Choosing your tennis racquet is often a decision that takes a lot of time and thought, but many players focus more on the frame than its strings. However, tennis strings make a huge difference in your tennis game, so it’s really important that you take the time to consider what type of strings to use and how you want them strung.
With so many varieties and options for tennis strings on the market, it may be difficult to determine which ones are right for you. Here are some of the basics you should know about tennis strings.
Types of tennis string materials
There are a few different types of materials that are used to make tennis strings, and each has its own set of benefits:
- Natural gut: Natural gut strings are made from the intestines of animals and are the “original” tennis strings. Gut strings are often considered the best for playability, crisp feeling and elasticity. However, these tennis strings are more expensive, so they’re more frequently used by professional players.
- Nylon: Nylon strings are one of the most common synthetic types of tennis strings. Most multifilament strings are usually made of nylon, as well. Nylon tennis strings come in many different varieties in terms of feel and comfort, but most offer a good combination of playability and durability.
- Polyester: Polyester strings are also synthetic. They can provide a higher level of spin, control and durability to players.
- Kevlar: Kevlar tennis strings are considered the most durable strings on the market. They are very stiff, though, and may not be the best choice for players with arm injuries.
Tennis string gauge
The gauge, or thickness, of tennis strings also plays a big role in how a tennis racquet plays and feels. Tennis strings come in gauges on a scale from 15 to 19, with 15 being the thickest and 19 being the thinnest. They also offer “L” gauges, which are half steps between each thickness.
In general, thinner strings have better playability, elasticity and spin potential. Most players will want to go for a thinner string. If you tend to break strings a lot, thicker strings offer better durability.
The tension that your strings have also plays a big role in how you play. Tennis racquets will come with a recommended tension range determined by the manufacturer. When you get a new racquet, it’s usually best to start with a tension in the mid-range and adjust based on your needs. Also, make sure to keep ranges in mind when you’re switching racquets. Your “normal” tension may not work if the new racquet has a different tension range.
In general, lower tensions can offer players more power as well as better durability. Lower tensions are also better for people with arm injuries because they deliver less shock. Higher tensions can provide players with greater control, but often deliver less power.
Find the right strings for your needs
Choosing the right string type, gauge and tension might take some time, but it is well worth it to get the best feel and playability possible for your tennis game. When you’re shopping for a new racquet or think your strings aren’t working for you, make sure to consider and test different tennis strings to find the ones that best meet your needs.
If you need new tennis strings, contact Lawler Sports! We have more than 25 years of experience serving the racquet sports market and offer a wide selection of tennis strings, racquets, accessories and more.