Anyone who has played badminton for more than a few months has probably heard the “twang” sound of a string breaking. While re-stringing, we always wonder about what tension should we string the racket to. If you google your favorite badminton champion’s string tension, you will find that they use tensions higher that 30 lbs. So should you follow your favorite superstar?? The answer is not very straightforward unfortunately
The “Sweet Spot”
Just like every bat in cricket has a “sweet spot” which gives the perfect timing for strokes, there also exists a sweet spot for badminton rackets. However, the big difference is that the size of the sweet spot can be changed with string tension. Lower string tensions provide a larger sweet spot and are more forgiving for players who lack consistency. Professional players have a high degree of consistency and can pretty much strike the shuttle with approximately the same spot every time. Therefore, they don’t require a large sweet spot.
The Pros and Cons of Higher Tension
Then why do professional players prefer string tensions above 30 lbs? The main reason is control. Here you can think of a trampoline and as you jump on the trampoline, its elastic surface gets depressed and pushes you back in the air. However, the same jump is not so much fun on the ground which does not have the elasticity of a trampoline. This analogy can be applied to a racket, so that a lower tension on the string will cause a repulsive effect similar to the trampoline whereas the higher tension will not. This means that with high tensions, the shuttle will come off the racket much faster once struck. This gives professional players much more control and accuracy when they play their shots.
Another effect of string tension is power. In the lower tension strings, the repulsion provided by the elasticity gives additional power to the shots. However, advanced players have the required technique to generate the required power with higher tension strings as well.
A Final Word
Hence, the tension you select depends entirely on your ability and technique. At Star Academy, our coaches recommend a string tension of 20 to 23 for our beginner batches, 23 for our intermediate players, and 25 plus for advanced players.
An important factor to keep in mind while choosing your string tension is the maximum allowable tension for your racket. This will be printed on the shaft of the racket, close to the grip. If you exceed that maximum tension, there is a high chance that your racket frame might bend, and you might as well say “bye bye” to your favorite racket.