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String tension and power

Discussion in 'Badminton String' started by Danstevens, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    Hi everyone, this is my first post, so be kind ;).

    But anyway, here goes: on the internet, I have read many conflicting articles about whether lower or higher tensions help the same racket to generate more power. I have a Nanospeed 9000X that I am considering experimenting with and would like to know which way I should adjust the tension. I already know that to increase power you should work on technique but my technique is already good and my smash quite fast, I'd just like to have a little bit more of an advantage.

    My Nanospeed has had some lead tape added to make it (very) head heavy as I'm an attacking player and the strings are the last thing I need to sort out. Maybe there are some physicists among us, or genuine badminton geniuses who could tell me whether higher or lower tensions generate more power.

    Thanks in advance,
    Daniel
     
  2. -Berg

    -Berg Regular Member

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    Tension

    The higher the tension, the lower the power
    The lower the tension, the higher the power

    But going high ( at certain level ) can make shot more accurate
    But if you are about all out attacking type, lower tension is reccomended.

    Because:
    1. More bounce effect, more repulsion, more power
    2. Lot more durability lasting than higher tension
    3. Louder and crisp sound at full power smash
     
    #2 -Berg, Oct 17, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  3. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    That makes sense, but I read on Wikipedia (I know, not the most reliable source on Earth) said the following:
    However, it has to be said, the low tension theory seems to be the most logical and yes, I am an all-out attacking player. I love to smash and this is why I'm looking for a good attacking setup. Oh and if it helps, I'm an intermediate to advanced level player; I can generate power myself but love power too much.
     
  4. hhwoot

    hhwoot Regular Member

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    If you want a reason based on physics for "low tension == more power", it would have to be the concept of impulse. As the shuttle is being hit by a lower tension string, it will remain in contact with the strings for a longer period of time (dt). Since you are swinging the racket with a constant force (F), the impulse (I = F*dt) will be larger since the time will be longer. You can think of impulse as the change in momentum of the shuttle, and of course with more momentum the shuttle will move away from the racket faster.

    Having said that and being quite confident that it's true... I want to say that the effect shouldn't be enormous. Proper swing form and a head-heavy racket will be more effective in increasing the speed of the shuttle. I mean, if there really was a huge power loss going from 20lb to 30lb tension, then professionals would not play with 30lb+.:p
     
  5. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    OK thanks. The point about the pros at the end puts the everyday effects of high tensions in to perspective. I suppose they must have reasons for stringing that high. I think I might try some tensions, some lower and some higher than I use now and see what gives me the best results.
     
  6. hhwoot

    hhwoot Regular Member

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    You're welcome, I'm glad I was able to help. To clarify a bit on why professionals use higher tension, as other people have said, it's for more control. This effect can be explained also with how long the shuttle remains on the racket. With a higher tension string, the shuttle remains in contact with the strings for a shorter amount of time. This is helpful for control since a human swing is not perfect (muscles are not perfect), force is not being directed perfectly. As the racket makes contact with the shuttle, the impact will mess with the direction of the force even more. So the less time the shuttle remains in contact with the strings, the less its flight path will be affected by these random forces.
     
  7. Athelete1234

    Athelete1234 Regular Member

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    Within your "playable" string tension:

    within the upper range, you will sacrifice power, but you will gain better touch and feel
    within the lower range, you will gain power but lose control.

    This only applies to within your playable range. If you are too high, you lose power and control, if you are too low, you lose power and control too.

    The best thing is to find a range in which you feel comfortable playing, and pick the lower end of the range for power.
     
  8. Athelete1234

    Athelete1234 Regular Member

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    This is also for increased power. As many players (not me) who use 30+lbs, they will say that they gain power by stringing tighter.
     
  9. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    Thanks for all of your replies. I guess the only way to find out which tension will suit me best is just to play with different tensions. Right now I have the nanospeed strung at 26 lbs, I know that the Yonex recommended tensions are fairly low but what are the limits of the racket? I'd be too scared to go over 30 lbs but at 28-30 lbs would the racket be OK?
     
  10. Smichz

    Smichz Regular Member

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    I dont know why but i myself or probably others that r used to high tension,might not be able to smash hard enough if the tension is much lower than our preffered tension.My preferred tension is around 28lbs.
     
  11. hhwoot

    hhwoot Regular Member

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    Thinking about this situation a bit more, I realized that it's actually quite complex. I think there are two competing phenomena.

