Picking up tennis is exciting. We watch the greats on TV look flawless, striking the ball back on forth, and be inspired. For beginners, knowing where to start can be tricky. If you already have a racket in hand, then half the battle is done. But can you just pick any string? Technically yes. But the more in-depth answer is there are better strings for beginners than others.
Picking out string isn’t easy. Different types perform differently based on their texture, quality, and style of wrap. There are also strings that cost a lot more and won’t be worth the investment for a beginner unless they have serious injuries.
So in this guide for the best tennis strings for beginners, we break down all you need to know about string and why certain strings perform a certain way. Remember, for beginners, you need both a boost and control.
Table of Contents
- 1 Breaking Down Different Types of String
- 2 Types
- 3 Top Brands
- 4 Top Tennis Strings for Beginners
- 5 Things To Know
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 Conclusion
Breaking Down Different Types of String
Everything string, whether it be an in-brand comparison or two completely different strings, is going to have a list of similarities and a list of differences. But if you want to know whether a string is going to work for you, you’ll need to ask a few different questions.
- Is it durable enough for me? Am I a powerful person?
- How much control do I need?
- Does a spin-friendly string suit me?
- How does the shape of the string affect my ball?
These are all really great questions and, at the same time, can be overwhelming. This is because beginners are trying to figure out their game while learning what strings do. That’s why we are here for you to do the heavy lifting and explain the string differences.
First, let’s get into the types of string, then we can talk about who makes them and what these big brands are known for.
There are four different types of tennis strings that a player can put in their racket. They are synthetic gut, multi-filament, natural gut, and polyester. These strings are made of different materials to produce different results in terms of spin, control, power, and more.
We can safely say there are four different categories of tennis string. They are synthetic gut, multi-filament, natural gut, and polyester. The different materials that are used to produce different results are what will make the difference for beginners. They are spin, control, power, and other factors.
In most cases, Synthetic Gut is made out of Nylon. It can come in many different colors and textures, which makes it a more versatile string. It can be great for beginners because it comes at one of the most affordable prices on the market. You can find synthetic gut in almost all tennis stores and shops because of its popularity. It will either be wrapped around once or twice to change how well it will hold the tension and make it more or less durable. The string has a solid core, unlike some that have hollow insides. In general, it holds tension well and can help beginners control the ball.
The outside angle in which the string is wrapped also plays a great role in how much spin comes off the ball which can be helpful for some beginners and sometimes too much for others.
Multi-filament is the middle ground between the synthetic gut and natural gut. As we will learn, natural gut breaks often and feels amazing, whereas synthetic gut, as we know, doesn’t offer a whole lot of feel. Multi-filament though tries to offer the best of both worlds with a great feel and some control and durability.
Where the difference between multi-filament and synthetic gut is the inside. The multi-filament has thousands of tiny spirals wound up together to make up its core rather than a solid base. They intertwine to make up its core and sort of look like licorice. They can offer both power and spin because of their elasticity and durability. The spin is what separates it from natural gut.
This can also be a great option for those who have elbow or wrist injuries that need something softer on the arm.
Natural gut is the full-out powerhouse that so many love. It can be a little too much for beginners, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be completely ruled out. When it is paired off with some spin-friendly qualities, it can become a heavy ball and feel effortless. IT is, however, very expensive, which can be a real downfall for beginners who don’t have a lot of change to spare. With it breaking all the time and the strings being expensive, beginners may not be able to develop the feel they need to when learning different groundstrokes.
When it works with the right racket, it can be life-changing for tennis. Those who are naturally good at tennis should give this string a shot. The best pros in the world use it because of its world-class qualities.
Lastly, we look at polyester, which is literally the opposite end of the spectrum from natural gut. It offers almost too much control for beginners and can be very harsh on the body in general. It has incredible durability, which is a plus for those who are very strong.
Polyester is a monofilament string and allows players to take massive swings at the ball without having to worry about control at all. This is the plus side for beginners who often hit the ball out because of the lack of wrist understanding of how spin and control work from the hand to the racket.
As a beginner, you are probably not familiar with all the brands that offer the top strings. While it’s not the most important piece of information to take with you, it’s good to know when you see a recognizable brand. The ones you want to keep in mind are Solinco, Babolat, Wilson, and some others that can offer you premium string and help you figure out what levels of spin, control, durability, and more you need.
