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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|
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.
The Duora series is where Yonex sought the revolutionary and game-changing concept that would allow the modern player to play offensively no matter where they are on the court. Hence, the Dual Optimum System was born. This transformative design blends two types of frames on opposite sides of the racket which work towards optimizing a player’s overall performance on the court – the box frame for the forehand and the aero frame for the backhand. The box frame is made with new Nanometric DR material that works to minimize shock and hold the shuttle longer by up to 3%. This translates to solid strikes that transfer more power directly into strong forehand shots such as the crowd-favorite smash. The aero frame is constructed with Ni-Ti Fiber that boosts repulsion speed by 9%. Here, players can observe more responsive and sharper backhand shots, helping them hit crisp and controlled backhand shots. The Duora series created a new grommet pattern as a strip across the top of the racket head with differing thickness along the box and aero frames. The innovation in the grommet design allows the thinner grommets on the box side to exhibit elasticity while the thicker grommets on the aero side magnify the repulsion of the shuttle.
Players who are seeking experimentation with the Duora series would do best to understand that each of the dual frames is only present on one side of the racket. As such, players need to practice isolating the box frame for forehand shots and the aero frame for backhand shots to maximize the racket’s offerings. This is especially important for those who spin their racket during and between rallies. Up for a challenge? Grab a Duora and experience the evolution of the badminton game yourself!
|Author’s Pick||Duora 10||Learn More|
|Best Value||Duora 99||Learn More|
|Best for Beginner Players||Duora 33||Learn More|
|Best for Intermediate Players||Duora 8XP||Learn More|
|Best for Advanced Players||Duora Z-Strike||Learn More|
The Duora 33 is the only racket in the Duora series currently marketed towards beginners. The Duora 33 can produce quick forehand, strong backhand shots and execute overhead shots well. However, as the Duora 33 is not exceptional in any particular area of play, the racket should be used as a starting racket until they develop more advanced skills.
The Duora 6 is a racket that is marketed towards female players. Flat drive exchanges is where the Duora 6 truly shines, as the lightness of the racket allows for players to play with speed and precision without tiring. The light head allows for very responsive play at the net, delivering quick and precise shots, while allowing players to continuously keep the racket up and ready at the front of the court. The lightness of the frame allows for delivery of shots that can incorporate more flicks from the wrist. However, players who choose the Duora 6 should not expect dominating smashes due to its lighter frame. Additionally, players should take note that the maximum recommended string tension for the Duora 6 is only 22 lbs.
The Duora 7 is less stiff and has a lighter head in comparison to the Duora 10. The Duora 7 is able to deliver good clears with minimal effort. Due to its swiftness, stick smashes vs. full smashes are where the Duora 7 will soar. By removing the concerns of fatigue, the Duora 7 can produce fast and flat drives and pushes. Players should be mindful to add additional effort to create deep lifts to their opponents’ backcourt, yet do not need to worry about blocking per the racket’s great maneuverability.
The Duora 9 is a lighter version of the Duora 10 that can execute steep drop shots and effortless clears from the back of the court. The relative ease of racket handling in comparison to the Duora 10 makes the Duora 9 more suitable for a defensive minded player vs. an attack-proned player. Faster racket movement speeds that are used to achieve point-winning net kills are achieved at the expense of power.
|Weight/Grip||4U (83g) G4,5,6|
|Yumo Pro Shop||Magenta|
Duora 10 LT
The Duora 10 LT is a racket that gives players the most benefit in the area of control. The racket has a lighter frame than the Duora 10, which provides players with faster swing speeds and reaction times. While maneuverability of the racket is made easier by the lighter frame, it is difficult to generate explosive power with the Duora 10 LT. Despite not being remarkable in defense, drives or smashes, the Duora 10 LT offers great control through backhand shots and can produce high quality lifts.
The Duora 55 is a middle-of-the-pack racket that is recommended for intermediate players. The Duora 55’s combination of balance, medium flex, 4U weight and small grip helps achieve great racket handling and control.
What the Duora 55 lacks in explosive smashes, it makes up in being an all-around racket.
