You need equipment with any sport. Without equipment, you can’t play, unfortunately. Badminton equipment is widely available and affordable. There are very good basics sets on Amazon for people just getting started and there are online retailers that provide more professional equipment for players who want to get serious.
So, what are the essential pieces of equipment for Badminton? You only need five pieces of equipment to get started with Badminton. These are:
- A Badminton net and two posts
- At least two Badminton racquets
- Some shuttlecocks
- Good Badminton shoes
- The right sports clothing
So you don’t need much to get started then. For a lot of people, you’ll be able to borrow most of these items from a local sports centre. Some people would say that you only need the first three items of this list, I’d disagree. The last items on the list are key to playing safely. Read on to find out why and how safety comes into a sport like Badminton.
A Badminton net and two posts
The Badminton net is a mesh net that’s 20ft long and 2.5ft tall. Topped with a white PVC coated headband with a thick cord running in between. The Badminton net has changed very little since the conception of the game. Commonly made from nylon now they don’t need replacing often or ever.
To stand the net you need two posts. You can buy stand-alone net posts that are weighted or you can buy more recreational sets where the posts connected to the net. These popup net sets aren’t built to BWF regulation standards which means they’re normally not the right width, length or height but are good for a bit of fun in the garden or on the beach.
It’s essential to say that you might not need to buy these. Visit your local sports centre and most have facilities for playing Badminton. Not only will they have the nets, posts and even some racquets and shuttles but they’ll have space, court markings and good flooring in an indoor environment where Badminton is meant to be played.
At least two Badminton racquets
Badminton racquets come in many varieties. It’s the piece of Badminton equipment people talk about the most. To get started you don’t need anything too fancy but I’d still recommend getting a known Badminton brand. The cheap plastic racquets that come with Badminton sets are never worth the price no matter how cheap they are. They’re not realistic for playing Badminton properly.
You need at least two of them, one for each player as Badminton requires at least two people to play. Two players playing against each other alone is called singles. You can also play with two people on each side all of the same gender (all men/boys or all ladies/girls) and this is called doubles. And you can also play mixed doubles where one man/boy plays with one lady/girl for a total of two men/boys and two ladies/girls. For this, you’ll need four racquets so everyone has one each.
So now you have somewhere to play and something to getting with, so what do we hit? In Badminton we use shuttlecocks. Shuttlecocks come in two forms, plastic and feather shuttlecocks. A lot of people use plastic shuttlecocks when they first start off. They usually come with basic Badminton racquet sets and are cheap and easy to find at any sports shop or online. I’d argue that, even for beginners, plastic shuttlecocks are a bad choice for just getting started, here’s why.
If you’re a beginner, someone who’s just getting started playing and wants to get better, you need to play with feather shuttlecocks. Plastic shuttlecocks are designed for casual players who just want to have a bit of fun, no harm in that. The problem is that once you’re past the beginner level and start going to play at clubs, almost all clubs around the world now play with feather shuttlecocks. It’s the way the game was originally made. Natural materials used to make the shuttlecocks which included goose or duck feathers for the “birdie”.
If you are a beginner you still need feather shuttlecocks. You don’t need to spend a lot of money but as I’ve explained before in our recommended shuttlecocks page buying ultra cheap shuttlecocks is a false economy. For beginners thought this shouldn’t matter too much. If you’re very new then you’re more likely to break shuttlecock from mishitting it with the frame regardless of the quality. But when you can consistently hit the shuttlecock with the strings having decent shuttles will last longer as you won’t be hitting them hard enough to wear them out.
Good Badminton shoes
Some people might assume that you can just use running shoes, tennis shoes or gym.shoes for Badminton but they’re wrong. Different sports have specialised shoes for a reason. The biggest reason is for safety. Even with the most casual sports, there can be accidents and people can get hurt because they’re not using the right equipment. We have an article here that covers the difference between Tennis and Badminton shoes.
I always recommend getting a good pair of Badminton shoes. They offer so many benefits whilst playing. They provide shock absorption to help protect the ankles and knees, they’re well cushioned so provide all-around comfort when running and jumping and many more benefits. Take a look at our recommended shoes page to find the perfect pair for you. There is a shoe for anyone on any budget on this list so please get yourself a good pair of shoes, it’s an investment in your safety playing Badminton.
