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Badminton

The Survival Guide in Baddy

Last updated on July 22nd, 2020 at 08:30 am AEST (+10:00)

Back in February 2018 when I was helping out with running a badminton group in Granville, I put together a short guide with the intention of giving it to the newbies as they discover the group.

As I found out, there’s nothing better than having someone to take you through the first steps in the sport in order to stay with it for the long run.

What it really means is when you start baddy in a social group and get mixed with different levels, in order to have a fun time and be able to mix with everyone, you need to put in the work and move up from the rank of newbies. Of course the other option is to hit the thing any way you like but the point of joining a social group is not really there.

Here is how it goes:

“Prelude

Congratulations! So you picked up a racquet and decided to wander in new territory. It can be daunting at first but with proper guidance it could be an enjoyable journey.

I’m writing this from the perspective of a newbie once I was. It’s not meant to be a detailed walkthrough but should have the essential elements to get you started. 

Shoes:

It’s paramount to have a good pair of badminton shoes. Ones that give you good grip on courts. So while your Nike runners are nice, they don’t really belong on the court (for your own safety)

In my own experience, you need to invest in something decent that last for a while. My first pair (Victor brand) lasted nearly 2 years. You can grab something on sale at Victor Badminton Centre (47/2 Slough Ave, Silverwater NSW 2128) at around $80-$90.

Racquet

No need to go overboard here. You can get something decent for around $100 or less.

Brand name manufacturers like Yonex or Victor make great racquets and they are expensive. My first 4 racquets were Yonex and Victor but after clashing them I realised it’s a real danger of wasting lots of unnecessary money here. 

After all, we’re not pro players who get sponsorship for their gear.  

These days I use Prince Tour Lite (Fig. 1 & 2)  and similar racquets like Toalson Wave Nano Power (Fig. 3). They’re really good in value, well rounded racquets suitable for most people.

Prince Tour Lite
Figure 1: Prince Tour Lite
Prince Tour Lite
Figure 2: Prince Tour Lite‘s specifications
Toalson Wave Nano Power
Figure 3: Toalson Wave Nano Power

Cheap but effective. It feels almost the same as Prince Tour Lite, that means awesome maneuverability.

String:

When you first start out, best to have a low tension (21 lbs – 23 lbs) because the higher the tension the more force required to generate power on the shuttle. When you get stronger, you can experiment with higher tensions to achieve better control.

I have only used Yonex 65, 66 and now 99. If you first start out, use Yonex 65 so it lasts a lot longer.

Footwork

Ever seen the pros float around the court so effortlessly? Thanks to efficient footwork, they preserve energy yet maximise their reach in retrieving the shuttle. 

If you want to learn by yourself, there’s no better source than YouTube. The more you watch the better you will understand the concept. 

Footwork is so important that you will need to at least get the basic steps first before thinking about hand techniques. 

Training

I assume at this point you still want to stick around the sport and want to get better. It’s recommended to have some training to reinforce the basic such as footwork and the fundamental shots. 

It will be probably the greatest investment in this sport for something that you carry with you for a long time.

I still attend training at the point of this writing. My late coach told me to work on my wrist strength which I did and I could see a big difference. My latest coach emphasised so much on footwork and the smooth movement on court. It was like watching a dancer executing his seamless choreography!

If training is not an option, at least observe the experienced players and ask questions. I’m sure most will be willing to help every here and then. It will probably take longer to notice your improvement however.

Conclusion

Now that we have reached the end of this guide, I hope that you find some useful pointers and build on from here.

See you on the courts!”

There was one guy who seemed keen at first. I decided he’s the one that I will dedicate this guide to so I printed a copy and gave it to him. He did not turn up any more after that 😅

I hope I did not scare off the bloke, let me know your newbie tip in the comment section below!

UPDATE:

The Toalson Wave Nano Power is no longer available. A similar model can be found here: Toalson Mega Flex Nano Power 55