Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Aske
Badminton rackets price are a murky jungle for beginner and intermediate players with loads of options to choose from.
On my journey to finding a reasonably priced new racket, I was fighting an uphill battle getting used to my new Astrox 77 Play. But, as soon as I switched to one that better suited my game, it instantly improved to the point where other players would ask if I had taken private lessons. It sounds crazy but it was literally from one game to the next.
It didn’t make me the next Viktor Axelsen, and it won’t make you either, but it was a surprisingly easy win even for a skeptic like me.
It turns out that finding the right racket is among the quickest ways to improve your game as we can trade money for not having to spend hours training our skills.
Instead, finding the right racket “fit” for you will make everything about the sport more fun; you’ll play longer, more intense rallies as you’ll be able to add more power in your shots without improving your technique, and you’ll get more shuttles back over the net in defense.
The problem is that it’s challenging to find the right fit between racket and player unless you’re a pro or influencer and get sponsored gear.
Dry swinging them at a store or counting on your friends lending you one just isn’t enough. Even though I put a lot of effort into my badminton racket reviews, they will still not be anywhere near as useful as getting the rackets on court and feeling them out for yourself.
In this article, I’m breaking the racket prices down by skill level and brand, so you can get a sense of what it costs to get new gear. It’ll also help you spot obvious fake products as the top brands rarely offer rackets at a discount.
Besides pricing, you and I will also look at my favorite ideas to maximize value for money on your rackets, even if there are no legit discounts to be had. I bet you’ll like the first one.
Let’s dive in and get an overview of the racket prices first.
How much are badminton rackets?
The price of badminton rackets tends to follow the skill of the player where beginner rackets are more affordable than those for advanced players.
It works that way as players value different things at different levels. For example, an entry level player might value durability whereas an advanced player might look for control or defensive capabilities requiring more research and development.
I’ve gathered the price ranges for the three most popular brands as those are what players tend to ask for.
|Brand||Skill Level||Price Range|
|Yonex||Entry-Level||$20 - $50|
|Yonex||Regular Beginner||$50 - $80|
|Yonex||Intermediate||$80 - $150|
|Yonex||Advanced||$150 - $300+|
|Victor||Entry-Level||$20 - $50|
|Victor||Regular Beginner||$50 - $80|
|Victor||Intermediate||$80 - $150|
|Victor||Advanced||$150 - $300+|
|Li-Ning||Entry-Level||$20 - $50|
|Li-Ning||Regular Beginner||$50 - $80|
|Li-Ning||Intermediate||$80 - $150|
|Li-Ning||Advanced||$150 - $300+|
You’ll notice that each of the categories follow the same pricing structure as the brands compete for us customers. If you’re looking for an entry-level or beginner racket but struggle to find some of these price ranges in your local store, it’s likely due to certain racket series only being available in select countries.
The entire catalog of rackets is huge but is broken down into several different sub-catalogs depending on the region catering to local demand. For example, Li-Ning offers a wide variety of entry level and beginner rackets in India and the rest of Asia that aren’t available in Europe or the US.
My point is that since the brands follow the same rough approach in terms of pricing. There aren’t any particular tricks or secrets to get good value for money by choosing Yonex over Victor or Li-Ning and vice versa. At least not on paper without testing the rackets closely.
Despite that, even if there are no discounts, there are still tricks you can use to spend your money wisely.
2 methods to save money on rackets
As counterintuitive as it sounds, the best bang for your buck doesn’t come from selecting the right racket. Instead, it comes from the grip and strings.
For example, if you struggle to generate power and hit the backline you can increase the string tension and get your racket restrung with a more repulsive (power-based) string.
You’ll feel the difference instantly and it’s more affordable than purchasing a new racket, but it doesn’t come without a cost. The more power-based your string is, the less control it offers. It’s more nuanced than that as there are many different strings to choose from but it’s a general rule of thumb that makes it easy to get an overview.
Then there’s the tension. If you string the racket with high tension, you’ll generate more power but at the cost of making it less forgiving if you don’t hit the shuttle right. That translates to a shot that’s more likely to hit out of the court if you don’t hit the shuttle cleanly rather than just being a slightly imprecise shot.
That being said, if you’re been playing with the standard strings that your racket came with, you’re in for a treat as changing them will make a meaningful difference to your game.
Though, it’s worth noting that budget rackets often don’t offer high tension as they tend to be aimed at entry level players who often need them to be extra forgiving. If you’re a player who prefers budget rackets and high tension on your strings, I’ve given a few examples in the guide on the best budget rackets.
Supplementing this by finding the right type of grip for your palm will also make a meaningful difference. For example, when playing around with different grip types, I noticed my ability to switch grip rapidly during defense in doubles games improved. Especially on short, quick shots like blocking a smash, during drive duels, or net game.
Without the exact data at hand, I’d guess that I lost 3-4 points fewer in defense after honing in on the most suitable grip for me. That also includes changing it regularly, as the effect from the stickiness is lost when it’s worn out.
It might not sound like much but to me that has been the edge that could give me the win in a tight game. For a few dollars, that’s a good deal.
The player-racket fit method
Once you’ve customized your racket and are ready to upgrade, there’s a huge benefit to finding a racket that suits your playing style.
It can get expensive but there’s an affordable approach.
Instead of betting the farm on a high end racket without knowing if it’s a match made in heaven, buy a few budget rackets with different specs.
Switch between them to feel how each one impacts your game and what feels more fun. For example, a head light- or even balanced racket tends to require you to be more creative when scoring points as you’re robbed of a powerful smash.
You might realize you’ll be more unpredictable and win more rallies by switching between shots like smash and drop shot sequences rather than only smashing harder and harder. Especially, at the beginner or intermediate level where there is a fair chance that your opponent will make an error and give you a free point as long as you just get the shuttle over the net.
Once you’ve found a racket type that naturally enhances your game, go ahead and upgrade to a proper one with similar specs to the one you prefer. You’ll save hundreds of dollars compared to buying one high end racket after another.
For example, you’ll be able to get, say, three entry level rackets for $150 or Yonex’s Play rackets (made for beginners that play regularly) for just over $200 in total. Compare that to three intermediate rackets for nearly $400, or three high end rackets for at least $600, and the savings are obvious.
The psychology of saving money on badminton rackets price
Many of us players love new gear as it feels like a new toy but also because it is an instant boost to our game on court.
There is an underlying benefit to not caving in to the high badminton racket prices and saving money. Probably not forever, especially when you advance your skills, but at least until you reach the advanced level.
At the beginner and intermediate level, there are many improvements across all aspects of the game for most players to improve upon whether it’s footwork, strokes, mindset or anticipating your opponent’s moves.
For those of us who are seriously interested in improving our game, postponing buying an expensive racket forces us to learn in other ways such as using more variety in our shots.
It’ll also make you appreciate your new gear more and you’ll waste less money buying the wrong ones before you know what’ll suit you best.
- The badminton rackets prices range between the most popular brands tend to follow each other and increase with skill level
- One of the best ways to improve your game without training and at a low cost is by improving your strings, tension, and grip