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  1. #1
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default let's together answer : what is the ideal tension?

    aside from "what is the best" racket, the most common question seems to be "what is the ideal tension?"

    of course, we all know that there is no answer. but most ppl won't be happy with that answer, cuz we effectively didn't answer their question.

    of course, we know nothing is absolute. but how about we redefine "ideal"?

    if the question is "what is the ideal tension" without any other information, then we can say, well, "given what we have been told by you" (ie. very little), the ideal tension is:....

    so what is the property of "ideal" in that situation? the ideal in the uninformed situation will be "the most typical", or "the tension that most ppl would likely be accustomed to". in other words, probably bang in the middle, or the median tension.

    given this definition of "ideal", i'd vote for a tension of 22-23lbs. even beginners should be able to hit decent shots with 23lbs. and the hard hitter will not find 23lbs to be too weak a tension.

    so what do everybody else think?

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    I'd take it just slightly lower - 21-22lbs. Reasoning behind this is because I think this tends to be what factory rackets are strung at. Hence beginner = doesn't need an initial restring. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but this is the tension I've got whenever I've bought a Yonex racket.

    Second reasoning is that 21-22 is still hard I think. But its like you say there is no "ideal" tension. I'm comfortable playing 21-30.
    Last edited by UkPlayer; 11-14-2003 at 07:27 AM.

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    I think the "ideal" tension for those who had just started is just whatever the rackets they buy come with. For those who buy rackets that require stringing (higher end models) something around 18-20 should be good enough so when they miss hit HARD they dont break the rim immediately and at lower tension the bird bounces furthur anyway, saves the strain of hitting it hard and hurting your arms Also, the fact that not many people are willing to string past 22lbs is also a problem. If you play at 22 or lower and you break a string, well, you can have it restrung almost everywhere.

    The tension ideal for me currently however is something around 26-28 because I've adjusted my swing speed according to these tensions, and going back to lower tensions makes life so much harder

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    And for what guage of string is this the ideal tension?

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    I confirm, any Yonex rackets sold are strung in between the recomended tension guidlines so they are about 21-22 but they are a bit more loose because they are sitting in a nice hot shop waiting for you to purchase.

    The Ideal tension should be between 21-23 because this is the supposed factory settings and is more relative to the wider buying public. It is also more forgiving for bad shots and mis-timed hits.

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    i think the ideal is about 23. Reason being strings do lose some tension after several hard hits and time. So even for the lost in tension, you can still have a decent racquet. i had my racquet strung at 24 and about 2.5 months now, the strings have bcame weaker...i'm thinking it's around 22.5-23 now.

    Some people want to string it high for the power or control and others string it low for the life of the racquet...so i would say 23 is just rite.

    of course...MY opinion, not speaking for others.

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    Default IMO

    kwun, this question is really hard to nail down an answer for.
    Before we can even dwell into the technicals of gauge and tension, there are enough variation between stringer's machine that void any valid technical discussion we have here. One player (A) told me that one stringer say his string is 19 lbs when player A had it done for 23 lbs at a different shop. String tension variation could easily be 10% or more between stringers. If one still want an idea, 22 lbs is the good starting point. It is livable for both beginner and advance players on the first stringing. The player can go up or down from that on ubsequent stringing based on his/her previous tension. Everyone needs at least two tension cycles before settling down on an optimum tension. This trial and error process repeat for each type of string. Of course, if you really hated that string at 22 lbs, u can skip whole trial and select another string type.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    for those who start to dive into string gauges and stringer differences, you are missing the point. the point is that we do not know, and as a result, we do not care.

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    I don't think there is any ideal tension. There are so many factors: level of play (beginner, intermediate, advanced), string made-up (gut, synthetic, strand, etc), string gauge, etc. This ideal tension is for whom?

    If someone is asking a recommended tension for him or her, I would assume that person is a beginner. An intermediate or advanced will not ask such question because they should know from their playing experience which tension suits them; they can also experiment. However, it is a different perspective if a person is asking: what is the highest tension a racquet can hold, or if someone has strung a higher tension than the recommended tension, or such variations.

    For a total beginner, my suggestion is to string around 18 lbs to start (no point of shortening the racket lifespan). Or if the lowest recommended tension for that racket is higher than 18 lbs, one can use that lbs to start instead. If that is not satisfactory, he/she can adjust from that starting point after some playing time. For example, with an increment of 1 lb or 2 lbs for the next stringing.

