If you have been reading some of my reviews, you may have noticed that I haven’t given any stringing recommendations to any of them. This is because the string is fully up to what kind of player you are. If you have no idea how to choose any strings, you’re in the right place.
For the sake of simplicity in explaining, I will be focusing on Yonex strings in this article. Yonex likes to give ratings for their strings in factors that are Repulsion Power, Durability, Hitting Sound, Shock Absorption, and Control. They also split their strings into different categories being Control, Power, and Durability for easier classifying.
- BG65 Titanium
- BG Aerobite
Determining the string will depend on your play style and what you like. A general recommendation is that beginners start out with a more durable string such as the BG65 because weaker strings break when you mishit on the edges more easily. Once you become more advanced you could move on towards control and power strings if you’d like. Also, look at the thickness of the string. It is what determines the durability; thinner strings break more easily and thicker ones are more durable.
Another chart tells you about each string’s feel. This one is hard to describe and it’s much better to just play with the strings.
But basically, it shows you which strings feel hard or soft, have high repulsion power, and/or solid feel. Don’t worry about these factors too much because what’s truly important is the tension. What kind strings you like will come from playing more but I recommend BG65 if you really have no idea.
The tension is the most important part of choosing your badminton string and stringing it. Here’s a comparison between lower tensions and higher tensions.
Lower Tensions (18-24lbs)
A lower tension means that the strings are looser which results in less control and accuracy but it also creates more repulsion which means a player can generate more power without using much strength. Having looser strings also creates a larger sweet spot so that it makes it easier to hit shuttles. The strings become more durable as well so off-center miss hits at the sides of the racket does not break as easily.
This concludes to beginners should use lower tensions because they are not as accurate in their shots and do not have good enough hitting technique to generate power yet.
Higher Tensions (24-30lbs)
A higher tension basically gives the opposite results of a low tension. The tighter string bed allows for more accuracy in shots, less power, less durability, and smaller sweet spot.
At first glance, it may seem like stringing your racket at a lower tension is the most optimal for all players but as you get more advanced and build good technique, the control and placement of the shuttle becomes the most important part of your game. All the extra power and durability is not needed because you will have good technique which means you’ll hit the sweet spot of the racket almost all the time and won’t need the extra power boost. This is why many professionals string at tensions over 27lbs.
Also, note that the tension of the string will get looser as time goes on and it’s inevitable that you will need to restring your racket. These recommendations are meant to protect your racket from completely breaking, not guaranteeing that you will never have to change your strings but the recommendations definitely prolong the life of the string. It’s why I mentioned you can try them all out especially since stringing costs about $10 to $50 CAD depending where you are and what string.
On every racket there’s a recommended string tension usually in a range like 17-24lbs, 20-28lbs etc. This is the recommendation to ensure that your racket does not break when stringing. I recommend you generally follow this unless you are sponsored or rich. Stringing at a tension higher than the recommended will void the racket’s warranty so please string at your discretion.
20-28lbs is the recommendation of this racket as seen next to the 3U
Here’s my stringing recommendation:
- Beginner: 17-20lbs
- Intermediate: 20lbs-24lbs
- Advanced: 24lbs-27lbs or whatever the maximum recommended stringing tension is
- Professional: 27lbs-30lbs+ or whatever is more than the maximum/whatever you like most since you’re a professional so you must have been playing for quite some time
What to Avoid
There are some things I want you to avoid though when choosing a string. The first thing is, don’t go for the string that’s super thin and recommended for the “world’s top players” if you’re a beginner/intermediate. Because when they have the lowest durability of other strings, they really do have bad durability. When I got my Yonex Nanoray Z Speed and Duora Z Strike, I strung them at their respective maximum 3U tensions, 27lbs and 28lbs, and they broke within the first two weeks! This is because of a few off-timed jump smashes in which I hit the edges of the string.
But this isn’t even the worst case scenario. I’ve only had to replace the strings which is quite common for any badminton player that regularly plays. I had a friend whose racket completely snapped in half due to its high tension!
I had a little cocky friend who believed he was super good at badminton (and everything else) and strung his racket at 31lbs. His technique was not the best and he would often whip his racket super hard to generate power. But bad technique prevented him from generating that power he desired. One day he whipped his racket super hard when hitting a shot that his whole frame snapped! Which meant for the rest of the day there was a broken racket ready to impale people with metal fragments at any time. Rackets breaking like that at high tensions can sometimes spell disaster.
Avoiding ego and choosing what you believe is safe and good for you is the most optimal choice. My Yonex Voltric Z Force II strung at 24lbs with NBG99 hasn’t had to be strung in 7 months now! Although it’s probably due for a change soon.
The general gist of this article is choose a string based on play style (if you don’t know, just choose durability) and string the tension lower if you’re a beginner and higher if you’re advanced. Don’t string at extremely high tensions and break the warranty of your racket unless you have been playing for a very long time at a high level and if you’re used to it.
If you have any questions, comments, or your own personal experiences, please leave them down below. As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!