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Choosing The Tennis String That Is Right For You

Choosing a tennis string that is right for you is by no means an easy task. The variety of options available can be overwhelming. We’ve done our best to guide you through this process, identifying each type of string, along with the benefits and disbenefits of each string category.

Tennis strings can be categorised into four primary types: polyester, multifilament, synthetic gut and natural gut. We will also touch on hybrid string set ups, as well as other important considerations which can influence your string choice, such as string gauge and string tension. If after reading this guide you are still confused don’t hesitate to contact us at swing@essexracketstringing.co.uk


Polyester Tennis Strings

In recent years polyester tennis strings have become increasingly popular and are the preferred choice for many professional players. This is largely due to the robust nature of polyester strings, which makes them by far the most durable string on the market, perfect for hard hitters who regularly break strings.

Whilst polyester strings are strong and durable there are a few things to consider. To get the most out of this string we would advise not to exceed 55lbs / 25kgs of tension as you will lose some playability, as well as increase the risk of injury. We would also not advise polyester strings for developing juniors, or players that struggle with tennis elbow and arm pain.

Some of our favourite polyester strings are Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power which is possibly the most popular string on tour, as well the sensational octagon shaped RS Paris, brought to you by RS Tennis. If you are seeking a softer polyester string which is more ideal for junior players, we would suggest RS Lyon or Babolat RPM Blast.


Multifilament Tennis Strings

A tennis string which is categorised by its soft nature, ideal for developing junior tennis players, as well as players who suffer from arm pain and tennis elbow. Multifilament tennis strings are comprised of bundles of micro synthetic fibres which have been twisted together. The result is a soft and cushioning string which offers excellent playability.

The downside of multifilament tennis strings is that durability of the string is compromised due to its softness, so it tends to break more often than polyester and synthetic gut strings. There are things to extend durability of multifilament strings. Firstly, opt for a thicker gauge of 1.30mm or more which will extend the life of the string slightly. Secondly, multifilament strings work perfectly as a hybrid string set up, typically comprising of polyester strings on the mains and softer multifilament string on the crosses, which is very popular string set up.

Our favourite multifilament string is Wilson Sensation. As already mentioned, a thicker gauge is desirable when using multifilament strings to extend the lifeline of the string. Another excellent Multifilament string is Technifibre’s NRG2 which is regarded as one of the most arm friendly strings available.


Synthetic Gut Tennis Strings

A tennis string which is commonly formed by a single filament, meaning that synthetic gut tennis strings are the easiest to manufacturer, which is reflected in the price of the string. Synthetic gut tennis strings offer a good amount of playability and durability and can be considered a good entry level string, well suited to more casual tennis players.

Synthetic gut tennis strings will be firmer and more durable than multifilament strings but will not feel as soft when striking the ball. Synthetic gut tennis strings will be softer than a polyester string but will not have the same level of durability. Our preferred synthetic gut tennis string is Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex 1.3.


Natural Gut Tennis Strings

Previously the most common tennis string available, natural gut is formed of cow’s intestine which lends to an unrivalled amount elasticity. In recent years natural tennis string has given way to more popular multifilament and polyester strings, which have improved drastically due to technological advancements.

Natural gut tennis strings are more expensive than any other string which may put some people off. There are also some ethical concerns about using cow’s intestine to make these strings. With this said many people still believe that natural gut is the most playable string on the market and is still used by many top professionals, predominantly as a hybrid string set up.


Hybrid Tennis String Set Ups

We have mentioned the notion of hybrid tennis strings a few times in this article. What we are referring to here is one type of string on the main strings and a different type on the cross strings. This can commonly result in a perfect balance of durability, softness and spin and is ultimately why many professional tennis players opt for hybrid strings.

We would recommend a more durable tennis string on your main strings, either a polyester or slightly softer co-polyester, as these take the brunt of the force. This paired with a softer string on the crosses, such as a multifilament, synthetic gut or natural gut will give players the best of both worlds, durability and playability.

Some of our favourite hybrid string combinations are Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power on the mains (strong polyester) paired with Wilson Sensation on the crosses (soft multifilament), mixing durability with playability. Another great option is RS Paris on the mains (octagon shaped polyester), combined with RS New York (multifilament) on the crosses, great for players hitting the ball with heavy spin.


Other Considerations

There are two other considerations which are important when deciding on the tennis string that is right for you. These are string tension and string gauge.

Tennis string tension is referring to how tight or loose you have your racket restrung. A lower tension will result in more power, whereas a higher tension will result in more control. Tennis rackets can typically be strung anywhere from 45lbs to 65lbs tension, depending on the frame. If you are unsure of your preferred tension, we would recommend starting in the middle of what your racket recommends and then adjusting as needed the next time you need your racket restringing. As a top tip we would suggest to not exceed 55lbs tension if using a strong polyester string as these types of string do not react as well at higher tensions.

Tennis string gauge is referring to the thickness of the string. A thinner string will result in more power and softness but will be compromised in durability. A thicker string will offer more durability but less softness and playability. Tennis string gauges start at around 1mm thickness and go up to 1.5mm, although the most common thicknesses are between 1.20mm & 1.30mm. Our top tip would be to use a thinner gauge if opting for a durable polyester string and a thicker gauge if opting for a softer string, to extend durability.


If after reading this guide you are still confused don’t hesitate to contact us at swing@essexracketstringing.co.uk

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