The right sports clothing
Badminton is going to get you sweaty so it’s only proper to dress for it. In the beginning, any sports gear will do, as long as it’s loose and breathable. You have to stretch a lot in Badminton so wearing shorts that are too tight or are a non-stretchy material will not be comfortable.
You’re probably going to sweat a lot as well so wearing anything cotton is just going to stick to you. You need breathable, moisture-wicking sports gear to draw the sweat away from your body. This will help keep you cool and comfortable.
Badminton brands create some beautiful and well crafted clothes for all ages and sizes. They’re designed to help with all the points we talked about. The attention to detail they give their clothing is really special. A simple example is that Badminton shirts are designed with a wider arm opening to accommodate the constant reaching we do. It stops the shirt feeling too restrictive and is a nice touch.
As a beginner, you don’t need to go crazy and spend a lot of money either. There are so many brands that offer great clothing for a good price. Brands like Yonex, Viktor, Li-ning and more all offer apparel for any budget. Online shops like Amazon, DirectBadminton, CentralSports, Shop Badminton Online and many more make it so easy to get some clothing to start off with.
These are the essentials, what next?
So there are only five pieces of equipment you need to get started playing. Anything else you have after that is a bonus. But like any sport, there are things that are nice to have and become more essential to have the more you play. As you get better you’ll find that you might need some of these items.
These are two pieces of equipment with two different purposes. Court mops are used to mop up any sweat or liquid off the court. Any liquid on a Badminton court is a serious hazard for players. You can use special court mops designed for Badminton or any highly absorbent mop. Badminton mops tend to be a lot bigger because of the size of the Badminton court.
A court sweeper is meant for clearing debris off the courts surface. Anything like dust, feathers and dirt gets swept up with these scissor-like sweepers. They’re sometimes called V-sweepers because of the shape. These are also used for safety. Clearing the Badminton court of debris is essential for keeping a safe playing environment for everyone playing.
You can see that these pieces of equipment are actually essentials for elite players. Any tournaments at national or international level have these to hand for use on all courts. International have regulated referees and officials and the linesmen officials are the ones responsible for doing the mopping and sweeping of the courts regularly to keep players safe.
As you start to get better you’re going to be playing for longer, running farther and moving around a lot more. This naturally will get you sweating even more. Sweating so much that you’re going to need to dry off a bit. Even just to wipe yourself down a bit between games you’ll need a couple of towels to hand.
Drying yourself off will stop your clothes from getting too wet or letting sweat get into your shoes and socks. Again, you can get towels from Badminton brands or you can just use any highly absorbent towel is good enough.
Wristbands and headbands
You don’t often see players use these anymore. Wristbands and headbands used to be popular. They’re practical, especially for players who do sweat quite a bit. Just being able to wipe your forehead or hands with something that will take away the sweat.
Players like Nathan Robertson made them part of their look and you can get some with logos and nice designs. You see players on the elite stage always needing to towel when it’s a long game so I’m surprised not more of them wear these. You can pick some up from any sports shop or online.
What are the regulations for the equipment for Badminton? There are regulations for racquets, nets, courts and shuttlecocks set by the BWF. The BWF detail the approval process for these here. This page has the regulation details for all equipment.
If you found this article useful or know someone who might find this useful please leave a comment and share. If you feel I’ve missed anything out or have other advice, please leave feedback and share your help with others below. Thanks again for reading.
Written by Liam Walsh who lives in Manchester, England. Working as a Software Engineer but moonlighting as a dad, Badminton player and creator of BadmintonsBest.
To be good at any sport you need to master the basics. Mastering the basic techniques and skills allows you to play consistently and improve. Badminton is a very beginner-friendly sport but difficult to master. Anybody can learn and master the basic skills for Badminton. So what are the basic skills you need to play Badminton?
Tennis and Badminton are often compared to one another in various ways. They’re both racquet sports, they both require great speed and agility, to play well you need to have good hand-eye coordination and so on. Like many sports, they’re easy to start but difficult to master. So is Tennis or Badminton harder?