About tennis strings
Almost the same situation which we can meet by tennis rackets is by tennis strings too.
We have really a lot of tennis string brands and let’s say the best tennis string brands as Pacific, Babolat, Kirschbaum, Technifibre, Gamma, Prince, Head, Wilson, Luxillon, Yonex have all a huge number of different type of strings which are suitable for all kind of tennis players.
But there is one big issue comparing tennis rackets matter.
A lot of common Tennis players will take hours and hours to test and evaluate tennis racket, but unfortunately they do not care the same way about what string do they play.
And that is really a big mistake.
I dear to say, that the tennis string is even more important than the racket.
The racket is only so to say “string holder” and only together with the right tennis string they will suit you and make you fell the ball.
Yes sure the tennis racket is important too, but only in combination with the right string these two will make you a happy tennis player.
Here is one example.
If you will buy a sports car and putt on tractor tiers you will not get very far.
Because on the first corner you will slide out and crash.
It is very similar with tennis rackets and the strings.
Main number of tennis players has a good and expensive tennis racket, but inside they have tennis strings, which -sorry - do not deserve this name-tennis string.
This combination can not work.
And they are playing and playing and playing, sometimes over a year with the same string. And they are happy because the string holds so long and it was very cheap.
But from another site they have problems with wrists, elbows, shoulders; they are all packaged with all kind of arm supports and continuing to play with same equipment.
There are only three main reasons for that and two of them are rackets and the strings.
The third is tennis technique, which is for sure very important, but never the less a lot of youngsters have big problems with their arms.
I mean, they have good technique and the main cause for that are wrong racket models and even more-wrong strings.
A lot of youngsters think that they should play top players racket models and they do so, but then they putt inside the racket some totally cheap strings and so is the double trouble there.
This is the case where tennis coaches must involve big and explain and convince their pupils, players and their parents in what is right and what is wrong.
Sure, first must they be aware of that.
We have made a test and we took 5 rackets from the same model, totally same weight, balance and swing weight and string it with 5 different strings.
Than we have asked some, from knowledge totally different tennis players to test them.
Guess what was the most common answer?
“This Two rackets are great, but other three felt pretty bad- could not play at all.”
How if all 5 rackets were the same?
Yes because of strings.
The right string can make your racket playable or even not.
So where is the problem?
Again the problem is - tennis players are choosing the wrong tennis strings!
So get the right string for you, which depend on your tennis knowledge (technique),gender and age.
Before I will lead you to the tips, I will try shortly to explain the types of tennis strings, so that you will fully understand tips later.
Basically we have two main groups:
Natural Gut strings – this strings are made from cow gut, that why is the name “natural”.
Synthetic strings – this string are made from synthetic materials.
Natural gut strings are made of cows' or sheep's gut in a very complicated process.
Their main features are excellent elasticity, great tension stability and liveliness.
But they are very expensive and sensitive to weather, while I must say that a lot of improvement has been made in this direction during the past few years.
Natural gut is still the most playable string among the pros, lately specially used as cross combination with polyester string- hybrids.
Examples: Pacific Prime Gut, Pacific Tough Gut, Babolat VS Team, Klip Legend, Bow Brand Championship.
Synthetic strings are so to say high tech products which are being improved all the time to bring their playability into line with natural gut strings.
But they use advantage of the synthetic materials, which are; higher durability and even higher speed.
There are a huge number of different structures and materials. The main categories are:
Nylon string is the most common used string type.
These strings are among the most reasonable and most recommended tennis strings around the world.
Strings are normally made of a single nylon core and various resistant wraps.
Because of its special dynamic properties nylon (polyamide) is well suited as a material for tennis strings.
High number of different types of constructions (wrap material and wrap angle) influences the string's playing characteristics. Nylon strings with multiple wraps can be considered higher grade than single wrap nylon strings.
The wraps reduce the tension loss usually experienced with nylon strings. Nylon strings are suitable for players who have normal or high string consumption.
Examples: Pacific Power Line, Wilson Championship Nylon, Babolat Powergy, and Prince Tournament Nylon.
Polyester strings show us a pretty simple structure.
They are made of a single polyester fiber with thin one or more coatings.
This type of construction is named - monofilament.
They come in different gauges (1.10-1.35mm) which enable you to choose among different elasticity/durability levels.
Polyester strings are little elastic and feel quite stiff compared to nylon or multifilament strings, but on the other hand they provide significantly better durability, allowing for thinner gauges.
