Strings are an often overlooked component of racket sports. It is important to remember that it is actually the strings that make contact with the ball, not the racket. Therefore, string selection can be more important than the racket choice. The type of string and tension that you choose will play a big role in the power and feel of your shots.
Customers are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of string choices that are on offer. This can be very confusing to many people. Below are some simple explanations and guidelines to help you decide what string would best suit your game. If you are still unsure, please use the “String Seeker” help icon on the home page to assist you.
1. Natural gut
Is a great lively string which is good for holding its string tension. If you are looking for a string that offers great feel, without losing tension, Natural gut is your best choice. The only drawback is that it can be more expensive than your other options. Natural gut is the historically popular choice, especially with touring pros, but has recently been replaced in popularity by polyester strings such as Luxillon.
2. Synthetic Strings
Is normally made up of one filament and is thus termed “monofilament”. It is best suited for hard hitting players looking for added durability and performance. Polyester advancements have come a long way in recent years especially with strings such as Luxillon and are now the most widely used string on both the ATP and WTA tours.
The new polyesters offer great power durability, as well as, feel and control. The Luxillon string allows the string to move but also snap back in place to create maximum spin. The only downside is that it can feel a bit ”hard” initially if it is not strung down in tension. It also does not maintain tension as well as other strings.
Is made of many different filaments which are wrapped together with a coating on the top. Multifilament strings are great for both feel and playability. The downside is that they are less durable and tend to break quicker than most strings. If you are not heavy on strings and looking for great feel at affordable prices, then multifilament strings like Wilson Sensation or Wilson NXT are great choices.
A Hybrid string pattern is a combination of two different kinds of strings normally a polyester for the mains and a multifilament for the crosses. This is the pattern preferred by most hard hitting players. The reason for this is that the main strings move more and tend to break quicker. By using the poly string for the mains you gain the benefit of the strength and durability of the string. The multifilament on the crosses will offer you the benefit of great feel. Therefore, you get a good mix of both last and feel using this combination.
Some players do the opposite and use a multifilament for the mains and a poly for the crosses. Roger Federer, for example, uses Natural gut for the mains and Luxillon alu power for the crosses.
- Synthetic gut
Is engineered to feel like natural gut but keep the advantage of better durability. This is a very good value for money choice.
The thickness of the string is an extremely important part of choosing strings. As a general rule, the thicker the string the longer it lasts but the less feel it has. Look for the gauge or string thickness on the packaging. The lower the guage number the thicker the string. If you are looking for more feel and playability look for a 17, 17L or 18 gauge. Below is a list of the gauges with an approximate thickness in mm.
Another important aspect to stringing is the tension. As a general rule, the tighter you string the more control you will get but, you will sacrifice power and comfort. If you string softer, you should get more power and comfort but, you will get less control. The current trend on tour is to string down especially with players using Luxillon strings. It is not unusual today to find the top pros using tensions in the low 40s.
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