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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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How to Customize the Yonex Astrox 99

Yonex Astrox 88D Badminton Racquet Frame

About the Yonex Astrox 99

The Astrox 99 is a powerful badminton racquet created for advanced to elite level players who like to smash. The carbon fiber materials in this racquet are more advanced than in Yonex’ previous series of smashing racquets — the Voltric series.

With an extra stiff shaft, the Astrox 99 is not intended for recreational players. But many recreational players will buy one nonetheless. So when this happens, it will be important to string it correctly so that they can get the most out of this racquet.

The Steep Attack Challenge

Yonex’ initial marketing campaign for this frame was called the Steep Attack Challenge. It included a series of events at badminton clubs during which players tried to beat a standard set by Lee Chong Wei, the top player to endorse the Astrox 99. The event helped to cement the image of the putative benefits of the racquet’s technologies: steeper smash angle.

This campaign created expectations amongst players that they would be able to smash at a steeper angle with this racquet than with their old Yonex Voltric series racquets. As a result, stringers who want to meet these expectations are generally advised to string the Astrox 99 with thinner, more powerful strings and to avoid stringing strictly for maximum durability.

How to String the Astrox 99

If you are stringing for advanced to elite level men using feather shuttles, we recommend using one of these strings.

If you are stringing for rec level men using nylon shuttles, then we recommend selecting something from this group.

Nylon shuttles, of course, are much harder on strings than feather shuttles. So some men may break strings more often than they like using string from the group above. In that case, it may be advisable to switch to the following.

Of course, any racquet endorsed by Lee Chong Wei will be coveted by teens who are not strong enough to use it. So if your client is one of these players, you may want to go with Aerosensa or Aerobite strung at a low tension. This will help them counter the extra stiff shaft which may present a major challenge for these players.

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How to Test Drive the Yonex Astrox 99

How to Test Drive the Yonex Astrox 99

Test drive the Yonex ™ Astrox 99 badminton racquet before you buy it. This racquet is available as part of our Try Before You Buy racquet demo program offered in our southwest Calgary store.


Demo Program Details

This program is offered only in-store. It is not available to online customers.

How much does it cost to test drive racquets?

Test driving costs nothing, but customers who enter the program are committing to buying a racquet from us at the end of the one-month trial period.

How does it work?

Test drivers put down a security deposit. This allows them to test drive any racquet we have in our demo program. They can then test each racquet for up to one week. At the end of the one-month trial period, they choose the racquet they want to purchase and their deposit is refunded against the purchase price.

How much is the deposit?

The size of the deposit depends on the number of racquets the customer wants to take out each each week. If they are testing one racquet at a time, the deposit is $50.00. If they are testing two at a time, the deposit is $100.00.

What if I change my mind and do not want to buy a racquet?

Our demo program is only offered to customers who are committed to purchasing a new racquet from us within 30 days. If you do not intend to buy a racquet from us, please do not enter our demo program.

Can I apply my demo deposit to an online racquet purchase?

Our racquet demo program is offered to in-store customers only. Demo deposits can only be applied to in-store purchases. They cannot be applied to online purchases.

How do I start?

Please come into the store with a valid credit card. One of our experts will set up a demo account and help you choose your first racquet. This process usually requires about 30 minutes on the first visit. Subsequent visits to drop off and pick up only required a couple of minutes each.

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Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet

Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet

The Yonex ™ Astrox 99 badminton racquet has several technical innovations that improve upon earlier racquets in the Astrox series. Each of these innovations are described below. If you want to test drive this racquet, stop by our store in southwest Calgary.


Buy Yonex Astrox 99


Yonex Astrox 99 Badminton Racquet Innovations


Yonex Namd

Yonex Namd Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Namd Badminton Racquet Technology

A world-first, new dimension graphite material, Namd, greatly improves the adhesion of the graphite fibers and resin by attaching nanomaterial directly to the graphite fiber.

In high performance racquets, it is common to combine nanomaterials with resin that connects graphite fibers, but in Yonex Namd, nanomaterials are directly adhered to the graphite fibers and resin is greatly increased. This major improvement in Yonex racquets produces a shaft that flexes and stores energy, delivering explosive force on impact with the shuttle.



Yonex Badminton Racquet Full Frame Namd

Yonex Full Racquet Namd Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Full Racquet Namd Badminton Racquet Technology

The ASTROX 99 has adopted Namd in the entire body of the racquet, including the frame. This doubles contact time with the shuttle, resulting in an explosive shot, as the racquet returns from flexed to straight at the end of the swing.



