The Tension Myth: Do Badminton Strings Lose Tension Over Time?

String tension is as vital in badminton as rackets and strings, as it profoundly affects how you play the game. A badminton player’s challenge lies in maintaining the string tension suitable for their play style. If you aren’t sure about badminton strings losing their tightness over time, you have found the perfect post to clear your confusion.

Badminton strings lose tension over time, starting as soon as you string your rackets. Even if you don’t play a single game, your new strings can lose around 10% of their tension within the first 24 hours. This is down to the elasticity of the polymers used in badminton strings.

In the rest of the article, I’ll discuss the duration your strings typically hold up the tension while guiding you to find the most suitable level for your game.

The Beginner Badminton Racquet I Recommend

The YONEX Nanoray Light 18i Graphite Badminton Racquet is a great pick for an absolute beginner because it comes tuned with just the right amount of string tension.

Very inexpensive!

How Long Does Badminton String Tension Last?

A new set of badminton strings at their recommended tension level will last 2-3 months. Some durable nylons may hold up tension longer, depending on their quality and how well you maintain them.

However, it is also common for strings to get loose more quickly due to high stringing tension, playing style, and mishandling.

The initial loss of tension is substantial, but it is a one-off occurrence. After that, badminton strings gradually loosen up in small percentages.

You can understand the drop in string tension by inspecting your racket closely. Players can also feel it, as the loss of string tension affects the racket’s ability to control or play a powerful stroke.

Related: Have your badminton strings completely snapped? Check out my guide on how often badminton strings break.

When To Replace Your Badminton Strings

It can be tough to know when to replace the strings on your badminton racket because it all depends on how often you play.

For absolute beginners who play casually around once a month, I’d recommend restringing just once a year. However, if you’re a more experienced player who plays 2-3 times a week, I recommend changing your badminton strings 3-4 times a year.

Basically, if you play three times a week or more, plan on changing your badminton racket strings once a quarter.

When it comes to checking your badminton string tension, I think it’s wise to check your strings manually, before you go out to play for that day. In short, before you hop on the court, check your equipment real quick.


How Do You Know If Your Badminton Racket Needs To Be Restrung?

The easiest way to tell if your badminton strings need to be restrung is to pay close attention to how your shots feel when you connect with the shuttlecock. If you feel a dull, miss-hit or dead spot on the face of the racquet and the shot falls flat, it’s time to re-string your badminton racket.

You can also tell if it’s time to re-string by the sound your racket is making when it makes contact with the shuttlecock. If the sound changes in any way, that’s your first clue you may need to get new strings.

The easiest way to tell is if the sound is muted when you make contact.

So, if it feels different and sounds different at the point of contact, it’s probably time to get new badminton strings.

What Is the Recommended Tension for Badminton Strings?

Gone are the days when all badminton rackets used to be made with the same wood material and given the same shape. Instead, modern badminton players are spoiled for choice with various racket sizes and shapes.

The racket materials have also changed, with most modern frames made with lightweight carbon fiber composite, steel, or aluminum. Depending on the manufacturer, these are further augmented by other materials like fiberglass or titanium.

Due to this varied range of materials, the recommended tension level for modern badminton strings varies significantly. Different manufacturers recommend stringing tension between 15-24 lbs (6.8-10.8 kg). Such a wide range allows players to tune the strings as they like.

Higher Tension Ensures Better Control

Players seeking more control sometimes chose as high as 34 lbs (15.4 kg) for their string tension, but that’s typically on the extreme side of the spectrum.

The ideal tension ranges between 24-28 lbs (10.8-12.7 kg) for intermediate players who rely on their technical and physical abilities to generate power instead of the strings.

Tight strings offer more control for strokes but make the sweet spot smaller. It also causes nylon strings to break or lose tension much faster than normal.

You must be able to time the shot and hit the birdie right in the sweet spot to play with a higher tension level. Otherwise, you will have to restring your racket much more often.

Playing with tight strings may also cause frequent shoulder injuries if you are prone to mishitting the shuttlecock.

Lower Tension Generates More Power

In contrast, strings at a lower tension level are often preferred by players who seek to generate more power than control with the stringbed. Beginners should generally refrain from stringing their racket above 23 lbs (10 kg), as loosely strung strings offer a more prominent sweet spot.

Lower tension allows your strings to deform more when they come in contact with the shuttle. This increase in deformation generates more power as the strings snap back into their original position. This is called the trampoline effect.

A loose fit may also increase your strings’ durability and your racket’s longevity. As opposed to tighter nylons, they have more room to stretch and absorb more power, which reduces the strain a hit causes to the racket frame and the player’s shoulder.

As a result, loose strings are more forgiving to mishits and cause fewer injuries.

Related: If you’ve got worn-out, broken badminton rackets lying around – read my guide on creative ways to repurpose broken badminton rackets. Show your love for the game through repurposed art!


How To Find the Perfect String Tension for Your Badminton Racket?

Various factors, such as stringing preference, player technique, types of shuttlecocks, and more, affect the way strings lose tension. While some aspects are beyond the player’s control —like the natural elasticity of nylon strings— you can maintain your string tension for longer with strategic stringing techniques.

Assess Your Skill Level and Technique

As the recommended string tension level varies based on the player’s ability, you should consider your technique and efficiency to find the perfect tension for your strings.

For example, can you consistently hit the shuttle in your racket’s sweet spot? If so, you can consider using a higher tension level. Otherwise, play with loose strings until your game develops.

Choose Tension Based on Strings Quality

Along with your skill set, you should consider the quality of the strings before choosing a tension level. Typically, thin nylons offer greater power and control at a lower tension level than thicker strings.

On the other hand, thicker strings last longer than light ones but require increased tension for the same level of power and control.

Experiment With Different Tension Levels

It is best to start with a lower tension level and play a few games to find out how it feels. After that, you can increase or decrease the tension by 0.5-1 lbs (0.25-0.5 kg) until you find the perfect level for your game.

Many professional players also recommend increasing string tension by the same margin after a year or every 1000 hrs of playtime to adjust for your skill development.

Do Badminton Strings Lose Tension Over Time – My Final Thoughts

It is natural for badminton strings to lose tension over time, and they even lose about 10% of their initial tension within 24 hours of stringing. However, the process slows down after that, with the maximum losses occurring when you play. Consequently, it takes about 2-3 months for string tension to fall below an acceptable level.

You cannot eliminate the loss of tension in badminton strings, but you can choose the proper tension level for particular nylons and playing techniques. Remember that selecting the correct string tension is essential to play a perfect game and avoid shoulder injuries.



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