How to Play the Badminton Backhand Smash


Badminton Backhand Smash

Level Advanced
Type Offensive
Pre-requisite Backhand Clear, Backhand Drop


This technique is one of the most difficult badminton shots to perform.

A baseline to baseline backhand clear requires a lot of power. The badminton backhand smash requires EVEN MORE POWER!

However if executed perfectly, this shot will definitely surprise your opponent and make him return a weak shot.

For forehand shots, it’s easy to tell that a player is going to hit a smash or a jump smash. Unlike the forehand, it’s difficult to expect the type of backhand shot the player is going to play (since the backhand stroke requires the player to face backwards to preload)

Therefore, if you can perform strong badminton backhand smashes, you’ll definitely catch your opponent off-guard!

Click here to read on the legendary badminton backhander, Taufik Hidayat and watch Taufik’s video clips of his superb backhand smashes.

Power of the Backhand Smash

The power of this shot comes from:

  • Good Backhand Stroke Technique: You must be able to perform a good badminton backhand stroke in order to generate the most power in your backhand smash. Good technique enables you to perform the maximum swing, hence generating a lot of momentum in your swing. Click here to learn or revise your basic badminton backhand stroke.
  • Maximum Wrist Action: Wrist action in badminton creates a lot of power. Perform a quick “snapping” motion by flicking your wrist.
  • How to Grip Your Racket: Adopt the badminton backhand grip. DO NOT grip your racket too tightly. If you’re gripping too tightly, you’re tensing your muscles. When your arm muscles are too tensed, the mobility of your wrist will be limited and you’ll find it difficult to flick your wrist. You might also want to use your finger action (your thumb) to assist you in generating a stronger wrist action.

Should You Execute This Shot?

This shot is for you if you can:

  • Quickly move to the position for a badminton backhand smash; and
  • Quickly switch to the backhand grip

Since the badminton backhand smash requires a lot of strength, you’ll need longer pre-loading time to generate the power for your smash. The longer your pre-loading time, the more power you can generate.

During the pre-loading phase, switch to the backhand grip. Therefore, you MUST BE FAST in switching to the backhand grip in order to give yourself more preloading time.

DO NOT perform this shot unless you’re very sure that you can “kill” your opponent with your smash.

Since the backhand stroke requires you to face the back of the court (towards your backhand area), your forehand area becomes very vulnerable.

This means that if your opponent retrieves your backhand smash, and returns it to your forehand area, you might have trouble getting that return shot!

Also, you’ll lose a certain degree of body balance as you perform your backhand swing. Therefore you’ll need longer time to recover/maintain body balance before you can return to your base point.


1. Preparation Phase

Quickly switch to a forehand grip while turning towards your backhand area to face the back of the court.

2. Preloading Phase

Keep your racket arm as close as possible to your body so that your backhand swing is maximised.

Keep your non-racket arm ready to help you maintain body balance when you perform your swing.

Remember that the faster you’re able to switch to the backhand grip, the more preloading time you have (the more power you can accumulate)

3. Execution

Take the shuttle at the HIGHEST POINT POSSIBLE for a steeper and better angle.

Commence the backhand swing motion. Remember, the CORRECT SWINGING PATTERN is the KEY for power.

From this point onward, your swing should be 1 smooth and complete motion until you hit the shuttle. DO NOT STOP half way during the swing. This breaks the momentum.

When you’re about to make contact with the shuttle, perform a powerful flick with your wrist. Hit the shuttle with a quick “snapping” motion with the flick of your wrist.

Your wrist action along with your backhand swinging motion is the source of power for the badminton backhand.

Apart from your wrist action, finger control (your thumb and index finger) is important for better control of your racket. Use your fingers (especially your thumb for a backhand), to help create a more powerful flick.

Direct the shuttle downwards so that it passes the other side of the court JUST ABOVE THE NET.

It’s important NOT to grip your racket too tightly. This enables flexible wrist action as well as finger movement for better control.

Even after you hit the shuttle, FOLLOW THROUGH to complete your backhand swing.

There is a high chance that you’ll lose body balance after you hit the shuttle, make use of your non-racket arm to help maintain body balance.

After your backhand swing motion is complete, quickly return to your base to prepare for the next shot.

 Important Tips/Advice

  1. Do not perform the badminton backhand smash unless you’re VERY SURE that you can go for the ‘kill’
  2. Do not tense your muscles at all times or else you limit your swinging motion and wrist action
  3. When you first learn the badminton backhand smash, DO NOT exert too much strength into your swing. You might get the technique wrong! Good technique is more important than power. Once you get the
    technique right, increase the power gradually over time.
  4. The quick “snapping” motion of your wrist is a great source of power. Make use of your wrist action when performing this shot.
  5. The force of the backhand swing might be too strong and you might lose body balance. Make use of your non-racket arm to maintain body balance.
  6. RELAX when performing this shot! Remember, get the technique right.

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