Know Thy GameA Gutsy Game – The Story of Racket Strings

September 25, 20200

Have you heard badminton players say that they need to get their “gutting” changed? Ever wondered why we use the word “gut” to describe our rackets strings?  If you google the word “gut”, you will see that the definition is mostly related to the intestine. Believe it or not, intestines were the main racket string material in earlier times. Thin strips of cow intestine were chemically treated and twisted together to make strings. In recent times, synthetic materials like nylon have mostly replaced natural gut strings. 

It may appear weird to most players to have cow intestines on their racket. However, players who use natural guts believe that the feel of these strings is unmatched. Even with a number of innovations in synthetic strings like monofilaments, multifilaments, etc these strings are still unable to match natural gut strings.  Believe it or not, you can still buy natural gut strings. The process of making these strings is highly manually intensive and time consuming, making them prohibitively expensive. Not to mention, the production of these strings requires a large number of animal intestines. For example, one Babolat natural gut factory in France uses intestines from 400,000 cows per year.  Watch this video about Babolat’s natural gut factory.

Thanks to nylon strings, you can safely say “No Animals Were Harmed During this Game” after your next game of badminton,. Of course, you also need to use plastic shuttles for this statement to be 100% accurate.


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 


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