Badminton is an ever-evolving sport, not just in terms of the gears, but in terms of skill as well. All players start as beginners and steadily move up to advanced level players, or even world tournament athletes.
It is very important to pick gears such as rackets, shuttlecocks, and footwear (shoes and socks) that match your ability level. The following sessions will look at rackets that sit between newbies and advanced players.
If you have learned the basic badminton skills and started playing some casual competitions, you will be happy with the suggested models in this guide since they will help a lot in bringing your performance to the next level.
Quick Summary: Best Badminton Rackets for Intermediate Players
No. 1: YONEX Nanoray 10F Hi-Flex Pre-Strung Badminton Racquet – Editor Score: 9.5/10
No. 2: LI-NING Lightweight Badminton Racket Windstorm 78SL III – Editor Score: 9.5/10
No. 3: Yonex Voltric 100 Taufik Hidayat 3U-G4 Badminton Racquet – Editor Score: 9/10
No. 4: YONEX Astrox FB Medium Flex Badminton Strung Racquet – Editor Score: 8.5/10
Who Should Read These?
As you might imagine, every racket in this guide is geared towards intermediate players. The recommended choices are perfectly suited for those who have learned basic badminton skills such as serve, drop, smash, and net play, and just started to play some casual competitions.
The items are great choices for advanced beginners who want to improve their skills and start a new chapter in their life as badminton players. If you come up with the idea “it would be just great if I can perform a more powerful smash” or “I want a more accurate, faster net play performance!”. The following models are for you.
We will also be covering some options suitable for intermediate to advanced level players, in case you want to push your limit a little bit for a better competition performance.
Best Badminton Racket for Intermediate Players – What to Consider?
Badminton enthusiasts and players are often interested to know which rackets might suit them the most at various levels. When selecting a badminton racket, there are three major factors to cover; weight, shaft flexibility, balance, strings tension.
A player has to define his own peculiar type based on the strengths and weaknesses in terms of physique, technique, experience and playing style, and match these with the important aspects of racket to form a potent combination. Here we’ll attempt to see what specifications of rackets suit the intermediate level players and what can be the best solution available.
First comes the weight of the racket. For intermediate players, you may want to choose a racket with weight between 2U and 4U (84 to 95gm). This is because it’s the time you want to drill more into smashing and control, heavier rackets are great for smashing while lighter rackets provide better control performance.
It is a good idea for you to pick something in between for a better balance, and depending on your preference and skill development, you may want to move on to pick a racket for smash or control.
Shaft Flexibility (Flex of Racket)
The shaft flexibility means how easily the racket could be bent, and would be divided into: flexible, medium, medium-stiff, stiff and extra stiff.
We would still recommend a beginner-intermediate player to pick something between flexible to medium flex since it is easier to handle and will cause less stress to your wrist and arm. But it is also a good time for you to start practicing with stiff shafts for a more aggressive playing style.
Then comes the all-important Balance. The three basic types of balance are; even balance, head-heavy balance and the head-light balance. Head-heavy rackets are suited to attacking players while head-light suits the defensive style. An even balance racket is intended to give the center ground between these two.
You may want to pick an even balance racket to start with, then depending on your preference, move to either head-heavy or head-light balance racket.
Other than the frame, we should consider the string tension as well. Higher tension will result in a shorter bouncing time and hence result in a more powerful shot, and vice versa.
As for the strings tension, intermediate rackets should have the string tension between 22 lbs and 28 lbs. It’s noteworthy that standards of tension vary from one location to another because of how the temperature affects the string tensions.
If you would like to check out more information about string tension, you may want to check out this video by Yonex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QawcQsch3bk
Grip size should be G4 or S3 for this a normal physical fit adult player.
Suitable material of the racket can be graphite, carbon fibers or aluminum. I am using carbon alloys and I do recommend you to pick something made of carbon fibers. However if price is one of your main concerns, you may want to pick an aluminium one since they are more durable.
