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Why Do Badminton Racquets Break During Stringing?

Why Do Badminton Racquets Break During Stringing?

Badminton racquets sometimes break during stringing, even when the stringer is doing everything correctly.


In our shop, we string about 2000 racquets a year with half of these being badminton racquets. On average, we see one or two racquets break during stringing every year. Most of these are badminton racquets, with an occasional tennis racquet in the mix.

The vast majority of these defective frames turn out to be knock offs. They are counterfeit racquets purchased online from Asia. Occasionally, they are racquets our customers purchased in-store during trips overseas.

As professional stringers and members of the Yonex Stringing Team who have strung racquets at professional events, we are trained in how to string all kinds of racquets at a wide variety of tensions. We also have very stringent procedures in place to ensure that we do not do anything to cause frames to break.

So why do racquets break during stringing if the stringer is doing everything correctly? There are several possible explanations, all of which are covered below.

Knock Offs

Nearly all of the frames that break during stringing in our shop turn out to be knock offs. Customers see these racquets online or in-store at impossible prices and buy them because they think they are getting a great deal.

In truth, these are not great deals. They are rip offs. Premium racquets come with premium price tags because they have a warranty replacement guarantee built into the price. In other words, the manufacturer expects to have to replace a certain percentage of new frames so they build that percentage into the cost.

Customers have to look beyond price to risks and consequences. If an expensive racquet is deeply discounted, they should ask why? The lower the price, the higher the risk that the too-good-to-be-true deal they are being offered is, indeed, too good to be true.

Phony Numbers

Customers also have to look beyond the numbers printed on their frames. For example, when we see “Max tension 30 lbs” printed boldly on a badminton racquet, we understand that this is simply one way to get customers to pay more for a racquet. “Max tension 30 lbs” does not mean that the frame should be strung at high tension. It only means that the racquet can theoretically be strung at this tension.

“Max tension 30 lbs” does not mean what customers think it means. They think it means that this racquet can be stung at 30 lbs without risk, but it doesn’t. “Max tension 30 lbs” should say “string at 30 lbs AT YOUR OWN RISK AND ONLY WHEN BRAND NEW” because stringing any frame over 25 lbs comes with an increased risk of breakage, especially if the frame has been strung and used previously.

Material Defects

Even companies like Yonex ™, who have earned a reputation as manufacturers of the best badminton racquets in the world, will produce a tiny percentage of defective frames every year. Small flaws in the graphite, too small to be detected during the manufacturing process, can result in major failures on the court. They can also result in structural failures during stinging — especially when stringing at 25 lbs or more.

Beyond Yonex, there are some brands that are infamous for flaws, defects and other weaknesses the lead to breakage during high tension stringing. In fact, in our shop we have a policy against stringing Black Knight ™, Diadora ™, Karakal ™, Tecno ™, Dunlop ™, and Carlton ™ badminton racquets over 24 lbs unless the customer signs a waiver indicating that they understand and accept the risks of breakage.

Micro-fractures

Another possible cause of breakage during stringing is material fatigue due to micro-fractures, which are microscopic fractures in the graphite that occur over time. These fractures can occur during normal play. They can develop during normal wear and tear and can build up over time to create fracture arrays which result in invisible weak spots in the frame. They can remain undetectable until the frame is exposed to stress during stringing and suddenly result in structural failure.

String Removal

As stringers, we understand that micro-fractures and fracture arrays create a risk of structural failure in high tension stringing. We also understand that micro-fractures can be made worse by improperly cutting the strings out of a racquet strung at high tension. So we cringe a little whenever a customer walks into our shop with a used racquet with the strings already cut out.

When a customer walks in with a racquet with no strings in it, we have to wonder who cut the strings out and if they knew what they were doing when they did it. Cutting the strings out improperly is the single biggest way to exacerbate micro-fractures and create weak spots that show up during stringing.

Conclusion

As a result of all of these risks, we require all customers to sign a waiver indicating that they understand that there is a risk of breakage during stringing. We ask them to understand that “it was perfectly fine when I brought it in” is not a relevant argument. There are risks with every racquet. They can have unseen defects, the can be weakened by normal wear and tear, they can even be weakened by accidental damage caused by cutting strings out improperly.

As professionals, we know if something we have done has caused a break. We are also professional enough to stand by our work and fix anything that is our fault. We are not, however, responsible for any of the common issues above and anybody who doesn’t accept that is welcome to go elsewhere to have their racquets strung.

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We Recycle Racquet String

Recycled Racquet String
We do our best to recycle tennis, squash, badminton and racquetball string.
Did you know that racquet string cannot be recycled? Most people don’t. They assume it can, but it can’t.

All synthetic string ends up in landfills. Tennis string, badminton string, squash string, racquetball string, speedminton string. Once we cut it out of your racquet, it’s garbage.

For that reason, we offer arts and crafty people an opportunity to use discarded string one more time before it moves on to the local dump.

