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The contribution of technology on badminton rackets

 

The contribution of technology on badminton rackets

Players do believe that advance technology on rackets had contributed to more speed and power in badminton and had dramatically changes the playing styles. You would not be able to use a wooden racket to play a speed and power game anymore. The trend had moved towards a more considerably lighter rackets to achieve the speed required in badminton and using of hi modulus carbon fiber materials could do this. No matter how light the racket is, the manufacturer still needs to maintain certain weights on the frame to produce the power, very much needed in badminton. Thus, most of the weight has been removed from the handle and shaft. With this new construction, players now have the advantage of lighter rackets with about the same swing weight as heavier rackets.

Technology has created certain advantage features like wider and stiffer frame, which is able to add more stability when the impact is off the sweet spot due to its larger moment of inertia. Stiffer frames have more power than flexible frames since the shuttle was kicked away as soon as it landed on the string bed. 

 

How to choose badminton racket that suits you?

No one pant fits all! That goes the same with badminton rackets. It is impossible to find a racket that is able to suit all type of players, as each individual is so unique and so different in term of physical and playing style. One of the most common concept and I would said a common mistake made by many players when selecting a racket is to use what the professional use. “Use what the champion are using and you won’t go wrong?” Many professional players succeed because of their physical attributes gathered from their hard work and tight training programs and not mainly because of their racket.

 

“Hey, what racket is he using? His smashes were so powerful but when I bought one and tried it, I can hardly lifted up my arm after a few lousy floating smashes and the worst is I sprained my shoulders and my wrist hurts. What happened to this racket?”

Answer: It is not the problem of racket. You are actually a lightweight boxer fighting with a heavy weight glove.

 

We categorized players into 3 categories: - the beginner, the intermediate and the advance group. To cater the needs and wants of each player in these groups, we have prepared some information on how to choose a racket to maximize performance on each category of players.

While choosing a racket, you must be sure of your current physical condition and you better know what you are actually looking for in a racket. Was it a power performance racket or was it a control racket with comfort feel that you are looking for?

 

If you want a racket for control, look for the following features:

 

Lighter weight – A racket, unstrung, which is weight between 85 grams to 90 grams is possibly a good control racket provided the balance point are not too high.

Recommended balance point: 275mm – 280mm

The weight and balance of a racket will be affected once the racket is strung and a replacement grip is added. The following are the changes in weight and balance of the racket once the racket is ready to go for the shot.

After strung, which mean 3 grams added on the head, the racket would weight around 88 grams to 93 grams. If the original grip (Weight around 7 grams that comes with the racket) is taken off and replaced by a replacement PU grip (approximately 12 grams), and additional of 5 more grams is added on the handle to make the racket weight around 93grams to 98 grams. The balance point would then decreased slightly to about 270mm-275mm. (with weight moved towards the handle.) This will yield a headlight feeling for better comfort feeling and control.

For those who prefer to wrap an extra PU grip without removing the original grip to make the handle larger would be adding 12 grams to the handle. For this type of player, to look for a control racket, they need to look for a higher balance point racket. 280mm – 290mm is suggested and the racket weight should be around 85 grams – 88 grams.

 

Lower balance point – The balance point affected a lot on the feel of your racket. If your racket has a high balance point then you will feel your racket is heavier towards the racket head and if your racket has a lower balance point then you will have this head light feeling on your racket.

The balance point is measured from the handle towards the shaft on the point where the racket stayed in balance on your finger. The balance point of a good control racket should be around 275mm – 280mm. This will yield a headlight feeling and best for control and comfort feeling. You can actually adjust your racket weight and racket balance.

If you want a racket for control and power, adjusted yourself.

(Adjusted the weight and balance of your racket)

Less stiffness  - The flexibility of the racket do have an impact on the feel of your racket. In theory, the flexible shafts designed for beginner and amateur players are good for control and easier to maneuver but I have seen champions winning games after games, delivering smashes after smashes using a Prospeed mid-flex shaft racket. Thus, the term stiffness and flexible really differs a lot on each individual.

