There’s a huge amount of tennis racquet strings available on the market today. Each company sells up to 15 different strings of which there are 7 different gauges for each. And to be honest, some are of real bad quality.
Still, it is important to carefully pick your racquet strings, as they enhance the power, control, durability and spin of your game. This article explains the basics of racquet strings and reviews them.
Types of Racquet Strings
Let’s first review the main types of strings.
Natural Gut: They are made out of real animal guts and that’s why they are terribly expensive. They provide a good feel and soft impact, but it’s a myth that all professional players only use natural gut. In fact, less and less people use them these days.
Synthetic Gut: Sometimes also called nylon, they are the most commonly used type of string. Unsurprisingly, they are less expensive than natural gut, but the top brands such as Luxilon can still be quite expensive. Their durability depends largely on their diameter. They come in a variety of designs that enhance control, spin or power.
Polyester: They are more durable than natural or synthetic gut strings, and that’s about their only advantage as they have less power and feel than the aforementioned strings. Still, because they last so long, they are attractive to beginners as they avoid the hassle of repetitive stringing.
Kevlar: While they are the most durable type of strings, they should be avoided in my opinion as they are very stiff and almost guarantee you’ll get a tennis elbow.
Hybrids: They are a combination of synthetic and natural gut and are used by players who want to get the best of both worlds: the durability and power of synthetic strings combined with the feel of natural gut. However, don’t become obsessed with them. If hybrids really were better, all the professional players would use them and this isn’t the case. If you do want to use hybrid strings, then put the synthetic gut on the vertical strings and the natural gut on the lateral. The lateral strings control more of the feel and break less.
Tennis strings have different diameters (thicknesses). A larger diameter means less power and feel, but more durability. Strings with a smaller diameter bite into the ball better, which means you’ll generate a little more spin.
The thickest tennis racquet strings are the:
1.40 millimeters (15 gauge)
1.35 millimeters (16 gauge)
1.30 millimeters (17 gauge)
1.25 millimeters (18 gauge)
1.20 millimeters (19 gauge)
Tennis racquet strings tension is either measured in kilograms or pounds. For both average and advanced players, string tension averages about 55 pounds or 25 kilograms.
A lower tension equals more power, while a higher tension generates more control. Many people will tend to create more power, so they can launch serves into the court. But when your tension is too low, it can be hard just to put the ball in the court.