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    How to choose a Badminton String and String Tension

    How to choose a Badminton String and String Tension

    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 lack the technique and is more likely to mis-hit the shuttle on the wrong part of the string bed, therefore it is recommended that they use a lower tension because the lower the tension, the bigger 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 break more easily if a mis-hit occurs because of how tight the strings are being stretched.

    • As a player becomes more consistent and has good technique, they will benefit more from a higher tension because the shuttle will travel off the string bed faster, giving them control of the shuttle.


    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

    -the racket will have a softer string bed which means that there is more "bounce/repulsion" from the strings and therefore the player can easily get power from the racket without using much strength

    -a larger sweet spot that is more forgiving and requires less accurate strokes to generate power

    -the strings are more durable and less prone to breakage from off-center miss hits at the sides of the string bed

     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 

    -the player will need to be more accurate and consistent with their strokes in order to generate power due to the smaller sweet spot

    -the racket will also have a harder (tighter) string bed which means that there is less "bounce/repulsion" from the strings and therefore the player will need to input more strength to generate power

    -the strings are less durable and more prone to breakage from off-center miss-hits at the sides of the string bed

    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:

    String tension

    Power

    Control

    Durability

    Feel

    Vibration

       Low

    Easy

    Decrease

     Increase

     Decrease

      Decrease

       High

    Hard

    Increase

      Decrease

    Increase

      Increase

     

     

    As you may have noticed, there is a recommended 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 to ensure that the racket does not break when stringing.  People who choose to go over the limit may subject their racket to damage under the immense pressure from the high tension of the strings.  Professional players often string way outside the recommendation at 30lbs+ .  These players are sponsored and do not have to pay for their rackets if it breaks so unless you are sponsored, I would not recommend stringing outside the recommended tension and to do so at your own discretion.  The recommended tension is also there for warranty purposes.  Stringing outside the range will void the warranty.

    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 fly differently 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:

    Strings for Power
    BG80
    BG66 Ultimax
    BG80 Power
    NBG98
    BG Aerosonic

    Strings for Durability
    BG65 (Great for beginners)
    BG65 Titanium
    NBG95

    Strings for Control
    NBG99
    BG Aerobite

    It is recommended for beginners to use thicker strings since thinner strings are easier to break from mis-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.


    Vectran
    The Vectran high-strength and high-elasticity spiral winding prolongs durability and racket stringing tension.


    Hydro Titanium
    Compound titanium hydride coating provides not only a sharp feel at impact but increased durability.


    MultiFilament
    YONEX MultiFilament featuers a super-fine diameter for high durability and a soft feel on impact.

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