    Cheers.

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    22lbs sounds fair; starting off at that tension, the player is unlikely to be very disappointed either way, and from that can decide the tension of the next restring. However, perhaps a better answer would be to ask the stringer to recommend a tension. If the customer is a beginner (and the type of person who asks this sort of question usually is), the stringer will probably recognise this and string at a conservative tension of, say, 21lbs to preserve racquet life, durability of string etc.

    Unless there is a Socratic form of string tension, then we'll have to pretend (for this argument anyway) that 'ideal' is synonymous with 'median'.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ynexfan2003
    22lbs sounds fair; starting off at that tension, the player is unlikely to be very disappointed either way, and from that can decide the tension of the next restring.

    ...

    Unless there is a Socratic form of string tension, then we'll have to pretend (for this argument anyway) that 'ideal' is synonymous with 'median'.
    exactly...!

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    Default Idean tension

    I think what Kwun is trying to do (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is to get a feel for what everyone out there thinks of as their ideal tension, so that we can see if a common average emerges. Just from reading the 10 posts above, it seems like somewhere between 22-24 lbs seems to be the most popular range.

    We can all agree that below 16lbs would be too low and truly suck, and above 32 lbs would probably be too high for most of us.

    So you could almost see a curve, from too low to too high, with a optimum point somewhere in between, though not necessarily in the middle.

    We're not talking about string thickness or type, or stringing techniques, because we all know they can make a big difference, but assuming that they are all the same, what is the optimum tension?

    About five years ago, I would have said 22 lbs, but now I'm happier with 24 lbs, and I'm sure it has something to do with improved rackets as well. I'm more confident stringing tighter with the new rackets because I'm confident the frame can take it.

  13. #13
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    yes. a "safe recommendation" is what i am looking for.

    with the lack of information, 22-24lb could be the best or "ideal" tension we can recommend.

    if we want to be more specific, then we will have ranges for beginners / intermediate / advanced players. but let's start from the simpliest.

    just remember, it is not possible to find an absolute ideal as we all know that is not possible without complete information. we are trying to look for the range that will work for most ppl.

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    i think for the "average" badminton player, 22-24 lbs seems to be reasonable. That tension seems to be in the middle; with the beginner using 20-21 lbs and the pros using 26+ lbs. About a safe tension, 22-24 seems to fit that category as well IMO.

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    Okay this is my recommended answer to this oh so nagging question:

    For anyone who doesn't know how to use this sites' search function, nor read any one of thousands of similar threads, or just can't bloody help but ask this question over and over (and over) again, rejoice, because I have your final answer:

    Head to the nearest massage palor and get a massage. Even any... um... establishment in your local red light district will do. So you order a good massage, and the amount of pressure (lbs per square inch) the masseuse must apply to ease your dysfunction-oops-I-mean-tension is the perfect amount of tension for you!

    The science is so simple and precise, and has been used by our badminton ancestors for a millenia (kinda like feng shui)! For instance, some people require 24-25lbs (per square inch) pressure to relieve their anal retentive tension, for others 25lbs is too hard, and will find it painful, so they require something softer like 22-23 lbs. Everyone has their personal preference, that perfect amount of tension which allows them to play optimally and happily (and stop bugging the bloody hell out of those who are sick of seeing these same questions pop up every few threads!!!).

    ...

    Come on, that was funny, you know you want to laugh...

  16. #16
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    timeless:
    okay - took your advice. and now I am out of pocket $50, I'm butt naked on the street cause the massage parlor got raided (turns out to be a full service shop - duh who knew?) but I managed to escape out the back window... the tension has increased significantly, but i don't think is my ideal tension.

    1. any alternate ideas for the ideal tension.
    2. can you swing by and pick me up... it's getting chilly, and the locals are starting to stare.

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    Hahahahahaha~

    Oh did I forget to mention that for best results, the massage establishment should be IBF and USRSA affiliated? I say try your luck again somewhere else, and considering the place you were at got raided, I'm sure there's no shortage of similar establishments nearby. In your current state of (un)dress, who knows, maybe you'll have opportunities to make your $50 back!

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