Astrox 99 as the only other racket that displays the new Namd technology through the entirety of the racket, which aids the racket in achieving devastatingly steep smashes. A Black Micro Core works to absorb more vibrations to give players exquisite feel and control of the racket.
The Astrox 100 ZZ can deliver an arsenal of shots magnificently, ranging from elegant net drops and kills to impeccable defensive and speedy flat drive exchanges. The racket exhibits similar qualities to that of the Duora Z-Strike, with differences in the technology – namely the frame shape and dual optimum system vs. rotational generational system. However, the Astrox 100 ZZ has ease in employing whip to generate power without the feeling of fatigue that is felt from the Duora Z-Strike.
This racket is crafted for advanced players who prefer front-court or defensive doubles play, but can also be lethal in singles. The Astrox 100 ZZ ascends from being a Jack of all trades to a King of all trades because of its all around excellent capabilities.
|Astrox 2||Beginner||Head-Heavy||HI-FLEX||5U (78g) G4,5||$|
|Astrox Smash||Beginner||Head-Heavy||HI-FLEX||F (73g) G4,5||$|
|Astrox FB||Beginner||Head-Heavy||Medium||F (73g) G4,5||$|
|Astrox 5 FX||Intermediate||Head-Heavy||HI-FLEX||F (73g) G4,5,6||$|
|Astrox 7||Intermediate||Head-Heavy||Medium||4U (83g) G4,5||$$|
|Astrox 22 LT||Intermediate||Head-Heavy||Medium||3F (63g) G5||$|
|Astrox 55||Intermediate||Head-Heavy||Medium||5U (78g) G5,6||$$|
|Astrox 66||Intermediate||Head-Heavy||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G4,5,6||$$|
|Astrox 77||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Medium||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 22||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||2F (68g) G4,5||$$|
|Astrox 68D||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 68S||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 69||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 88D||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 88S||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 99||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Astrox 100 ZX||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Extra Stiff||4U (83g) G5,6|
3U (88g) G4,5,6
|Astrox 100 ZZ||Advanced||Head-Heavy||Extra Stiff||4U (83g) G5,6|
3U (88g) G4,5,6
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