Choosing the most well-suited string for junior tennis players can be a challenging task, particularly when the variety of string options available may seem overwhelming. For a developing junior tennis player, it’s massively important to try and stay injury free by avoiding unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles. This can commonly occur if young players are using a tennis string which is providing too many vibrations in the arm, or if the string tension is making them hit harder in order to reach the back on the court.
We’ve put together some simple tips and suggestions to allow junior tennis players to continue their developmental journey without being burdened by preventable injuries.
In its simplest form junior tennis players should be seeking an elasticated string which will create the least amount of vibrations, as well as creating a decent amount of power which junior tennis players often require. This type of string is categorised as a multifilament, formed by thousands of elasticated nylon fibres and is regarded by many as an arm friendly string. Young junior tennis players should undoubtedly always begin with a multifilament string before moving up to tougher and more durable strings as their body develops. Some of our preferred multifilament strings include the iconic Wilson Sensation, Technifibre NRG2 & Babolat Xcel.
The disbenefit of using a multifilament string is when junior players start playing with enough spin and power to regularly break them, which can be a burden on any parent’s pocket. When a player reaches this stage, our recommendation would be to start using a slightly more durable string on the mains and continue to use the multifilament string on the crosses. This is what is known as a hybrid string where the tennis racket contains two different types of string. This is a great compromise to increase durability, while at the same time maintaining a great level of playability and feel. We would suggest using a synthetic gut string, such as Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex, although there are hundreds of synthetic gut options to select from.
The final string type to note is the very tough and durable polyester string, which offers very minimal elasticity. We would never recommend junior tennis players to use a polyester string for their entire racket, but it has the potential to be used as a hybrid with a multifilament string for players who regularly break their strings. Polyester strings are used heavily on the professional circuit, predominantly because of their durability, with the most renowned string out there being Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power. Other popular alternatives include RS Lyon & RS Paris which are products of the RS Tennis range.
The string tension can be as equally as important as the string itself. Most junior tennis rackets recommend a string tension of between 45lbs and 55lbs. As a rule, a lower string tension will generate superior power. While a higher tension will demonstrate more control, but also more vibrations and strain on the arm. For this reason, we would always suggest that developing junior players adopt a loser string to protect their body. A loser string will also maintain tension much better than a tightly strung racket would, keeping in mind that within 24 hours of restringing a racket the tension will reduce by 10 per cent before a ball has even been hit.
Other considerations around string tension include the ball type the junior player is using. As juniors advance their string and string tension should be assessed at every stage to help with their development. Playing conditions can also have a big impact on what string tension to use. When the weather is warm the ball will travel through the thin air much more quickly, resulting in a potential lack of control. During the winter season the cold thick air can create heavy conditions where players should consider a loser string to assist in generating more power to cut through the air.