Solinco has been a major provider for players at all different levels of play for tennis. You’ll recognize the bright green Hyper-G as one of its most popular strings. Solinco is one of the newer brands on the market but has also seen a great deal of success which is why it’s so popular. Most of their strings are polyester or monofilament that offer great durability and excellent control and spin. This is why beginners may gravitate towards this brand. It’s affordable and of great quality.
While this string may not be recommended for beginners, don’t disregard it quite yet. It’s a premium string that is used by all the top players on the ATP and WTA Tours. Luxilon started making their strings back in 1959 in Belgium with sewing machines. They have been around for the same amount of time as some of the racket manufacturers, which is why they are deeply loved by many. There most common strings are natural gut and polyester, which many players will go towards the latter. Having said that, their strings offer comfort to anyone who has injuries which may be something that comes up for early players.
You will recognize this brand based on its racket alone. Rafa being one of those inspirational greats, uses both Babolat’s rackets and strings and has no issue at all. One of the most well-known athletes that use Babolat, so it’s worth taking a glance from that alone. Racket manufacturers usually make a string that works with their rackets because they will sell the string with a specific model type of racket they have made. For example, Babolat uses RPM Blast, which is a string that works with almost all of their rackets because of the way they work with each other. Babolat strings can be great for beginners because their rackets are bouncy, whereas their strings will offer more control, making it a great combo.
Another notable racket brand that many beginners will be familiar with is Wilson. Unlike Babolat, Wilson offers more options when it comes to what type of string may be both confusing and beneficial for beginners. Some of their strings are made with a lot of power and pop, whereas others will focus on control. This at least will give a beginner time to figure out what they work well with and what they do no work well with.
Top Tennis Strings for Beginners
With this information and understanding the different types of strings and who makes them, we can start talking about strings that make sense for you. The companies mentioned above are going to produce the best options for beginners, so let’s review what they have and what they have to offer you as your start your tennis journey.
When we talk about these strings, we look in terms of control and power as a balance as these are the most useful qualities for beginner tennis players.
We also need to consider the durability and how comfortable the string is to play.
Price is one of the few qualities we don’t usually look at, but in this case, we will because it is a beginner using the string.
1. Solinco Hyper G
This one of their most popular strings and made from Polyester makes it a great affordable string with many positives. Solinco offers beginners a lot of spin because of its square shape string that has four edges to create more rotation naturally for players who haven’t figured out how to manage the wrist yet. Despite being a thick-poly, most of the reviews rave about the feel, which is very important for beginners to have.
Another great positive is that this string is durable and maintains tension well. When tension is lost easily, beginners start to lose control and may not have the repetitions needed. The only downside is that this string may offer too much control for a beginner.
2. Babolat VS Touch
Being on the absolute other end from Solinco Hyper-G, the most expensive string offered is the Babolat VS Touch. It’s much higher than some of the Luxilon strings but is a natural gut from Babolat is the ultimate string for players looking for comfort. If you suffer from any sort of elbow or wrist injuries, It offers a premium feel while being one of the softest strings on tour. One of the best benefits for beginners is tension retention. This could be because they added an extra layer to the string to make it last longer.
The feel is one of the other benefits that beginners can work with, as it allows for a more connected feel when learning.
The downside is that this string can break often and add up very quickly, which is unideal for a beginner because if they aren’t sure they like to play, it’s quite the investment.
3. RPM Blast
Babolat is a popular choice and if you are looking for this brand but something more affordable, then consider it the most popular co-poly strings. Its midnight black color with its octagonal shape creates incredible spin with a lot of friction. This may not sound like a great string for a beginner because of its low power-producing ability. But where this can be a great option is when you play with one of the high-power rackets. It offsets the bounce and lack of control, making it a great combination.
The player we can look to, for example, here, is none other than Rafa. He, of course, is very advanced, but sometimes we find ourselves modeling our games after the best. For those who find themselves lacking control, this will be the string for you. There’s minimal trampoline effect allowing full confident swings.
4. Wilson’s Champions Choice
We couldn’t have a list without have some form of Luxilon on the list. While this is Wilson’s string, it is a combination between Wilson Natural Gut and Luxilon Alu Power 125 rough. This combination is great because it takes two of the best strings on the market to provide a middle ground between control and power—ideal for beginners. Alu Power has texture so that it can offer better access to spin to offset the power you may get from the natural gut.
