I recently needed a new weapon of choice. I wanted a head heavy racket again but I ended up getting interested in almost even balance badminton rackets instead as all the other options on my shortlist were sold out.
I was pleasantly surprised as I’ve noticed getting almost the same power in all my shots across the board, except raw smash power that I now have to work a little harder to produce.
Instead, my drives and net shots are easier and faster. It’s a great trade-off in doubles where smashing a winning point tends to be less game-defining and mid-court exchanges are more frequent.
If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I lost three attribute points in “easily accessible” raw smash power but gained five points in the rest of my game. The total sum feels higher and has made it easier to play a more powerful, diverse game to win points.
When I switched rackets, I mostly feared for my blocks as my previous racket could produce awesome power blocks with little effort that just “crawled” over the net to cause problems for the opponents. It’s hard not to lose a bit of that when you give up the sledgehammer but it’s not as bad as I feared.
On the other hand, I’ve been surprised at how good my drop shots feel. With my previous racket, it was almost as if I had too much power making drops difficult to control and land close to the net. Now I have to produce a bit of the power myself but the nuance allows for more control or precision.
That has made sequences such as smashing or half-smashing two-three times in a row followed by a drop shot more effective than before.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s dive into the best even balance rackets available right now followed by pointers on which playing style to use with these types of rackets.
The best even balance badminton rackets right now
I figure that since you’ve been looking for an even balanced racket, you already know what they are but just to be sure we are on the same page:
Even balance badminton rackets are rackets with a balance point that isn’t towards the head or the handle but somewhere in the middle.
It is measured in balance points (BP) and for rackets to fall within this category, the balance point needs to fall between 285-295mm when measured from the bottom of the handle.
Here’s an overview of the best even balance badminton rackets right now:
- Victor Thruster F Enhanced Edition
- Yonex Arcsaber 11 Pro (the best Yonex even balanced racket?)
- Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro
- Victor DriveX 9X
- Victor Bravesword 12
- Yonex Astrox 77 Pro (the outlier worth a look)
Let’s dive in!
1. Victor Thruster F Enhanced Edition
The Victor Thruster F Enhanced Edition is so popular that I haven’t been able to find one across several different shops and countries for a while (maybe they have supply chain issues?)
It’s reported to offer good balance between precision, speed, and power as you’d expect from an even balance badminton racket, with fast drives and clears that are effortless.
It’s well-suited for most areas of the game, which also means that it isn’t amazing in one area in particular. For players who like smashing, it’ll be particularly apparent that your power smash might take a hit or that you have to adjust your timing and use more body weight leaning into the shot in order to produce the same power.
2. Yonex Arcsaber 11 Pro (the best Yonex even balanced racket?)
The Yonex Arcsaber 11 Pro is the newer version of the older Arcsaber 11 and appears to be intended exactly as a middle of the road racket by Yonex.
Like The Thruster F Enhanced Edition above, it’s reported to offer a great combination of speed, control and power without leaning too much in one direction. Net shots and lifts are good but if you’re looking for power in your smash or particularly speedy moves, this isn’t the racket for you.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something like an Astrox 99 Pro with a lighter head, you’ll probably like this racket, even though it has a normal sized sweet spot compared to the Astrox 99 Pro’s larger one.
This racket comes in different editions at different price points; Play, Tour and Pro.
3. Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro
The Yonex Arcsaber 7 Pro is only available in the 4U weight class and swings slightly faster than the Arcsaber 11 Pro because the head isn’t as heavy (despite both being even balance rackets).
It’s reported to offer good hold time during contact between the shuttle and racket so you can guide the shuttle around the court. It’s fast defensively and as the swing is fast, it’s easier to get out of trouble even if you’re late to the shuttle.
Like with the rackets above, it can’t compete with head heavy rackets when it comes to raw power but it doesn’t appear to be intended to.
This racket also comes in different editions at different price points: Play, Tour and Pro.
4. Victor DriveX 9X
Victor’s DriveX 9X is so fast that it can almost feel head light even though it is an even balanced racket.
It’s reportedly easy to play with, as it’s steady, reliable and predictable but leaves out the raw power, meaning that you’ll need good timing to execute a powerful smash. You can still get good length on your clears and lifts, though.
Overall, it’s a great all-around racket that isn’t particularly stiff but feels similar to Yonex’s Arcsaber 7 Pro.
5. Victor Bravesword 12
The oldie but goldie and popular Bravesword 12. Initially, I felt that it was too old to be included here but I changed my mind since it’s been so popular.
It’s medium stiff, reported to be very playable and easy to use with little vibration as you hit the shuttle. I feel like I’m repeating myself but you don’t get any extra help with power as it’s not a head heavy racket but it’s possible with the right technique in a good position.
I understand that the control isn’t amazing due to being medium flexible which can make it feel inconsistent at times. Drop shots can be tricky and require extra control, especially during longer playing sessions.
It’s easy to work the mid-court and defense because the racket is fast but net shots need a bit of extra control. Overall, this racket is fast and easy to use but you might prefer one of the newer rackets on this list instead.
6. Yonex Astrox 77 Pro (the outlier worth a look)
Finally, I wanted to end with an outlier that’s worth a look. As you’ve guessed, it’s the new edition of Astrox 77-series which is technically head heavy, but just a tad.
The Tour and Pro models were sold out in shops near me, so I’ve only had the pleasure of playing with the cheapest of them, the Play-edition.
The reason I’ve included it is that it feels almost like an even balanced racket and pretty great across the board. I found it easy to play with as I barely needed to adjust my technique except for backhand clears.
