A guide to badminton kit

Essential gear guide for badminton

When you've decided it's time you got fit and healthy through playing badminton, it may be very tempting to jump straight in to this energetic racket sport. However, before you start your badminton career, it's vital you ensure that all your badminton kit is in order. Here's the realbuzz.com guide to getting the right badminton gear for your game.

Footwear for badminton

Possibly one piece of equipment that sits at the bottom of your shopping list are badminton shoes. But appropriate footwear is a vital purchase. Anyone who has played or even just watched a game of badminton will know the pace at which players move around the court — players are constantly changing direction and making deep lunges to win that all important rally.

Your footwear must be able to support these movements and badminton shoes are designed specifically for badminton movements. The soles are thin, designed to keep the player’s feet close to the floor and providing that all important lateral support. This allows the player to make quick ankle direction changes, whilst reducing the risk of injury.

Non-badminton shoes are adequate when you are starting out but be aware if you are wearing running shoes. Running shoes are designed with downward force in mind and they have a higher thicker sole not quite so suitable for the unpredictable movements of badminton.

Badminton rackets

Due to the popularity of the sport there are a wide variety of rackets available. But purchasing your racket needn’t be a daunting task. Gone are the days of the old wooden racket; most are now made of light weight materials such as aluminum or graphite and are strung with synthetic materials.

As with any sporting equipment the prices range wildly so the best advice is to pick one you can afford and one that suits your level. If you are starting out, it is not really necessary to go for a pro model, go for a lightweight one as they are more suitable for beginners.

You will also need to consider your style when choosing. Are most of the points you score a result of a smash shot or do you win points by controlled placement? Rackets are designed with different characteristics for different styles of play, so you could bear this in mind when making your purchase.

Shuttlecocks for badminton
When picking a shuttlecock or the ‘birdie’ you have two choices: those made of authentic feathers and those made of nylon. Not surprisingly the feather ones are more expensive and are considered to be superior but they don’t last as long as the less expensive ones. So when starting out the nylon versions are your best bet.

Badminton sets
Although getting involved in badminton requires minimal equipment, you may want to start with a friendly knock up. If you have enough space, many manufacturers make sets that include the net, racket and shuttlecocks so you can grab some teammates and get started.

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