''How come I break my string only within the first few shots? Is this a string problem?''
''The string broke in the middle of the frame! It must be a stringing problem!''
Breaking badminton strings might be one of the most frustrating thing in badminton, for both badminton players and the stringers. Stringers got asked by similar questions above and players are wondering what exactly happened.
It's frustrating, we get it. Even the best string strung on the best racket by the best stringer on the best machine in the world can break the first time you use it. Current World No.1 Singles Male Player - Kento Momota even broke 3 strings on 3 rackets in a game. Breaking strings can happen to anyone.
When it comes to string breakage it is common but unfortunate that the customers want to blame somebody, and usually that is the stringer. They assume the stringer must have done something wrong; Could be over-stretching the string, could be the knots weren't tied properly, could be anything but their own mistakes on the players themselves.
The uncomfortable truth is, 99% of the immediate string breakage comes from miss hitting, if it is a stringing mistake usually the strings wouldn't even last before they leave the stringing machine, it will break instantly on the machine.
Today we will be focusing on how to differentiate miss hitting and natural breakage by looking at the breakage pattern.
MISS HITTING SPOTS: WHERE ARE THEY?
There are five spots on the frame that are the weakest/most fragile for the strings. The knots, the top, the bottom and the two sides. They all share two similarities - higher tension closer to the frame and does not have cross/vertical strings to protect them.
When shuttlecocks are flying in high speed, the impact it creates is just like a solid rock hitting, and with smashes putting even more pressure and impact, the string breaks immediately if the shuttlecock hits off center.
When the shuttlecock hit the top/bottom, the string breaks on the spot and it shrinks to the middle in single direction of the frame due to the pull of the remaining tension. This is the most common spot where player miss hits, because of the off-timing swing or even collisions.
Here are some examples.
HITTING TWO SIDES
Miss-hitting on two sides are rather rare to happen, but that doesn't mean it will never happen. The gap between the two sides and the frame is relatively smaller than the top/bottom, therefore it is much rarer to have miss hits on two sides. Same situation applies, when the shuttlecock hits the side, the string breaks on the spot and it shrinks to the middle in single direction of the frame due to the pull of the remaining tension.
Here is an example.
So going back to the very beginning of this article, customers are claiming the string breaks in the middle. After all the examples given above, hopefully we make it easier and clearer for people to understand even though you see the string head is in the middle of the frame, it is actually shrunk to the middle, not broke in the middle.
HITTING THE RIGHT SPOT: NATURAL BREAKAGE
And of course, strings can break if you hit within the sweet spot. The string breaks on the spot and it shrinks to the side of the frame in 2-way direction due to the pull of the remaining tension. If the string were to break in the sweet spot area, you should see fraying around the sweet spot area and the breakpoint. This means due to consistently hitting on the string bed, the string will eventually break.
Here are some examples.
Hopefully this blog post helps you understand how to read the breakage pattern. Breaking strings are normal, but it is always helpful for both the players and stringers to know what exactly happened to the breakage before the conversation got heated. We would strongly recommend the players to take a picture on the breakage pattern before they cut all of the strings, if they have concerns. It is fair for both sides if a picture proof is presented!
If you like this post and are interested in related topics, we will be talking about other factors of breaking strings and more badminton related knowledge in the future! Stay tuned!