The indispensable equipments for badminton are racket and shuttlecock. Sometimes beginners spend much on racket, thinking they can play well if their materials are expensive. In fact, the equipments that need to be well made are shoes, string, grip, racket, and at last but not least, clothing.
Here are some of the tips that players need to consider in choosing those equipment.
- 1 How to Choose Shuttlecock or Birdie
- 2 How to Choose Badminton Racket
- 3 How to Choose Shoes
- 4 How to Choose Grip Tape
- 5 How to Choose Badminton String
- 6 How to Choose Badminton Set
- 7 How to Choose Clothing
How to Choose Shuttlecock or Birdie
If you are a beginner or just want to play recreationally, you can start from plastic/nylon shuttlecock. It will save you more money because it is 2 to 4 times more durable than feather shuttlecock.
The recommended brand sfor nylon shuttlecock are :
Yonex Marvis 350 or higher quality Yonex Marvis 2000. There is a model called Ashaway Bird 2 that many people say that it is the best for nylon shuttlecock. People say Ashaway Bird 2 is almost similar to feather shuttlecock. Unfortunately it is quite difficult to get.
The feel of hitting the nylon shuttlecock will differ much from hitting feather shuttlecock. The flight and feel of nylon shuttlecock is different from feather shuttlecock.
If you want to play in real sport or competition, train with feather shuttlecock. It is different.
There are various speed of nylon shuttlecock to choose from according to temperature and your altitude.
Speed level for Yonex nylon shuttlecock:
- Green Label has slow speed level for use in 22-32 Celsius 71.6 – 89.6 Fahrenheit
- Blue Label has medium speed level for use in 12-23 Celsius 53.6- 73.4 Fahrenheit
- Red Label has fast speed level for use in 0- 13 Celsius or 32- 55.4 Fahrenheit
Feather shuttlecock come in two materials, duck feather or goose feather. Goose feather has better quality.
The best shuttlecock according to many player is Yonex Aerosense 50 but it can cost US$ 30 for a tube of 12 pcs.
Good brands of shuttlecock are Yonex, Victor, Aerosense, RCL, Lining, RSL, Protech, and Youhe.
You can look at the list below for badminton shuttlecocks that are approved in international tournament. This is the Badminton World Federetion approved list of shuttlecock as of 2015.
- PROTECH MASTERPIECE
- BABOLAT TOUR COMPETITION
- RSL Classic Tourney
- CARLTON GT1
- FLEET NO. 2002
- FZ FORZA VIP
- JINQUE AAA
- LI-NING A+600 INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT
- YOUHE S100
- YANG YANG 300B TOURNAMENT GRADE
- SNOWPEAK SUPERIOR SP101
- VICTOR MASTER ACE
- WILSON TOUR 100 FOR TOURNAMENT GRADE
- YONEX AEROSENSA 40 AS-40
- YONEX AEROSENSA 50 AS-50
- YONEX TOURNAMENT F-90
- YONEX SHUTTLECOCK AEROCLUB 33 (ACB-33)
Badminton Feather Shuttlecock Speed
There is speed-type shuttlecock that determines how far and fast the shuttlecock will travel. Shuttlecock speeds is to be chosen differently for each season and region of play. For example, shuttles with Speed 76 are used in China during the summer and 77 during the winter months. Speed 76 or 77 for Singapore. Speed 77 or 78 for United States.
|1||48||75||slow, for use in highland|
|2||49||76||slow, medium slow, for use in hotter area|
|3||50||77||slow, medium, most sea level area|
|4||51||78||slow, medium fast, cold area|
|5||52||79||slow, fast, cold area, below sea level|
Yonex has chart for their shuttlecock choices. It is according to the temperature.
How to Increase the Durability of Shuttlecock
In order to save the durability of shuttlecock, steam the shuttlecock 1-2 days prior to using it. Or you can try to put it in your shower room when you use hot water so it get the moisture from the steam. But don’t wet it.
How to Choose Badminton Racket
The biggest factor when deciding which racket to use is your playing style and experience.
There are rackets that excel for offense but on the other hand are not very fast in defense. Some rackets are good for defense but not good for attack. It is a trade-off.
