Tennis Strings Guide by Player’s Profile
- Synthetic Gut
- Soft Polyester
- Natural Gut
Tennis Strings Guide by Type
There are hundreds of strings available in the market and it can be mind boggling trying to filter through them. Therefore we have painstakingly tested and carry some of the most popular strings. Although these are some of the best strings on the market, don’t go selecting the first one right from the list. We have created this simple guide and hope the information below will help you select the best type of strings for you
There are 4 main categories that strings fall under:
Synthetic Gut: Generally, this is the cheapest type of string but that doesn’t mean it is inferior. In fact synthetic gut delivers a combination of great playability and durability. It is soft, comfortable and delivers a good amount of power and control, all at a great price. For beginners, if you are unsure what to start off with, we highly recommend Babolat or Prince Synthetic Gut.
What’s Good: Economically priced, softer than polyester and more durable than multifilament
What’s Not: Average performance (spin, power, control). Not exceptional in any category
Polyester: Also known as monofilament strings. Essentially, the most common and popular type of string on the market right now. Most of the Pros use polyester strings in a fully bed or hybrid them. Polyesters are stiff strings which offer players more spin, control and durability, but at the expense of feel, comfort and power. Thankfully, over the years, numerous soft polys have emerged on the market. Despite the mirage of poly strings on the market, Luxilon remains a firm favourite among the pros and recreational players. However, we strongly recommend trying out brands such as Solinco, Volkl and Polyfibre, for superb performance strings at a greatly reduced price.
What’s Good: Lots of spin, plenty of control and crazy durable
What’s Not: Not recommended for sensitive arms, loses tension faster, lower powered
Natural Gut: The King of tennis strings! Natural Gut holds tension the best, is the most comfortable on the arm and provides phenomenal feel and ball pocketing. However, it generally overlooked because it is pricey and sensitive to water/humidity. With that, it is the number one choice of string for ATP and WTA pros. Instead of a full bed, most pros choose a hybrid with Natural Gut mains and a Polyester Cross. This is because full Natural Gut can be too soft and a hybrid will provide more spin and control while still maintaining the awesome playability.
What’s Good: Best playability, holds tension the best, feels like cushion on the arm, lots of spin and power when hybrid with polyester.
What’s Not: Expensive and sensitive to water and humidity (modern coating have made it more tolerable to Singapore’s climate)
Multifilament: Made from hundreds of tiny fibers wound together, many Multifilaments are made to mimic the performance of Natural Gut but are less expensive. Multifilament strings provide a good amount of power and are very soft and comfortable. Usually, we recommend anyone with elbow/shoulder issues to switch to Multifilament until the pain is gone.
What’s Good: Closest thing to natural gut. Good power, maximum comfort and plenty of feel
What’s Not: Not durable for hard hitters or spin players and not the best for control
A lower tension will provide more power, spin and comfort but less feel and control.
A higher tension will provide less power, spin, comfort and durability but more feel and control
Typically, a racket will have a recommended tension range somewhere near the throat of the racket, usually around 50-60 lbs. Advanced/intermediate players who can generate their own power will likely string with a higher tension, while a beginner will want to start with a lower tension. If you are unsure what tension to string with, we recommend you choose the middle of the range and then you can make adjustments from there. For polyester, due to the stiff nature of the string, we recommend stringing 10% less than your usual tension. Next time you need more power? Just go down 2-4 pounds.
Gauges are essentially the thickness or diameter of a string. The higher the gauge, the thinner the string. However, we actually recommend using the actual millimeter sizing for easy comparison. In general, thinner string will provide more power, spin and feel while thicker strings provide more control and durability. If possible, use the thinnest string you can tolerate for the best performance.
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