How to Determine the Right Tension for Your Tennis Strings
The right tension in your tennis string racket is among the most crucial factors that can improve your overall on-court performance. With this said, one way to gain advantage in improving your game is knowing the right tension for you – considering elements such as skill level, style of play, and arm injuries.
For beginners, the easiest way to start is by looking up the tennis string manufacturer’s recommended tension range which can be found on the inside of the racket’s throat or anywhere around the head’s frame. The given range resulted from testing by real players, is where the racket performs at its best. To make it easier, try stringing the racket at the middle of the given range and from there; adjust the tension lower or higher based on the feel and performance that matches your preference.
High String Tension vs. Low String Tension
When evaluating the right string tension, you can only go higher or lower. The higher the tension, the tighter the string bed; and the lower it is, the looser the strings and the softer the string bed. This difference in tension will ultimately affect your game and knowing how to tweak it in response to these given factors will help you string accurately:
- Control – if control is your game, then you’ll need a tightly strung racket. A higher tension is ideal for power players and hard-hitters that play aggressively. A tighter string bed allows lesser movement which results to better control of the speed and direction of the ball.
- Power – the need for power is met by lower string tension. What happens when the string bed is strung looser is that there is more allowance for the string to stretch. Upon ball-string impact, strings stretch and the energy stored in the strings rebounds off the racket returning the ball with a powerful shot.
- Level of Play – while you might think that beginners can benefit from more control, a softer and more forgiving string bed is what experts generally recommend. Off-center hits, which are common to newbies, cause jolts of shock to the arm. Looser strings can help minimize this impact by slightly increasing the area of the sweet spot. Lower string tension also allows beginners to shoot with power without swinging as hard. And as the beginner’s game gets better and his style is polished, he can then decide to keep a low string tension if he swings in a slow, compact way; or move to a higher string tension for springy, fast strokes.
- Arm Problems – as a general principle, players susceptible to elbow injuries should string at the lower end of the string tension range. A looser string bed stretches on impact allowing more time for the ball to stay on the strings and spread out the shock over the string. As more shocks are absorbed, the lesser the stress on the arms.
Understanding and taking control of tennis string tension gives a player an edge over the competition. Efficiently playing on overall on-court strengths and making up for a player’s weakness can be achieved when tennis strings are strung at the perfect tension.
Categorised in: Best Tennis Strings