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How can you judge optimal string tension without testing all tensions / string comb?

Discussion in 'Badminton String' started by vipjun, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. vipjun

    vipjun Regular Member

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    Lately, I've been lending my spare racket to people in my badminton group to test out.

    One of the things we noticed was that almost all the players , even the ones who just started a month or two ago said their shots improved from their unknown tension default string tension, to my loner racket which is strung at 24lbs over a year ago. Most notably mid court drives were much crisper. Some gained power in smashes while others lost power. One thing that did seem to suffer for a large majority of the players was the distance of their clears. Some more than others.

    I also tested out their rackets, the tension ranged from super trampoline (less than 18) to maybe 24lbs.

    I didn't find that my power improved in the backcourt with lower tension which is where it is needed for me. Actually i would say for lower tension i could generate X power consistently regardless of effort but i had a tough time smashing as hard or clearing as fast as my 26lb tension, and i guess we could say it gave more power in the front court which i find kind of useless.

    So I am wondering, Is it possible to tell if moving up or down tension is more optimal for someone just by watching them play with their current tension, or if there is other characteristics to look for that would indicate they needed to up or down their tension?

    I am considering stringing 28lbs+ next time.
     
    #1 vipjun, Oct 10, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  2. Yoppy

    Yoppy Regular Member

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    There is no magic number for each individual, testing is the only way to find out. The way i found out my tension range yrs ago is the same, i increased and decreased the string tension. When you increase the tension and your shots are weaker and feels that you need to hit harder, it simply means the tension is too high. Also the same case when you lowered the tension if it does not improve your power (regardless how hard you hit) it simply means your swing speed and power is faster and stronger than the speed of the string bed snapping back .

    If you are currently using 24lbs, i suggest to go to 26lbs. This is to prevent your body from injury caused by the shock of requiring to hit faster/harder.
     
  3. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Re tension: it's been generally accepted that
    hi tension = accuracy
    lo tension = power

    The tension we prefer to play with is hence a compromise between accuracy and power, depending on our swing speed and technique.

    It's also been said the optimal tension is one that is as low as we can tolerate for control and touch shots AND still not so high that we can't clear baseline to baseline.
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    beg to differ.

    in this link, you can find the general accepted theory that we believe is the closest to experimental result, applies to string tension as well:

    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php?40187-Shaft-stiffness-flexibility-explained

    in other words, if you can hit hard with a fast swing, higher tension will give more power (and control).

    if you cannot hit hard (like a beginner), lower tension will give more power (but less control)
     
  5. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Ahhh, that is only true up to a point.
    Eventually one will hit a wall where the tension is so high that one cannot hit hard and fast consistently all the time to get power from higher tension, even pros...
     
  6. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    the limit that you talk about is around 30-35lbs. beyond that, we will start seeing limits from human ability and material strength. so for the range we are interested in, the theory seems sounds so far.

    it is much more accurate than the "high tension more control, low tension more power" theory.
     
  7. vipjun

    vipjun Regular Member

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    I wasn't aware this applies to strings as well but makes sense, thnx kwun.

    Is shaft stiffness and string tension mutually correlated ?
    For example will increasing string tension by say 4lbs have the same result as going from mid stiff to stiff?

    In what ways are the two (string & shaft) different ? if any.

    From the little experience i have it seems to me that string tension affects all shots but more so net and touch shots. While shaft flex doesn't affect my net and touch game as much.
     
  8. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    The theory is that like a bow, the string and shaft system stores and releases its potential energy upon the shuttle.

    So, if you're strong enough to bend a stiff bow (or stiff string/shaft system), then you can get more energy out of it and transferred onto the shuttle.

    On touch/net shots, the power involved obviously is too low to bend the shaft. However, the feel and accuracy of the shuttle is better with higher tension string.
     
  9. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    from my past experience as a stringer,

    i can still recall most players prefer a higher pulling tension than they should.

    basically, they feel they are more powerful (because of the higher pitch sound produced upon shuttle impact) when they smash!

    and they don't mind feeling powerful when smashing while their opponent keeps retrieving!

    until they got pain in their wrist, arm or burn a hole in their pocket they start to reduce.
    with a high tension especially in doubles it is very difficult to control netting among the intermediate level.

    thus, the best is try to find your own ideal pulling tension.Q
     
  10. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    agree with PBM.

    the theory is sound given your observation.

    the optimal tension is different for everyone.

    for each person, as they increase tension from very low tension, they will have little power from the racket, as the tension goes higher, they get more power. however, at one point, they will reach a maxima/optimal point that give them the most power for their technique/strength. if they try to increase tension further, they will realize the stringbed feels like a wooden board and will start to lose power.

    the optimal point, however, is different for everyone. and for stronger players, the optimal point is usually higher. for pros, their optimal point is usually around 30 lbs give or take.

    for recreational players, some can hit really hard, some cannot. therefore, for people who do not know what their optimal power, we recommend a low-medium tension of 23lbs to start with.
     
  11. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    ..also, consider the stiffness of the racket one is using; e.g. stiff, mid-flex and flexible...I think for most people, at least recreational or amateur players like most of us, the optimal string tension would fall below 30 lbs (as kwun mentioned); i would even consider there's a range of optimal tension (24-28lbs) rather than 1 specific tension (remember the fresh string tension which we start with will loosen up as we play)..
     
  12. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Being able to clear, forehand, from one far corner to the other is a good basic indicator of whether the string is too tight - if they can't, it is:).
     
  13. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    That's correct. Being able to bend the limbs of a bow is what counts! Actually, the bow string doesn't do anything other than to transfer the stored energy from the limbs to the arrow. The ideal bow string is one that doesn't stretch ;). Now, I am not sure if the same analogy is applicable to badminton racket and string. :D

     
  14. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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  15. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    No. The theory is still sound at high tensions but observation is limited by the individual's ability to swing fast enough. 80lbs is simply beyond the ability of any human on the planet at the moment. A machine test, however, can aid in obtaining the observation data.

    Conversely, if lower tension == higher power is a stable theory, I should get infinite power with a butterfly net. Check my comparison at:
    http://prstat.blogspot.com/2010/04/higher-tensions-gives-better-power.html

    Personally, I flip between different tensions depending on how I feel that day. I always start with my 27lbs string and if I'm playing well and feeling really good, I switch into the 28lbs.
     
    #15 weeyeh, Oct 12, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  16. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Isn't that what I said?

    Don't be silly. It's not even in the functional range.

    Now this gets interesting.

    Why do you think when you're tired you can't play as well with 28 lbs vs 27 lbs?
     
    #16 visor, Oct 12, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  17. pBmMalaysia

    pBmMalaysia Regular Member

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    isn't theory of the bow and arrow to be used to compare shaft stiffness?

    when you can't pull the bow is like playing with a racket the shaft too stiff.

    for this, i was wondering when will there be such a technology for a flexible shaft,

    once bent, to have ten times faster repulsion than the current shaft in the market.

    then we can have our racket really working for us,

    imagine the stiffer shalf will give 10 x 5 times more power?

    meanwhile can only wait and flex all new rackets in the market..
     
  18. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    pbm, i think that's against the law of physics. ;)
     
  19. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Not if it is battery operated piezo electric fibers that are activated by swinging the racket. :)
     
  20. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i will quit the game if that ever happens. ;)
     

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