Badminton is a sport played all around the world. It is a ball sport that requires mind and body coordination. A good badminton player needs to be careful of his or her health, fitness, diet and most importantly; the equipment he or she uses. The perfect badminton racket is the key to becoming a great player. Your racket is an extra limb during a badminton match. It should be robust, durable and easy to maneuver.
To select the best racket for yourself, you must understand the material it is made from. Each material has its benefits and disadvantages. We have listed down the best materials out of which badminton rackets are made from so that you can choose and make an informed decision.
Various physical features
Before deciding on the material, you must understand what physical features help in making up an excellent badminton racket. The following features will help you figure out what material works best for you:
The stiffness of the shaft of a badminton racket determines the momentum of the shuttlecocks. The higher the value of the stiffness, the more flexible the shaft is. Since the flexibility of the staff changes the momentum and hence the speed of the shuttlecock; stiff and flexible staffs are used for offensive playing styles where the shuttlecocks are used for power smashes. On the other hand, using a very flexible shaft might lead to poor angle control and may not be suitable for drops near the net.
Your racket should be made of a material that can withstand power smashes and should not bend or deform when exposed to high-speed shuttlecocks. The strength of the material must be high enough to withstand momentum.
Shock absorption is critical to determining the quality of a racket. Rackets with low shock absorption tend to get deformed or bent while playing. It is not only detrimental to the game but can also severely damage the player’s wrist. The material should ideally absorb shock and retain its physical form so that gameplay is unaffected and so is the arm of the player.
There are two parts in a racket whose material you should be careful about the strings and the frame. Let’s first discuss the different kinds of materials strings are made out of.
Badminton rackets come with strings made out of nylon. Nylon is a commonly available cheap material. It is strong enough to play high momentum shots with, but it depends on the gauge number of each string. Thick strings with a lower gauge value will help you establish control over the racket, but it will compromise power. Thin strings with a high gauge value will help you gain a higher amount of momentum, leading to power shots but they will wear out or deform very soon.
Natural Animal Gut:
Strings made out of animal guts are expensive but offer excellent control and shock absorption. They are comfortable to use and also beneficial for your arm. Animal gut strings are however not very durable and will not last a long time.
The material of the entire frame of the badminton comes next when choosing the perfect badminton racket. The list below analyses each material and its strengths and weaknesses.
Rackets made of wood are generally of poor quality as the racket is too heavy to maneuver efficiently. Power shots are close to impossible using wooden rackets, and these rackets also have a high manufacturing cost. Therefore, wooden rackets are hardly used by badminton players.
Badminton rackets manufactured out of steel are lightweight, economical and durable, but they do not provide any flexibility, and neither are they shock absorbent. Professional players don’t recommend steel. However, many casual players use this material to have fun with the game.
Graphite or Carbon fiber:
Manufacturers around the globe use carbon or graphite frequently for badminton rackets. Many players prefer this material for their rackets. It has a high value of strength but is extremely lightweight. A variation of this called the High Modulus Graphite has higher strength as compared to other materials. It offers a high value of stiffness making it flexible, and moderate shock absorption abilities. Almost all badminton players own a racket made out of High modulus graphite or carbon fiber.
Rackets made of aluminum are incredibly lightweight and flexible but have lower strength and hardly absorb any shock. They are cheap to manufacture, and many manufacturers use it to produce the rackets for players who are just beginning their badminton careers.
Titanium is a reasonably new material for making badminton rackets. However, it does make the rackets highly efficient. It is light as a feather, does not bend or experience torsion and helps the player play very quick shots. It is also highly durable and will last several years easily.
Another recent discovery is Kevlar, and recently the manufacturers have started using it for producing badminton rackets. Kevlar was quite common in armor and weapon making, especially in the manufacturing of bulletproof vests. Badminton rackets that feature Kevlar maybe a bit expensive but they provide excellent maneuverability, are incredibly lightweight, shock absorbent and flexible. Their flexibility allows you to make a series of power smashes without any torsion or deformation. Many professional players use Kevlar rackets to enhance their game.
Buying the perfect racket for yourself is crucial if you are a badminton player. The material of your racket affects the techniques you play with and the quality of your game. The quality of a racket depends on many other things apart from the material of strings and frame. It depends on the weave of the strings, the length of the racket, the shape of the frame and the tension among the strings themselves.
After selecting the material that suits your requirements, you must also thoroughly research and decide all the other components and features that make up a badminton racket. We hope that this article provided you with the knowledge you needed to select a material. If you found this information beneficial, do share it with your fellow players and friends so that they too can buy the correct badminton racket and improve their gameplay.