Tennis String Guide
If you are looking for a restring and confused as to what you need, our detailed guide below will provide you a clear idea of the different string types and tension to suit your game. If you are still confused, you can drop us an email or give us a call and our staff will be more than happy to explain your options. This guide will first explain the key difference between tension and gauge before diving into the various types of tennis strings. Each type of string will be evaluated so you understand which string offers more power, control, spin and comfort.
Tension & Gauge
Tension refers to how tightly the string is pulled by the machine to achieve the desired playability of the string bed. Most full-graphite rackets are able to handle tensions up to 60lbs of tension. You will normally find the manufactures recommend tension on the throat of side of the racket frame. The higher the tension the more control and less power a player will have. A lower tension provides more power but sacrifices control and feel. Generally, the middle range Is a good option for most players to go for as it provides a blend of control and power.
Strings tend to lose tension from the moment its strung before stabilizing for a time. As tension drops the strings elasticity also decreases, causing the player to use more power for the same results compared to a freshly strung racket. For optimum performance it is best to regularly string your racket for best performance.
A string gauge refers to the diameter of the string and is commonly express in millimetres. Thinner strings provide more power, feel and spin potential and offer less durability and control than thicker gauges.
Types of Strings
- Natural Gut
- Synthetic Gut
- Natural Gut
Natural gut strings are clearly the best by far in terms of strings and also the most expensive by a mile. They are made by weaving together strands of cow intestine and provide fantastic elasticity and tension retention. It also offers excellent comfort and is very easy on the arm.
The downside however is they are very expensive and not durable, therefore not a common choice amongst players.
Best String: Babolat VS Touch
Multifilament strings are made up of a combination of individual string filaments,usually nylon that are braided into a single length of string. They offer many similar qualities of natural gut at a fraction of the price making it very popular amongst players.
Offering excellent playability and comfort, they are a preferred choice for players suffering from tennis elbow or arm injuries. They also offer much better power than synthetic gut strings.
- Wilson NXT
- Power : 8.7/10
The premium feature of the NXT is its devastating power. Unlike other multifilaments,the NXT’s power boost always feels in control and not overwhelming. Most players will find it relatively easy to generate power while not overhitting.
- Comfort : 9/10
Best known for being extremely comfortable on the arms, the NXT is easy on the arms while still offering excellent response and playability.
- Feel : 8.6/10
The NXT Power not only packs a punch but still provides excellent feel throughout the court. We believe it suits a wide range of styles regardless if you’re are a groundstroke player and or love to volley.
One of the biggest trade-offs is its durability and tension retention compared to natural gut strings. You can go for the more durable 16L gauge to extend the lifespan of the string.
- Babolat Xcel
- Offers slightly more control and durability compared to the NXT’s.
- Excellent option for players who want more precision in their shots.
Cheaper Options that still offer excellent value:
- Wilson Sensation
Polyester tennis strings have over the past decade become hugely popular amongst tennis players, with players like Rafael Nadal setting the example of whats possible with topspin. Unlike multifilament strings, polyester strings are normally monofilament (made from a single filament). Monofilament strings tend to be more durable than synthetic gut and multifilament strings but offer significantly less comfort and power. These strings are also less elastic and tend to lose tension faster than any other string type.
- Luxilon Alu Power
A specialist in polyester strings,Luxilon is one of the biggest brands in the tennis world. It is popular amongst many professional players and well known for its premium quality.It offers excellent control and spin compared to its peers.
- Power : 6.8/10
As mentioned earlier, polyester strings tend to deliver significantly less power compared to other string types. They cater more to technical players that have full fast swings to maximize their performance.
- Control : 9.2/10
Advanced tennis players will find delight in the fact that you can take massive cuts at the ball with minimal loss in control, allowing you to dictate the game with precise placements. This is why the Luxilon Alu Power is our firm favourite as it delivers fantastic control without sacrificing touch and feel – something which other polyesters are unable to do.
- Durability: 8.5/10
Yet again the Alu Power is our big winner as it manages to hold tension significantly longer than other polyester strings.
- Spin : 9.5/10
Fantastic spin potential. The lower power allows players to strike the ball fast with added spin while still keeping it in play.
There are many choices amongst the Luxilon family to find the string for your game. You can choose from Luxilon Alu Power, Rough,Feel,Soft and Spin to find the perfect string.
Another fantastic option is the Babolat RPM Blast. Similar to the Luxilon , the RPM is a popular choice amongst advanced players. It offers slightly more bite compared to the Luxilon but not as much spin potential.
You can also look at the following alternative:
- Babolat Pro Hurricane
- Tecnifibre Pro Black Code
The most economical and beginner friendly string is synthetic gut – providing players with access to good quality without the high price tag. Synthetic gut is a nylon-based stirng and typically made from a solid monofilament surrounded by layers of smaller filaments. They provide an all-around performance with decent feel and playability.
They adopt qualities found in other strings – additional comfort offered by multifilament and control familiar with polyester. They are a great option for social and developing players as they last long and offer good performance.
- Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex
Prince Synthetic Gut is widely accepted as one of the best choices for recreational players with a quality string that delivers an all-around performance.
Agreed, it doesn’t provide the enhanced qualities of other strings but the Prince Synthetic Gut is an economical choice that will satisfy most recreational players.
- Babolat Synthetic Gut
Hybrid strings are the combination of two different types of strings/gauges. This type of stringing has become popular in recent years as players try to combine the best values of different string types in one racket. For example, multifilament’s are generally too powerful and lacking in spin while polyesters offer more spin and less power. By combining both types of strings players are able to get the best of both worlds. Hybrid stringing is also able to extend the life of softer strings while still delivering a crisp feel in every shot.
While it’s possible to come up with endless combinations, we have shortlisted a few pre-packaged hybrids
- Wilson Champion Choice Hybrid
Used by Roger Federer, the Wilson Champion Choice needs no further endorsement. Combining Wilson Natural Gut with Luxilon Alu Power Rough, the Wilson Choice provides the perfect blend of power, spin and control.
Generally, the features of the string used in the mains will stand out more. If you’re wanting durability and control, then polyester in the mains will be the best option. For increased feel and playability using the natural gut or multifilament in the mains will stand out.
While hybrid stringing offers a excellent blend, you don’t get the best characteristings of both string types. Normally you end up in the middle with a great blend of comfort, feel and power. This caters to most players but may leave other wanting more. The Wilson Champion Choice is quite an expensive option and we have listed a few others that are more affordable also offer excellent quality.
- Wilson Control Duo
- Combination of Wilson NXT and Luxilon Alu Power. At a much more affordable price while still offering excellent playability and control
- HEAD Gravity Hybrid Strings
- Another great option that doesn’t break the bank, the HEAD Gravity is a combination of two thin gauge strings for crisper shots