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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.
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 Nanoray series is an all head-light racket series, that is known for its lightning speed. Several new designs and technologies have made it possible to achieve such amazing speed for the Nanoray rackets. While it is important to note that the following features are not present in each of the Nanoray rackets, readers should learn which features will add to their game play:
- Snap Back Zone (SBZ)
- ISOMETRIC frame design
- Aero frame
Starting with the Snap Back Zone (SBZ), these rackets have a thicker and stiffer upper and lower ends of the frame. The middle of the frame is thinner and is created with an elastic and powerful material that causes the racket to flex when it comes in contact with the shuttle. After flexing, the racket snaps back to its original state where the frame folds over the shuttle and send the shuttle back to the opponents’ end of the court at a steeper downward angle.
Next, the X-FULLERENE feature falls within Yonex’s NANOSCIENCE as a material used within a racket’s binding that results in increased repulsion power and stability. The ultra thin shaft of Nanoray rackets is made with ultra PEF (ultra poly ethylene fibre) which acts to absorb the shock created when striking the shuttle. This allows the player to get a better feel for the racket resulting in better control and racket handling of their Nanoray.
Moving along, an ISOMETRIC frame design aims to keep the length of the horizontal and vertical strings similar, which expands the sweet shot of the racket. This quality gives players a lenient margin to hit great shots if they aren’t consistent in hitting the sweet shot with a standard racket.
And finally, the science behind the Aero frame aims to cut air resistance, therefore accelerating the racket’s swing speed. The Nanoray racket series allows players to strategically control the pace of the rally and keep their opponents on their toes through its speedy competitive advantage.
Give Nanoray a try and see for yourself how speed should not be underestimated as a tool for victory!
The Nanoray 10F is one of two Nanoray rackets designed with beginners in mind (the other being the Nanoray 20). It is quite light at 83g and is even balanced – making it easy to move around and control. Great as a starting racket if you’re looking to have fast racket handling skills in the future.
|Weight/Grip||4U (83g) G5|
The Nanoray 20 is the second (and last) of the Nanoray rackets designed for beginners. In contrast with the Nanoray 10F, it is a bit heavier at 88g but it is head-light instead of even balanced. This gives the Nanoray 20 a heavier feel but with similar properties of the Nanoray 10F as most of the weight is concentrated at the base of the racket. Also a great starting racket to build fast racket handling skills.
|Weight/Grip||3U (88g) G4|
The Nanoray GlanZ is a unique racket that has a larger racket head, which provides a larger sweet spot for its user. The high repulsion provided by the aerodynamic design of the top of the frame makes clearing seem effortless. The backhand clear, a shot that many players struggle with, is also made simpler by this racket. Being head-light and easy to handle, this racket can hold its own in quick drive exchanges against your opponents.
|Weight/Grip||4U (83g) G4,5,6|
The Nanoray 750 delivers exceptionally fast swings. Given its light weight as a 4U (83g) racket, players can expect great mobility in controlling and handling the racket. This allows for strong play at the net, while also giving players an edge with dropping from the back. Nanoray 750’s frame design makes it so that power is not traded-off by its light weight. The Nanoray 750 would be a great choice for players who might fatigue while using a heavier racket.
|Weight/Grip||4U (83g) G4|
The Nanoray Speed is the intermediate level version of the Nanoray Z-Speed. Aligned with the Nanoray series and staying true to its name, the Nanoray Speed thrives in speed as its able to generate fast and controlled swings. Despite its smaller frame, the racket amplifies its sweet spot, giving more room for players to make mistakes. Since it’s a toned down version of the Nanoray Z-Speed, players should expect it to have slightly worse quality to match its lower price point.
|Weight/Grip||3U (88g) G4|
Nanoray 200 Aero
The Nanoray 200 Aero is a racket geared towards advanced players. The Aero Frame enhances the speed of the swing while maintaining high racket control to deliver precise shots. The Aero Fin design of the frame has a thinner frame at the top, allowing the racket to move quickly, while the thicker bottom boosts its repulsion power. Players looking to set the pace of a rally and move their opponents around the court would do well to consider the Nanoray 200 Aero.
|Weight/Grip||3U (88g) G4,5|
4U (83g) G4,5
The Nanoray 900 is one of the three rackets in the Nanoray series geared towards advanced players. Those who have been around the badminton scene can equate this to the replacement for the Nanospeed 9900. The Nanoray 900 made its debut in 2013 when former world #1 Men’s Doubles Pair Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan used it in the All England Open. This racket’s X factor is its ability to deliver strong and fast drives, cementing the racket’s nickname as “King of Drives”. The shuttle bounces off the string bed as soon as it makes contact. This racket is great for those who play a defensive game or prefers doubles matches. However, its stiff shaft provides minimal flex when swinging, which forces players to rely on their own strength to generate power in their shots. This is the primary reason why the Nanoray 900 is not recommended for beginners, as it does not provide assistance towards a player’s smash.
The Nanoray Z-Speed is known for its unparalleled speed. This racket was used by Malaysian professional shuttler Tan Boon Heong to set the Guinness World Record for the Fastest Badminton Hit outside of competition at 493 km/h (303 mph)! With an extra thin shaft and smaller head shape, the racket’s aerodynamics allow for excellent head acceleration to deliver insane smashes without the burden typically associated with head-heavy rackets. At the same time, the Nanoray Z-Speed is responsive in flat drive exchanges, crisp in control, and speedy at the net. Due to its smaller head and stiff shaft, it is not recommended for beginners.
|Nanoray 10F||Beginner||Even Balanced||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G5||$|
|Nanoray 20||Beginner||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||3U (88g) G4||$|
|Nanoray GlanZ||Intermediate||Head-Light||HI-FLEX||4U (83g) G4,5,6||$$$|
|Nanoray 750||Intermediate||Head-Light||Medium||4U (83g) G4||$$|
|Nanoray Speed||Intermediate||Even Balanced||Stiff||3U (88g) G4||$$|
|Nanoray 200 Aero||Advanced||Head-Light||Stiff||3U (88g) G4,5|
4U (83g) G4,5
|Nanoray 900||Advanced||Even Balanced||Stiff||3U (88g) G4||$$$|
|Nanoray Z-Speed||Advanced||Even Balanced||Extra Stiff||2U (93g) G4,5|
3U (88g) G4,5
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