How To Choose The Right Tennis String
If you’ve ever watched professional tennis, you’ve witnessed firsthand how often elite players change their racquets.
This goes to show just how vital fresh strings are to your performance on the court. It makes perfect sense when you think about it: With tension loss, there’s a feeling that your racquet has lost its punch or gotten ‘mushy.’
That being said, with all the various string options, it can be confusing to know which one to pick or how often to get your racquet restrung. Thankfully, CA Racquet Technician Emily Hart explains the basics below!
The different types of string
You want a crisper feel to play your best, so a good rule of thumb is to get them restrung as many times a year as you typically play per week. So if you play twice a week, a fresh string job two times a year will keep your racquet in good shape.
The right string for you is ultimately about preference — you can’t necessarily go wrong, but it does help to know the pros and cons of each. Below, Hart describes the main attributes of the various options.
Made with a single core of nylon with one or more wraps, synthetic gut has a crisp feel and has better durability than multi filaments and holds tension better than both multi-filaments and polyester. It is a good string for beginners and intermediate players and has good overall playability.
Made with hundreds of strands of nylon microfibers with a binding agent, multi-filaments offer more power and comfort than synthetic gut and are excellent for players with elbow/arm issues.
Made with polyester extruded in a single strand and sometimes with a textured shape, monofilament strings offer better control due to their stiff nature. Their texture allows for greater spin and these are among the most durable strings on the market, but they lose their tension faster than any other strings. This type of string is good for advanced players who can generate their own power and don’t have arm issues.
Made from the serous membrane of cow intestines, natural gut is the gold standard with unrivaled comfort, power and tension retention. Natural gut is the most expensive type of string and does tend to wear quickly. It is the most popular choice among tour players and is a good choice for advanced players who are not concerned with durability or cost.
Because monofilaments are harder on arms and elbows and natural gut is so expensive, players often combine one type of strings on the racket’s mains and another on the crosses to counter these characteristics. These are known as hybrid strings.
String gauge & string tension
Beyond the different types of strings, it’s also helpful to understand how string gauge and string tension work.
Strings come in several diameters called gauges, with the vast majority of players using 16 or 17 gauge. Higher gauges correlate to thinner strings and provide more power and spin, while thicker strings provide more control and last longer.
The tension you choose for your strings also impacts play, and each racket has a manufacturer’s recommended range. The rule of thumb is that higher tension provides more control and lower tension gives more power.
Expert help at Long Reach Tennis Club
Having an expert help match you to the right string and tension is vital to getting the most out of your equipment. At Long Reach Tennis Club, we’re always happy to talk about all things string. We also string racquets ($38 for members using our string; $20 if you bring your own string).
Want to learn more about how CA’s tennis pros can help you advance your game? Check out our programs and facilities on our website!