Sunday, 3 May 2009

Badminton Racket String Tension- The future

There is much debate about string tension and how it effects power and control. I have looked into this in previous posts and the answer is that it all comes down to who is holding the badminton racket, ie, it all depends on you. Some players argue that low tension means more power and high tension means less power. Then you have the argument over control, and some say low tension means less control, and high tension means more control. Is there a right answer to all of this? Probably not because it all depends on the player, always will.

There is no right and wrong answer to this and i will tell you why. Let's take the notion that low string tension gives more power. This is based on the fact that at low tension the strings will flex more and act like a slingshot, and propel the shuttle off the string bed, thus giving the power. Sounds reasonable doesn't it? The problems start when you add the player into this. Everyone has a different swing speed, so the strings are going to flex differently depending on the swing speed of the player, and so you will get varying amounts of power.

The same goes for the notion that high tension gives less power. Does it? It all depends on how fast you can swing your badminton racket, and so make those strings flex enough to generate power. If you are a beginner and you string your racquet at 30lbs, chances are the shuttle will not travel very far because you simply cannot make the strings flex enough, period.

If you measure the swing speed of a player, and they already do this with speed guns, it should be possible to find the best string tension to give the maximum power for any given player. They do this type of thing in golf already to find the best club to match the player. Perhaps they have already done this for badminton. Can you imagine how good this would be?

You could have your swing speed analysed and then matched to the best tension for you. I suppose you could also match the exact racket to your swing speed as well. The manufacturers know the flex ratings of all their badminton rackets, so it would be possible to know exactly how much any racket would flex from a certain swing speed.

I wonder if someone like Yonex has thought of this already. They already have a speed gun at the All England where you can go and find out just how fast your swing is. They could then tell you what the best tension is for you from your swing speed. Going a bit further, they could probably tell you which actual racket would be the best for you, and with which string tension you should be using as well.

Can you imagine how many rackets they could sell from this information? Any racket manufacturer going could also do the same thing for their entire badminton racket range. The only problem is that the major manufacturers do not have their own shops, but if a retailer had a speed gun in their shop? Jesus, i think i have just found the answer to all badminton players dreams. I can see it now... The retailer has a little book that has all the different rackets flex ratings, and from this they know how much it will flex from any given swing speed. In fact you probably don't even need this, you would have a computer program that would calculate it all for you. You just enter the swing speed and the program does the rest.

The customer just brings their own badminton racket with them and uses this for the swing speed test, and then you get the correct tension to use for this racket. Perhaps this is the way forward, who knows, but if i was a badminton retailer it would sure be a pretty novel idea to sell more rackets


CWK said...

People like you should open their own store - in fact, there aren't enough people like you!

Start you own chain of retailers and open one in Denmark! ;)

antony said...

Yep i can see it now, a huge shop with loads of people just swinging wildly around in front of a big screen with a speed gun. In fact i reckon you could make a badminton simulator, where you get the chance to play against professionals, then you get a real experience before you got your required racket. Oh the possibilities!!

Loi said...

Can you consider doing a review on Pro Ace badminton rackets?

Rackets such as
Thunderbolt 5
Titanium 9
Titanium 8
Titanium Dream
Ultra light
Etc ...

antony said...

Hi Loi

If i could get my hands on them i would certainly do some reviews!! Here in the UK no one sells them or stocks them that i know of.

Matt said...

The problem with this is that most people like to buy and play with rackets that are above their level. Who hasn't seen someone who's bought a top of the line super stiff ultra head heavy racket because they think it'll make their smashes awesome?

The speed gun method will probably point the average buyer to a racke which may be medium stiff and therefore less expensive.