The first early rackets for playing archetypes of the game later known as badminton were made entirely of wood. Later the club head was covered with leather. In the 16th century, tennis rackets, which are closely related to badminton rackets, also had elastic gut strings. Gut stringed wooden rackets were also used in the first official badminton competitions at the end of the 19th century. This combination of materials was used until after the Second World War . Steel shafts were used for the first time in the early 1960s, followed by club heads made of aluminum and models with shaft and head made entirely of this material at the end of the 1960s, with the shaft and head connected by a T-piece. Rackets constructed in this way weighed about 120 grams. In today's models, the shaft and club head are made from one piece. The material is carbon with up to 3% high content of titanium , boron and / or kevlar , which influence both the strength and the weight . The weight of the top models is between 70 and 80 grams.
The stiffer the frame, the more precisely you can play with the racket. However, good striking technique is required, since if the ball is not hit precisely, vibrations occur which are conducted through the stiff frame and can lead to the tennis elbow especially in connection with an unfavorable striking technique . The more flexible the frame, the less precise the hard hit, but the more arm-friendly the racket is during normal play. It is also cheaper for children, women and beginners to choose a more flexible frame, otherwise the range will decrease. Advanced players have no problems with the hardness and distance of the stroke and therefore usually choose the more precise, more inflexible device.
To improve the grip and further avoid the transmission of vibrations to the striking arm, an additional grip tape is usually used.
The manufacturers offer different types of strings for covering. In the beginner area, rackets are mainly strung with simple but inexpensive synthetic strings. Advanced and professional players tend to use multi-braided synthetic strings, which offer better ball control and longer durability. Natural gut strings are also rarely found. Depending on the type of player, badminton rackets can be stringed with different levels of hardness (tensile load approx. 7–13 kg, for professional badminton players up to 16.5 kg). In contrast to the tennis racket, the cross strings of a badminton racket are usually 0.5–1 kg harder than the main strings.
The rule of thumb here is that weaker players should use a softer covering in order to use the trampoline effect for a higher degree of hardness and distance. Advanced players generally choose a harder covering. The harder the covering, the smaller the area with which the ball can be played back well ( sweet spot ), but the more precisely the ball can be placed.
The dimensions of a badminton racket have been clearly specified in the official rules of the game for badminton since 1984. The racket frame must not exceed 680 mm in its entire length and 230 mm in its entire width. The racket must be free of any attached or protruding objects. He must also be free of any device that enables a player to change the shape of the club. The strings of the racket must be flat, uniform and consist of a pattern of crossing strings. The stringing must not exceed 280 mm in the entire length and 220 mm in the entire width. However, the stringing may be extended to the neck of the racket, provided that the additional stringing does not exceed a width of 35 mm and the total length of the string does not exceed 330 mm.
An important differentiator between the badminton racket types is the different balance . There are top-heavy, head-heavy and balanced badminton rackets. This means that the racket types differ in a different position of their center of gravity .
The center of gravity of a club can be determined, for example, by letting it balance on an outstretched finger. When the club is in balance , the center of gravity is right above the finger.
Top heavy thugs
A top-heavy club is when the center of gravity of the club is close to the club head. Top-heavy rackets are particularly suitable for offensive play, for example with slamming balls, as the racket head has more mass and thus a higher penetration power. As a result, the ball experiences high acceleration and there is enough time for the backward movement when striking.
With head-heavy clubs the center of gravity is close to the handle. This type of badminton racket is more preferred for defensive play because the racket head can move much faster and head-heavy rackets are easier to handle than top-heavy rackets.
Well balanced rackets
A well-balanced racket combines the advantages of a head-heavy and head-heavy racket. Its center of gravity is in the middle of the racket. Balanced rackets are universally applicable and are therefore particularly popular with beginners.