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06-11-2012, 11:26 PM #1
Why Do Badminton Players String Their Racquets So Tightly?
Hi Guys (& Girls),
I'm new to the forum but have viewed a few threads here, from time-to-time, in the past (as a guest).
I'm actually a squash player (and an accredited squash coach). I also restring (and repair) racquets.
Being a squash player, I mostly restring squash racquets (90%). However, I also restring a smaller proportion of badminton and tennis racquets (10%).
I'm mystified as to why you guys like to string your racquets at such high tensions....often way above what the manufacturer recommends?
My advice, to squash players, in particular, is to rather string their racquets at a lower tension to improve power (with some smaller sacrifice in control).
Is it that you guys (who often refer to yourselves as "hard hitters") are after more control? Aren't you sacrificing a significant amount of power by stringing to such high tensions (I'm talking about those of you stringing to 30lbs or so)?
Anyone who is able to shed some light on this, for me, would be much appreicated!
06-11-2012, 11:32 PM #2
manufacturer's tension range is hardly the judge for the appropriate tension. as most of them will make it artificially low because of warranty issues.
having said that, the relationship between tension and power is not as simple as you describe.
tension should be increase only if the player has more power.
tension should be lower if the player has less power.
in other words, tension should adjust to power, and not power comes with adjusting tension.
06-11-2012, 11:46 PM #3
Thank you for your swift reply, but I don't really understand what you're saying?
I accept that manufacturers will err on the side of caution when specifying the range of tensions that their racquets should be strung do. But they, no doubt, also do it from well established design and material considerations.
Nevertheless, the opposite is possibly true with squash racquets. What the manufacturer specifies is generally too high!
Why do you say that the relationship between power (and control) and tension is not as simple as I describe? Do you agree that less tension equates to more power and more tension equates to less power, or not?
If not, then badminton is somehow different to squash (and tennis) and why that is alludes me.
Nevertheless, my question remains, why string so tightly? I mean its a HUGE difference (between a manufacturer saying 20-25lbs, for example, and stringing at around 30lbs or more?
06-12-2012, 12:22 AM #4
For my particular circumstances, I find I get much extra power from 28lbs tension. But I find the response from the strings (i.e. the feel) is much better for me at this tension using different strokes.
06-12-2012, 12:25 AM #5
I guess another thing to account for is tension loss after the strings have settled in.
06-12-2012, 02:35 AM #6
higher tension - more control
lower tension - more power
so there's a tradeoff.
the two curves meet at one point, this is the point where you should string.
usually, the better the player is, the more important is control (e.g. the shuttle does exactly what the player tries to impose), as better players can generate a lot of power by there technique/strength. so the gain in control is generally "higher" than the loss in power as you increase tension. in badminton, control is generally more important than sheer power.
beginners string at 20lbs or whatever (as they need the extra power (and strings last longer...)), pros at >30lbs, most of us are somewhere in between...
06-12-2012, 02:52 AM #7
There are so many factors in generating power in a badminton shot it's not funny..
Racquet head weight
Racquet head shape
Racquet shaft stiffness
String cross section construction
And it's all a trade off to the rest of the badminton player's game like defence and control.
BUT one of the most important things that we kinda over look is that Squash and tennis balls (and even golf balls) are made of rubber and hence are flexible and can store energy itself.
Shuttlecock heads are made of cork and I don't believe it would store as much energy as the rubber does in tennis/squash balls. Anyone else have the same opinion?
Saying that I thought tennis players have their tensions really high so they have more control?
06-12-2012, 03:08 AM #8
high tension ... wont it be easier for it to snap like what happen to Taufik during the quarter final in the indian open with LCW (broke 4 racket string) ... i think its best to stick in between 24-26lbs. Overall, it still depends on the players preference
06-12-2012, 04:29 AM #9
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06-12-2012, 12:28 PM #10
If we think about the mechanics of smashing the shuttle, all we are trying to do is to rapidly increase the racquet head speed and contact the shuttle square-on. So, to that end, it doesn’t really matter if your technique relies more on your shoulder, arm or wrist etc – the effect should still be the same. I don’t think your arm swing/stroke needs to get used to particular tension, you should still be able to swing the racquet at the same speed at any tension. The weight, balance, aerodynamics, stiffness of the racquet has not changed, so why would you need to get your arm swing used to it?
Whether a particular tension suits someone’s technique I think is down to preference. But power is different, if you lack power and use high tension you may injure yourself. Players will tend to develop their own sense as to what tension suits them best. The biggest mistake is when players adopt another person’s preferred tension.
Anyway, to answer the original question...
As we all know, low tension = power, high tension = control. However there are various reasons why people string at high tension, here are a few from my experience.
- More responsive – the shuttle dwells less on the strings, so in fast exchanges such as in doubles where players would use short sharp strokes, there is less time for your opponent to react as the shuttle leaves the stringbed quicker but the difference or reduction in power is insignificant.
- More control – we already know this, but why do players need more control? Well, as players improve, so too does the speed of their game. The speed of the exchange and the speed of their shots. For example, a smash only needs to be fast enough for your opponent. It need not be record breaking. So to that end, you would aim for accuracy and consistency – which comes with good control. Or if you were to return a powerful smash, it would be easier to control the shuttle with a tight stringbed compared to a soft stringbed.
- Preference – Players tend to prefer the clean crisp feel and sound of high tension strings.
06-12-2012, 01:05 PM #11
If you were to string a racket to 28lbs and clear to the back of the court and then change the tension on the racket to 24lbs and do another clear what would happen if you used exactly the same technique?
By producing more or less power you are changing the swing speed of your arm, using different parts of the arm and using different muscles so therefore your technique changes.
Am I right or left?
Also to answer the OP original question it is mostly about control of the shuttle when you get to a reasonable standard, ie, where you decide to hit it to get into attacking positions or to force an error. The tighter the string the more control of the shuttle you have.
Last edited by diverdan; 06-12-2012 at 01:13 PM.
07-15-2013, 03:53 AM #12
There's a saying, with great power, comes great responsibility.
For some, it's an ego trip. commonsense prevails when you string at higher tension. Your grommet hole will worn out faster and the chances of your frame breaking is also higher. Assuming the you have the same rate as hitting compared to a lower tension racket (same specs racket).
If you can afford new rackets and enjoy high tension. Go ahead and enjoy it. If you are pretty cautious with money, just string them according to the specs recommended which is about 24-25lbs for most.
One tip for playing against an average/advance player is keep on hitting the shots to their backhand. They normally don't last. Especially with stiff rackets.
07-15-2013, 04:56 AM #13
09-28-2013, 11:33 AM #14
09-28-2013, 11:34 AM #15
10-30-2013, 01:02 PM #16
So,they will have to buy a new one soon,not shortly but soon.When you have you racquets restrung at tensions higher than recommended range causes certain (minor) degree damages.So you will soon have to buy a new racquet.Sounds like means of doing business?
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