Looks easy, right? You tap the feather-light birdie with precision, it sails across the net and before you know it, you’re racking up badminton points. Not so fast, casual observer! This is no lightweight athletic pursuit as has been proven by amateurs and professionals alike on lawns and courts at matches and competitions around the world. True, tennis gets the lion’s share of media attention (can you think of a single badminton champion who wound up on a cereal box?) but badminton is enjoying a Renaissance these days, appealing to folks looking for both fun and fitness.
We have compiled a list of top 5 best badminton rackets for beginners in 2017. So you can have a look at the best and choose the one which fits you best.
Best Badminton Racket For Beginners 2017
|Yonex Nanoray 10F 2016|
|G4||80-85||NanoMesh, Carbon Graphite, and Carbon Nanotube|
|Yonex 2016 Nanoray 20||G5||88||Graphite, Nanomesh + Carbon Nanotube|
|Yonex Voltric 2017 7 NEO/5FX/Lite||G5||80-84.9||Graphite|
|Yonex Muscle Power 3||4||90-94||Carbon Graphite|
|Senston 2 Player badminton racket set||85||Graphite|
Yonex Nanoray 10F 2016 – The Best Badminton Racket For Beginners And Intermediate Players
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: In this case, it’s a pink one so if you’re a beginning badminton player who is turned off by the color pink, moving on to our second pick will winnow down your choices if you have a hard time making decisions anyway. The Yonex brand happens to dominate the badminton racket market, so if you’re a fan, you’ll like everything the Japanese company makes and if you’re not, the Nanoray 10F has other features to recommend it.
Yonex 2016 Nanoray 20 – The Best Yonex Badminton Racket For Beginners
When Yonex brought the Nanoray 20 to market in 2016, brand loyalists were thrilled. The new Aero Frame is adroit at delivering a fast, controlled swing with enhanced repulsion—and engineers insist that this unique racket is designed for players who are adroit at forcing opponents to the back of the court to deal with the extreme speed at which the shuttlecock is delivered using this racket.
Yonex Voltric 2017 7 NEO/5FX/Lite badminton racket – Good Product For The Developing Player
If nothing but the latest and greatest version of any product will do, you’re going to find yourself leaning toward the 7 Neo 5FX for myriad reasons. First, there’s the familiar brand name. Next, there’s the new age material that is enough to excite anyone impressed by graphite and tungsten. This beginner’s racket makes a great training tool because the Tri-Voltage system frame is solid with a space-age feel and you get a free racket cover to protect it from the elements. The grip is rated a “4.” Further, racket reviewers have begun to place this racket at the top of their best buy lists in the short time it has been available.
Yonex Muscle Power 3 – The Best Badminton Racket For Advanced Players
We feel the need to warn you that there’s so much to love being spread around the badminton community about this new racket, you may wind up buying two of them. Though the Yonex Muscle Power 3 comes in a cheery red, it offers you a medium frame weight of from 90-to-94 grams, the balance is even and the racket is of ample length at 27-inches. The aluminum frame is laced with BG3 string and the grip is fashioned of graphite, rated a “4” and there’s a head cover included with each purchase.
Senston 2 Player badminton racket set with bag – Perfect Beginner Budget Choice
Are you surprised to see a new brand on a list that is dominated by industry stalwart Yonex? Don’t be. Competition has been getting stronger since more players have learned the ropes of this game and found it more amenable to their sensibilities over a game of tennis any day of the week. Senston has rolled out some big guns to convince players that there’s a new kid in town. Materials used for all of the badminton rackets produced by Senston are either carbon aluminum composite or carbon fiber and little touches like resin t-joints separate this racket set from competitors.
A surprisingly long history
If you were competing in a trivia contest and had to produce an answer, what’s your educated guess about how the sport of badminton came to be invented? If you think it got its start so early, the earliest ancestors of Lord Grantham on Downton Abbey played it, you would be in good company. In fact, the roots of badminton stretch back 2,000 years. Versions of it called shuttlecock and battledore were played in India, Greece and China.
As a matter of fact, India tends to get most of the credit when the evolution of badminton is discussed. Today’s version of this court game got its name from a sprawling residence called Badminton House located in Gloucestershire, England. The estate was home to the Duke of Beaufort who, rumor has it, became obsessed with the game of Poona while serving in India. He brought it home to his estate around 1873, renamed it and the rest is history.
Badminton fights for acceptance on the world stage
How does a game go from being the number one activity on a lavish British estate to a sport played ’round the world? Word of mouth. The Duke’s guests returned from holidays at Badminton House to tell friends about an activity that resembled tennis, but had its own set of rules. Those rules and regulations were drafted by the Duke and remain the core of today’s competitions. As a matter of fact, his estate remained an epicenter of information about the game and in 1934, became the headquarters of the International Badminton Federation (IBF).