The Duora 55 is speedy through the air, allowing its wielder to stand his or her ground in quick drive exchanges, while being dominant at the net.
The Duora 77 is an economical alternative to the Duora 10, which offers the same technological features. The Duora 77 offers great speed in racket handling, allowing for immediate responses to your opponents’ shots. While the Duora 77 does not excel in the power or smash category, due to its offering in a G4 grip, this racket is a strong choice for players who prefer a defensive game style.
The Duora 8XP incorporates the same racket technologies as the Duora Z-Strike, such as a more compact frame and longer handle. A softer feel in the Duora 8XP makes it easier to use than the Duora Z-Strike. The compactness and aerodynamics of the frame makes for quality offensive and defensive drives. Even with a strong showing in the defensive game, the smash speed of the Duora 8XP is comparable to that of the Voltric Z-Force. A distinguishable feature of the Duora 8XP is its ability to be strung up to 35 lbs in tension, which can add additional control to drops and clears. However, players who opt for higher-tension strung rackets should be aware of how the combination of tension and racket weight can contribute to fatigue. This racket is recommended for singles players who like to smash.
Author’s pick. The Duora 10 is one of the rackets catered towards advanced players within the series. With the Duora 10, players will experience noticeable differences between the aero and box frames, which leads to players favoring one side over the other. The box frame can deliver deep clears with ease, while the aero frame grants quicker swings and repulsion speeds. Smashes with the box frame are certainly strong, but not at the caliber of the Voltric Z-Force II or Nanoray Z-Speed. Deception can be added to drop shots hit from the rear with the aero frame. The Duora 10 is supreme in performing consistent strong responses in the driving category, yet may feel sluggish on the defensive stance. With the apparent differences between the two frames, the Duora 10 may pose a risk to a player’s concentration if they need to think of which racket frame to execute a shot with. Therefore, this racket should be reserved for advanced players with a strong grasp of the sport.
Best value. The Duora 99 exhibits a more medium shaft stiffness and provides the ability to assist the player in producing solid forehand and backhand shots.
Advanced players will best be able to maximize the benefits from the Duora 99, as it is less forgiving for players who have not yet mastered the basics of badminton form.
|Weight/Grip||3U (88g) G4,5|
|Yumo Pro Shop||Black|
The Duora Z-Strike is the ultimate racket in the Duora series, which targets advanced players. The Duora Z-Strike has a longer grip, which results in a shorter racket shaft. With the revolutionary dual optimum system, the Duora Z-Strike delivers solid net drops and deep clears with ease. Smashes by this racket are devastating through its box frame, seemingly combining the speed from the Duora 10 with the explosive power from the Voltric Z-Force II. With a compact head frame and extra stiff shaft, the qualities of the Duora Z-Strike would be best maximized in the hands of an advanced player. Those at the beginner or intermediate level of play may not possess the technical background to draw out its full potential. This racket would be a solid choice for both singles and doubles play.
|Duora 33||Beginner||Even Balanced||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G4,5||$|
|Duora 6||Intermediate||Even Balanced||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G4,5,6||$$|
|Duora 7||Intermediate||Even Balanced||Stiff / Medium||3U (88g) G4,5|
2U (93g) G4,5
|Duora 9||Intermediate||Even Balanced||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5,6||$$$|
|Duora 10 LT||Intermediate||Even Balanced||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5,6||$$$|
|Duora 55||Intermediate||Even Balanced||Medium||4U (83g) G5||$|
|Duora 77||Intermediate||Even Balanced||Medium||3U (88g) G3,4,5||$$|
|Duora 8XP||Advanced||Even Balanced||Stiff||3U (88g) G4,5||$$|
|Duora 10||Advanced||Even Balanced||Stiff||3U (88g) G4,5|
2U (93g) G4,5
|Duora 99||Advanced||Even Balanced||Stiff||3U (88g) G4,5||$$|
|Duora Z-Strike||Advanced||Even Balanced||Extra Stiff||3U (88g) G4,5|
2U (93g) G4,5
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