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The Art of Stringing in Badminton

Badminton stringing tips with Sam Kumar

Or is it the science of badminton stringing?

It’s hard to really pinpoint if it’s art or science. There’s so much technology wrapped up in a string and combined with the physics of string tension would lead me to think that it’s a science.

But then again, how many times have you had your racket restrung with the same string and same tension with the results being remarkably different?

So perhaps it is an art.

True Story about Badminton Stringing

Sam Kumar badminton stringing expert
Sam Kumar is a badminton stringing expert and a certified badminton coach. He is based in the United Kingdom.

A long time ago, in a badminton club far, far away… a player asked me if I could restring his racket. The conversation went something like this:

‘Is this worth restringing? It’s only an £80 racket?

‘If you play well with the racket then it’s always worth restringing. Wanna restring?


‘What string do you want?
‘What tension?
‘Do you want it to sound nice when you hit it?

So…Let’s Start with Gauge.

The gauge relates to the thickness of the string and can range from 0.61mm (e.g. Yonex Aerosonic) to 0.70mm (e.g. Ashaway Rally21).

Thin gauge strings create a better feel of the shuttle whilst also having better repulsion properties; they are often regarded as power strings.

They also sound great when you hit the smash exactly on the sweet spot. Now, sounding great may be regarded as player vanity, but never doubt the confidence it creates – knowing you have timed that smash to perfection.

The downside is that the thinner gauge will lose its tension much quicker and if you’re a power player that mistimed smash will break a string (or two).

What about stringing tension?

Firstly, it should be noted that a lower tension creates a bigger sweet spot whilst a higher tension creates a smaller sweet spot. For this reason, lower tension is recommended for beginners and higher for more advanced players.

However, with lower tension, a lot of the touch and control are lost. Whereas at higher tension, the power is lost.

It’s useful to put numbers to all this.

Various badminton blogs will suggest 18-22 lbs (8-10 kg) for beginners 22-26 lbs (10-12 kg) for intermediates and 26+ lbs (over 12 kg) for advanced.

However, from experience, I don’t think this is entirely accurate or appropriate.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend anything below 24 lbs (11 kg) regardless of the level of the player, anything above that would be the player’s choice.

With tension under 24 lbs, the stringbed isn’t stable; the strings are prone to movement. This results in the shuttle not doing what you want it to do. Causing masses of frustration mid-rally.

Not ideal.

At 25 lbs+ you get a delightful zip on the pace of the shuttle and a crisp sound on the strike.

Unless you are a genuine power smasher like Viktor Axelsen or Lee Chong Wei, the loss of power with high tension is minimal, but the improvement with touch play and control is massive.

And the sound?

You know when you have hit a good shot as it sounds great, and this adds to your in-game confidence.

And confidence makes you play better.


What does this all mean?

Before getting your racket restrung ask yourself these questions:

Is the shuttle doing what I want?
Am I hitting the sweet spot consistently?
Am I getting the pace out of the shuttle when I hit it?
Does it sound good?

And use your answers to guide you through your string and tension choice.

What about me

I use Ashaway Rogue Duo, a hybrid string set that gives me power and control. I string my doubles racket at 28 lbs on the mains and 26 lbs on the crosses. My singles racket I string at 26 lbs (mains) and 24.5 lbs (crosses).

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Handmade shuttlecocks require amazing craftsmanship

Handmade shuttlecocks for badminton

Handmade shuttlecocks nowadays are a rarity. The production of feather shuttlecocks these days is mostly manufactured using automation and machines. But one factory in a small village in India continues to produce shuttlecocks by hand.

Shuttlecocks made by hand in West Bengal

Producing quality shuttlecocks by hand involves real craftsmanship.

Jadurberia village in India is the shuttlecock capital of India. In this small village, workers have been making badminton birdies for generations. But the rise of mechanized assembly lines and the popularity of synthetic shuttlecocks are threatening to shut down small factories like the Niyogi family’s Dodo Shuttles.

Watch this video from Business Insider for the full story. And don’t forget to subscribe to the BadmintonSpeak newsletter for more badminton stories.

Where to buy badminton shuttlecocks – also known as birdies?

Badminton shuttlecocks are sold online and in many sports shops. Below you’ll find links to different brands offering shuttlecocks of different qualities and prices.

All links above are affiliate links.