Polyester strings have one main bad side. They tend to lose their tension quite quickly, so control decreases and the string feels dead after a short time of play.
Polyester strings are only recommendable for players with high string consumption. For these players, polyester strings offer a great price/performance ratio.
During the past few years, tremendous effort has been put into the advancement of monofilament strings and the elimination of their major weaknesses (tension loss and lack of elasticity).
More and more polyester blends (co-polyester), mixed with a number of other materials like PEEK, carbon or metallic fibers, and are being developed to modify the playing characteristics.
Almost every manufacturer carries such strings in their program today.
Examples: Pacific Poly Force Extreme, Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power, Kirschbaum Touch Turbo, Head Ultra Tour.
This string is designed as close to natural gut as possible and because of that these strings cost more than nylon strings, as the manufacturing process is very complex.
Many microfibers are twisted together to a string, which is wrapped with a resistant cover.
Multifilament strings have high elasticity and great playability and are on the highest level of tennis strings performance.
Main bad side - multifilament strings tend to break soon once the resistant cover is damaged.
Examples: Pacific Futura TXT, Babolat XCel Premium, Isospeed Professional, Head FiberGel, Kirschbaum Touch Multifibre, Wilson NXT Tour.
These strings are designed to provide better ball grip. Most of these strings present great spin potential in line with great control.
But the texture usually holds only for a short time and the strings become smooth.
Another bad side is their short durability.
Examples: Pacific Power Spin, Kirschbaum Super Smash Spiky, Isospeed Pyramid, Prince Topspin Plus.
Pretty new strings on the market are Hybrid strings.
But they manage to convince a lot of players in a very short time, so in the moment almost 80% of tour players are playing hybrids.
This string is combination of two different strings for mains and crosses.
On the racket it is almost always a main string that breaks. This is because the main strings move a lot more than the cross strings so the cross strings "saw" into the main strings, causing notches and eventually breakage.
That's why in hybrid strings usually a durable string is used as the main string (polyester, aramid/kevlar).
As cross strings usually highly elastic synthetic strings or natural gut strings are used to provide comfort and feel.
Hybrids provide excellent playing characteristics while a poly/multi hybrid often lasts longer than a pure poly or pure multifilament string job.
There are an almost infinite number of possible string combinations, as you can create highly individual combinations.
There are also some pre-packaged hybrids available from the major string brands.
Examples: Pacific Poly Gut Blend, Wilson HyperLast. Babolat offers the possibility to obtain "half" sets of the Pro Hurricane, the X-Cel Premium and the VS Team for individual combination (Custom+ Hybrid).
General tips about strings
To get the best out of your racquet you'll have to do a little more than just use the best string.
The choice of the right tension is about as important as the choice of the racquet frame.
As a general rule: the harder you string the less power you get and the more control you have.
With lower tension you gain more power but also lose control.
In any case you should try different tensions; if you play better - great, and if you don't, you can get back to the old tension the next time.
To show you the effects different string tensions and diameters can have on your racquet's performance I created following tables:
To increase the durability of your strings you should not expose your racquet to extreme heat, cold or humidity.
Therefore you should always keep your racquet in its bag.
To protect your racquet head you can use a head tape.
This is useful if playing on clay court or if the strings are not protected enough by the racquet head guard.
Strings lose elasticity with time, one type of string faster, and another type of string slower.
This has a negative effect on the playability; players with a sensitive arm will feel it soon.
In general you shouldn't play a string longer than 2 to 3 months.
Then it's about time to cut out the strings and restring your racquet.
Often the diameter of a string is not given in millimeters but in the old "gauge".
Following table helps you convert between these two measures:
Tennis string gauge:
|15||1.41 – 1.49 mm|
|15L||1.34 – 1.40 mm|
|16||1.26 – 1.33 mm|
|16L||1.22 – 1.26 mm|
|17||1.20 – 1.24 mm|
|17L||1.16 – 1.20 mm|
|18||1.10 – 1.16 mm|
|19||1.00 – 1.10 mm|
Conclusion-type of string suggestions:
For Beginners: nylon strings
For Intermediate players: nylon strings, multifilament strings, structured strings, hybrid strings.
For seniors: multifilament strings
For Pros: polyester strings, hybrid strings
On my opinion Natural Gut string is still KING and the QUEEN of the strings and so most suitable for all kind of players.
So – play it!
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