A Badminton String Buyer's
Bill Of Rights
By Steve Crandall
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Ashaway Racket Strings
Even though racquet string strongly influences every badminton player's game, I'll willingly acknowledge that the subject is not of great interest to many players. Rather than learning about the technical intricacies of string and stringing, many players prefer to leave the decisions to their racquet technician-and that's fine, if the stringer is both technically competent, and responsive to the player's needs.
Players who can't get excited about string, but who do take their badminton seriously, should therefore be willing to spend a few minutes periodically talking with their racquet tech. Players who do care about their equipment probably need no encouragement. But regardless of whether you're a "string-focused" individual or not, your relationship with your stringer is important.
As with any relationship, there are expectations and obligations on both sides. In the interests of good service to players, and fairness to both parties, we've developed the following list of "rights and obligations" for buyers and sellers of string and stringing services.
The Rights of customers for string and stringing services:
Customers also have the following Obligations:
- The right to confer with a knowledgeable racquet technician, who can provide the desired mix of properties (e.g., power, control, durability, price) in your racquet/string combination.
If the kid at the superstore who takes your racquet can't answer your questions or give useful advice, ask to talk with the individual who does the stringing. If they're one and the same, go elsewhere.
- The right to obtain objective, unbiased advice about string and stringing options.
No one string is best for all players, so if you're not offered a choice of several badminton strings, look out! String suggestions should be based on your needs as a player, not on profit margin. If your situation calls for the least-cost option, that should be the recommendation. By the same token, if the stringer recommends a more expensive model, he or she should be able to explain clearly how the string's performance is suited to your particular style of play.
- The right to a professional-quality stringing job, performed according to the racquet manufacturer's specifications, and/or by agreement between the stringer and the customer.
There's just no excuse for shoddy workmanship.
- The right to receive service promptly, by the date promised.
- The right to expect that every package of a particular string will be consistent in quality and performance. String manufacturers must practice modern quality control methods to ensure consistent product quality. Stringers should store string in a reasonably stable environment, away from direct sunlight and excessive heat and humidity.
This article previously appeared in USA Badminton.
- Obligation to describe your own skills, needs, and playing habits clearly and objectively when conferring with the racquet technician.
The tech can't make a sound recommendation if he or she doesn't understand your needs.
- Obligation to pay for work performed.
'Nuff said, again?
- Obligation to pick up work promptly after completion.
You authorized the work and expected it to be done on time. Please don't subject the stringer to the liability of storing your racquet for an extended period, or make him or her wait to get paid.
- Obligation to understand that the performance-enhancing ability of any equipment is limited.
You can expect a little extra power or control from the right string, but not a quantum leap in your performance. Better play comes from practice and instruction.
- Obligation to understand that even the best stringing job has a limited lifespan.
Eventually, all strings wear out, break, or lose their bounce. Make it a policy to replace them before they impair your game.