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A badminton racket is a piece of equipment that is used to hit the shuttlecock. It has a long handle, and the head of the racket is called the “face”. The size of rackets can vary depending on their intended use.
- What Is a Badminton Racket Made Of?
- Main Characteristics of a Badminton Racket
- Related Questions
What Is a Badminton Racket Made Of?
Badminton rackets are made of made from wood, metal, or carbon fiber composites. They are usually strung with nylon strings. High-quality rackets are typically made of graphite, while lesser-quality ones are made of aluminum and steel, depending on the manufacturer.
Other materials are used for various smaller parts of the badminton racket. These include nylon and natural gut for the strings, and cotton and synthetic material for the grips.
Therefore, if you are looking to buy a new racket that fits your skill level and preference, you have come to the right place. First, check out the different parts of a badminton racket, followed by the common materials used for manufacturing these parts:
Parts of a Badminton Racket:
The badminton rackets are usually up to 26.77 inches long and 9.06 inches wide. They have up to five major parts:
- The Handle Or Grip: The racket’s bottom-most part, gripped by the player during the game. A good handle ensures that your hand and wrist are comfortable and can dictate your performance during the match. It also prevents the racket from flying out of your grip, and it features specific materials, such as cotton, used to absorb palm sweat.
- The Shaft: This is the long, thin part that connects the handle to the racket’s head or throat. The shaft stiffness and flexibility can impact your game performance.
- The Throat: It is a small, T-shaped part that connects the shaft to the head. However, some badminton rackets do not have a throat. In these rackers, the shaft directly fuses to the head.
- The Stringed-Area: This is the netted part of the badminton racket, which should encounter the shuttlecock. The stringed area must follow the BWF guidelines, which means it should be no longer than 8.66 inches wide and 11 inches long. The string thickness is between 0.62 millimeters to 0.70 millimeters. The guidelines also specify that the area should be flat with an alternatively interlaced pattern of cross strings.
- The Head: It is the top frame that bounds the stringed area. The shape and weight of the head play an essential role in the power of your shots and your overall gameplay.
Materials Used for Badminton Racket Frames
The frame is made first. It is the essential part of the badminton racket and constitutes the head and the shaft. However, in some rackets, especially those used by beginners, these two parts are separated from the throat and can be made of different materials.
Let’s have a look at the most common materials used for the badminton heads and shafts:
High-quality racket frames are usually manufactured from High Modulus Graphite, which is light in weight and shatterproof. Graphite combines with fiberglass to provide the frame with additional stability and flexibility.
Depending on the manufacturers, graphite rackets occasionally refer to carbon or carbon fiber rackets. Due to its strength and flexibility, it is possible to string the racket at a higher tension without causing damage to the frame.
All of these attributes make a graphite badminton racket pricier than its counterparts.
Aluminum is the second most common material used to make a racket’s head, while graphite or steel are more commonly found in shaft manufacturing. Beginners predominantly use rackets with aluminum heads attached to a steel shaft. On the other hand, badminton rackets by intermediate players have a graphite shaft with an aluminum head.
Aluminum heads have greater elasticity, which provides a better grip. They are also quite robust and durable, making them an ideal choice for many non-professional players.
Another material used for the badminton racket’s frame is steel. Steel rackets are made for beginners and are rare. Moreover, they are mostly characterized as cheap and of low quality.
Occasionally, you can find titanium rackets where the entire frame is constructed of the same material.
Materials Used for Badminton Racket Strings
The materials used for manufacturing the strings, along with the thickness and tension of the strings, determine how well you can hit the shuttle. In other words, it affects the power of the shot and your control on every strike.
Following are the most common materials used for the racket’s string:
Nylon is the most common material used for manufacturing badminton racket strings. It is a synthetic material that is quite strong and resistant, despite being cheap to produce. The gauge numbers of nylon strings determine their thickness.
For example, lower gauge values denote greater thickness and vice versa.
Thicker nylon strings provide more control and are more resilient but offer less power in the shots. While thinner nylon strings serve potent shots, they are easy to break and prone to wear and tear.
Natural Animal Gut
In the beginning, badminton strings were made from natural animal guts. However, today only a few players still prefer natural gut to nylon, which is almost near extinction.
Natural gut strings provide the rackets with more control and power. They are also more competent at absorbing shock and reducing vibrations on the player’s arm. However, they are expensive to manufacture and less durable than synthetic strings.
