How to choose your badminton strings' tension
String tension is one of the least known topics in the world of badminton and is often misleading. In a world where it is possible to access thousands of information in a few clicks but where information is often wrong, it is normal that it is difficult to navigate. Here is all the information you need to choose the right strings tension.
What is the effect of tension on performance?
In general, the greater the tension of the strings, the less power it will have and the more control it will have and the better feel. However, we must not stop at this rule because it is not always true. In truth, it also depends on the caliber of the player. Indeed, a professional player will get more power with a tense strings than with a soft strings. This is partly because the tighter strings will transfer the player's energy more efficiently to the steering wheel, while the softer strings will "absorb" the player's energy to generate his own power. There is therefore a minimum tension (different for each player) to which decrease in tension will result in a loss of power.
What is the effect of tension on durability?
Quite simply, the higher the tension of a strings, the faster it will break. Firstly, the friction effect between the strings will be greater, causing them to wear more quickly. Then, the higher the tension, the closer the strings will approach its breaking point on each strike. The breaking point is the tension at which a strings will break instantaneously. It is the cause of most strings breaks that occur in the ends of the racket (completely up or down). The chances that the strings breaks after a blow in these ends therefore increase exponentially with the tension and the thinness of the strings.
How do I know if I'm using the right tension?
The best test to determine if a tension is adequate is to settle on the bottom line and clear with a playing partner. If you have to put a lot of effort into sending the wheel to the line of bottom on the other side of the net or if you are unable to do so, then you should decrease your blood pressure. If you can relieve effortlessly on the bottom line on the other side of the net or if you send the steering wheel further, then you should increase your tension. In the same vein, if you can release comfortably but without having to worry about putting the steering wheel outside, your tension is probably appropriate.
Do I have to trust the tension specifications written on my racket?
Short answer: no.
Long Answer: The principles outlined above apply even if the string tension is outside of the suggested tension on the racket. For example. if you use a racket for very advanced players with a recommended tension between 24 lbs and 30 lbs and you can not clear at 24 lbs, you must use less tension.
For most other racket sports, such as tennis where almost all players are able to send the ball too far easily, it is common for a player to choose the median tension in the recommended tension range (ie. 57 lbs if the recommended tension is 52 to 62 lbs). In this case, it is said that the tension will provide a good balance between control and power and the players are happy to sacrifice some power for superior control, as this allows them to put the ball out of the field less often. In the case of badminton, sacrificing power is useless for a player if they are not able to make a defensive shot such as clear the shuttle at the far end of the opposite court.
For badminton, the most significant number indicated on the racket is the maximum tension. This tension can be exceeded without breaking the racket if it is in good condition and if it is strung by a good stringer, however the warranty will no longer be valid when the racket is strung to a higher tension than indicated.
What tension do you recommend to me?
Here are general recommendations of tension depending on your gender, your caliber of play and the type of shuttlecocks you use. Advanced and expert levels represent players who participate or have competed at provincial or national level and generally only play with feather shuttlecocks .
|Level of play||Nylon shuttlecocks||Feather shuttlecocks|
|Beginner||16 - 19 lbs||18 - 20 lbs|
|Intermediate||20 - 22 lbs||21 - 23 lbs|
|Advanced||23 - 24 lbs||24 - 26 lbs|
|Expert||24 lbs||26 - 30 lbs|
|Level of play||Nylon shuttlecocks||Feather shuttlecocks|
|Beginner||16 - 17 lbs||18 - 19 lbs|
|Intermediate||18 - 19 lbs||20 - 21 lbs|
|Advanced||20 - 21 lbs||22 - 23 lbs|
|Expert||22 - 23 lbs||24 - 26 lbs|
Please note that these recommendations are made according to badminton in the province of Quebec. Several factors can cause players from other countries to use different tensions (temperature, humidity, steering wheel speed, etc.). In addition, other factors such as the age or physical condition of the player may influence the correct tension to choose. For personalized advice according to your condition and your style of play, do not hesitate to come to the store and we will be happy to recommend adequate strings and tension for you.
The stiffness of my strings varies with the stringer, is this normal?
This is normal, to a certain extent. Indeed, even if you ask the same tension in several stringers, it is possible that the strings is more or less tense according to the stringer. A small difference can be observed depending on the machine used, the stringing technique and even the ambient temperature. Greater differences can be observed if the stringing technique is lacking, if the stringing machine is of poor quality or if the machine is poorly calibrated or poorly maintained. In general, the more experienced the stringer is and the better the quality of the machine, the tighter the string will be for the same tension as there will be less loss of tension during and after the installation of the string. A small variation in the rigidity of the strings is perfectly acceptable, however one must be wary when the variation is great. The most important factor is consistency; your strings should perform exactly the same after each record.
Le Coin Badminton has done several tests by stringing a specific model of racket in several other shops and big box stores. In several cases, these stringss installed in other places were up to 25% less tight immediately after being strung than the strings installed by our stringers despite the fact that the racquets, strings and tensions were the same. It is therefore important to deal with an experienced certified stringer.