If you’ve been playing badminton for a while, you know that your racket strings can suffer some serious wear and tear over time. But if you want to perform at your best, how often should you restring a badminton racket? Should you wait until a string snaps, or can other factors clue you in on when it’s time to get it done?
Read on to learn how often you should restring your badminton racket, along with a few key pointers that might change the frequency for you.
The Importance of Restringing Your Racket
As a beginner, you may not think about your racket strings much. But as you level up, you might realize that they have a much greater impact on your game than you once thought.
In fact, some advanced players feel that strings are more important to your performance than your racket itself.
When a racket is freshly strung at the proper tension, it can make your shots more sharp, powerful, and controlled. But after dozens of matches, regular training can start to take a toll on your string tension and quality. For example, older strings can suffer from:
- Fraying: This is when the outer casing on your badminton strings begins to erode.
- Notching: This happens where the strings cross over each other. Over time, shock from hitting the shuttle can cause the strings to wear into each other where they intersect.
- Loosening: Strings can lose their tension over time, which leads to less power and accuracy on the court.
How Often Should You Restring a Badminton Racket?
So, just how often should you restring a badminton racket?
The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and it largely depends on your skill level, playstyle, and training schedule. Having said that, here are some general guidelines that can help you estimate when it’s time to invest in a new set of strings:
As a beginner or casual player, you might only play badminton once in a while. This skill level tends to be less competitive — and, instead, commonly involves just trying to keep the shuttle in the air for as long as you can.
Because it’s a more relaxed playstyle, it also tends to be a lot easier on rackets. And if you’re a beginner, you probably aren’t playing as much as those at higher levels. For this reason, you can likely get away with restringing your racket only when a string breaks.
If you’re at the intermediate stage of your badminton journey, you’ve probably been playing for a year or two, and have learned many of the basic shot types.
At this point in your journey, you may start to notice tension creep — or the loss of string tension — affecting your game. This is when it can help to make restringing a regular part of your badminton racket maintenance routine.
The exact amount of time you can go without restringing will depend on how often you train. But generally, intermediate players will want to restring their rackets every three to six months to minimize the impact of tension creep.
If you’re at the advanced level, you’ve likely been playing badminton for several years, and have a defined playstyle. You might also play competitively at your club or at different tournaments.
At this level, there are two main things to keep in mind when it comes to restringing:
- If you’re playing serious matches, you’ll always want your strings in the best possible shape.
- Advanced players tend to train more frequently and intensely — meaning your strings will wear down more quickly.
With that in mind, high-level players should restring their rackets whenever they notice a change in the tension (and when they have the budget for it). It’s also best to restring your racket before a tournament or competition to maximize your performance.
How to Restring Your Racket
Some people have tried to string their racket by hand, but it’s best to hire a professional — simply because it’s next to impossible to get the correct tension unless you have access to a stringing machine.
So, when you’re ready to restring your racket, a good first step is to call your local badminton or sports store to see whether they offer stringing services. Alternatively, you can also check out online badminton stores (such as Joy Badminton) that offer restringing services by mail.
Taking care of your racket strings means crisper shots, more control, and better performance on the court. But when it comes to how often you should restring your racket, it really comes down to your skill level and training regimen:
- Casual players and beginners may not need to worry about restringing their rackets until a string snaps.
- Intermediate players should consider restringing every few months, or whenever they notice tension creep.
- Advanced players should restring whenever they notice a loss of tension impacting their game, or before tournaments and competitions.