Material Used for The Badminton Racket Grip
The lowest part of the badminton racket is its grip. Its primary purpose is to give the player a firm hold on the racket. Here are the most common materials used for the grip or handle:
Polyurethane (PU) is the most common material used for handles. It is a popular choice for making grips since it is more durable than cotton. However, it does not have a very good feel and has lower friction.
Players often add grip over the under-grip, known as the overgrip. Most professional players prefer cotton because the material is suitable for sweat absorption and provides better slip resistance. However, it needs to replace regularly due to a higher deterioration rate.
Main Characteristics of a Badminton Racket
The characteristics of a badminton racket help you narrow down your choices and choose a racket that supplements your playing abilities.
The ideal weight of a good badminton racket is usually between 80-95 grams (without the grip and strings). However, you can also find lighter or heavier rackets in the market.
The weight of a racket is often denoted by “U” and classified:
- 1U: 95-100 grams
- 2U: 90-94 grams
- 3U: 85-89 grams
- 4U: 80-84 grams
- 5U: 75-79 grams
Lightweight badminton rackets (3U) are more suitable for beginners as they are easier to maneuver and control. They are also more suitable for delivering quick serves and quickly switching between strokes.
Heavier rackets provide more power as they accumulate momentum during the swing. However, it is less comfortable to handle a heavier racket, which is also harder to control.
The balance point indicates the center of the badminton racket, where the racket’s weight is located. To find out the racket’s balance point, place your finger at different points along the shaft until the racket balances on your finger.
- It is a head-heavy racket if your finger is closer to the head. These rackets can deliver powerful strokes and produce lengthy clears.
- If your finger is closer to the grip, it is a head-light racket. These rackets are easier to manipulate and swing, ideal for a fast-paced game.
- If your finger is in the middle of the racket, it is an even balance racket. These rackets are neither head-heavy nor head-light. Opt for these rackets if you are new to the game and do not yet have a specific playing style.
Shaft stiffness is another essential attribute to consider when choosing a badminton racket.
- The flexible shaft is ideal for beginners who play with slow, smooth swings. It helps transfer power to the shuttlecock, so the player does not have to exert too much effort for simple shots. However, it does not consistently deliver accurate placement or quick shots.
- A stiff shaft is ideal for advanced players, who play faster, more explosive shots. It also allows for perfect shot placement. However, you need good technique and more substantial swings to make the most of a stiff shaft.
The Tension of the Strings
String tension is one of the primary factors determining the racket’s quality and can influence your gameplay.
- Low tension (16-21 pounds) recommends for beginners and amateur players as it allows for powerful shots with little effort. However, the accuracy of the shot is not the best.
- High tension (22-32 pounds) recommends for intermediate and advanced players. It allows for extremely powerful and accurate shots when played by competent players. However, high-tension strings are less durable.
String tension also varies across the globe as temperature affects the string tension. Moreover, the sweet spot is a part of the stringed area, which generates the most potent shots and higher accuracy. The lower the tension, the larger the sweet spot, and vice versa.
The Shape of the Head
The frame’s shape also affects the sweet spot and your gameplay.
- Isometric heads are symmetrical, with more prominent sweet spots to produce more quality shots. As a result, this shape is better for beginners.
- Oval or conventional head has a smaller sweet spot. However, if the shuttle encounters the sweet spot, the resulting shot will be very powerful. Thus, this shape is better for upper-intermediate and advanced players.
What’s the Background of a Badminton Racket?
The original badminton racket featured a wooden frame, which was too heavy and not so flexible. As the game rose in popularity, the professional players opted for the lighter aluminum or steel rackets and later switched to even lighter frames made of carbon fiber composite.
What Are the Best Shuttlecocks Made Of?
Good quality shuttlecocks are made with goose feathers and used in professional tournaments. Duck feathers shuttlecocks are relatively cheaper but great for practice, while synthetic shuttlecocks are more durable and appropriate for beginners.
Badminton rackets are lightweight materials, including graphite or carbon fiber, aluminum, and rarely steel. The materials used to manufacture the rackets determine their quality and price. Thus, graphite rackets are considered superior to aluminum, while steel rackets are cheap and low-quality.
Moreover, nylon or natural animal gut is used for making strings, polyurethane is used for under-grip, and cotton is used for over-grip.