What is Air badminton? – Part 1


Airbadminton is a variation of badminton that is designed to increase accessibility to the sport by improving outdoor play. The court dimensions, rules, and shuttle are different from the classic game of badminton you are probably familiar with.

The BWf has been pushing this variation of the game for the past 4 years with various community and participation projects. So what is it, is it any good and how do you play?

Airbadminton Court

The Airbadminton court is different from ‘classic’ badminton. The court is 16 metres long and 5 metres wide for 1 on 1 games while a 16×6 court is used for team play. The court is separated in the middle by a net 1.5m high, 8 metres from each back line, as shown on the diagram by the dotted line.

On each side of the net, there is a dead zone. This is essentially the forecourt on a classic badminton court. It is 2 metres from the net on each side of the court.

The air badminton court is surrounded by a ‘free zone’ that is between 2 and 4 metres from the sideline and back line. This ‘free zone’ is simply for safety to give extra room for players to move and limit interference with the court.

There are service markers 3 metres behind the dead zone, labeled on the diagram. This is to demonstrate the position of the server in the game. In this version of the game, there are no tram lines, rear tram, or service boxes, providing a much simpler court for beginner players.

For the best performance, the courts should be set up laterally to the prevailing wind direction to allow for better shuttle
performance. Courts should also be set up north-south to avoid direct sunlight affecting players’ vision.

Airbadminton Rules

Firstly the similarities. As in ‘classic’ badminton you score points by hitting the shuttle over the net between two opposing players until one side can no longer return the shuttle either due to the shuttle landing in their court, the shuttle lands out of bounds, the shuttle hits the net, the shuttle is hit but doesn’t go over the net or the shuttle hits the player’s body.

One of the first differences is the serve. As mentioned in the previous court features, there is a service marker 3 metres behind the dead zone. The server must stand behind this line when serving and hit the shuttle into the opponent’s red zone on the above diagram. When serving the shuttle needs to be below the height of the net and immediately travel in an upwards direction when the shuttle is hit.

The scoring system is the same as traditional badminton, the person that wins the rally gains a point. It is suggested by the BWF that games are played by the best of 5 games to 11 points with a setting at 10-10 to 13 points.

The AirShuttle

We have all experienced trying to play outside on the beach or at the park. Using a plastic shuttle and having it blow all over the place making the game unpredictable and very challenging. Due to this, the BWF has designed a new type of shuttle specifically for Airbadminton called the Airshuttle.

This shuttle is designed to fly as similar to a traditional shuttle as possible as well as sound and feel like one. The BWF made over 30 prototypes before deciding on the Airshuttle which is now produced by numerous manufacturers.

The net system is the same as traditional badminton, the netting is thicker to reduce wind disruption. While the badminton rackets are the same as traditional badminton it is recommended that you play with a lower string tension due to the weight of the Airshuttle.

Airbadminton Competitions

Airbadminton can be played just as traditional badminton is played with singles and doubles. However, a 3v3 and 4v4 format has also been made for Airbadminton with some different rules.

Where singles and doubles are open play, any player can hit the shot at any point, in 3v3 and 4v4 this is different. The team formats stipulate that the same player cannot make consecutive shots, so once a player takes a shot the other players must play the next shot for their team. The BWF says this improves the fun of the game while increasing skill development and demonstration.

One of the formats pushed by BWF is the team relay. Every tie consists of 5 matches, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, and two triples. One triple is two males one female and the other two females one male player. All of the competitions so far are on sand with a number of events showcasing the sport being held over the last 2 years.

This is the first installment of our Airbadminton series as we look at the impact, merit, and result of Airbadminton.

Badminton increase life expectancy by over 6 years

Life expectancy badminton

A study showed that people who play badminton regularly can expect to live over 6 years longer. This is compared to people who have a more sedentary lifestyle (that is, an inactive lifestyle). Improving life expectancy is not guaranteed, but your chances improve if you engage in badminton regularly.

The Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS) study ran for 25 years and was completed in 2017. It tracked over 8.000 people for this period of time. As a result, the study was able to make conclusions related to life expectancy

Read on – or see more badminton science here

Racket sports are best at improving life expectancy

The CCHS study concluded that people actively involved in rackets sports tennis or badminton are likely to live much longer than people with an inactive lifestyle.

