How to Choose a Badminton String and String Tension | Badminton Essentials for Beginners
Before you choose a badminton string, here are some basic facts and terminology you should familiarize yourself with:
- All strings stretch, like elastic, and therefore your strings will begin to lose tension (known as "tension creep") starting from the day it is strung.
- Every racket has a “sweet spot.” This is an area on the string bed which will give you the most power.
- Beginners often have poor technique and is likely to miss the sweet spot. Using a lower tension will be recommended as it increases the size of the sweet spot.
- A higher tension will provide more power and control only if you can consistently hit the sweet spot. The downside is that the strings will likely break if you miss the sweet spot.
String tension relating to power and control
Much of the power in a badminton shot comes from the string. Thus, it is very important to know how string tension can affect your game. By adjusting the string tension, you can adjust the amount of power or control that you get from any string, thick or thin.
Playing with a lower tension (18-23lb)
A lower tension means:
- a softer (looser) string bed and thus less feeling of the shuttle which results in less control and placement
- a softer (looser) string bed means that there is more "bounce/repulsion" from the strings and therefore the player can easily get power even if they lack the proper technique or strength
- a larger sweet spot that is more forgiving and less prone to breakage from miss hits (more durable)
Conclusion: Lower tensions are more suited for beginners who do not have good hitting technique and require more power in their game.
Playing with a higher tension (24-30lb)
A higher tension means:
-a harder (tighter) string bed and thus more feeling of the shuttle which allows for more control and placement
-a harder (tighter) string bed means that there is less "bounce/repulsion" from the strings and therefore the player needs to have proper technique to generate power
-a smaller sweet spot that is less forgiving and more prone to breakage from miss hits (less durable)
Conclusion: Higher tensions are more suited for advanced players who have good hitting technique and require more control in their game.
Here is a table that summarizes the main points:
Racket Recommended Tension
As you may have noticed, there is a recommended range for string tension on every racket. They usually have a few different ranges depending on the racket itself, 17-22, 20-27, etc...
This recommendation is there for warranty purposes. Stringing outside of the range will void your warranty.
High string tension place immense stress on the racket frame and increases the chances of breakage. For example if you clash with someone or you hit shuttle with the frame.
If you string over the recommended tension range, do so at your own discretion.
Professional players often string way outside the recommendation at 30lbs+. They are sponsored and can replace their rackets for free if it breaks.
A common mistake most people make is to string at too high of a tension because of their ego. Since it is harder to generate power at high tensions, the player will often use excessive force in order to generate power and may result in an injury to the shoulder or they may develop tennis elbow.
Here is a suggestion for string tension for different levels of players:
- Beginner : 17lbs-20lbs
- Intermediate: 20lbs-24lbs
- Advanced: 24lbs-27lbs
- Professional/International: 27lbs – 30lbs+
For those that play with plastic shuttles, it is recommended to lower your tension by 1-2lbs. A plastic shuttle generally requires more effort to clear to the baseline because they are heavier and have a different flight path compared to feather shuttles. Lowering the string tension will give you the extra power that you need to help you with clears.
Here is our list of strings that are most often requested by customers with the top of the list being most popular:
It is recommended for beginners to use thicker strings since thinner strings are easier to break from miss-hits.
To choose a badminton string, you should take note of your playing style as different strings will help with certain aspects of the game.
If you found this useful, read our post on How to Choose a Badminton Racket
Different strings are made with different materials that give them their unique characteristics.
Here are the string technologies/material and their description:
Cup-Stack Carbon Nanotube:
Advanced construction minimizes notching of the string at intersections for greater durability and high repulsion power.
The Vectran high-strength and high-elasticity spiral winding prolongs durability and racket stringing tension.
Compound titanium hydride coating provides not only a sharp feel at impact but increased durability.
YONEX MultiFilament featuers a super-fine diameter for high durability and a soft feel on impact.