String Theory: Ultimate Guide To Badminton Strings

Badminton Strings
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Last Updated on 12/05/2023 by Kriss

Selecting the right badminton string is akin to choosing the perfect racket – it’s a task flooded with choices, yet it bears immense significance on your gameplay. Often, players overlook this critical aspect, unaware of the profound impact that their choice of string can have.

This guide is crafted to unravel the mysteries of badminton string selection:

We’ll explore two primary attributes of badminton strings, namely their gauge and feel. Plus, we’ll delve into hybrid strings, and ultimately guide you in selecting the string that best suits your game.

The Gauge of the String

The thickness of the string, referred to as the gauge, varies typically from 0.61mm to 0.75mm. A cardinal rule to remember is that the thicker the string, the more enduring it usually is!

Different String Materials

  1. Nylon: The majority of badminton strings are made from nylon, a type of polymer known for its resilience and flexibility. Nylon strings are affordable and offer decent performance characteristics, making them a popular choice among beginners and intermediate players.
  2. Multifilament: Many high-end badminton strings, especially from brands like Yonex, use multifilament construction. This means the string consists of many small strands bundled together, often coated with a protective outer layer. Multifilament strings can offer excellent playability, with a good balance of power and control, as well as a soft feel on impact.
  3. Vectran: Some strings, like the Yonex BG80, incorporate Vectran fiber, a type of liquid crystal polymer. Vectran is known for its strength and elasticity, which can enhance the string’s power and durability.
  4. Titanium hybrid coating: Some strings, such as the Yonex BG65Ti, feature a titanium hybrid coating. This thin layer of titanium enhances the string’s repulsion power and sharpness, enabling powerful shot-making.
  5. Microfiber: Some premium strings use a microfiber core, which is designed to offer a soft feel and increased touch. This is often coupled with a high-traction outer coating to enhance spin and control.
  6. Natural Gut: Natural gut strings, while more common in tennis, have also been used in badminton. They are made from the intestines of cows, specifically the serosa, or the outermost layer. They are known for their exceptional elasticity, tension stability, and responsive feel, providing excellent power and control. Natural gut strings also absorb shock well, which can reduce the risk of arm discomfort or injury. However, they are typically more expensive and less durable than synthetic strings, and they are sensitive to moisture and changes in temperature. While they offer unmatched playability, their high cost and maintenance requirements make them a less common choice for many badminton players.
Shuttlecocks on badminton racket

Exploring Different Strings

Yonex strings currently rule the roost, and many of you might already be familiar with them. However, there are a lot of choices and you can quickly lose the overview of all of them. We have compiled a table below that elucidates Yonex’s most popular strings, ranging from beginner to advanced levels.

String NameGaugeDescription
BG650.70mmKnown for its durability, ideal for beginners. Offers excellent control and a soft feel.
BG65Ti0.70mmA variant of BG65, features a Titanium hybrid coating that boosts the string’s repulsion power and sharp shot-making.
BG800.68mmFavored by aggressive, hard-hitting players. The string’s high-modulus Vectran fiber offers an excellent combination of durability and repulsion.
BG80 Power0.68mmA variant of BG80, designed to deliver even more powerful smashes, thanks to its special braided high-polymer nylon fiber.
BG660.66mmThin and explosive, this string provides a well-balanced blend of speed and control, suitable for versatile players.
Aerobitemains: 0.67mm; crosses: 0.61 mmHybrid combo for quick repulsion and spin. Known for excellent control, but not a lot of power.
Exbolt0.63mmAggressive sound and a lot of repulsion power, but not very durable. It also offers great control but is a little bit more slippery than the Aerobite
Overview of popular Yonex strings

Thinner strings are recommended for their superb control and pleasing hitting sound. However, your choice of string should be guided primarily by your playing style, as we will discuss later.

The Feel of the String

The feel of a string hinges on its core and coating, and it can range from soft to hard. This significantly influences the gameplay. While the materials used in the string core are usually linked to its thickness and inevitably affect its feel, it’s not something we need to dive into here.

Interestingly, the string’s coating impacts its feel too. For example, Yonex’s BG80 and BG80 Power strings, although identical in thickness, feel remarkably different. This disparity arises from their distinct cores and coatings, the latter being rougher in the BG80 Power, facilitating increased repulsion and, therefore, greater power.

Even the dye pigmentation of the string’s coating can alter its feel, leading players to have a color preference.

The string tension also heavily affects the feel of the strings – we already discussed the impact of string tension in this article.

Hybrid String

The latest advancement in badminton strings is the introduction of hybrid strings like the Yonex Aerobite. These combine two different types of strings – a thicker main string and a thinner cross string. This setup enhances control and feel, and with the main string being thicker, it offers more durability.

Picking the Right Badminton String for You

Your optimal badminton string hinges on your skill level, playing style and personal preference.

Skill Level: Advanced players might find thinner strings (0.68mm or less) more suitable, as they offer superior control, feel, and repulsion. On the other hand, beginners or intermediate players might benefit more from thicker strings (0.70mm or more), which promise durability and potential for increased power.

Playing Style: If your game relies on finesse and control, thinner strings might be your best bet. On the contrary, if you’re a ‘power player’, you may find thicker strings more beneficial. The structure of the strings can also play a role when it comes to control. Strings that are a little bit rough to the touch usually keep the shuttlecock on the racket for a little longer, therefore offering more control.

Personal Preference: Ultimately, the right string is a subjective choice. Whether you’re a fan of the sound and feel of thin strings or you’re an advanced player who prefers thicker ones, go with what feels best for your game. Remember, confidence is a crucial aspect of badminton, so pick something that you’re comfortable with and that aligns with your playing style. It also helps trying a lot of different strings to find what suits you best.

Conclusion

By understanding the nuances of badminton strings, you’ll be well-equipped to select the ideal one that will boost your game to the next level. Happy playing!


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