The increase in life expectancy for different sports compared to the life expectancy of people with an inactive lifestyle was:

  • 9.7 years – Tennis
  • 6.2 years – Badminton
  • 4.7 years – Football (Soccer)
  • 3.7 years – Cycling
    3.4 years – Swimming
  • 3.2 years – Jogging
  • 3.1 years – Calisthenics
  • 1.5 years – Health Club (Fitness Club/Gym)

Researchers were surprised to note that tennis came out on top. However, the study deduced that the educational background of tennis players vs. other sports tracked in the study plays a role in the increase in life expectancy years.

How can badminton enthusiasts use this information?

At we believe it is important to promote the sport of badminton as often as possible. Lots of folks don’t know the benefits of playing badminton. If you are keen on helping grow the sport, let people know that badminton adds years to people’s life expectancy.

Playing badminton at any level regularly is beneficial on so many levels. It improves general well-being, mental health, and physical health. Badminton also improves the social circle of anyone involved in the game. All of these factors, contribute to an increase in life expectancy.

Finally, let’s not forget that playing badminton is fun no matter which level you play at. And badminton can be played by people of all ages. There are lots of senior citizens who still play when they have turned 75 years of age.

Badminton science and sports science related to badminton

Badminton science sports science

Badminton science research is an area covering many aspects of science related to the badminton sport. These areas include exercise physiologysport psychologyanatomybiomechanicsbiochemistry, and biokinetics.

Thankfully, a lot of scientific research related to badminton is publicly available. There is much to learn from this research. That’s why would like to share some of the information with you.

One BWF-supported publication is dedicated to racket sports science. In the following, you will find links to some interesting and thought-provoking research studies related to badminton science.

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Table of Contents

Please note that this article is updated with new links added regularly. Members of our newsletter, you will receive regular abstracts of the most important badminton science research papers and sports science studies.

Performance improvement in badminton is an important area. The badminton science research linked above provides tangible solutions to different areas of badminton performance.

Research related to behavioral science is interesting. Here are some of the

Evidence supporting the relevance of growing badminton

There is a lot of anecdotal “evidence” on the benefits of playing badminton. These research papers provide unbiased evidence of the (many) benefits of badminton.

Badminton science research papers you should know

Here is a list of some of the most recent badminton science research papers.

Research papers on badminton coaching

Coaching is both an art and a science. Check out these research papers related to the coaching of badminton and racket sports in general.

All they’ve got in Lugazi is 2 outdoor badminton courts, but they love it


Turns out, I forgot my first experience with badminton. But a story we received from a friend in Lugazi, Uganda, reminded me.

You see, around the world, many children and adults have one thing in common: they started their badminton experience outdoors. Some eventually make it on to practice badminton indoors, but many don’t.

I didn’t, but for other reasons than lack of access.

In so many places around the world, people do not have access to proper training facilities, motivated coaches, and a supportive badminton environment. Therefore the experience of the vast majority will be limited to playing outdoors. I can’t help but wonder how many talents are lost because of the lack of proper training facilities around the world.

The impact of parents on badminton around the world

Lugazi badminton outdoor

The Lugazi badminton kids, you are about to learn about, have something in common with most children who get involved with badminton. They are guided by their parents.

As I recall my first experience, my father took me to play at a “nature court” steps away from the home of my grandparents in Barløse (a tiny village in Denmark). I am pretty sure I enjoyed it. I must have. Because so many years later, I can still envision the “court”, the old wooden racquets, and the slow breeze.

Although my father never played organized badminton, he’s always loved the game. And that’s why he got the idea to take me to the nature court. (I refer to the court as a nature court, since it was “built” in a tiny forest. The court was surrounded by trees on all four sides).

Parental influence is also very much in play in Lugazi. Children in Lugazi are coached by parents or other adults with knowledge of the game. The adults themselves also enjoy the game of badminton on the two outdoor courts available.

Our thanks to Senthil Kumar who brought us this story. He is an Indian ex-pat living in Lugazi with his family.

What’s the badminton story in Lugazi?

At the moment, badminton is mainly enjoyed by the expatriate employees of SCOUL (they produce the famous Lugazi sugar) and Cable Corporation in Lugazi. It has become a popular activity for fun and exercise.

On a regular basis, there are around 10 children and 10 adults playing on the 2 outdoor courts in Lugazi. The courts are with concrete surfaces, but with flood lights enabling players to enjoy badminton after dark.

Currently, the Lugazi players use synthetic shuttles. They have not used the AirBadminton shuttles, which are specially developed for outdoor badminton.

