ParaBadminton_EPC_VVD_16082023_LOWRES-3
Aug 16 2023

String tension of the highest level in Rotterdam

“Many Para Badminton players play with a string tension of 13-14 kg. That’s really clever, especially if you’re in a wheelchair.” Tim Wyrdeman tells it full of admiration. In the hall where the Para Badminton will be held during the European Para Championships, Tim stands all day stringing badminton rackets.

“Yesterday at 11 o’clock I had already received 27 rackets, and it takes me an average of half an hour per racket’’, Tim says, as he lightning-fast strings some poison yellow strings between a racket that one of the many Para Badminton players has left with him. “I’ve had to tell a lot of people that there’s a good chance they won’t get their racquet back within a day, because I don’t want to pre-empt anyone either.”

Beginners often play with a stringing of 8-10 kg, while 9-12 kg is normal for advanced players. Advanced valid players at the national level often tap 13+ kg. So is the case for virtually everyone active on EPC2023.

“Tighter tension often means more depth, and playing harder smashes. You do lose a little control then. On EPC2023, they play quite a lot with tighter tension”, Tim explains. That also seems to be the reason there is a table next to him full of rackets whose strings have sprung. “Tight strings, slices and hitting the shuttle high on the racket make them jump faster.”

Some players also brought their own strings, with the instruction to string them at a very specific kg-tension. The thickness of the strings in combination with the stringing ensures the difference in badminton, and thus also in Para Badminton. Scot Gregor Craig Anderson calls it very convenient that you can have your racquet made at a tournament. “The big players often carry 5-6 rackets, but new or lesser players often only 2’’, Gregor says.

Tim also plays badminton himself and has been stringing for six and a half years. While stringing, he has a perfect view of the matches being played during EPC2023. As such, he is a badminton fan himself. “This is Joshua Donker’s last tournament. It’s nice that I can see all of it”, Tim says with a big smile.

Throughout the week there are still Para Badminton matches to watch in Ahoy. The finals will take place on Sunday.

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