Lengthy forehand clears were easy, and I felt more in control with drop shots compared to my previous, very head heavy racket. Mid-court duels with flat drives felt easy along with blocking smashes and net shots.
As expected, power smashes didn’t feel as good as with the sledgehammer but you’ll still be able to create a nice-sounding slammer by adjusting your technique.
These are the six attractive weapons if you’re looking for an even balanced badminton racket to help your game. Next, let’s look at which type of player and playing style tend to best suit this racket type.
The hidden power of even balance rackets and all around players
Middle of the road rackets are often overlooked compared to head heavy or head light rackets as they appear to have no special attributes, just like the equivalent player type.
We tend to love the idea of 2D player types like movie characters who have their signature move and are amazing at that but little else.
In contrast, being above average in all areas rather than amazing in one at the expense of another may sound boring on the surface but has a hidden benefit to it: you tend to make fewer mistakes and take fewer chances with your main attribute, such as a smash. That is surprisingly powerful in amateur games, where many points are lost on mistakes and off-days.
Since we amateurs don’t have the benefit of being able to train day in and day out, we have to maximize our energy and make do with whatever little time we have available. If we can play the game slightly safer than our opponents and push them to become tired or impatient, they will eventually make errors or take risky chances that we can capitalize on. That’ll make it easier for us to notice their weaker side and adapt, than for them to do it with us.
Most experienced players will be stronger than us in one area that they enjoy, so if we attempt to go head to head in that (i.e. smashing), we’ll run our head against a wall and they will come out on top.
Another benefit to all around rackets is that they tend to be forgiving with high playability. That means we won’t get punished as much on off days as we might by other types of rackets.
This is powerful because consistency is so important. Imagine playing well during a social or training session but when an important match comes along, you hit an off-day and play worse than you know you can. It almost doesn’t even seem fair. If we can get a little help on off-days when we feel inconsistent, it’ll go a long way to help pick up our mindset and get out on top.
- The best even balance badminton rackets tend to be great at everything except raw smash power, which you might not notice unless you’re switching from a sledgehammer or very head heavy racket
- These rackets tend to score above average in most categories, which is a skill in itself that is often overlooked
- An even balanced badminton racket is often highly playable and easy to use which is great on off-days to avoid inconsistent games
hi aske, I was wondering if you could recommend so rackets for low intermediate players as the previous list you had about them are a little outdated or discontinued.
Thanks for pointing that out, I’ve been meaning to update that article.
It’s difficult to give a really specific suggestion for you since I don’t know much about your game or your preferences. Do you know what you’d like your racket to do for you?
If you aren’t sure, I’ve found the Yonex Astrox 77 Play to be a good all-around racket for me as a low-intermediate player in doubles games (I’ve only played with the 4U though).
It’s a bit too flexible for my liking as I sometimes mistime shots that I normally wouldn’t with my previous slightly stiffer racket. Depending on your budget, you could potentially take chance on it since it’s affordable and then upgrade to the tour or pro version if you’re in the same situation as me (they are in the medium stiff range).
I was most interested in the Astrox 6 that was recommended, do you have any rackets that fit the same style? or maybe something like the Arcsaber 11 play .
Thank you for replying. I really appreciate it
I should point out that I made an error in my article saying that the Astrox 6 is slightly stiff when in fact, it’s a flexible racket. Sorry.
The Arcsaber 11 Play is within the same arena, although slightly less head heavy and more middle-of-the-road (meaning less help with raw power) than the Astrox 6. It’s also less flexible than the Astrox 6, which will be a matter of preference for you – I like a medium-flexible racket like the Arcsaber 11 Play as opposed to one that’s more flexible but you might feel different.
The Astrox 77 Play, Astrox 88D Play, and Astrox 88S Play are similar in head weight to the Astrox 6. All the Play-rackets are within the same price range as well (at least here in Vietnam).
I hate that this is a factor, but it might come down to what the stores have in stock near you. If you’re most interested in the Arcsaber 11 Play, but want to more power, another alternative is to get it restrung with strings that offer more power.
Which racket do you play with now, and is there something you like or dislike about it?
I actually went through a few rackets now, I have been on the Astrox 38s > Astrox 88D Pro > ArcSaber 11 Play > ArcSaber 11 Pro.
I guess the reason why I bought a Astrox 88D Pro was because I previously believed that buying the best racket on the market and just sticking to it would improve my game. However I realized that I never really tried if I liked a even balance racket or head light etc. Hence the swap to Arc 11 Play. For the Arc 11 Play, I don’t really have much complains but that it doesn’t feel as powerful as the 88D Pro and that it feels abit more hollow. For now I’m on the Arc 11 Pro but I’m just worried if I just trying rackets that aren’t suitable for low intermediate players etc.
I agree with your logic around the Astrox 88D Pro and sticking with one racket to improve your game as you get to know it better.
It’s a stiff racket that on paper, at least, might be tricky to get the full use of if you don’t train your technical stroke skills regularly and fall into the low intermediate level. The same goes for the Arcsaber 11 Pro.
Of those rackets you mentioned, on paper, the Arcsaber 11 Play would be the most suitable for you, but in my humble experience, the reality isn’t always the same as on paper. I had a semi-stiff racket before that worked so well with me that whenever I used it, other players commented that my game had improved.
If I were you, I’d go with the one that feels the best when you play and makes things the easiest for you.
You mention that the Arcsaber 11 Play doesn’t feel as powerful as the 88D Pro. Do you tend to score lots of points with power shots like smashes or is it because you like the feeling of a good power shot, like me?
Perhaps the 88D Game would be a good fit – it seems like it might, at least on paper, as it’s more suited for players in the low-intermediate neighborhood.