I love playing Badminton! I currently play every week as part of a sports club at my work place. In order to help newbies and for current players to improve their skill, we are also going to take badminton coaching sessions. It is so easy to pick up bad habits and adopt dodgy techniques so it is definitely beneficial to gain tips from the experts. In turn this will improve the games we play and give players more sense of achievement as they will see their game play improve dramatically.

If you want to get involved and play Badminton, courts are readily available in your local schools, colleges or sports centres. Playing Badminton does not break the bank either. On average a court could cost about ¬£10 (about $15) and if you’re playing doubles this obviously works out to be only ¬£2.50 (about $4) per player. Of course, as an additional cost you have to buy rackets and shuttlecocks but these do not have to cost that much. The best thing to do is set a budget and stick to it.

Badminton rackets

They have all have the same basic parts such as the handle, the shaft and the head. What they are made of differs; generally they are made of steel and aluminium, the lighter the racquet the better. Over the years the weight of a racket has reduced and you can now find top of the range rackets that weigh as little as 70 grams. Most rackets are 80-100 grams. They are made of carbon fibre composite. Carbon fibre is stiff and offers very good movement. Before carbon fibre, rackets were made of wood, can you imagine the weight of those!

Head-heavy rackets versus light-heavy rackets

You can get more power out of a head-heavy rackets in comparison to a head-light racket when smashing. However, the speed of the shuttlecock correlates to the racket swing speed. Some people find that they can produce faster smashes with a head-light racket than a head-heavy racket. However, smash power also depends on a number of other factor including the strength of your wrist, your technique, racket stiffness and the aerodynamics,the racket string type and string tension. I don’t want to get too technical here but don’t rush out and buy a head heavy racket as it will not improve your smashing speed and power dramatically. If you’re strong enough to use the shaft on a head-light racquet it would benefit you more since a head-light racket also helps during defence.

In your local sports centre or college where you can hire badminton courts, you may also be able to hire rackets. Therefore, you can try out different ones to find out which one works best for you before buying one.

Badminton shuttlecocks (shuttles for short)

Plastic or feather

If you are a beginner, I would go for the plastic ones, they last a lot longer. I would recommend the Yonex Mavis shuttles. The feathered ones are very good; they are normally used by professionals.

Choosing speeds for nylon or plastic skirt shuttles

Fast speed – shuttle has a red strip cap on the cap for playing in cold conditions.

Medium speed – shuttle has a blue strip on the cap for playing in Normal conditions

Slow speed – shuttle has a green strip on the cap for playing in warm conditions

Cork or Rubber

I would go for the cork ones, the rubber ones are heavier and this affects the flight of the shuttle.

Enjoy your Badminton!

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