# Thread: String tensions for optimal power

1. ptang77!! your observation is very correct indeed.

i want to add that. the optimal power peak in the curve is not constant. the peak moves around depending on the player's strength. so if you are a strong player, than you will have a higher optimal point for tension.

thus we recommend higher tension only if you are strong enough to take advantage of it.

2. ## String tension and Power/Control

I had an argument recently with someone over what string tension produced the most power. I argued that the higher the tension, the more power produced. This is surely logical, and its borne out by my experience of using higher tensions. Stringers I've spoken to have also confirmed this. However, I noticed this today on the http://www.thebadmintoncoach.co.uk/ website:

"Low tension
A racket that is strung at a fairly low tension:
gives greater power - this is due to the fact that the strings are able to stretch more when they come into contact with the shuttlecock. This gives a 'trampoline' effect.
gives less control - this is due to the fact that the strings are rounder.
has a larger 'sweet spot'.
High Tension
A racket that is strung at a high tension:
gives greater control - this is due to the fact that the strings remain flatter as they are pulled tight.
gives less power - this is due to the fact that the strings are pulled so tight that they do not have a great deal of 'rebound' effect.
has a smaller 'sweet spot'."

I agree that the higher the tension, the smaller the sweetspot; and I have always found it easier to control the shuttle with a racquet strung at 23lbs rather than 18. However, it seems ridiculous to say that a racquet strung at a low tension can produce more power.

Can any qualified person offer advice here?

3. I am certainly no expert, but using common sense alone, it is easy to see that for each type of string (depending on its material, construction, gauge, etc.), there is an optimal stretching point (ie. a given tension) at which the string would be able to generate maximum repulsion (ie. power). Pull your string below this tension and you aren't using the full potential of the string. Stretch it beyond the ideal tension and the string becomes too stiff and loses power as well, since it wouldn't give very much upon impact with the shuttle.

IMO, 21lbs to 23lbs seems to give me the most power for the strings that I use. As always, everyone's milage will vary.

-Rick

4. Low vs high tension has been argued for many times. If you do a search, I have sure you can find a lot of threads talking / debating over this topic.

Personally, there's no right or wrong answers (of course, within a reasonable range). Everyone has his/her comfortable tension range. Way out of the range, the performance might be decrease.

The terms of "lower" or "higher" are just relative terms. To me, 21 lb might be low, and 25 might be high. However, to a beginner, 21 might be high enough, and 18 is not unacceptable. The same question for a elite, he/she might say, 30 is high, but 26 is too low.

Therefore, try out the combo (tension, material, racket, price, etc) within ur acceptable range, and pick the best choice for yourself.

5. But, surely it's simple physics? There would be a loss of a kinetic momentum if the strings were more loose; this idea of a 'trampoline effect' seems untenable. I myself use BG68ti@23lbs on an MP100; the racquet and tension are fine - I don't know about the string, though; it has a very 'tinny' feel, because it's quite thin, and it doesn't provide so much control. Anyone have any recommendations?

6. here is my theory on tension vs. power.

firstly, you must notice and agree that the string/racket does not generate power. there is no active element in the racket/string and unless you figure out how to start a nuclear reaction from swinging the racket, you will gain no power from the racket itself. in other words, all power/force is generated from your very own muscles and i think we can all agree on that.

so where does the racket/string comes in? the racket/string is vital to the power transfer. even though it is your muscles that generates the force, we depend on the racket/string to transfer the motion of our joints to the birdie. so we are really talking about the theory on tension vs. power transfer.

having said that, what is my theory?

many ppl try to talk about low/high tension vs. power. their view of the world is too simplistic. the relationship between tension and power is not a simple straight line, but instead a bell shaped curve.

for a particular person who can exert some force/power to the racket, if we try to change the tension on him, we will see this behavior.

if the tension is too low, he will find that it is very hard to get any power out of it. the force that he puts into the racket seems to have dampened in the transfer process.

if the tension is too high, he will find similarly, the string bed is so stiff and dead, it is as if hitting the birdie with a hard wooden board, the birdie goes, but doesn't really go very far.

in both the above cases, the power transfer is sub-optimal. thus forming the two ends of the power transfer bell curve. somewhere in the middle of the two, the player will find a tension in which the power transfer is optimal. at this point the player will find that his shots are responsive and he can get the best power out of the racket (or more accurately, the racket transfers the most power from his joints/muscles to the shuttle).

the difficult part of all these is that the bell curve for every player is different, and thus the optimal tension for each person is different. i will write more on that later.

7. a graph to illustrate the tension vs power transfer characteristics.

8. Thank you and kudos to you, kwun. That's exactly what I have in mind as well, only you laid it out better.

-Rick

9. The control the player 'perceives' to have, relative to tension, might have a similar shaped distribution....or perhaps skewed to the right.

10. Originally posted by Cheung
The control the player 'perceives' to have, relative to tension, might have a similar shaped distribution....or perhaps skewed to the right.
control is the one that i haven't completely figured out.

originally i thought the higher the tension the better the control, as control are usually done at lower force shots, at lower tension, there will be more bounce and thus difficult to control. however, i also read that some ppl prefer it because they think the birdie is in contact with the string longer so it is easier to control that way.

i haven't seen an argument saying that extremely high tension is bad for control though.

11. I know a good few years ago, when I was at uni, I used to play tennis a lot. And back then my flat mate who was on the uni team gave me some coaching and told me that high tension was for control and low tension was for power. I never really bothered to think why this might be, but have simply taken it as truth.

12. Kwun, I would suggest that it is easier to play touch shots at higher tensions after some experimentation.

However having said this, it is easier to gauge power because we all know how our shots are because we can tell if it is a good one or not, its just that we hit it the same way with the same force so it is logical to think tension makes the difference.

With control there are more vairiables to factor in and more room for error in the type of shot, so it would be reasonable to think thet the tension is not the only contributing factor.

As you have noticed in my thread on various string tensions I would think that for me 30lbs is good for touch shots, I have been told by people that they can't see it making a difference but I can assure you I have a much better net game at this tension than 23lbs

So for me 30lbs is right at the top of the natural distrabution curve that you have laid out with regards to control.

13. for me, i found that 24 lbs is the perfect balance between power and control...

at 24, i can generate considerably powerful smashes while at the same time good control...

but, that's for me..

14. We are all different, thats why there are so many points of view on this topic.

Whats good for me might not be good for someone else thats why so many different people play badminton.

But essentially Kwuns curve is correct for everyone it's just that it moves along a bit for some and back a bit for others.

15. Dill
You must be one of the rare few who strings to 30lb! What racket and strings do you use? If it is good for touch play, what about power play? Does the string last?

16. For me the optimal tension between power and control is between 22-24lbs.

I bought a racket that is strung around 20lbs and find it lacking in terms of power, I later restrung it around 25lbs and found that it still has the same problem it's kinda like hitting the birdie with a base ball bat.

To cut the story short i waited for the string to loosen up a little by continously using it and little by little as the tension goes down I finally got the "POP" and power that i was looking for.

17. Jeffrey please refer to a thread called Various string tensions

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