By Steve Crandall
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Ashaway Racket Strings
Congratulations to all of our string quiz winners - the brave individuals who sent in their quizzes to be graded each received their individual test results, along with a free set of Ashaway Rally® TI 22 Badminton string. And, as a whole, you all did quite well.
There were a couple of questions we stumped you on. Let's take a look.
Answer: Denier, a term originating in the textile industry, refers to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of a given type of filament. The lower the denier, the finer the fibers. Many players report that thinner strings give them better feel. But denier does not necessarily relate directly to how thin the string is. A multifilament string may be composed of a number of different fibers, which can range from 15 denier to 1,600 denier. The thinness of the string has more to do with the overall design than the denier of any one of its fibers.
- 46% could not tell us which of the following characteristics (elongation, creep, denier, and moisture absorption) does not affect the performance of racquetball string.
Answer: False. Stringing at a higher tension will give you more control over the direction the shuttle takes off your stringbed, but at the expense of increased power. Conversely, a looser strung racquet will give greater power, hence the explosion of the shuttle off the strings, but with less control.
- Over 30% responded that if you want the shuttle to explode off your racquet with greater power, your should string at a higher tension.
The reason for this is best described by the "trampoline effect." If you jump on a solid floor, you will not get much bounce, because the hard surface absorbs your energy. But, try jumping on a trampoline and up you go, benefiting from the return of energy that occurs when the trampoline strings stretch with your impact, and then rebound back.
An interesting note. When we rephrased this question later in the quiz...
Answer: False. When a ball bounces off a hard surface, it's easy to predict the angle of rebound, like doing a bounce pass with a basketball. But when the surface is softer, such as when a shuttlecock hits a low tension stringbed, it sinks in deeper, making the rebound angle harder to predict. This "give" in the strings, which allows for more rebounding power, also generates more variation of movement in the shuttle's travel. A shuttle hit directly on the racquet's "sweet spot" will rebound one way, while one hit nearer the edge might rebound another.
- 23% answered that at a lower tension, a string is more apt to add control to your game.
Using this information, players can adjust their string tension to achieve a desired result. If you are looking for greater control, try stringing at a higher tension. Want more power, string at a lower tension.
The other noticeable misses included:
Thank you to all who participated in the string quiz. I hope that those new strings and the additional stringing knowledge help your games.
- Nearly one quarter of respondents could not tell us which of the following countries (USA, Canada, Japan or France) is not home to a racket string manufacturer.
- And, finally, a full 92% of the quiz participants (be still my heart) did not know the year this column first appeared.
This article previously appeared in Badminton News / USA.