    1) The increased impulse from the shuttle being in longer contact with the lower-tensioned strings.

    2) The higher energy transfer from a more perfect elastic collision as a result of higher-tensioned strings.

    (1) and (2) are related, the force during impact is not constant, the strings are like a spring, the force versus time will look like an arch. Lower-tensioned strings will give a wider (longer in time), but shorter (less force) arch. Higher-tensioned strings will give a narrower (shorter in time), but higher (more force) arch. The area under the arch is the change in momentum of the shuttle, a larger area will mean that the shuttle is hit away faster.

    Putting it all together... I really haven't figured out how much (1) and (2) will cancel each other out... But judging from other people on this forum, my own experiences, and professional players, it seems like (2) will dominate a bit in the end, with skill.
     
  12. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    Thanks for that. Now, I think we may be able to draw a conclusion; not one that everyone will agree with but one that should be reasonably accurate.

    If you just look on the surface of things, it will appear that looser strings generate more power. However, if you look at the more advanced physics, you will find that tighter strings generate slightly more power but this comes with a proviso, if you can use high tensions, fine but if not, then you'll still generate more power with looser strings.
     
  13. romizone

    romizone Regular Member

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    Playable player for medium player is average at 25 -27 lbs
     
  14. drowsysmurf

    drowsysmurf Regular Member

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    Personally, i think that there is a tension where more you'd be able to draw better power. for me, i think this is betwee 24-26 lbs. under 23 lbs is sometimes hard to draw power. over 27 is hard as well...

    my reasoning is because if the string is too lose, it will not spring back into shape with as much force as a tighter string. if tension is too high, you would not be able to make an indent into the string bed to force the string to assist you with more power. i'm sure if you pick up some physics book about force or something... just conceptually think about it, you'd draw your own conclusion. in these equations above, those are really only for static items. your super ideal cases. in real life. there are many other factors that add into it. string elasticity, application force, racket frame stiffness, etc.

    cheers,
    drowsy
     
  15. hhwoot

    hhwoot Regular Member

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    Static items? Interesting counter-argument when I've been talking about collisions. Please tell me where I've made "super ideal" assumptions. And please show me a physics book that takes into account all "real life" factors. We are only concerned about the tension in strings, string elasticity, application force, and racket frame stiffness do not apply.

     
  16. ilovedude

    ilovedude Regular Member

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    As you mentioned you want to experiment high low tension for better worse power. Why don't you just simply get on it and let us know rather to discuss about the physics of tension.
    If you already have high tenison say 26-28, then restring it to 24-26, 22-24 and even 20-22 and make comparison, wouldn't this be more logical ?
     
  17. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    Yes it would and this is why, having discussed the physics, I will go and experiment over the coming weeks. But anyway, physics is awesome :D
     
  18. Athelete1234

    Athelete1234 Regular Member

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    Like I said, every player has a playble range, and the benefits are only there within that range, which is unique to each player. Too high you can't flex the strings, too low you over flex the strings.
     
  19. weeyeh

    weeyeh Regular Member

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    At the risk of appearing to up my thread count, I think you have nailed the experience I have as well.

    Further, I'd add that:
    • Too high a tension destroys the player's shoulder. The player will be attempting to speed up his swing in his attempt to hit harder. This is usually done wrongly using the shoulder instead of wrist or fingers. High tensioned rackets also transmits more shock.
    • Too low a tension causes the player to become lazy. That's what happened to me during social sessions. I strung my racket at 18-19lbs and had to slow down my swing to compensate. My max tension was 28lbs when I was much younger and now hovers at around 24-25lbs now (BG80).
    The generally agreed process of starting with a slightly lower (but not overly low) tension and gradually move up to find your optimal tension has its very good reasons.

    Finding the correct balance in string and string tension is, IMHO, the most important element in the racket system. In fact, I'd advocate doing that before splurging on a new racket.
     
  20. drowsysmurf

    drowsysmurf Regular Member

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    #1 i'm sorry if you feel my comment was directed at you as it wasn't:eek: I just saw physics in some of the paragraphs and gave an opinion as well. i did not eve notice all of them were written by you (until you made that comment which made me go back an re-read). if i really want to super analyze (after re-reading) what was stated, there is definitely more to say. i was just merely stating the fact that equations given are for ideal cases. and he was asking about racket string tension in real life application (maybe i read that incorrectly too in which case i apologize and will re-read again) so :confused: was i incorrect in my comment then?

     

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