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  1. #1
    Regular Member Loafers's Avatar
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    Question String Tension Misconceptions?

    According to The United States Racquet Stringers Association,

    Lower string tensions generate more power (providing string movement does not occur).
    I thought it was the opposite?

    Higher string tensions generate more ball control (for experienced players).
    I thought it was the opposite?

    Also I read:

    Strings at low tension stretch more when they contact the shuttlecock, and then quickly snap back to their initial length. This “trampoline effect” (also known as resilience, or rebound) adds power to the shot: it’s sort of like putting a spitball in a rubber band, pulling back, and then releasing it. If the racket is strung at a higher tension, there’s less stretch left in the string to provide trampoline effect. On the other hand, tighter strings remain flatter, so it’s easier to control the direction of the shuttlecock.
    I agree with the rebound part, but for some reason I haven't experienced it...


    Call me crazy but from my experience Higher tensions always generated more power and less control. Lower tensions generated more control, but less power... I feel crazy and insane. Am I the only one ?
    Last edited by Loafers; 11-20-2008 at 03:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    In theory and numbers yes, those articles are correct. In reality, if you have a brick wall tensioned racquet and you swing it with high force, the momentum transfer will be greater than any low tensioned racquet

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    There is plenty of discussion about this.

    There are many factors into how much power you can produce.

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    actually it depends on the power and swing speed......

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    by reading through so many confusing threads about this same topic AND combined with my own experience, the best conclusion I draw is:

    - for ONE particular individual who has well established technique, there are TWO Gaussian (or delta shape) curves against tension, one for power, and one for control. the shape (or optimum range), central burst location, etc. will dependent upon racket, the string, and even stringer, etc.

    - under the best condition, you would hope they are overlapped perfectly (one on top of the other one), so that you can stick to ONE tension range in order to have best power and control at the same time. BUT, in reality, these two ending results (power and control) are very often at different locations, and different shape.

    therefore, we see different results for each one of us. for me, I have been minimizing parameters, so that I play with ONE variable at a time to find out the best tension range for me for a certain racket and string. well, it's a mission impossible, no matter how you look at it.

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    Low tension means more bounce, high tension means less bounce. This means different things.

    Low tension, you require less power to get the stringbed to flex. This means that it's easier hit faster, but since the bird bounces more, you need to take that into account the extra bounce when playing touch shots.

    High tension, means you need more power to flex the string bed. So while you need more effort to hit harder, the potential energy stored in the strings makes the bird fly faster. Since there is less bounce, you do not need to gauge it when playing touch shots.

  7. #7
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    Yes, there is a misconception in string tension if you are comparing tennis with badminton. These two are very different. In tennis the ball is heavy and its flight characteristic is unlike that of a shuttle in badminton. In badminton we use a shuttle, which is a high-drag birdie with a unique characteristic. A feather shuttle leaves the racquet stringbed at great speed, turns around so the base of the shuttle makes a 180 degrees turn around and from here onwards the bird starts to slow down because of the drag. It also requires a very fast hand/wrist speed from the forearm and the wrist to give that "swatting the fly" lightning speed for really powerful and fast shots.
    High tensions in badminton means the birdie will leave the racquet before a low tension racquet, because the latter will waste precious time in spending too much dwell time on the stringbed before the shuttle leaves the racquet. But very high tensions require a "swatting the fly" speed of the wrist/forearm to overcome the brickwall-like feeling common to players who use a full arm movement technique to hit the shuttle.
    Especially for shots at mid-court or nearer the net, very high tensions to take advantage of the shuttle leaving the starting blocks earlier is vital. That is why we see top players today, even girls/women, using very high tensions. But you must have the hitting technique to make use of high tensions' advantage.
    As a matter of fact, if you are unable to hit with speed and power with say 26 to 28lbs effortlessly then it is likely you do not have the required fast hand/wrist speed. In that case you must then lower your tension. But the tragedy of this is you will not be able to play the type of badminton of seeing the birdie leaving your racquet at great speed that is the hallmark of today's badminton.

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