The children also play at school. And some of them have even become school champions.

What happens to talented badminton players from Lugazi?

Talented players from Lugazi, have no other option than to seek organized training in far-away Kampala. Receiving professional training is key to talent development. Even for those who do not wish to compete at the highest level, training is crucial. The reason is that the more skilled a person is, the more enjoyable they’ll find the game of badminton.

The lack of structured training is a general issue in rural areas around the world. And it is a challenge in areas where badminton has not been given priority. A city the size of Lugazi has the potential to involve at least 800 children between 6-17 in organized badminton.

But without the right focus and commitment to expanding the sport locally, the potential will never be reached.

Resources and how to grow badminton in the city

In Lugazi visitors will find Uganda’s biggest privately owned, most scenic beautiful golf course (the Mehta Golf Course). So, naturally, golf is a popular sport in the city. But so is football – the city has 2 purpose-built football stadiums.

Volleyball is another popular sport. It is played at the volleyball stadium. Interestingly, baseball is also popular in Lugazi, as is weekend cricket for the ex-pats living there.

Are you thinking what I am?

Seeing how the city has given priority to the aforementioned sports, it seems there is an opportunity for badminton as well.

Imagine what could happen if a purpose-built badminton hall was erected in the city. A hall with – say – 6-8 courts, shower facilities, a physical fitness room, and a small cafeteria. Preferably one with solar panels on the roof capable of producing all the energy required to run the hall. (lots of sunlight hours in Lugazi).

We know that badminton is becoming more popular in Uganda. The country has been actively seeking to host international tournaments. This gives us reason to believe that a plan to grow the sport further is realistic.

Moreover, Uganda is home to a large population of Indian descent. Not as many as in neighboring Kenya, but enough to become a driving force in making badminton more popular in the country.

At Badminton Speak we are working on plans to help places like Lugazi explore the opportunities to grow badminton locally.

Get the Badminton Speak newsletter to stay informed about our ambitious plan to help grow badminton around the world

Is badminton good for the brain?

badminton brain benefits

The short answer is that badminton is very good for the brain.

A game of badminton stimulates what is known as our inhibitory function. That is a part of the executive function of the brain, which controls our impulses, helps delay pleasure, and assists in planning for the future. The same effect is true for playing table tennis, but not so much for running or walking.

In layman’s terms, researchers explain that badminton is good for the brain because the game involves constant decision-making. So apart from the obvious physical benefits, playing badminton also improves important functions of your brain.

Research proves cognitive performance improvement after a game of badminton

In this scientific article, you can learn the details of the “badminton brain” study conducted by Shinji Takahashi of Tohoku Gakuin University, Japan. The study is called “Comparison of the effects of running and badminton on executive function: A within-subjects design”. It specifically compares people who played a game of badminton versus people who ran on a treadmill.

The following is a quick summary of the research:

Regular exercise can prevent cognitive decline and dementia. Moreover, it is thought that exercise has a beneficial effect on the executive function, including the inhibitory function, working memory, and cognitive flexibility

The research by Mr. Takahashi and the team was done to clarify what kinds of exercises improve executive functions (also called cognitive control). In the past researchers have studied both quantitative characteristics (e.g., intensity, duration, and frequency) and qualitative characteristics (e.g., exercise mode and complexity).

Complex vs. simple exercises – a big difference for the brain

Several studies have shown that complex exercises, including open-skill sports (e.g., badminton, tennis, and fencing), have more positive effects on executive functions than simple exercises, such as closed-skill sports (e.g., running and swimming).

Voss et al. reported results from a meta-analysis indicating that athletes who are experts at complex exercises tend to exhibit superior executive function than simple sports athletes and non-athletes.

Complex exercises require the coordination of a variety of motions and cognitive processes, including information pick-up, decision-making, visual attention, and inhibition of inappropriate actions.

Brain power improved after just one game of badminton

What’s interesting about the study is that the test subjects who were “brain tested” before and after a game of badminton, improved their post-game brain test score significantly compared to their score before the game.

When comparing the participating badminton players to runners participating, both groups produced similar results pre-activity, but the brain test score for those playing badminton was significantly better.

Learn more about badminton science and its impact on your health, well-being, and mental power

Learning about the science of badminton is interesting to many people. That’s why Badminton Speak devotes time and resources to bringing you information related to badminton science. Especially as it relates to people’s well-being and mental strength.

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