The type and hardness of racket stringing is an important factor in badminton that affects shuttlecock flight and can cause acceleration, control and effort to vary considerably. Strings are an average of about 0.7-0.85 mm thick and may be made of synthetic material or gut.
Elite players used to swear by natural gut strings made of cow or sheep gut, but they are now becoming less common as the quality of synthetic strings has improved more and more. Gut strings are characterized by high elasticity and allow the player to play with great sensitivity and outstanding shuttle acceleration. However, they are more expensive than comparable synthetic strings and less durable, as they can be damaged by external influences like temperature and air humidity.
Synthetic strings may consist of one strand (polyester) or of several fibers (multifilament nylon strings), and each type is suited to a different type of game, such as sensitive or powerful. The durability also varies according to the manufacturing process. One of the highest-profile companies in this field is the American firm Ashaway, which started producing surgical thread and fishing lines more than 180 years ago in the Boston area. They have been developing badminton and squash strings for about 60 years.
A compromise must be found between acceleration and shuttle control in the stringing hardness. A good rule of thumb is: the harder the tension, the greater the control and shuttle security, at the expense of acceleration. Beginners and experienced match players should choose a hardness of around 7.5-10 kg (16.5-22 pounds) in order to obtain good durability. Only pros choose hardnesses of between 11 and 14 kg (24 and 31 pounds). Their good technique and strength allows them to compensate for these weaknesses. The strings often break when the stringing is this hard if the shuttle is hit at the edge of the racket instead of cleanly in the middle of the racket.
Tip 1: After the game, rackets should be put into a racket cover so that the stringing is not damaged by climatic conditions.
Tip 2: With regular training once or twice per week, a racket should be restrung approx. every 6 months, even if it is not broken, as the regular tension decreases over time, thus affecting stroke precision.
Tip 3: If a training racket string breaks, the racket can be repaired with a repair string. This should not be done more than once, as the broken string has already reduced the regular tension of the stringing anyway.
Tip 4: If a match racket string breaks, it is advisable to immediately cut the other strings with scissors. This is particularly done by pros with a high stringing hardness in order to stop the racket frame from becoming warped.
Tip 5: Players with ‘tennis elbow’ can play with a soft, nylon stringing to relieve elbow pain. They should seek expert advice as to the right strings to buy.
Other related blogs