# String tensions for optimal power

Discussion in 'Badminton String' started by Confused, Dec 14, 2001.

1. ### Confused Guest

Racket Tension

I was reading over 2kreative's posting and I'm stilll confused. Half the people say that stringing a racket at a higher tension (20lbs or more) will yield more power, while lighter tension (15lbs-18lbs) will give more control. Is this true ? I've read other postings and some people seem to think it's the other way around higher tension for control and lighter tension for power ? If you have some insight or the right answer I await your response. Thanx.

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2. ### Nico Guest

Re: Racket Tension

Well if the tension is high then the shuttle will be hitted with a rather "hard" face and if the tension is low then the shuttle will bounce off more when hitted. Have experience strings of different tension settings. I have no doubt that the higher the tension I am able to pull off more powerful shots. Control seems to be better too. When using a racquet of low tension i cannot control my shot as well it seems to "bounce" all over.

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3. ### Yogi Regular Member

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Re: Racket Tension

According to ur theory If teh shuttle bounces off then u shoudl be able to genrate more power with a Flexible racket?

Is it not? That is why John Mec was a Great tennis player. His racket was strung so low that It was close to Imposible to control The Ball.

I am not suggesting anything here but i am simply producing a counter argument.

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4. ### modious Regular Member

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Re: Racket Tension

Higher tension = more control = not for beginners
Lower tension = more power = for those starting out

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5. ### Gladius Regular Member

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Re: Racket Tension

Yes Modious, that's about sums it.

However, point to note is that high tension works better for players who have decently good arm strength and has a good racket swing speed. It helps in the power transmission to the shuttle. Like wise for stiff rackets.

High tensions (23 lbs +++) is quite useless for players just starting out unless you really want oinjure yourself.

If you're just starting out but incessantly feel that you've got strong arms, stick to around 21-22 lbs or risk lonf term injuries to your arm when you (mis)hit really hard.

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6. ### Mark Guest

Re: Racket Tension

I disagree with Modious. I think that the higher the tension, the less power absorbed by the racket and hence more to the shuttle resulting in greater power of shot. The racket stiffness must also be taken into account.

ie

More Tension = more power, less control
Less tension = less power, more control

Stiff racket = power
flexible racket = control.

So there.

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7. ### aldous Guest

Re: Racket Tension

I believe it all depends on the players and racquet. Some people/racquet get more power with high tension and some people/racquet get more power with lower tenision. The average people will get more power with low tension around 18 to 21 lbs. If you string lower than 18 I don't think you will be able to get a lot of power. I am a hard hitter, I love to strung around 20 to 22 lbs. More than 22 lbs I will feel a lot less power. Guys! have you ever try those prestrung racquet, those strung really low tension? Do you get a lot of power out of those racquets? Personally I don't think so. Therefore It all depends on a lot of other factors. Be objective, if you don't feel comfortable with your racquet tension. Try different setting next time or try other people's racquet with different tension. Until find one that you comfortable with. If you seen some people got really powerful shot. That aren't mean you can get more powerful shot with their racquet or they get higher or lower tension string. If you don't believe me try it. Good luck and Merry Chirstmas!

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8. ### Jake Guest

Re: Racket Tension

Maybe you want to read this:

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9. ### trapped-never Regular Member

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Re: Racket Tension

It is really nice article. I think they smartly stopped before taking the real racket frame into account. I guess that then the things would start to really complicate.
I believe that racket manufacturers should state optimum string types and tensions for given racket frame to achieve:
a) maximum power
b) maximum durability
c) maximum control
separately for feather and plastic shuttlecocks
By the way - the control item is for me a small mistery. Lower tension strings are in longer contact with the shuttle. This means that the trajectory of the shuttle will be lesser impacted by small errors (very short change of angle between shuttle axis and racket frame plane) and more defined by the general direction of the stroke. In other words I think that better control should be achieved with lower string tension (but I am not sure if my reasoning is correct). Can anybody comment on this? Thanx

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10. ### SystemicAnomaly Regular Member

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Not quite

Mark, you've got the last part right. Stiff rackets tend to generate more power while a flexible racket can help with control. However, the situation with string tension is not the same & is not so straightforward. Aldous' response is not far of the mark. Whether you generate more power with looser tensions or higher tensions has a lot to do with the nature of your strokes... are they short & quick? long & & somewhat slower? do you impart more spin than needed for a power shot?

Racket head speed has a lot to do with how much power is generated. The part of the racket face where contact is made has a lot to do with power generated... do you hit off center a lot? are you hitting the sweet spot? do you hit higher up in the string bed (where the racket velocity is greater for a full swing)? Note that lower tensions tend to give you a larger sweet spot. For players that hit off-enter this could help with generating power. Note that if the tension is extremely low then the effect does not hold true. For players that hit the shuttle cleanly (& w/o extra spin) or contact the shuttle at the optimum location on the string bed, they can generate a very crisp shots with higher string tensions.

With tennis, the generalities are somewhat more straightforward. Power is optimized with stiffer frames but lower string tensions. Control is optimized with higher string tensions but with a more flexible frame. This hold true as long as you don't stray too far from the recommended string tension (range). Tighter strings will deform the ball more since the strings do not give as much. This more pronounced ball deformation results in power lost thru heat generated (as the ball deforms). With looser strings the ball deformation is less (since the strings give more) and therefore less power is lost thru heat.

