Choosing a string typically comes down to feel versus durability. Here’s the most important things to consider before you decide.
There are two material choices for string: natural gut or synthetic.
- Natural Gut is very elastic, providing a lively, cushioned feel. On impact, gut supplies a lot of power, but it also cups the ball well, for outstanding control. So if gut's so great, why doesn't everyone use it? For starters, it breaks faster than most synthetic strings. It's not unusual for frequent players who hit a hard, heavy ball with lots of topspin to bust gut string in a matter of days.
- Synthetic strings come in two types: solid core and multi-filament. Solid Core Synthetic string holds tension well and offers a good mix of durability and playability.
Multi-filament Synthetic strings are softer and more resilient, creating a trampoline effect when you hit the ball, which gives you more power. The downside to multi-filaments are that they're generally not as durable as solid-core and tend to lose their tension more quickly.
When we talk about string gauge we are referring to the thickness of the string. The higher the gauge number the thinner the string. The thinner the string the more lively it will feel but the less durable it is. The lower the gauge rating, the thicker the string and the more durable it is. If you are wanting more power and softer feel, choose a higher gauge string. If you want more control and durability then choose a lower gauge string.
String tension is referenced in pounds per square inch and relates to the tightness of the strings. A general rule is that lower tensions provide more power while higher tensions provide more control. Lower string tension is typically recommended for beginning to intermediate players looking for more power and forgiveness. A tighter stringbed is typically preferred by more advanced players looking to maximize shot control.
Q: How do I know what tension to string my racquet at?
A: We recommend stringing your racquet at the mid-range of the manufacturer’s recommended tension. If you string
at the recommended tension you will get the best performance
out of the racquet and can always make adjustments up or down from there.
Q: I like to hit with a lot of topspin and slice shots. Is there a
string tension that will benefit my playing style?
A: A tighter stringbed deflects less and deforms the ball more, providing less energy transfer than looser strings and therefore more control. Stringing at a slightly higher tension may benefit your playing style.
Q: I have persistent problems with tennis elbow. Is there anything I can do?
A: If you are playing with the correct grip size and still have a problem with tennis elbow, it may be the result of playing with too tight a stringbed. Try stringing at a lower tension to reduce the amount of shock and vibration transmitted to the hand and elbow.