For beginners and recreational playing, choose any cheap decent badminton racket. You could buy other brands than Yonex like Apacs or Victor because usually you need to pay more for Yonex low-end racket than if you buy others decent brands of the same quality.
I cannot give any recommendation because the availability of the racket and pricing is different in each country..
Brands for rackets include Yonex, Apacs, Victor, Lining, RSL, etc
You will need to understand the terminology to understand which racket is best suited for you.
It is the weight of the racket denoted by U. Bigger number means lighter weight.
U = 95-100g, 2U = 90-94g, 3U = 85-89g, 4U = 80-84g
For beginner, use light racket.
Lightest racket is not equivalent to best racket. Lighter racket gives more maneuverability and faster swing. On the other hand, heavier racket gives more stability and more power in shooting.
Stiff or flexible. It determines how flexible the shaft when you swing the racket. For beginner with slow swing speed, use flexible shaft. As you becomes more experienced and stronger, your swing will be faster. At that time, you could use stiffer shaft racket.
Flexible shaft racket is not suitable for short and explosive swing . Flexible shaft needs time to flex first, so when you swing it fast with short swing, the shaft will not react in time to transfer the energy. Using flexible shaft racket with short and explosive swing will make you miss the shuttlecock and result in lack of shooting power .
Stiff shaft racket is suited for short and explosive swing.
Oval or Isometric Head
Oval is the traditional head shape. Oval rackets have a small but more concentrated sweet spot.
The isometric head has a wider and more squared top half of the racket head. It has a larger sweet spot so easier to hit the shuttlecock.
The point on the racket’s shaft where it can be balanced, is measured from the end of the handle to the balance point. Head-heavy means, it is heavier in the head side. Head-light means it is heavier in the handle side.
Use head-light racket for defensive style especially when playing around the net in double play. Head-light racket is better in maneuverability so it is better when you need to react quickly.
A head-heavy racket is suited for attack style players looking for extra power on their shots.
How to Choose Shoes
Shoes is the most important equipment in playing badminton. You can have a bad racket to play but later you can change it. You need a good shoes from the start to prevent you from injury and give your knees and ankle better support. You can buy racket with money but you can’t buy your health with money. Running shoes is not suitable for playing.
The best brands for shoes are Victor and Yonex. Recently, there are many good reviews for Victor badminton shoes. Choose their badminton shoes or other brands according to your budget.
You can put additional insole in your shoes for additional support. Many people give good reviews for Spenco Total Support insole, available in thin, original, and max.
How to Choose Grip Tape
Grip tape is important because your hand will always be in contact with the grip tape when holding the racket. Grip tape is to absorb the shock in the hand and to absorb the sweat keeping your hand dry.
Choose the grip tape according to your preference. Things to keep in mind, grip size will change with grip tape that you choose.
There are towel type and synthetic type grip. Towel type is better in absorbing sweat but more prone to germ. Synthetic type is not germ-prone but not as good as towel type in absorbing sweat. Choose according to your preference.
How to Choose Badminton String
Choose good brands. Good brands for string are Ashaway, Gosen, Mizuno, Yonex.
Use proper tension according to your skill level. Higher tension reward strong hit with stronger power, but power of lighter hit will decrease. Lower tension reward light hit but not as good for strong hit .
Here is the recommended tension for string according to skill level.
- Beginners: 19-20lbs
- Intermediate players: 21-24lbs
- Advance players: 25+ lbs.
How to Choose Badminton Set
Badminton set is available for recreational play because it is cheaper. Usually the set includes two badminton rackets, and a shuttlecock. It is suitable for people that just want to play for fun and never want to play it competitively.
Usually it is very cheap so the quality of the racket and shuttlecock is not suitable for competitive play. You can find it in many places. Yonex sells some badminton set too. You can save money using the set if you just want to play for fun.
Use light and nonrestrictive clothing. Clothing that restricts your hand movement is not suitable for playing. Shorts is the preference for players because it allows easier feet movement.
Playing badminton will make you sweat a lot so use clothing that suitable for sweat.
Just keep that things in your mind when choosing your clothing.
Those are tips to guide you when choosing your equipments. Although equipment is important, your playing skill is the most important things to improve.