Written by Amir Bashir | 20 April 2022
In this article, you’ll get to know everything about the equipment needed to play badminton.
Badminton is a sport of the masses, and for this reason, its gear doesn’t cost as much as those of, say, golf, especially if you’re just starting playing the game.
However, as you climb the levels from amateur to professional, the equipment will start getting pricier to reflect their quality.
Still, for the most part, you can get everything you need to play badminton for a few hundred bucks.
A racket is needed in badminton to hit the shuttlecock back and forth.
Badminton rules require that the racket must not be longer than 26.77 inches. And the overall width limit of a badminton racket is 9.06 inches.
Badminton rackets are made from different materials, such as carbon fiber, aluminum, and in rare cases, steel.
Carbon fiber rackets are incredibly lightweight and strong, letting the user string them at a higher tension without risking the racket’s integrity.
Aluminum rackets are available within the budget of most people. But they are not as strong or elastic as their carbon fiber counterparts.
Badminton rackets are available in two shapes: Oval and Isometric.
Oval-headed rackets have a smaller sweet spot — the area of the racket string that produces the most power — but that area gives more concentrated power.
Isometric rackets have a larger sweet spot. This makes them ideal for beginners as it is relatively easier to hit a powerful shot with these rackets.
The cost of a badminton racket can be anywhere from $30 to $340, depending on the material, quality and brand of a racket.
If you are a beginner, consider buying a lightweight badminton racket whose weight ranges from 85g to 89g (3U).
Such rackets are easy to control and allow for fast stroking speeds and quick recovery.
However, if you have been playing the game for quite some time, investing in a premium carbon fiber racket should be a no-brainer.
When shopping for your first badminton racket, it can be more helpful to purchase in-store as a salesperson will be able to assist you. You can do a Google search for “Badminton shop near me”. Alternatively, there are a lot of useful reviews on eCommerce sites like Amazon and Badminton HQ that can help you make a decision.
A shuttlecock, also known as a birdie, is essential to the game of badminton.
It is what players hit back and forth across the net with a racket.
Shuttlecocks are made of one of two materials: Plastic and Feathers.
Feather shuttlecocks are formed by embedding 16 or so feathers, usually of duck or goose, into a well-rounded cork base with a bead of glue.
Professional players prefer these shuttlecocks as they don’t deform as easily as the plastic ones and allow for more accurate shot placement.
Plastic shuttlecocks are more durable because plastic can withstand more hits before splintering than feathers.
They are also more economical than feather shuttlecocks, which is why new players prefer them.
Shuttlecocks usually cost $2-3 a pop.
They are usually purchased in bulk in the form of a shuttlecock tube, with one box containing 12 pieces. So a box would go for around $24.
You can buy one shuttlecock or the entire tube from your local sporting goods store.
Or you can opt for websites such as Amazon.
A badminton net divides the court into two equal halves.
A full badminton court spans over 6.7m (22 feet) and needs a net to divide it into equal halves of 3.35m (11 feet) each.
Badminton rules dictate that the net should cover the entire 6.1m width of the court, even when you are playing singles.
It must have a height of 5’1” at the edges and should sag slightly at the center, dropping to a height of 5′.
Almost all badminton nets are made of a nylon mesh.
The main difference between pricey and inexpensive nets is the cord that is used to keep the net tensed.
In professional matches and competition games, a nylon cord is used to keep the net erect at the sides and slightly sagged in the middle.
For amateur settings, steel cables can also be used, though some professional settings also use steel cables to tie the net to each side of the post.
Note: Different badminton nets can vary in set-up, but all should come with instructions on how to set up.
Badminton nets can be bought for as low as $9 or as high as $74.99.
The difference in pricing is due to the difference in materials used in the badminton net’s construction.
In badminton, side-to-side movement is much greater than in other sports such as tennis, squash, etc.
If you wear ordinary shoes on the court, they will generate friction when you are moving fast, creating blisters on your skin.
A pair of dedicated badminton shoes will prevent this from happening by providing ankle support and a stable foot grip during quick movements.
A ‘perfect fit’ badminton shoe will be half a size bigger than your ‘perfect fit’ street shoe.
It is because badminton shoes are tighter than normal shoes to grip your feet slightly.
A pair of badminton shoes can cost anywhere from $40 to $500, or even more for shoes from well-known brands such as Nike, Adidas, Asics, etc.
Amazon offers an extensive collection of badminton shoes from well-known brands such as Asics, Adidas, Nike, and more.
You can also walk into your local store from any of these brands and ask for pair of dedicated badminton shoes.
Badminton is a physically demanding sport and will make you sweat a lot, so wearing a casual T-shirt on the court is a recipe for an overheated body.
A casual T-shirt isn’t made of breathable fabric (or pores) which means that it won’t let the sweat escape your body.
So it is imperative to invest in a dedicated badminton T-shirt and shorts.
A good badminton T-shirt will cost you anywhere from $20 to $40, while badminton shorts from brands such as Yonex will approximately be available in the same range, too.
Since you don’t want your badminton T-shirt to be too tight-fitting, ordering online isn’t a good idea if you have never done it before.
What you might want to do instead is to walk into any of your nearby stores selling badminton T-shirts and try a number of these on, before settling on one that is fitting well and isn’t too tight at the same time.
The same piece of advice goes for badminton shorts — try a number of pairs on before eventually making your mind on one.
Good quality socks can save you from injuries by absorbing the impact of jumps during lunges.
Their breathable fabric will ensure quick sweat drying, keeping your feet from getting smelly.
Any pair of socks that you’d wear to the badminton court must be made of a breathable or “moisture wicking” fabric to keep your feet always fresh.
Badminton socks are relatively thicker than your everyday wear, simply because they have cushioning to absorb the impact of lunges and offer ankle and/or foot support.
It would also be a good idea to determine which part of your foot the pressure points are on and buy a pair of socks that offer added protection to that part, for example, the ankle.
You can buy badminton socks online as well as from your local sporting goods store — just make sure the pair of socks you’re buying has the features mentioned above.
Although you can wear smart-looking attire and chic shoes to the court, preferring function over aesthetics when it comes to badminton equipment might help take your game to the next level.
Now I want to hear from you:
Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below, I’d love to answer your questions and hear your feedback. We are also on Instagram @healthyprinciples_.
Amir picked up his first badminton racket at the age of 4 and fell in love with the sport. He joined Healthy Principles to help his fellow badminton enthusiasts get better at the game. In his spare time, you'll find him watching long rallies on YouTube. Learn more about Amir Bashir.