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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 Nanoflare series is one of the most recent revolutionary series for head-light rackets as it combines the speed and agility of head-light rackets with power from the head-heavy racket series. It does this with new technology that combines TORAYCA M40X (a new carbon fiber developed by Toray Industries, Inc) and Super High Modulus Graphite. While still not as powerful as rackets in the Voltric series, the Nanoflare rackets grant the player extra power from traditional head-light rackets. Because of their mixture of speed and power, Nanoflare rackets are excellent for front to mid court players who like to cut off shots quickly and put on lots of pressure with fast drives. On the defensive front, Nanoflare rackets are still fast with its racket handling but can also provide additional pace to help get the shuttle past opponents. Try out a Nanoflare racket and take advantage of its combination of speed and power to barrage your opponents with a flurry of shots!
|Author’s Pick||Nanoflare 800||Learn More|
|Best Value||Nanoflare 380 Sharp||Learn More|
|Best for Beginner Players||Nanoflare Drive||Learn More|
|Best for Intermediate Players||Nanoflare 700||Learn More|
|Best for Advanced Players||Nanoflare 800||Learn More|
The Nanoflare Junior is perfect for young players who are getting started in badminton. It has a small handle which is fitting for most young players and is lightweight to help develop racket maneuverability and handling.
The Nanoflare Drive is a budget and beginner friendly racket that is great for introducing a player to the Nanoflare racket series. It has the fundamental features of the other Nanoflare rackets – great racket handling speed with a combination of power – but gives up potential power and swiftness in return for leniency in its swing speed and sweet spot.
Similar to the Nanoflare Drive, the Nanoflare 160FX is your standard Nanoflare racket that has the fundamental features of the Nanoflare racket series. It is a bit more head light than the Nanoflare Drive and has a softer feel to it. Also a great racket for newer players starting out with the Nanoflare series.
|Weight/Grip||5U (78g) G5,6|
4U (83g) G4,5
Nanoflare 170 Light
The Nanoflare 170 Light is the most head-light out of all the Nanoflare rackets which makes it very easy for the player to swing the racket and change the racket head direction quickly. It’s made for beginners who want to train their racket handling skills before heading over to more advanced rackets that require more wrist and forearm strength.
The Nanoflare 600 is a racket made for intermediate players and is pretty similar to the Nanoflare 700 but was made to be more flexible. This makes it easier to generate sufficient power to hit to the back of the court but gives up some control and recovery time in return. Players who would like some assistance with power should choose the Nanoflare 600 over the Nanoflare 700.
The Nanoflare 700 is very similar to the Nanoflare 800 but was made with intermediate players in mind. It is actually a bit more head light, has a bigger sweet spot, and is less stiff than the Nanoflare 800 does. Because of these properties, the Nanoflare 700 is more forgiving for mistimed or mishit shots but its maximum potential for power and speed is not as high as that of the Nanoflare 800. It’s still plenty fast and powerful and is a great choice for most players looking into the Nanoflare series. Check out Yonex’s promotional video here.
Nanoflare 270 Speed
The Nanoflare 270 Speed is created for intermediate players, whether that be in the singles or doubles discipline. This racket has the ability to execute overhead shots well, offering clears to the back of the opponents’ court with ease. While not overwhelming, this racket can produce smashes with a kick, while maintaining its rigor in defense and control. The Nanoflare 270 Speed’s performance output makes it a great purchase for its price point.
Nanoflare 370 Speed
The Nanoflare 370 Speed is marketed towards advanced players with enhanced skills. It has a stiff to medium flex shaft, which requires players to have the ability to handle the racket. Performing at par to its price, the Nanoflare does not raise the bar on smash delivery, defense or in the drive category. Aligned with its lower price-point, the Nanoflare 370 Speed is all-around inferior to the Nanoflare 700.
Nanoflare 380 Sharp
Best value. The Nanoflare 380 Sharp is an easier to manage racket that is intended for advanced players. The Nanoflare 380 Sharp, a cheaper alternative to the Nanoflare 800, offers the same compact frame that helps players achieve quicker swing speeds through its aerodynamic design. While quick acceleration is made possible through its head-light balance, power can be generated in parallel by players who are able to handle the racket’s stiff flex.
Author’s pick. The Nanoflare 800 is the top of the line Nanoflare racket which, when used properly, will dominate the court with extreme power and speed. It combines the most advanced technologies to give increased agility and power while maintaining the speed and ease of handling of a traditional head-light racket. Moreover, it has the highest power potential out of all the Nanoflare rackets but has a small sweet spot to do so. This makes it much less forgiving to mishits and is why it is recommended for advanced players. Check out the awesome video Yonex made promoting the racket over here.
Nanoflare 800 LT
The Nanoflare 800 LT is the lightweight alternative of the Nanoflare 800. Set to drop on September 17, 2020, the Nanoflare 800 LT is targeted towards advanced players seeking the thrill of speedy swings to keep the pressure on their opponents. Stay tuned for more information on the latest in the Nanorflare series.
|Nanoflare Junior||Beginner||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G7||$|
|Nanoflare Drive||Beginner||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G4,5||$|
|Nanoflare 160FX||Beginner||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||5U (78g) G5,6|
4U (83g) G4,5
|Nanoflare 170 Light||Beginner||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||5U (78g) G4,5,6||$|
|Nanoflare 600||Intermediate||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||5U (78g) G5,6|
4U (83g) G4,5,6
|Nanoflare 700||Intermediate||Head-Light||Medium||5U (78g) G5,6|
4U (83g) G4,5,6
|Nanoflare 270 Speed||Intermediate||Head-Light||Medium||5U (78g) G4,5|
4U (83g) G4,5
|Nanoflare 370 Speed||Advanced||Head-Light||Stiff||5U (78g) G4,5|
4U (83g) G4,5
|Nanoflare 380 Sharp||Advanced||Head-Light||Stiff||4U (83g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
|Nanoflare 800||Advanced||Head-Light||Stiff||4U (83g) G5,6|
3U (88g) G4,5,6
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