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Badminton is a racquet sport played by using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net.

The most common forms of the game are ‘singles’ and ‘doubles’. Singles is played with one player per side and doubles with two players per side. 

Badminton is often played as a casual outdoor activity in a yard or on a beach. Formal games are played on an indoor rectangular court. 

Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and landing it within the opposing side’s half of the court.

In the following article we will focus specifically on finding the best badminton racquet for intermediate player use. 

How Badminton was developed

The game was developed in British India from the earlier game of battledore and shuttlecock. 

European play came to be dominated by Denmark but the game has become very popular in Asia, with recent competitions dominated by China.

Since 1992 Badminton has been a Summer Olympic sport with four events. 

  • Men’s Singles
  • Women’s Singles
  • Men’s Doubles
  • Women’s Doubles 
  • Mixed Doubles (added in 1996)

Badminton and fitness

At high levels of play, badminton demands excellent fitness. Players require:

  • Aerobic stamina
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Precision

Badminton is a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements. 

To win in badminton, players need to employ a wide variety of strokes in the right situations. 

Deception is important. Expert players prepare for many different strokes that look identical and use slicing to deceive their opponents about the speed or direction of the stroke. 

If an opponent tries to anticipate the stroke, they may move in the wrong direction and may be unable to change their body momentum in time to reach the shuttlecock. 

Badminton vs. Tennis

Badminton is frequently compared to tennis. 

The differences are:

  • Scoring: In badminton, a match is played best of 2 of 3 games, with each game played up to 21 points. In tennis, a match is played best 3 of 5 sets, with each set consisting of 6 games. Each game ends when one player wins 4 points or wins 2 consecutive points at deuce. 
  • The shuttlecock can’t hit the floor in badminton. In tennis the ball may bounce once before the point ends. In badminton, the rally ends once the shuttlecock hits the floor. 
  • The serve: In badminton, a server has far less of an advantage and is unlikely to score an ace (a serve that isn’t returnable). In tennis, the serve is dominant to the point that the server is expected to win most of their service games. A break of serve, where a server loses the game, is very important in tennis. The server has one chance to serve in badminton. In tennis, the server is allowed two serves. 
  • Length of court: A tennis court is approximately twice the length and width of a badminton court. 
  • Racquets: Tennis racquets are about four times as heavy as badminton racquets, 10 to 12 ounces, versus 2-3 ounces. 
  • Balls: Tennis balls are more than eleven times heavier than shuttlecocks. 
  • Badminton and tennis techniques: Badminton and tennis techniques differ substantially.

The lightness of the shuttlecock and of badminton racquets allow badminton players to make use of the wrist and fingers much more than tennis players.

In tennis, the wrist is held stable.

Badminton players can generate power from a short racquet swing. Some strokes require a longer swing, but the badminton swing will rarely be as long as a typical tennis swing will be. 

Levels of play

Because our focus is on finding the right badminton racquet for intermediate players, we will explore what it means to be an intermediate level badminton player. 

As an intermediate badminton player, you hopefully have mastered the basic skills necessary in badminton. 

Moving on to an intermediate level means improving upon your basics and getting rid of any bad habits.

Badminton basics

Learning the basics correctly and not developing bad habits is crucial to becoming a professional or highly competitive recreational player. 

Some important Badminton basics include:

  • Gripping Techniques: Learning how to hold your racquet correctly is crucial for executing strong shots on both the forehand and backhand side-especially to your opponent’s baseline.
  •  Footwork: Great footwork allows for great movement on the court. Covering the court is necessary to return your opponent’s shots.
  • Basic Strokes: Strokes are simply the swing action used to hit the shuttle. 
  • Badminton Serve: A badminton rally starts with the serve. Learning the correct technique to deliver a good serve gives you an edge over your opponent from the start. 

To learn more about the badminton serve, take a quick look at this video!

  • Basic Stance: A good stance will set you up to defend and attack effectively during a game. Learning the offensive, defensive, and net stance are top priorities for a beginner player moving to an intermediate level. 

Intermediate level of play

In order to become an intermediate player you must master the basics and make them your habits.

 When you’re familiar with the basics, you can begin to move to the intermediate level and win rallies in an intermediate game. 

Intermediate Badminton shots include: 

  • Defensive high/clear lob: Lobbing is mainly used as a defensive shot. When you are out of position, hit the high clear lob to buy yourself some time to recover.
  • Drop Shots: A variation in your shots is a must in an intermediate game. Drop shots are perfect to set the pace of the rally.
  • Smashing: Rallies are often ended with the ‘put away’ shot of the smash. It is the most powerful shot in badminton.
  • Net Play: Dominating the front area of the court is important in your intermediate game. The net kill, net lift, and tumbling net shot are some of the most popular net shots in badminton. 

Best Badminton Racquet for Intermediate Player

There are a number of racquet options that may work well for use with intermediate players. It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product.

The following options may work well for use with intermediate players.

Yonex Badminton Racket Muscle Power Series with Full Cover High Tension Pre Strung Racquets

From the manufacturer: 

The muscle power of the YONEX frame is carefully crafted to ensure that maximum levels of repulsion power are reached. 

Muscle power locates the string on rounded archways that eliminates stress-load and fatigue through contact friction.

 The construction creates total unity of the string and frame through closer and tighter contact. 

Features and Details:

  • Shaft: graphite
  • Frame: graphite
  • Graphite shock-less system
  • String Tension: 23 lbs in horizontal, 24lbs in vertical
  • Muscle Power Series: Muscle Power 29 LITE

Other Important Features:

  • Composition: Aluminum 
  • Flexibility: Flex
  • Playing Level: Intermediate
  • Head Shape: Isometric

Pros and Cons of the YONEX muscle Power 200 include:

Pros:

  • Great for an intermediate player and a “smasher” player
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Long shaft helps reduce impact
  • Weight and balance is good for a power player

Con:

  • Slight heaviness to the racquet, but as long as you make adjustments for net and drop shots, you can obtain great control.

View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your needs.

Senston N80 Graphite Single High-Grade Badminton Racquet, Professional Carbon Fiber Badminton Racket, Carrying Bag Included

 From the Manufacturer: 

  • Built-in T-Joint inside: The built-in T-connector uses a new type of lightweight plastic made of special-epoxy resin. The lightweight resin joint makes the frame more stable and powerful. 
  • ISO square-frame racquet with high-tech frame design: The isometric square head shape has larger ‘sweet spot’ and an improved hit rate. This increases the effective range. 

The isometric square head shape frame structure and nanometer material enable the racquet to endure high pounds strung-which can reach 30 pounds.

  • Unique pyramid frame rim design: This unique design accords with air mechanics to minimize the resistance to the swing, allowing a player to be faster with badminton hitting speed. 

Features and details:

  • Frame-material: Graphite
  • Shaft material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Wooden (A wooden handle makes the racquets shock absorption better)
  • Mixed string tension: 28 lbs
  • Non-slip handle grip improves comfort and will not slide easily. (Grip Size: 4 ½ inches) 
  • 100% full carbon fiber materials-this lightweight feature makes for less shoulder/arm pain. 

Carbon fiber materials also enhance the strength of the racquet reducing the risk of frame deformation.

View at Amazon for more information on how this racquet might work for use with an intermediate badminton player.

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com @jarih

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