Want to start playing badminton but don’t know what you need? We’re here to help.
To play badminton, you will need a net, racket, badminton friendly shoes, basic sports clothes, and lastly, some shuttlecocks. There are brands that make these items specifically for badminton to give you the best experience so make sure to take a look below where we go more in-depth into each of these categories before buying generic sports equipment to play badminton.
What Net Should I Use for Badminton?
Badminton nets are provided by local badminton gyms so you normally wouldn’t have to worry about getting your own. While this site is largely dedicated to people looking for information on badminton that is played indoors, if you’re looking to get an outdoor badminton kit, a good option would be the Baden Champions Badminton Set which includes some basic rackets, shuttlecocks, a net, and even boundary lines all ready for use.
What Badminton Racket Should I Buy?
There are quite a few badminton rackets on the market and trying to find out which one to buy for your skill level can be quite daunting. Each type of racket has its own pros and cons, but which one is right for you? No matter what your skill level is, I would highly recommend trying out Yonex rackets because they are the leading badminton brand that is focused solely on badminton gear and equipment. They have a wide variety of rackets designed for all types of players – from beginner to full time professional.
Yonex has many different series of rackets that each have a different signature property. The most popular ones are Voltric, Nanoray, Nanoflare, Duora, and Astrox. There are many other series that have been discontinued and you can expect there to be more racket series in the future. We’ve written guides with pictures and recommendations for each of these racket series that go more in-depth on a racket by racket basis which you can see linked in the following paragraphs.
The Voltric series is known for its ability to produce power since all of the rackets are head-heavy. I recommend Voltric rackets to players who have at least some experience with badminton and who are looking for an offensive play style. If it’s your first time playing badminton, I would recommend against this series because the racket is on the heavier side and is harder to swing. Since it is heavier, it is a bit easier for beginners to hurt themselves if they swing incorrectly. However, it’s an excellent choice for intermediate to advanced players. Check out our Voltric Guide if you want more in-depth reviews on each of the rackets in the series.
The Nanoray series is known for its lightning speed. All Nanoray rackets are head-light and can be swung easily and quickly. I’d recommend this racket series to all type of players, including beginners and first timers. This type of racket is especially good for players who want to be really good at the front of the court since it will be easier to react to fast shots so that you can cut them off. Take a look at our Nanoray Guide for more in-depth information about each of the Nanoray rackets.
The Nanoflare series is known for its combination of power and speed. You can think of it as a mixture of the Voltric and Nanoray series combined together. It blends the power of the Voltric series with the speed of the Nanoray series – but isn’t quite as specialized as either of the series. I recommend this racket series for players of all skill levels as it is quite well balanced in all categories. Take a look at our Nanoflare Guide to see which racket is right for you.
The Duora series is a new and revolutionary racket series where the faces of the racket actually have different properties. If you’re new to badminton, it may get confusing to know which side you should use for your forehand and backhand. And as a beginner, you should focus on the fundamentals with a standard racket first. For these reasons, I only recommend this racket series to intermediate to advanced players. If you want to learn more, dive into our Duora Guide for more information.
The Astrox series is one of the newest racket series that is actually going to replace the Voltric series soon. It is designed to produce steep smashes with new state of the art technology. My recommendation is the same as the Voltric series – players that are new to badminton should probably try a different series of racket, but if you have some experience, it may be worth looking into. You can take a look at our Astrox Guide to take a look at the whopping 18 rackets that are in the series.
What Shoes Should I Wear for Badminton?
Note: This section is for indoor badminton shoes. If you’re playing outdoors, I would not recommend any badminton shoes that are designed for indoor use because they will likely get ruined due to the rough surfaces that are present outdoors.
Many people who first start to play badminton end up wearing tennis shoes to do so. However, it isn’t advised to do so because of 2 main reasons:
- Not all tennis shoes are non-marking. Most tennis shoes are not designed to be non-marking so if you use them on a badminton court, it may end up, well, marking the court. Most badminton gyms forbid marking shoes because they want to keep the court clean and mark free.
- Tennis shoes are more padded, and therefore higher off the ground than badminton shoes. Tennis shoes are optimized for horizontal movement but badminton movement has a lot more vertical aspects to it, including moving up and down the court and also jumping. Being higher off the ground might give you a little more height, but may also make it more difficult to maintain balance when recovering from a lunge or jump.
There are plenty of badminton shoes that are available, all of which are non-marking and are specifically designed to help you keep your balance while being comfortable and allowing air to flow through them. You can take a look at the most recent and advanced footwear at Yonex’s official website and you can buy them on Amazon, Badminton Warehouse, Badminton Alley, and Badminton Bay.
If you don’t have badminton shoes and can’t afford or want to get them, it’s still okay to play badminton with other shoes as long as they are non-marking. However, by not using shoes that are specifically designed for badminton, you are increasing your risk for injury – especially for rolled and sprained ankles.
What Sports Clothes Should I Wear for Badminton?
For badminton, I would recommend wearing whatever you normally wear when you play other sports or when you go running. This typically means a t-shirt and shorts for most people but really it’s whatever you’re comfortable moving and sweating in. You’ll be doing a lot of movement and things will likely heat up quickly so I suggest bringing an extra set of clothes to change into afterwards.
If you search for badminton clothes on Google images you’ll find lots of really colorful and well designed clothes worn by models and some professionals. While I admit that they look quite cool, it’s not really necessary to have unless you’re on a team that has a uniform that everyone is expected to wear.
While you don’t need badminton specific shirts and shorts, if you do sweat a lot (like me!), then I would suggest getting some clothes made out of polyester, which is similar to “Dri-FIT” from Nike. Polyester is really durable, doesn’t shrink, and makes it so sweat from your clothes doesn’t stick to your body.
What Shuttlecocks Should I Buy for Badminton?
The last, but certainly not least, item you will need for badminton is a shuttlecock – or also informally known as a birdie. If you haven’t heard of it before, you should learn about it in What is a Badminton Birdie? The “Ball” of Badminton, Explained. The post gives information about the fundamentals of what you need to know about a shuttlecock/birdie.
Shuttlecocks can be split into 2 broad categories – feathered and synthetic. Feathered shuttlecocks are made with real feathers taken from a goose or duck while synthetic shuttlecocks are made from plastic. Feathered shuttlecocks tend to fly better while synthetic shuttlecocks are durable and cost effective.
If you’re new to badminton or are playing outdoors, I would recommend using some synthetic shuttlecocks to get a feel for badminton to see if you want to dive deeper into the game later on. With a synthetic shuttlecock, you’ll be able to learn all the rules and basic shots quickly without fear of ruining many shuttlecocks and spending lots of money to get more.
If you’re an intermediate player or are serious to improve and get really good at badminton, I would recommend using feathered shuttlecocks and taking the time to research and try out the different types that are available. Each brand and type of shuttlecock has its own properties due to the way it is made and getting the right type can make a huge difference in your badminton experience. For that reason, I suggest reading The Complete Guide to Yonex Badminton Shuttlecocks (Feathered) to educate yourself on the different properties and products of shuttlecocks.
Badminton Equipment Index
Here at BadmintonBites, we have an assortment of posts that describe in-depth about the different types of products and equipment. We have a page that lists out all of the product posts we have ever written so it is easy for you to find and we’ll be updating that page whenever we write more product posts. Check it out over at Badminton Equipment.
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