If you are a badminton beginner or even if you are moving through the ranks and turning into an intermediate player, there is always that possibility you need advice on which racket to go for – a head heavy or a head light one.
In the article below, we will look at what these two types of rackets are – along with what an even-balance badminton racket is – before delving deep into the pros and cons of these.
Typically speaking, advanced and professional badminton players do not have a lot of trouble recognizing what the racket type is because they have gone through the grind and analyzed a plethora of rackets, either consciously or subconsciously.
Beginners and on most occasions, intermediate players are still on their way to picking up these skills and are some way away from understanding this implicitly. Which is why it’s necessary for such players to take a close look at the manufacturer’s specifications or play with the racket for a bit to understand how it feels.
So what’s a head heavy and a head light badminton racket? To put it very simply, a badminton racket whose weight is concentrated towards its handle is a head light racket while that which has its weight focused towards the head is a head heavy racket.
The third type of a badminton is the even balanced one in which the weight is evenly distributed across the head and handle.
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Technical Difference Between Head Heavy & Head Light Rackets
While the above definitions gives us a fair idea about it, we also need to look at what does that mean on a technical basis.
Standard adult badminton rackets have a typical length of 665-680 mm. Let’s assume, for the sake of this discussion, a badminton racket is 675 mm long.
So a head heavy racket which measures about 675 mm is one which balances at more than 295 mm from the base of the racket, while a head light racket is one that balances at 285 mm or lower from the base. A racket which balances between 285 mm and 295 mm is a even-balanced racket.
The aforementioned is a guide rather than a hard and fast rule because factors like the material used in making the racket can also make a difference to this definition.
Now that you understand what the different types of badminton rackets are, we will take a look at what are the pros and cons associated with both, based on which one can take a decision about which one to use.
Pros & Cons of a Head Heavy Racket
Pros of a Head Heavy Badminton Racket
A head heavy racket has a huge potential to dole out very powerful smashes but does that mean that it is a foregone conclusion?
Because other than the head heaviness of a racket, being good at smashing the shuttle-cock depends on multiple other factors like string type and tension, stiffness and your style.
That being said, everything else constant and if hand strength isn’t an issue, you could hit a better smash with a head heavy badminton racket.
Since we usually associate that kind of power in one’s hand with professional players rather than beginners, a head heavy racket is typically suited more for those who have been around for a while.
If you are a beginner, you might want to give it a skip despite the power a head heavy racket can afford.
That said, if you are an intermediate player looking to improve on your game by adding more power to it, you could look to switch a head heavy racket and check how it works for you.
Cons of a Head Heavy Badminton Racket
The biggest problem associated with a head heavy racket, especially for those starting out, is the loss of control. So while it can afford a lot of power, it could also come at the expense of the difficulties associated with controlling the stroke-play.
The other issue is that unless your hand muscles are properly developed, it could cause problems for your wrist, arm and shoulder over time.
Who Generally Uses a Head Heavy Racket?
Professionals are more known to use a head heavy racket. Intermediate players can also try it out to get an idea about it but if you are a beginner, try to avoid this.
Pros & Cons of a Head Light Racket
Pros of a Head Light Badminton Racket
A head light badminton racket is way easier to control and for someone just starting out, a beginner, it makes sense to start off his or her career with a racket of this type.
It also offers better accuracy as a result of that control which means it’s a lot easier for a beginner to use a head light racket, also making it easy on his or her arm, wrist and shoulder.
Cons of a Head Light Badminton Racket
While a head light offers lesser power on the smash – and that’s the biggest disadvantage of playing with this type of a racket – as we have already stated, that is not the only factor that decides on how whether the smashes are powerful enough.
Power without control might not be a big advantage anyway.
Who Generally Uses a Head Light Racket?
Beginners are typically expected to use a head light racket while as one grows into becoming an intermediate and then a professional player one moves towards using a head heavy racket.
That, however, is only a stereotypical way of going about it with quite a few professional players using even balanced rackets other than a few going for a head light ones too.
So, Which Badminton Racket Should I Use, Head Heavy or Light?
Nobody can give you a straightforward answer to this and in the end it all depends on how the racket feels in your hand. Unfortunately nobody else can decide this for you and to give you an idea about how it works, even players at the highest level have a different preference.
Some of them use a head light racket while others use a head heavy one and one can easily infer that it’s not a question of strength for them.
However, if you are reading this, we can safely assume that you are either a beginner badminton player or one who is taking those early steps into becoming an intermediate one.
What we would advise you then is to study the above pros and cons above and use the following guideline. If you are only just starting out, try out a head light badminton racket which would be easy on your body and as you get used to it, analyze your game (even better if you could do that with a coach).
Then switch over to a even-balanced racket and see if you can overcome any issues you had recognized with your game before trying out the head heavy one. If you reckon you have enough hand strength to swing the even-balanced or the head heavy racket as well as the head light one, then go with them.
Also note whether using the head heavy racket is making things difficult for your hand, causing extra pain or stress on it. That being the case, it might behoove you to shift back to the head light badminton racket.