It seems like you're probably here for one of few reasons
We all know that sunken feeling when you hear an abnormal pitch come from your racquet after a swing and half the badminton stadium turns to look at you (mostly with empathy).
Another $20-30(AUD) down the drain so should you get strings that will last longer? Or did you just shank it and it's more about you than the strings? Were they even good strings for you anyway?
I want to begin by saying, choosing the string tension of your racquet is more of an art than a science. Before diving into the world of strings and string tension, make sure you have selected an appropriate racquet for yourself. If you need help with this, visit our article, How Do You Pick a Badminton Racquet.
The challenge with string tension is similar to a lot of things in life, what might work for someone else may not necessarily work for you. If you've spent enough time talking to club-level and professional players, you might be under the impression that all the "good" players use higher string tension, being >28 lbs (pounds). Don't be fooled into thinking you need strings at these higher tensions too, especially if you have just ventured into the sport!
To make things simple, here are some suggestions depending on your skill level.
Beginner: 18lbs to 23lbs (Lower Tension)
At this string tension, the sweet-spot of the racquet is large, which will help while you learn to contact the shuttle towards the centre of the racquet head.
Intermediate: 24lbs to 27lbs (Medium Tension)
At this string tension, players of this level will benefit from a balance between shot accuracy and power as the sweet-spot is still fairly forgiving.
Advance:>28lbs (Medium Tension)
At this string tension, players will benefit from crisp and powerful shots when playing well but they can also suffer a reduction in performance as it is much less forgiving due to the smaller sweet-spot. It can also be much easier to break strings at these higher tensions especially if you can't consistently hit around the sweet-spot.
Professionals: I'm very grateful that you're reading this!
Remember, these are simply guidelines and not hard and fast rules. Before you go ahead with a certain string tension, make sure you consider what your racquet can handle (this should be on the top of your grip handle or printed on the shaft) and the type of string you use (this can affect your performance too!).
We will cover string types in a future article so stay tuned for other simple ways of improving your game!
Main image source: Pixabay
Body image source 1: Jackie Chan (https://tenor.com/search/jackie-chan-confused-gifs)
Body image source 2: Albert Eistein (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35557727)
Body image source 3: Badminton Central (https://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/index.php?threads/hitting-off-centre-of-the-sweetspot-for-greater-crisp-repulsion.172690/)
Last year in August, I was lucky enough to travel to Basel, Switzerland to coach the Australian Team at the 2019 World Championships.
Being a former player that has competed at such tournaments such as the World Championships, I found that the experience was vastly different as a coach compared to an athlete.