Badminton became popular for any number of reasons and while its popularity has ebbed and flowed over time, in the tradition of “everything old is new again,” badminton has again become popular. Attesting to this evolution is the rise of membership in the IBF that began with just a handful of nations–namely Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands and New Zealand plus the British Isles. The U.S. didn’t join the Federation until 1938, but to many, the game wasn’t legitimized until it was named an official Olympic sport at the Barcelona games of 1992.
How the game is played
As a beginner, you may nor may not have been given the badminton rules of the road, so allow us to condense them for you so you’re as informed as a newbie can be. You’ll report to a rectangular court that features a net at the center and is surrounded by sidelines and boundaries that are determined by whether you’re competing in a singles or doubles match. That net is 5-feet-high in regulation play. The server(s) winning the coin toss stands at the service line, lobs the shuttlecock diagonally at the opposition and the competition begins.
Unlike tennis, serves must hit below waist height. The game progresses until one player achieves 21 points. The grand winner of the competition is the player whose skill is so commanding, he or she wins the best of three games. There are circumstances under which a rally can be halted with no score penalty because a player violated a rule. This game demands study and practice if one is to become proficient.
The deception factor
Thinking back to the Duke’s initial invention of the game of badminton in the 1870s, it’s easy to imagine ladies in long white dresses and gentlemen in sports attire of the day exhibiting the utmost courtesy on the court while obeying every rule set down. So how did it happen that badminton came to encourage deception as part of its strategies? Deception moves are expected, clever, artful and take time to master, but if you’re going to play like a champ, be prepared to add a few deceptive moves to your game.
It’s all on the up-and-up because in this case, deception has nothing to do with cheating. You simply learn to move at opportune times that trip up your competitor so he has no clue that he’s literally being “played.” Expect your opponent’s skill at detecting deceptive moves and making plenty of his own to be part of your game. Perhaps he has mastered slicing, a shortened hitting technique or become adroit at delivering a clever cross-court sliced drop shot. The more you play, the more you’ll identify and master deception. After all, these moves are legitimate aspects of the game.
What a racket! Three tips to help you select the right one
If someone with a great working knowledge of how to shop for a badminton racket happens to be part of your crowd, you can skip this section and go straight for our reviews. If not, keep this checklist in mind (or print it and take it with you) when you hit your local sporting goods stores or browse cyberspace.
Tip #1: Weigh in. Beginners are advised to choose a lightweight racket that weighs between 85g and 90g because this weight is easy to control during the learning phase, contributing to stroking speed and fast recovery. A lightweight racket in the hands of a beginner also helps offset the wrist and shoulder aches that tend to come with learning a new sport and you could even reduce your injury risk by staying within this range.
Tip #2: Test a racket’s string tension by pressing your palm against the mesh to see how far your hand sinks. Experts say that this sinking factor should be almost imperceptible (1mm), though if you are a powerhouse with a racket and hit hard, you may need tighter string. Have your racket tension strung to 22- to 23-pounds by a professional. Did you know that badminton racket tension can change subtly as a result of temperature fluctuations? You may require tighter tension in Miami than you would in Minneapolis to compensate for the heat differential.
Tip #3: Get a grip. Choose between synthetic and towel hand grips understanding that no matter which you prefer, you’ll have to deal with germs and bacteria unless you’ve figured out a way to stop sweating when you’re active. Towel grips feel most comfy but require frequent replacement due to the sweat factor. And yes, size matters. Racket grips are rank ordered from 1 to 4. Big grips deliver more power while smaller ones improve maneuverability. Coaches usually recommend beginners start with a “4.”
The future of badminton
According to the “Orlando Sentinel” newspaper, badminton is the fastest growing sport in Florida thanks to an active population of seniors, the ability to set up a game quickly, and since there’s no contact going on between players, there’s no danger of concussions and injuries that beset players who take up other court sports.
But it’s not just Florida that’s caught the bug. Badminton has become a worldwide phenomenon courtesy of companies like Yonex USA who are investing big bucks in tournaments and events that promote both the brand and the sport. This is big business. The Korea Open offers a $1.2 million purse to the winner of their competition and when Yonex staged its first US-based international badminton tournament in 2013, 140 players from 26 countries showed up to compete. That number has grown.
Not so fast, badminton fanatics
There’s a new kid in town, says NBC-TV Sports reporter Mark Potter, and that new kid is quickly cannibalizing the badminton crowd. The game he refers to is called pickleball and according to those who track the evolution and popularity of court sports, it’s on a trajectory to overtake badminton in the near future.
Pickleball was invented in Seattle around 50 years ago, but like the original game of badminton, it took time to build a reputation. Watch a match and you’ll quickly notice that pickleball “borrows” from tennis, badminton and ping-pong to create a fierce, competitive court sport that’s as popular with the 70-something crowd as it is with kids. Why mention this? Because you’ll need a badminton racket to play the game that was named for the inventor’s dog, Pickles!