Updated: Mar 18, 2019
Choosing the right string and tension simply depends on the skill level and the type of player. There is no one common solution for all, instead, it is recommended to assess yourself, your options and objectives to decide the right string and tension. For a start, a sweet spot on a racquet is an area which gives the most power, analogous to the ‘middle of the bat’ in cricket.
Let us consider the two types - a high tension string (tighter string) vs a low tension string.
At low tension ( 18 lbs - 23 lbs ), the sweet spot is bigger, which means that a player can generate power even if the shot was slightly off. This is due to a bouncing or trampoline like effect generated by the loose string and its elasticity. Moreover, the low tension ensures that the strings last longer because it can take more load than tight strings that may snap due to a bad or mishit shot near the frame. From the above info, we can infer that the low tension strings are suited to entry level players who are learning to catch the rhythm & timing for each shot, they are likely to make plenty of mistakes. Hence, both power and durability become an important feature for their racquets strings
At high tension ( 24 lbs - 30 lbs ), the sweet spot is smaller and the power generated is lesser because the strings are too tight for the trampoline effect to take place. However, control over the shuttle increases because the strings are flatter. Hence, this type of stringing suits more advanced players who can generate enough power, have good to excellent techniques and accuracy in their shots. This is not recommended for beginners because chances of mishits, especially near the frame are high, which can cause the string or racquet to snap or break due to the high tension stress.
For recreational players, you can choose a string tension based on the type of game you want to play. If you are lacking a little in explosive power, you can go for a low tension string that increases the power in each shot. If power and control are both important to you, use a middle level tension that gives the best of both worlds.
Do not let your ‘ego’ affect this decision. Plenty of recreational players string their racquets beyond the recommended racquet tension because that is what the professionals do. The problem with this is that the lack of power may cause the recreational player to over exert their arms or shoulder causing injuries and at the same time increasing the risk of damaging their racquets. The best badminton players are generally well trained powerful athletes who demands utmost precision in their game, damaging racquets is not their concern because they have racket Sponsors!
Do note that newly strung racquets should be given about 3 matches generally for tension loss to settle.
Recommended string tension for different levels of players:
Beginner : 17lbs - 20lbs Intermediate: 20lbs - 24lbs Advanced: 24lbs - 27lbs Professional/International: 27lbs – 30lbs+
For plastic shuttles, it is recommended to lower your tension by 1 - 2lbs.
Thin strings are more elastic and hence have more power. But they have less durability and break quicker than thick strings. Thick strings are not as flexible, hence the power generated by the string will be lesser but it lasts much longer than thin string as well as offering better control.
Strings for Power BG80 BG66 Ultimax BG80 Power
Strings for Durability BG65 – Recommended for recreational players – beginners and intermediates BG65 Titanium NBG95
Strings for Control NBG99 BG Aerobite