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You can put off buying a racket until you know what you want - you can get one from the club for a 10 deposit (let us know beforehand so we bring enough). You get the deposit back when you return the racket later (providing you don't break it - either the racket itself or the strings). In the meantime the racket is yours and we don't mind if you decide to keep it.


Sports centres like to say you need "non marking shoes" but no-one I've ever talked to (including sports centre staff) has ever seen any "marking shoes" or knows what they are. Many people start out playing in ordinary trainers or old gym shoes, but an early upgrade might be to get some proper indoor court shoes Training shoes are mainly about supporting your heel strike and going straight ahead - in badminton and squash you're trying to play on the balls of your feet and you want agility rather than power. Inexpensive court shoes cost less (about 20) and are better than trainers, and really good ones still cost less than people apparently spend on trainers.


The club provides feather shuttles. Avoid using plastic shuttles - the game is supposed to be played with feathers and plastic shuttles are not an adequate substitute. If you want some shuttles of your own we'll provide them at cost from club stocks (we buy in bulk, cheaper). We can often provide used shuttles free for practice and using damaged feather shuttles will be better for your game than plastic shuttles (keep them in play until they no longer fly properly - when they dip and wobble and dodge when you're trying to hit them). Plastic shuttles never fly properly even when they're new.


You probably don't need any advice on what clothes to wear, except to be sure you want to be comfortable moving about. Several of our sports centres don't provide drinking water so most people bring a water bottle. At Buckler's Mead there is a water coolers but no cups. Westlands has tap water and no cups.

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