All of the string we cut out of racquets is stored in a string-only bin. We hold onto those string pieces until the bin is full.

Anybody who wants it can have it — absolutely free!!

We never mix it with garbage. The only thing in the string bin is clean string. All colours. All gauges. All sports.

Use it for arts and crafts. Use it for whatever you like.

No charge. Just take it away. All we ask it that you put it to use in one way or another.

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Where to Buy Stringing Machines in Canada

YONEX ST-7000 STRINGING MACHINE

Racquet stringing machines are like everything else in life. You get what you pay for.

Table top racquet stringing machines, in our expert opinion, are almost useless. While they can be used to put string in a racquet, table top machines are not accurate and cannot be used to produce any volume. They are not a good buy for anybody except possibly people who live in remote areas where access to professional stringing is difficult.

People who want a new stringing machine that is capable of stringing a racquet with even a basically acceptable level of accuracy must be prepared to spend $1500 or more. If used, the same machine will usually cost at least $1000.00.

Meanwhile, stringing machines capable of producing even low volumes will cost $5000 or more and machines capable of high volumes will be north of $10,000.

All of the stringing machines that we sell in Canada must be special ordered and require a lead time of at least two to four months. Some of the most popular and most expensive machines, such as those made by Babolat ™, have waiting lists of up to two years.


Racquet Stringing Machines in Canada

Stringing machines must be special-ordered. Most machines require a lead time of two to four months because they have to be assembled by the factory before they can be shipped. Some of the high end machines can have waiting lists of two years or more.

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Tennis Racquet Stringing Options for Competitive Juniors

Goran Vukovic

Why do so many of Alberta’s top competitive junior tennis athletes and their parents choose to string at Racquet Network?

Probably because our expert staff and coaches work with parents to protect the health of their junior athletes.

Keep in mind that we have been working with junior tennis players and their families since 2004. Over the years, we have watched these junior athletes grow up, compete, earn scholarships, graduate from college and start families of their own. Some of our athletes even have their own children enrolled in tennis programs today.

In spite of the best efforts from these players, their parents and their many coaches over many years, not one of these Calgary hopefuls ever turned pro.

Why? Because this is Calgary. We keep our fingers crossed for all of these kids, of course, but the odds of anybody from Calgary ever turning pro are very slim indeed.

The most common outcome that we have seen over the years are junior tennis players who become young adults with all of the injuries and nagging aches and pains of the pros but none of the accolades.



It breaks our heart to hear about fifteen-year-olds who cannot sleep on their right sides due extreme to shoulder pain.

That’s why our emphasis is always on who-the-athlete-is-right-now, not what-we-want-the-athlete-to-become.

Our experts never recommend that juniors use the same strings or racquets that adult pros use. Both of these are way to stiff for undeveloped muscles and joints and can lead to persistent injury and chronic pain.

Our advice to juniors is to stay away from these things until they are adults. In the meantime, use gear that is designed for athletes their age.

Polyester strings are a great example of this. Pros use polyester because their swings are extremely fast. The top players in major tournaments can also have tens of thousands of dollars riding on a single swing of the racquet. So they cannot risk having a string break at an unexpected moment.



Juniors under 14, even the best of them, are not as strong as adults. They don’t need polyester strings. Moreover, the long term injury effects of using polyester strings at too young of an age are well documented.

Our advice to junior players and their parents is to stick with multifilament string until they turn 14 or until they are swinging so hard and breaking string so often that they have no other choice.

In the meantime, Racquet Network has developed a graduated stringing program with ten different levels. Level 1 starts juniors off with soft thin string suitable for 8-10 year olds. Each succeeding level above Level 1 has slightly more durable string. The final level, Level 10 has the most durable multifilament string we can find.

Most new players entering the program start at Level 1. If the string at that level lasts for two weeks, then we consider it the right level. If not, then they move up a level and they keep moving up levels until the reach a combination that lasts two weeks or more before breaking.



Once the find their level, they stay at that level until they outgrow it. Once their swing speed develops beyond that level and they start breaking string again regularly, it’s time to move a little higher on the chart.

The more they play, the stronger athletes get. So if your athlete is breaking strings more often than they were a few months ago, it may be a sign that they are improving and hitting harder. Our level systems helps parents and athletes find the right string combination for their current level. It also gives players who are improving an idea of where to go next.

At every level, our goal is to provide junior athletes with a string that is strong enough to handle their power but soft enough to protect their growing joints and developing soft tissues. This is the best way we know to minimize chronic shoulder pain which many advanced athletes first start to experience in their third year of competitive tennis.

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Yonex Badminton String

Yonex Aerobite Badminton String

We offer a full range of Yonex ™ badminton string, including all colours imported by Yonex Canada from Yonex Japan. Customers can either visit us in-store where we offer expert service and practical advice regarding Yonex badminton string or they can order online. We offer free shipping subject to minimums and some conditions.


Yonex Badminton String

String Selector For a full list of racquets in this category, please check out our ONLINE STRING SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gauge, diameter, colour and more