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When you’re picking a badminton racket, one of the first things you’ll be asked is to decide what weight you want your badminton racket to be.
There are three main weights: heavy, even, and light.
You can compare heavy vs. light badminton racket options, but the best one for you will vary depending on your needs.
Even vs. heavy vs. light Badminton racket
The most important thing is to understand the difference between these rackets.
The designs don’t just refer to the weight of a racket.
Instead, they refer to how balanced the head is when compared to the shaft.
Heavy rackets have a heavy head. Light rackets have a comparatively lighter head.
Even-balanced rackets, as the name implies, strike a relatively even balance between the two.
Heavy badminton rackets might have the same mass as their light counterparts.
But the mass has been shifted toward the head, causing the head to feel heavier than the shaft.
The most popular reason to use a heavy racket is if you want to play a powerful game.
Players who prefer heavy rackets tend to do most of their playing from the back half of the court, so the heavier head allows them to generate more power and distance.
The heavier the head, the more power a person will have in their smashes and clears.
With a light racket, the mass has been concentrated in the shaft. This makes the racket head comparatively lighter.
The design is most popular for club badminton players, since a lighter head is easier to swing and manipulate.
Light rackets are ideal for people who want to play fast games. Since the extra weight doesn’t hinder you, you can react quickly to your opponent and return a smash.
This type of racket works best if you’re playing shots close to the net, rather than generating power from far away.
A balanced racket is designed with evenly distributed mass through the entire racket.
The goal is to compromise so that players can generate power while still being quick and agile.
This racket won’t be quite as easy to wield as a light racket or as powerful as a heavy racket, but it helps to bridge the gap between them.
This is a popular choice for players who have an extremely versatile playing style.
It’s also ideal for players who are still getting used to badminton and might not yet know what their preferred play style is.
For beginners, using an even racket is the easiest way to develop an all-around versatility.
You get to practice techniques for both power and agility.
How to determine the balance of a racket
You might not be sure what type of racket your racket is just by holding it.
That goes especially for newer badminton players who aren’t familiar with the different racket types.
To find out whether a racket is heavy, light, or evenly balanced, the quickest test is to balance it on your finger.
Run your finger along the shaft until you find the place where the racket balances perfectly.
These are the potential results:
- In the exact center of the shaft, you have a balanced racket
- Closer to the head than the end of the shaft, you have a heavy racket
- Closer to the end of the handle than the head, you have a light racket
Overall racket weight
By this point, you probably have a sense of whether you need a heavy, light, or balanced racket.
But how much should the entire racket weigh?
Heavy and light designs might weigh exactly the same when laid on a scale.
The only difference is the way the weight balances in your hand.
So you have to give consideration to the overall weight of your racket.
Do you want a more lightweight racket, or do you want something heavier?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
What weight classes mean
Usually, the letter U will be used to note the weight of a racket.
Some manufacturers might use slightly different weight scales, so it’s important to double-check the weight conversion chart before you make a purchase.
But as a general rule, small numbers mean that the racket is heavier.
Here’s a typical scale:
- 1U (heaviest): 95 to 100 grams
- 2U: 90 to 94 grams
- 3U: 85 to 89 grams
- 4U (lightest): 80 to 84 grams
The majority of badminton rackets are somewhere in this range of 80 to 100 grams.
Picking the ideal weight badminton racket
There are a few factors that influence the weight that’s best for you. One of the biggest is your skill level.
The more advanced you are, the easier it will be to control a heavier racket.
Many experts recommend using lightweight rackets if you’re just getting started.
This serves two purposes: It keeps your arm from getting tired or suffering an overuse injury, and it gives you a racket that’s easy to control.
Lightweight beginner’s rackets tend to be anywhere from 85 to 90 grams.
With a lightweight racket, you can serve quickly, switch between your strokes, and recover more quickly than with a heavier racket.
These rackets are easier for both your shoulders and your wrists, so they might be ideal if you’re at risk of injury.
Another factor that comes into play is whether you’re playing a singles or doubles match.
Singles matches require more control and stability.
A singles player is responsible for everything that happens on their side of the net.
Because of this, heavier rackets tend to serve single players best, although the heaviest rackets should be avoided if you’re prone to injury.
Doubles players are more likely to use 4U rackets and other lightweight designs.
An important aspect of doubles play is working as a team to react quickly to your opponents, so the speed of this racket helps.
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