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A badminton net is one of the most underrated parts of the game.
Professional players spend hours comparing one racket with another before spending their money on one. And even beginners know that feather and plastic shuttlecocks aren’t the same in terms of their respective trajectories, flight speeds, and durability.
Yet, when the time comes to choose a badminton net, often, if not always, the cheapest model ends up in the bag. That happens because not many players are aware of the ins and out of a badminton net. So how should one choose a badminton net?
The best way to choose a badminton net is by purchasing one with the right material for where it will be situated — indoor or outdoor — and for it to meet the right size regulations.
Let’s look at this in more detail.
Badminton Net Regulations
Here’s what the rules of the game have to say:
- The net should be made of a natural, fine, dark-colored cord, with even thickness ranging between 15 mm (5/8″) and 20 mm (3/4″).
- Upon stretching firmly from post to post, the net should be 760 mm (2’6″) in-depth and 20′ long. A standard-size badminton court is 20′ long.
- The net should be 1.55 meters (5’1″) above the ground at the posts and 1.524 (5′) above the ground at its center.
- A 75 mm (3″) doubled white tape should edge the net. A cable or cord running through the tape should support the net. The cable or cord should be flushed with the top of the posts.
How to Choose a Badminton Net
Here’s what you must look for in a badminton net:
Rules of the Game
The first thing you should ensure while choosing a badminton net is it meets the rules of badminton.
That is not to say that you should take out a ruler and start measuring the net’s length and width the moment you enter the sports shop.
Just make sure to ask the salesperson if the net’s dimensions meet the official rules of the game. Or, if you’re doing online shopping, check out reviews left by previous customers.
Material of Construction
Most badminton nets are made of one or a combination of the following materials:
Nylon nets are generally the best when it comes to resisting wear and tear.
They can also absorb a fair bit of moisture — a precious quality if you play outdoors in an area that receives a fair bit of dew drops at night.
Nylon nets can also hold up well to extreme changes in weather conditions, including dryness, heat, or even snow.
This makes nylon nets better suited for outdoor badminton courts.
HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) nets have a higher strength-to-density ratio than their counterparts made of nylon.
Yet, when it comes to holding up to weather elements, they aren’t as reliable
That is mainly because HDPE is a fancy word for plastic, and plastic, as most of us know, doesn’t respond well to temperature changes. So, these nets are better suited for indoor play.
Polypropylene is known as the steel of plastics for a reason.
It displays excellent impact resistance, is incredibly durable, and has massive stiffness to withstand thousands of shuttlecock attacks.
At the same time, polypropylene has the knack of being degraded by UV rays, making PP nets unsuitable for outdoor play.
Cord vs. Cable
Badminton rules dictate that the net should be stretched nice and tight with a thick cord or a cable.
Based on my personal experience, a cable is much sturdier and performs a better job of keeping the net stretched tight.
A thick cable is also more durable than a cord, especially those flimsy cords which come with dirt-cheap badminton nets.
However, if for some reason you want a tape, make sure that it is white and of regulation size (3″) to meet the rules of the game.
Multi-purpose badminton nets are versatile enough to be used for playing tennis, volleyball, and even pickleball.
If you’re planning on buying a multi-purpose net, make sure it has the sturdiness needed for those other games, especially tennis.
Having said that, I’d never advise using the same net for two games, especially ones as diverse as badminton and tennis.
Even if you purchase a multi-purpose net, it would require some improvising from your side every time you switch from one game to the other.
This tinkering with the net might end up damaging its integrity, probably reducing the net’s shelf-life. So, I’d always recommend a single-purpose net for playing badminton.
What Badminton Net Material is Best for Indoor and Outdoor Play?
The best badminton net material for indoor play is polypropylene, due to its ability to absorb repeated impacts from a shuttlecock and a player’s over-extended racket. Unfortunately — and as mentioned above — polypropylene will become impaired by UV rays, rendering PP nets unsuitable for outdoor play.
The best badminton net material for outdoor play is nylon, due to its ability to absorb moisture, and remain durable in different weather conditions.
Best Badminton Nets
Given that the market has no shortage of badminton nets, I’m going to reveal my top three picks. While some are designed to be used outdoors, others are made for indoor play.
1. No.1 Badminton Club Net (Best for Professionals)
The No. 1 Badminton Club Net is a lightweight yet durable construction consisting of both cotton and nylon that is a cinch to carry and will last a long time with proper care.
2. Boulder Badminton Net (Best for Outdoor Play)
The Boulder Badminton Net comes with superior nylon mesh fabric and rust-resistant painted steel poles. Furthermore, the yellow tape on the edges increases its visibility, making this net perfect for both indoor and outdoor play.
3. Zume Games Portable Badminton Set (Best for the Family)
The Zume Games Portable Badminton Set comes with everything (four rackets, two shuttlecocks, a net, a carrying case) you need to start playing badminton. A freestanding base means you can set up the net on any surface of your choice.