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07-19-2010, 12:50 AM #1
Hybrid Concepts in Racket and String Tension Selection
I have a theory that I'm wondering if anyone else has explored. We know 2 things in general:
1) Stiffer shaft = suitable for fast swing speed, Flexible shaft = better for slow swing speed
2) Higher tension = more control but less power, Lower tension = less control but more power
So as a relatively new player with a moderate swing speed, my question is this. What if I chose a flexible shaft like a Nanospeed 6000 and combined that with a thinner string under high tension? That way, when I want power, the shaft will provide more flex and release when I swing harder, and when I want control, the tighter strings will provide better touch and feel, since touch shots are generally slower shots anyway, and won't flex the shaft so much.
Would love some comments on the topic. Thanks!
07-19-2010, 02:00 AM #2
Also, it's not true that higher tension == less power.
07-19-2010, 03:32 AM #3
In the past year, I have done more or less what the original poster mentioned. My main rackets were even-balanced but swung so fast that it would seem head-light, the flex was medium flex (if you use an AT900P as a reference point for "stiff"), yet I was stringing at 28lbs with thin strings (mainly BG-66). In terms of power, I felt like I had already maxed out what I could achieve with the racket (lower tension didn't net any more power, even higher tension robbed me of power... therefore I found my tension zone to be ~28lbs depending on string type). However, in singles play the maneuverability of the racket allowed me to play a more deceptive game and therefore I stopped worrying about the power.
Recently, I decided that I would need to begin playing with head heavy rackets in order to develop more strength. The additional weight would of course help the shuttle fly faster, but my theory is that if I'm able to strengthen my muscles so that I can swing at the same speed as I had done with my previous racket, then of course I'll be able to gain more power. This seems a lot more likely than trying to achieve an even faster swing with my previous racket. So, I ordered myself a few Lethal 70s (will do a review on it later) and in the mean time played with some other head heavy rackets that I have. Wow is there a difference. I already have the same power with these new head heavy rackets as I had with my previous racket, yet I feel like I have so much more room to grow now. I've always preferred the attacking game so this is perfect.
Basically the moral of my story is... I had previously used this "hybrid" concept of yours unintentionally and I found that I quickly outgrew it. If you're not a physically strong player and can't generate a hard smash, it doesn't make sense to use a medium flex racket and a high string tension. Likewise if you're stronger than the flex of your racket. The same is true if you're a strong player who's using a stiff racket but at such a low tension that it robs you of power (that is, the shuttle isn't bouncing off your shuttlebed quickly enough during your stroke). Had I begun with a head heavy racket from the onset, I would perhaps have more power now. However, I might not have learned how to do some of my deceptive shots since my game would be a power game. It's really interesting to think about.
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