In terms of design, the oval shaped head frame is the best suite for Intermediate players. Wider frame with a bigger sweet spot makes your strikes more effective.
Here we will consider some of the best badminton rackets for intermediate players available on Amazon US and Amazon UK.
Best Badminton Racket for Intermediate Players
NANORAY is designed for players who force their opponents into the back of the court with extreme speed
What We Like
- Thinner top of its frame sides benefits your game with low air resistance greater and great head speed.
- Made of Nano Mesh and Carbon Nanotube, its lightweight, great strength and thicker sides at the bottom of the head helps you maximize repulsion.
- Wider sweet spot in all directions can be experienced due to similar length of its vertical and horizontal strings, thanks to its ISOMETRIC frame design.
- It’s a Yonex racket! One of the most popular badminton brand!
What is Not That Nice
Lighter weight might not be suitable for powerful attacking shots, especially if the player has less muscle power.
The Li-Ning Windstorm is an easy to control, highly manoeuvrable, lightweight racket suitable for intermediate players. I love it because the head-heavy balance makes it an all round racket for smashing too.
What We Like
- Being extremely Lightweight (78 gms), this racket is easy to control and super manoeuvrable
- Made from Carbon Fiber, the racket has a high level of strength and flexibility.
- Dynamic-Optimum Frame, Aerotec Beam System and High Tensile Slim Shaft makes it lethal for the opponents.
- Shaft is flexible and head-heavy balance makes it perfect for attacking shots.
- String Tension Capacity (Vertical) is 24-28 lbs while Horizontal is 26-30 lbs, making it perfect for intermediate players.
What is Not That Nice
- Grip Size is small (3 1/8″), only 200mm length, which might not suit players with bigger hands.
Yonex Voltric 100 is a reasonable priced, head-heavy racket suitable for performing powerful smash. It is a great racket for advanced beginner to intermediate level aggressive players.
What We Like
- Its medium stiff shaft provides a light whip effect, which allows you to attack even better with butterballs and long beaten balls.
- Head-heavy balance helps to achieve more acceleration, suitable for players who want more smash power and beat length.
- Allowing Easy playability of the attack with G4 grip
- Stiff frame made from H.M. Graphite/ ULTRA HMG/ Tungsten, it’s extremely durable with a decent weight of 88gms (3U).
What is Not That Nice
- This racket is head-heavy, which may lessen your recovery time after hitting a shot.
We love the Yonex Astrox FB Medium Flex a lot and we’ve picked it as one of the best beginner rackets for control. This is a racket that is great for advanced beginner to intermediate.
When your badminton skills improve and seeking for a better performance, you can simply upgrade your badminton with a high-performance stringing pattern since there are enough grommet holes on the racket.
What We Like
- Budget friendly
- Easy to control because of head-light balance
- Durable and lightweight because it’s made of “Nanomesh + Carbon Nanotube”
- Have more grommet holes so you can upgrade it
- Large sweet spot because of the isometric shape
What We Don’t Like
- Can’t count on the factory strings
- No specialization towards either defensive or offensive extremes
Useful Tips and Information
No matter how well-made your badminton racket is, it will only last if you take good care of it. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your racket at its top condition:
Usually, storing your racket in a badminton bag with cushions would be good enough, however, if you live in a humid and hot place, you may want to store your rackets in a dry and cold area.
My friend has a sweaty hand and he lives in Malaysia. A few years ago he put his racket into the cover bag and left it there for around 3 months. When he opened his racket bag again, the grip was covered with mold.
Check String Tension
The string will lose tension after you’ve been using it for a period of time, so it is very important to restring your racket from time to time. If you are restringing the racket by yourself, make sure you check the grommets too.
You need the right gears for playing badminton, the rackets mentioned in this guide are suitable for intermediate players.
All of the models mentioned in this article come with great weight, flex and balance suitable for intermediate players. Just pick the right racket that matches your fitness and ability level, I am sure they help you transition and take your skills and performance to the next level.