As you head to your local badminton court, you’ll have several things making up the total weight of your bag. One of these things will likely be your badminton racket. Indeed, it’s arguably the one piece of equipment you can’t be without — but have you ever wondered how much a typical racket weighs?
Badminton rackets can weigh anywhere from 75 to 99.9 grams. The weight of a racket in grams corresponds to a “U” value, a unit of measure used for badminton rackets. The weight variations exist to cater to different playing styles and levels. Typically, lighter rackets are more suitable for beginners as they facilitate easier swings and prevent early fatigue. Since beginners often lack strong forearms and wrists, lighter rackets enable them to move the racket with less effort. By comparison, more experienced players and player’s with a smash-heavy style may do well with heavier rackets like those in the 1U and 2U range.
As there are many builds and brands of badminton rackets, there’s so much to talk about when it comes to a racket’s weight. Read on to get the heavy details on badminton racket weights and more in my latest post!
What is the Minimum Weight of a Badminton Racket?
On the one hand, badminton rackets can be light, but how light should they be?
At the very least, badminton rackets should weigh about 75 grams. Converted to U, this is 5U, the lightest badminton racket weight. Due to its lightness, it’s ideal for beginners who are still getting the hang of basic badminton shots.
As a player progresses in skill, the player can opt for a heavier racket that’s still in the 5U range. In other words, a badminton novice can begin with 75 grams and work up to 79.9 grams.
Once the top end of the 5U range feels too light for the player, that same player can graduate to the 4U starting weight of 80 grams.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has a 100-gram limit for rackets. Also, according to the BWF’s Equipment Guidelines, rackets should meet dimension guidelines.
Rackets should also be free from anything that allows a player to change the racket’s shape. There should also be nothing on the racket that affects how it moves like protrusions or unnecessary ornamentations.
What makes a lighter racket special? Here are some characteristics of rackets in the 5U and 4U range.
Lighter rackets are easier to maneuver and swing quickly, making them suitable for players who rely on fast and agile movements. Players who prefer a defensive or all-around playing style often find lighter rackets more comfortable to use.
Less Arm Fatigue
Due to their lower weight, lighter rackets are generally less fatiguing for players during extended play. They require less physical effort to swing, so they’re suitable for players with less forearm and wrist strength.
Excellent for Those Who Are New to the Sport
Lighter rackets are often recommended for beginners. Lighter rackets help you develop proper swinging techniques and are less likely to cause strain or injury due to their lower weight.
What is the Maximum Weight of a Badminton Racket?
Now that we’re clear on the minimum weight of a badminton racket, you might be wondering — how heavy can a badminton racket be? While the BWF sets no standard, you’ll find most heavy-hitting rackets in a certain weight range.
Typically, the maximum weight of a badminton racket is 99.9 grams. This is the top-end value for the 1U range. At this weight, heavy rackets can be fatiguing for beginners. However, the added control of the weight makes 1U rackets an option for more experienced shuttlers on the court.
Heavy badminton rackets have some key characteristics that make them beneficial to more experienced players. Here are some.
More Volume for Powerful Smashes
Heavy rackets are known for providing more power during smashes. The extra weight allows players to generate more momentum, resulting in stronger and more aggressive shots.
Stability and Control
The additional weight of heavy rackets contributes to greater stability during shots. This stability can be advantageous in certain situations, like during net play and defensive shots, where precision and control are crucial.
Suitable for More Experienced Shuttlers
Heavy rackets are generally recommended for more experienced and skilled players who have developed strong forearm and wrist strength. Beginners and intermediate players might find heavy rackets challenging to handle and control as they require more physical strength and technique to use effectively.
Badminton Weight Chart and What It Means
Whenever you get a racket or look at the old packaging of yours, you may find a chart. The chart will likely contain values in grams and Us. Here’s what the chart means.
A badminton weight chart is a visual representation or table that categorizes badminton rackets based on their weight. It provides information about the different weight ranges available for various racket models. The chart typically includes a racket’s weight in grams and U but can also include weight categories, such as ultra-lightweight, lightweight, medium-weight, and heavyweight.
Here are some examples of Yonex and Victor rackets in each weight range. We’ll start with the Yonex line of rackets.
|Weight in Grams
|Weight in U
|Carbonex 6000 DF
|Nanoflare 1000 Tour
|Nanoflare 1000 Play
|Nanoflare 800 LT
As for some examples of Victor rackets, refer to the table below:
|Weight in Grams
|Weight in U
|Brave Sword 1733
|Auraspeed 120 CL
|DriveX IL A
|Auraspeed Light Fighter 40D
In case, you were wondering, the unit “U” doesn’t actually stand for anything. It’s just a symbol for indicating a badminton racket’s weight. On that note, you’ll also notice that as the weight in grams goes up, the U value decreases.
Of the weights mentioned in both tables, 4U rackets seem to be the most popular for both manufacturers. There are many reasons for this, but off the top of my head, I attribute the 4U’s popularity to the balanced weight. It’s light enough for inexperienced players to practice on, but it’s got enough weight for more experienced players to use it for trick and net shots.
If you want a review of some quality 4U rackets, check out my guide on the Astrox 77 line.
How Do You Measure the Weight of a Badminton Racket?
A weighing scale won’t cut it, in case you’re curious. If you can’t use a traditional scale, how do you measure the weight of a badminton racket?
To measure the weight of a badminton racket, you can use a digital scale. A digital scale can give you the exact weight of a badminton racket down to the milligram. All you need to do is place a badminton racket on the digital scale, set the scale in the unit you’d like to use (e.g. grams or ounces), and wait for the scale to display the weight.
The accuracy of a digital scale makes it an excellent way to weigh a badminton racket.
Do Heavier Rackets Give More Power?
Earlier, I mentioned that a lighter racket gets you better maneuverability with less arm fatigue. However, what if you needed more “oomph” behind your shots instead of better movement? Would a heavier racket give you more power?
In general, heavier badminton rackets tend to provide more power during shots. This is because the additional weight in the racket allows players to generate more momentum and transfer more energy into the shuttlecock. As a result, smashes and powerful shots are easier to execute with heavier rackets.
When you swing a heavier racket, it stores more potential energy, and upon impact with the shuttlecock, that energy is released, resulting in a more forceful shot. This can be particularly beneficial for players who rely on aggressive play and powerful smashes as a key part of their playing style.
Weighing in on Badminton Racket Weights
Badminton rackets come in many weights and balances. Some weights will be better for beginners while others will be a boon for more experienced players. At the end of the day, though, what matters is selecting the right weight that plays to your strengths, style, and skill level.
In badminton, it’s not always the size or weight of the racket — what matters is the breadth of your game and the size of your heart when you play under pressure!
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