Yonex Nanometric

Yonex Badminton Racquet Nanometric

Yonex Nanometric Badminton Technology
Yonex Nanometric Badminton Technology

NANOMETRIC* improves the bonding strength between the carbon fibres enabling us to take racquet shaft construction to another level. By reducing the amount of carbon in the shaft to make it 60%* thinner than a conventional racquet whilst retaining stiffness, YONEX has created a revolutionary lightweight racquet with lightening head speed and control.

*NANOMETRIC is the new material which applies the NANOALLOYTM Technology of Toray Industries, Inc.



New Grommet Pattern

Yonex New Grommet Pattern Racquet Technology
Yonex New Grommet Pattern Racquet Technology

Yonex’ new single-pass grommet hole construction provides more grommet holes and fewer shared holes than other brands. This permits for a more high-performance stringing pattern.



Rotational Generator System

Yonex Rotational Generator System Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Rotational Generator System Badminton Racquet Technology

Yonex rotational generator system applies the counterbalance theory in Yonex racquets. Weight is distributed throughout the grip end, frame top and the joint for maximum control. This ensures a smooth and rapid transition to the next shot.



Solid Feel Core

Yonex Solid Feel Core Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Solid Feel Core Badminton Racquet Technology

The built-in solid feel core in Yonex premium racquets reduces harmful miscellaneous vibration at impact. This technology, called “solid feel core” is a feature of all Yonex racquets manufactured in Japan.



Super Slim Long Shaft

Yonex Super Slim Shaft Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Super Slim Shaft Badminton Racquet Technology

This is the slimmest racquet ever produced by Yonex. It vastly reduces air resistance whilst providing maximum feel.



Aero+Box Frame

Yonex Aero Box Frame Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Aero Box Frame Badminton Racquet Technology

Yonex frames are contoured differently on different parts of the loop. Some areas feature an aerodynamic shape to reduce air resistance. Other areas feature a box shape to provide strength and power. This combination offers a quick swing with a solid feel.



Built in T-Joint

Yonex Built In T Joint Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Built In T Joint Badminton Racquet Technology

‘New’ Built-in T-Joint is manufactured from a special lightweight plastic combined with epoxy resin and a foaming agent. Yonex says that it enhances quality and performance by increasing the stability of the shuttle on the stringbed and through the air.



Yonex Energy Boost Cap

Yonex Energy Boost Cap Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Energy Boost Cap Badminton Racquet Technology

The new shape of the energy boost cap allows the shaft to flex, which ensures the maximum effect of “Namd[1](more flex and faster kick-back graphite material)” and stabilizes the racquet face by preventing the shaft twisting, increasing control



Isometric Head Shape

Yonex Badminton Racquet Isometric

Yonex Nanomesh Neo Badminton Racquet Technology
Yonex Nanomesh Neo Badminton Racquet Technology

Yonex’ square-shaped ISOMETRIC frame shape is designed to keep vertical strings at a similar length. This shape produces a larger sweet spot in all directions.

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How Self-Serve Stores Trick You

Wilson Zone 60 Badminton Racquet

Wilson Zone 60 badminton racquet
Look at the photo on this racquet. Is this racquet for adults or kids?
The worst thing about shopping in the big self-serve sporting goods stores is that you don’t know what you are buying. And more often than not, the staff don’t know what you are buying either.

Take the racquet in this photo, for example. Is it an adult racquet? Is it a kid’s racquet? How can you tell?

Thousands upon thousands of these racquets were sold in major sporting goods stores in Canada and the US last year. The questions is, though, did the people who bought it know what they were buying?

Let’s look at the picture on the racquet’s face card. The badminton player is none other than Sho Sasaki, a Japanese badminton champion who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

Based on that — and with no other information to go on — a reasonable person would assume that this racquet is suitable for adults.

But it’s not. It’s a child’s racquet, barely suitable for a 10-year-old.

In fact, this racquet is too short (by more than a centimeter) to be an adult racquet and too heavy (by about 15 grams) and far too stiff to be a child’s racquet.

In our store, this racquet is classed as a toy. It looks like a badminton racquet. You can even use it to hit a badminton shuttle. But it’s not really a badminton racquet because a badminton player would not use a racquet like this to play badminton in any kind of formal or semi-formal setting.

If somebody brought this racquet to practice with a knowledgeable badminton coach, the coach would probably advise them to get a new racquet.

But chances are tens of thousands of people who didn’t know any better were tricked into buying this racquet last year because they were hanging on the walls of virtually every major sporting goods store in North America.

And that’s the problem with self-serve sporting goods stores. They buy what they know they can sell. They don’t care of it’s the real thing or a toy. They look at the packaging, the brand name, the colour, the price and the margin. That’s all they need to know if people will buy it.


A Random Sample of Our Badminton Racquets

Racquet Selector For a full list of racquets in this category, please check out our ONLINE RACQUET SELECTOR. You can sort by sport, gender, brand, size, weight, balance and more.