Badminton doubles is considered to be the most exciting and popular variant of the game. And rightly so. It’s faster than the singles version of the game, has longer rallies, more smashes, more dropshots… it’s intense! Don’t believe me – watch this. In this post, we’re going to look at the factors you need consider when buying a badminton doubles racket and then I’ll share with you my top 3 best rackets for badminton doubles.
Let’s begin with a truism – your playing style determines your racket choice. A lot of novice players make the mistake of thinking the converse. So you and your partner’s doubles playing style will determine the type of doubles racket that you’ll use.
Factors to Consider when choosing a Badminton Doubles Racket
1. Badminton Doubles Formation
Badminton doubles is an attacking game. The best attack usually wins. But you’ll have to be able to attack and defend to be a good badminton doubles player. If you happen to watch professional badminton, you’ll see that there are two formations that badminton players take – attacking and defensive positions. Here’re a few tips and strategies on how to win badminton doubles matches, but it’s important to mention them on this post because they determine your doubles racket choice.
In the attacking formation, one of the players covers the back of the court and the other, the front of the court. In a defensive formation, you and your partner are side to side. Professional players are comfortable in either of these formation. But for us mere mortals, we’re not all-rounded players that are equally comfortable at the front and back of the court. And we certainly don’t play like the pros (if only!) I find that many badminton doubles teams have a player that prefers the front court, and another that prefers the back court. Especially mixed-doubles team.
If you and your doubles’ teammate are all round players, then you should find a racket that is best suited to your playing style and use it for doubles and singles. For the rest of us – “club players”, we have a decision to make. And it’s not an easy one.
2. Should you Enhance your Strengths or Cover your Weakness?
An everyday player, the rest of us, has their strengths and weakness in badminton. It could be your footwork, backhand, net play, backcourt… For badminton doubles, front court players usually have very good footwork, fast reflexes, control, and great net play. But they usually lack “power” and so find it difficult to smash and hit overheads clears from the backcourt.
For doubles players that prefer the backcourt, I find that they enjoy smashing and are good at drop shots. They have a lot of “power” but lack good footwork, and may have a poor backhand (although this is usually easy to rectify). One of the easiest way to improve your badminton doubles game is to understand your weakness and strengths and discuss them with your partner. And you should look for a doubles partner that compliments you in your game play.
So, as a doubles badminton player should you look for a racket that enhances your strengths or covers your weaknesses – or, in the least makes, them less pronounced. This is a personal decision that you have to make. If you have a firm partner that you play with all the time, it’s wise to talk to them about it before you make up your mind.
Let me give you my personal opinion. I am predominantly a front court player. I’m working towards becoming an all rounded player – but that takes time and a lot of practice. So, for singles game, I have a racket that “covers my weaknesses.” Or as I rationalize it, makes me a more rounded player. And that is a racket that gives me more “power”. But for the doubles game, I prefer to play with a racquet that enhances my strengths. A racket that enables me to play like a superstar! Why, because I know that my poor backcourt game is covered by my partner.
Now, that’s my personal opinion (if you agree or disagree, please comment below).
One of the most dreaded moments during badminton doubles is when you and your partner’s rackets smash against each other with a crack! It happens all the time and you’ll need to get a racket that can take a bit of pounding without breaking apart. If you and your badminton doubles partner play together frequently, then you have good communication and can minimized racket collision. But if you tend to play with different partners all the time, you can expect your rackets to collide at some point.
So you’ll want to stay clear of fragile rackets. You badminton doubles racket should be sturdy. Or you’ll have to buy a replacement racket every couple of weeks! Personally, I have two different rackets that I use for doubles play. A faster, thinner, more fragile racket and a more robust – but not so great, 2nd racket. When I know that I’m going to play with my 2 years plus double partner, I use my more fragile racket. Whenever I play with anyone else, I use my more robust racket.
For most players, I strongly recommend that you get a robust doubles badminton racket until you find a permanent doubles partner. When you do, you can shop for a more fragile (and probably better) racquet.
Those are the three factors that you need to consider when making a decision about the racket you should get for badminton doubles. To reiterated, 1) you need to decide if you’re going to play mainly in the forecourt of backcourt in your badminton formation. 2) Then you need to decide whether you want a racket to enhance your strengths or cover your weaknesses or at least minimize them. 3) Finally, after considering the first 2 factors, you want to get a durable racket that is going to withstand the rigors of badminton doubles play – mainly the chance that you smash it against your partner’s racket.
Best Racket For Badminton Doubles
So here’re are the 3 rackets that I’d recommend to choose from.
My first recommendation is the Senston N80. First, it ticks the durability box. I’ve had mine for 3 years – and about 6 months ago I accidentally stepped on it (it was under a heap of clothes) and it survived. So this is the racket that I use when playing badminton doubles with a new partner.
Secondly, it’s great for forecourt play. It’s light (86g), and has very good control. When I first got it, it was pre-strung with NBG-95 at 22 lbs. Which was too high, especially since I play with plastic shuttles exclusively. When the strings broke, I got it restrung at a lower tension. But as my game has improved, and I can get more accurate strokes (thus could do with a smaller sweatspot), I’ve had it restrung at a higher tension (currently at 22 lbs I believe). And as with most of my rackets I’ve had to get a custom grip that suits my sweaty hands.
Finally, it’s relatively cheap to replace – less than $30 on Amazon. If anything was to happen to it, it will not break the bank to get a replacement. You’ll get the best bang for your buck with this racket – period. And I’d recommend you get 2 of them, so that you can have a spare to use when restringing, lending out, or if it breaks. Check price on Amazon.
This is my go to racket for doubles badminton. But it’s less durable than the Senston N80 and a tad more expensive. I usually only use it when I’m playing doubles with my long term partner. It’s great for a forecourt player. Lighter than the Senston N80, and unlike the Senston N80 – which is even balanced, the Nanoray 10F is head light balanced.
Everytime I play with the Nanoray 10F, my doubles game markedly improves. And if I was not such a cheapskate, I’d always use the Nanoray. I love the way it feels on my hand and the amount of control I can exert on the shuttle.
But, I’ve broken 2 Nanorays in the last 6 months. If you do get the Nanoray 10F, you’ll have to take good care of it as it’s rather fragile. Check price on Amazon.
The first 2 rackets I’ve recommended are great for frontcourt players. But what about a badminton doubles backcourt player. The Yonex Voltric series are wonderful rackets for smashing. And the Voltric 5 in particular has impressed with its durability. And this racket packs a punch – too much for a beginner badminton player. This is the racket that my long term doubles partner uses and they really enjoy its defensive and offensive abilities.
It’s also amazingly durable. Definitely more than the Nanoray 10F. And it’s not insanely priced like the Votric 7. This is the racquet to get if you are doubles backcourt player and are looking for a reasonably priced quality power racket. Check price on Amazon.
That’s it for this post, please let us know which racket you decided to buy or use in badminton doubles in the comments section below.