With a flexible racket, power is lost (in the heat) in the deformation of the frame. A stiffer frame

For a rather technical explanation check out the following on tennis string tensions and racket stiffness...

http://www.racquetresearch.com/sevencri.htm#The Effect of String Tension

Many of the same factors hold true for badminton frames as does for tennis frames. SOME of the smae factors come into play for badminton string tensions. However, for reasons that I stated previously, the effects of string tension on power is not quite as simple. This difference between badminton & tennis factors also arise because of relative differences between tensions involved as well the racket mass (& stiffness) compared to the projectile (shuttle or ball) mass. Other factors, such differences in projectile compression & air resistance, can account for the diff between tennis & badminton.

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11. ### Malaysian Guest

Re: Racket Tension

well , I not only play Badminton but Tennis and Golf as well. And thru my experiences on all this games it simply boils down to one thing.
1) higher the tension = more control , less Power
2)lower the tension = more power , less control.
the Article provided by Jake explains this sincerely.

In tennis, the pro's arms and swing speed is fast enough to generate powerful shots therefore they string their racquets at higher tension to obtain the control they need.

In golf, The Callaway ERC II driver is banned on the US PGA tournaments because the face of the driver is thinner than other drivers and therefore it bends inwards at impact of the golf ball and gives the extra push when the golf ball leaves the club face. this gives the extra distance by about 10 to 20 %.
The pro's also uses steel shafts for the golf clubs. Why ? because steel shafts do not bend easily as graphite and this gives more control. Watch the PGA tournaments and you will find all the pros using Steel Shaft Golf clubs.

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Re: Not quite

Good analysis gregr. Several years back there was a university study that compared string tensions with speed of the smash in badminton. It was done with some top junior Malaysian players at the time, and I think the researcher was a Japanese professor. The conclusion from the study was that for speed of smash, the tension had little affect on it.

The speed of the shuttle is directly proportional to the racquet head speed. String tension has little to do with adding the final speed of the head. Gregr's response about the technique and stroke to produce this speed is what governs how fast the shuttle will come off.

A sidenote from the analysis though, was that string tension had everything to do with control depending on the stroke method. The preference between players who took the test for higher tension was that they have more control since the string had more response to their stroke. Although not all players chose the same tension, so this was a individual preference. In general I have found that players that use finger control of the shuttle tends to prefer higher tension, while players that use more wrist than fingers prefer a lower tension.

Racquet stiffness, thats another topic.

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13. ### qwerty Regular Member

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tension question

Hey guys. Just want to ask if higher tension = more power? Example, I have 2 rackets, one at 24 lbs and one at 28lbs. Which should produce more power?

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14. ### nutty Regular Member

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it all depends on your technique... if you have a strong wrist and arm, a higher tension should produce more power i think, but 28 lbs is WAAAAAAAAAAY too high imo. If you're intermediate level, maybe around 22-24 lbs... i personally use 21 lbs, but i can still generate quite a bit of power

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15. ### Badboy New Member

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This is a much debated topic.... from what I've gathered, tension & power follows a non-linear curve. Below 20lb, less tension = more power (to a certain level, of course). And conversely, higher tension = more control. Anything between 20-29lb doesn't make a lot of difference apart from sending vibrations up your arm

*Apparently* above 30lb higher tensions yield greater power again, yet to confirm this.

I've come to this conclusion from reading university studies, newsgroups, articles... and personal experience. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, anyone out there got any concrete evidence?

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16. ### Xuser Regular Member

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In my opinion and from my personal experince, the lower the tension (not too low of course) the more power you can generate because of the "tramboline" effect. Greater tension will give you more control. As for anything > 30lbs, well, haven't try it and probably will never
On the other note, if you have a flexible shaft racquet with high tension stringing, then you might get good power. This is just a guess and have not tried it myself.

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17. ### JChen99 Regular Member

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Different Tensions

Alrite, if there's a previous post I missed reading plz dont yell at me ^^"
I did a search on "tension" and went as much as ~10 pages before I gave up.

My question is: I've heard a lot about high tensions, and how the control and power varies everytime one jumps ~5lbs. (ie 20-25-30) how is it differnt at each levels? and for those of you who've actually gone from 20s to as high as the mid 30s(for the same racket) is there a difference in power and control? (ie. at which level does it give u the best feel for power/control) because from wut I've read on the forum my impressions are: it's that the higher the tension the better the control but the more lack of power and more vibrations?

I recently got a new Ti-10 Strung at 25 lbs. Compared to my old Ti-10 which was strung at 22lbs(which has dropped to about 19-20 now) I find that BOTH the power and control have improved!!!

I was wondering if the professionals/semi-professionals/people who play at high tensions can help me out on this one

ps. plz dont yell at me if this is alreadi been discussed ^^"

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18. ### Cheung Moderator

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The more you play the better it is.

The better your technique the better it is.

I didn't try it out until I got formalised training from a former professional. And I didn't jump 5lbs in one go. Just incremental increases of 2lbs.

I'd put the opinion that most regular players will find some benefit up to 23-25lbs. Any higher than that and the number of people that will benefit will drop dramatically.

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19. ### JChen99 Regular Member

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I agree 100% with you Cheung, however, I'm only looking at the equipment properties, and not so much the human side of things(ie same skill level for different tensions of same string on same racket etc...)

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20. ### Pete LSD Regular Member

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You get great equipments Jason. The next area of focus should be improvement of techniques and tactics. A good coach does wonder in these areas. After one advances to a higher level, equipment becomes less of an issue.

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