In theory, a stiffer shaft is more suitable for powerful player. Again, not only professional are powerful, some beginners and amateur players do have the strength to handle a stiff shaft and yield powerful smashes. So, to get the right stiffness, you should test play with different stiffness racket in order to get the right choice of stiffness on your racket.

In badminton, the weight and balance of a racket can be adjusted but not the stiffness. Thus, you will have to pay special attention on the stiffness of racket, the next time you purchased a new racket though all rackets will tends to lose a certain percentage of stiffness over a period of time.

If you want a racket for power, look for these features:

Heavier weight - A racket, unstrung, which is weight between 88 grams to 92 grams is possibly a good power racket provided the balance point are not too low.

A heavier weight racket would transmit less shock and less vibration when sending off shuttle, and has a larger sweet spot than lighter weight rackets.

Recommended balance point: 285mm – 295mm.

The weight and balance of a racket will be affected once the racket is strung and a replacement grip is added. The following are the changes in weight and balances of the racket once the racket is strung and are all ready to go for the shot.

After strung, which mean 3 grams added on the head, the racket would weight around 91 grams to 95 grams. If the original grip (Weight around 7 grams that comes with the racket) is taken off and replaced by a replacement PU grip (approximately 12 grams), and additional of 5 more grams is added on the handle to make the racket weight around 96grams to 100 grams. The balance point would then decreased slightly to about 280mm-290mm. (with weight moved towards the handle.) This weight and balance together with the heavier weight is good for power play.

For those who prefer to wrap an extra PU grip without removing the original grip to make the handle larger would be adding 12 grams to the handle. For this type of player, to look for a powerful racket, they need to look for a higher balance point racket. 290mm – 300mm is suggested and the racket weight should be around 88 grams – 92 grams.

Higher balance point - The balance point affected a lot on the feel of your racket. If your racket has a high balance point then you will feel your racket is heavier towards the racket head, which will be able to yield more power on your smashes and if your racket has a lower balance point then you will have this head light feeling on your racket. Bear in mind and be honest to yourself as not everybody could handle a racket with a high balance point.

The balance point is measured from the handle towards the shaft on the point where the racket stayed in balance on your finger. The balance point of a good power racket should be around 285mm – 295mm. This will yield a heavy feeling towards the head and would be able to deliver powerful smashes.

(Adjusted the weight and balance of your racket)

More stiffness - The flexibility of the racket do have an impact on the feel of your racket. In theory, the flexible shafts designed for beginner and amateur players are good for control and easier to maneuver but I have seen champions winning games after games, delivering smashes after smashes using a Prospeed mid-flex shaft racket. Thus, the term stiffness and flexible really differs a lot on each individual.

In theory, a stiffer shaft is more suitable for powerful player. Again, not only professional are powerful players; some beginners and amateur players do have the strength to handle a stiff shaft and yield powerful smashes. So, to get the right stiffness, you should test play with different stiffness racket in order to get the right choice of stiffness for your racket.

In badminton, the weight and balance of a racket can be adjusted but not the stiffness. Thus, you will have to pay special attention on the stiffness of racket, the next time you purchased a new racket though all rackets will tends to lose a certain percentage of stiffness over a period of time.

You would sometime experience certain frame shock and frame vibration if you were playing with a racket that had a very stiff frame. What is frame shock? Frame shock is the unnecessary force felt at the moment of impact when you delivered a stroke and frame vibration is the vibrated feeling when the shuttle speed away from your string (Occurred more frequently on racket that had a larger sweet spot due to the length of main strings). The most effective way to reduce these shock and vibration is to add the 5 grams grommet stripe (provided free when you purchase a Prospeed racket) to a frame.

There are several frame shapes of rackets in the market and you would have to know what is the best shape that suits your playing style. Do you prefer an Isometric, the Wide-bodied or the conventional frame?

The Isometric construction frame.

The Isometric construction racket has a larger sweet spot deal to its flat top and are able to transmits less shock but are more prone to vibration due to the length of the string. It is believed to be more powerful and many had shifted from the conventional frame to the Isometric lately. You can add extra tension on Isometric due to its larger sweet spot, especially the main string, where the length of string is longer than conventional racket.