Badminton Racket : What is it?
Badminton rackets are lightweight rackets used to hit shuttlecocks in badminton. They consist of a grip handle, a long shaft, and a round frame, with strings of catgut stretched over it to form a stiff net. Some rackets also have a throat, a curved or triangular section connecting the head to the shaft. Early badminton rackets were made of wood, but lighter materials such as titanium and carbon fiber have largely replaced them.
An important feature in badminton rackets is the sweet spot. This is a particular spot on the stringed area which delivers the most impact to the ball when hit. The location of the sweet spot varies depending on the shape and weight of the racket, and it takes most players several months of use to find and control a racket's sweet spot. Common locations for the sweet spot are the middle of the stringed area, near the top of the head.
The International Badminton Federation requires that badminton rackets not exceed 27.2 inches in overall length, of which 11.2 inches are occupied by the head. Its widest point, the middle part of the head, should be at most 9.2 inches across.
Kinds of Badminton Rackets include the following:
Isometric badminton rackets
Isometric rackets have square heads, with slightly rounded edges and corners. The top of the head is flat, following a low, wide arc. This structure gives it a larger sweet spot, making it easier to deliver forceful hits. The strings tend to lose tension more quickly in isometric frames than round frames.
Conventional badminton rackets
Conventional rackets have rounded or oval heads, with a wider top curve that is almost circular. They have a smaller sweet spot, but when found, they deliver more force than the sweet spot on isometric heads. They are the most common type of racket and are used in most professional games.
String tension. Choose a badminton racket with the right stiffness on the stringed area. The strings should not be stretched too tight or too loose – both will reduce the power of your hits. Usually, the more tension there is in the strings, the more likely they are to snap. On the other hand, loose strings have little impact on the shuttlecock and you will need more force to drive it over the net.
Balance point. The balance point refers to the amount of weight on the tip of the racket. The balance point must be in proportion with the weight of the racket. Lighter rackets need a balance point of 275 to 280 millimeters, while heavier ones work best with balance points of 285 to 290 millimeters.
Frame shock. Rackets normally vibrate upon hitting the shuttlecock, which is fine for casual games. For professional games where the shots are more forceful, frame shock must be minimized, because it weakens the racket and the vibration can be uncomfortable to some players. Look for rackets with a grommet stripe at the top of the frame, which adds weight and absorbs much of the shock.
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