Curious as to why your badminton strings keep breaking even though they were just strung? It seems like you’re spending 5 times the amount of money on strings than your friends do, but you just don’t know why! What’s going on and how can you stop this madness? Don’t worry, we’ve seen this many times and have wondered the same thing. We’ll go over the most common reasons why badminton strings break and how you can prevent it from always happening to you!
The most common reasons why badminton strings break are because of mishits and broken grommets. Mishits occur when you hit off target of the sweet spot on your racket’s string bed. The strings outside the sweet spot are not able to stretch as easily and are therefore more susceptible to breaking when struck. Broken grommets occur from natural use when playing badminton but occur more frequently if the grommets are old or brittle. A string without a grommet to protect it becomes vulnerable to being cut by the frame itself.
Other reasons why badminton strings may break include temperature changes, thin strings, misalignment, and natural wear and tear. Let’s dive a bit deeper into each of these different reasons.
As mentioned above, mishits are one of the most common reasons why badminton strings break. The sweet spot of a racket’s string bed is the spot that can be stretched the most and is the best place for you to hit in. It gives you the most crisp sound and feeling as well as the most control and power. As you move farther away from the sweet spot, the string will gradually become less and less stretchy. String that is less stretchy is easier to snap when it is struck by another object – in this case a shuttlecock. String near the racket frame is the tightest, and is therefore the easiest to break upon a mishit. The next time you break your badminton strings, check to see if it broke near the racket frame. If so, it’s likely that it was due to a mishit.
String tension plays a factor in how tight your strings are, and therefore also affects how easily it can break on a mishit. Higher tensions increase your string’s tightness as well as decrease the size of your racket’s sweet spot. Since the sweet spot is smaller, it is less forgiving with off target hits and is more susceptible to breaking strings. This is one of the reasons why we recommend beginners to stay with lower tensions – so that you won’t be breaking strings left and right (your wallet will thank you). You should only attempt higher string tensions once you are consistent with hitting the sweet spot.
2. Broken Grommets
Grommets are the protective tubes around your strings near the edge of your racket and are used to protect your strings from your racket frame (and vice versa) – specifically the sharp edges in string holes of the racket frame. Grommets tend to break when they are old or are brittle, which happens if they are exposed to frequent or extreme temperature changes as temperature changes make the material expand and contract. Once a grommet breaks, your string would be exposed to the sharp edges which could potentially tear into it with each hit. So if you want your strings to last longer, check your racket before each game and make sure that all your grommets are in good shape! And if they aren’t, ask your local stringer for some replacements.
3. Temperature Changes
Badminton strings can become brittle when it experiences temperature changes – from cold to hot back to cold for example. Brittle strings, as you may have guessed, break more easily and therefore have shorter life spans. For most people, temperature changes don’t happen too often, but can happen more frequently if you travel with your badminton equipment. If this is the case for you, we recommend storing your strings and rackets in temperature controlled areas. Some of Yonex’s badminton bags actually use special technology called Thermo Guard that coats some pockets with material that keeps rackets protected from temperature changes (namely the 9 PCS Pro Racquet Bag and the 12 PCS Pro Racquet Bag). You can also learn more in our Complete Guide to Yonex Badminton and Tennis Bags.
4. Thin Badminton Strings
In badminton, there are many different types of strings – they’re not all built the same and they don’t all perform the same. Some are quite thick (like the BG-65) while others are razor thin (like the Aerosonic). As you might imagine, thin strings break a lot easier than thick strings do as there is less to cut through. When you buy badminton strings, they’re usually rated as to how durable they are. If the badminton brand that you’re purchasing doesn’t provide that information, look at the gauge (thickness) of the string.
While string material and the other factors listed in this post contribute to the durability of your badminton strings, you can use the following table as a general guide as to how durable it may be relative to its gauge.
|High||.69 mm or higher|
|Medium||.67 or .68 mm|
|Low||.66 mm or lower|
If you’re looking for durable and affordable strings – which we recommend beginners do since beginners won’t be able to utilize more advanced strings anyways – our number 1 pick would be the BG-65. Other great options also include BG-65 Titanium and Nanogy-95. There’s a lot more information you don’t want to miss out on in our Complete Guide to Yonex Badminton Strings and Victor and Ashaway Badminton Strings.
5. String Misalignment
Strings can get misaligned throughout a game as you play. Every hit you make, especially harder hits, can potentially shift your strings so that the crosses (horizontal strings) and the mains (vertical strings) are far away from each other. When this happens, there is less support for the strings when the shuttlecock hits that area, making it easier for the string to stretch farther than it is supposed to. You won’t get as much control and power to your hits and will also increase the chance of breaking your strings. To avoid this, you can check your string alignment between rallies and shift your strings to be even if you see any misalignment.
6. Natural Wear and Tear
Strings can break naturally through game play, even if you don’t do anything wrong. Every time you hit the shuttlecock, your strings will rub against each other, producing a small amount of friction. Repeat this over hundreds and thousands of hits, the strings will start to wear down and become thinner. Eventually, the strings will become so thin that it will break. This will also be accelerated if you use higher tensions on your strings since the pressure is greater. Before you get to the string’s breaking point though, you’ll usually see the string fraying, most likely around the sweet spot. You should pat yourself on the back if this happens to you though, since that means you’ve been hitting in the sweet spot and have maximized the lifetime of your strings!
If you reach the natural lifetime of your strings, you are quite consistent with your hits! At this point, it may be a good idea to try out different strings to see which one works the best for you. There’s plenty to try out, so just head on over to one of our guides and find the perfect strings for you!
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