When we look more at the natural from Wilson, it’s good to note that there is a weather-resistant coating that gives it more life. This makes it last a lot longer. If you need an ambassador to sell you because the price is slightly higher, then look no further than Roger Federer. And if you have any injuries, it is still easy enough on the arm to play with.
5. Wilson NXT Control
Wilson NXT Control is a more affordable option compared to the previous one. It’s one of the strings that do well in every category except for durability. But because beginners won’t break as often and it’s affordable, it’s not much of a downside. Power, spin, and comfort are some of the many benefits that this strong offers. You also get great elasticity which means power supply is no issue. This is great for beginners.
The only thing that can hurt the beginner’s case is the possible lack of control because of how bouncy the string is. It can have a tiny bit of a learning curve which may be too much for some. Once embraced, it’s a great option for all-around playability.
Things To Know
Even with this information, knowing the best brands and the best strings, it’s always a good idea to better understand some of the factors that affect how the string feels. Tension and what racket you are using are two of the biggest factors that can manipulate how the ball comes off the racket. So when you know what type of racket you are playing with, you can make the best choice for strings that will compliment it instead of work against it.
Luckily most racket companies will give you an idea of what range you should string your racket at. This will really have a big impact on the projected path of the ball when you make contact. But because the recommended range is so large, you may feel like the string doesn’t perform how you expected. The lower the tension you have, the looser the string will be, which will provide more power. If you need more control tightening the tension and going up in number will restrict the movement and ultimately if the ball flies. You have to experiment with your own tension to see what feels most natural to you.
To figure out what string is going to work best for you, you’ll need to first check out what type of racket you are playing. As mentioned, strings are made in mind to work with specific rackets so that they work together rather than work against each other. This is important to keep in mind.
The four different types of rackets that you can choose from will significantly impact how the ball comes off the strings. This is why sometimes people confuse themselves with strings thinking it’s their fault when it is really just the racket that doesn’t work.
Let’s break down each type of racket to be familiar with what you are looking at and understand how different specs work together in terms of string. Knowing what a racket will offer you in terms of control, power, and spin is incredibly important. When the right string and the right racket work together, it can be a lot of fun playing.
Four Types of Rackets
So let’s talk about these different types of rackets and how their style differs from one another. A specific player will enjoy a certain category based on their game style. As a beginner, you won’t know what your style is, so it’s good to gear towards rackets that do a little of everything.
These four types of rackets are traditional, modern, tweener, and power players. Each of these categories is pretty different from the other and can really offer a player with that style a complimentary racket.
Even within a category of racket, each one can be altered in specs to make it more customizable to one’s desires. The string also helps change some stuff up.
This racket choice is one of the more popular types offered on the market because it supplies power without effort, which is great for beginners. With big serves from bombers like Serena, a player will need to have a short tight, and compact swing in order to return it efficiently. Finding a balance can sometimes be difficult with this racket, but it is easier to bring it in rather than figuring out how to produce your own.
These rackets will store the weight in the head of the racket rather than the handle. They need to be lighter overall, so the maneuverability doesn’t become too difficult to whip around. That’s important when beginners are learning how to shape the ball.
Modern rackets are also popular because everyone is trying to add more margin to their game with spin. Think more like Rafa. This racket type offers tons of spin and power. Rotation is the priority with these rackets and works particularly well with strings that amplify the same. This brings that control element back for beginners without giving up too much power.
This is a power racket and tweener racket. It is not the best of everything but performs particularly well in many different specs and categories.
These rackets are not ideal for beginners at all because they are really meant for those who are advanced and on professional tours. They are traditional, meaning a small headframe that requires incredible accuracy. Something that is not in a beginner’s best interest. These rackets are good for those who have great footwork because it adds a level of precision.
These rackets are more commonly found on professional tours, if at all. They aren’t a popular choice because of the difficulty players have trying to make clean contact. When you do, however, it is a beautiful feeling.
Tweener is really the best of everything. Players who volley, serve, baseline, chip, and just do it all really love these types of rackets. While it won’t stand out in one area, it has high playability and is an all-around great racket to work with. This is one of the best options for beginners because of its ability to do everything very well as they figure out their game and learn.
No specs are really required in order for it to be a tweener racket as they can be headlight or head heavy based on the manufacturer and specific type of racket. In general, the range is very wide. The swing weight can change the weight the racket feels, and this too has no common number. This will entirely depend on what the player feels like.
Frequently Asked Questions
That was a lot of ground to cover, which is why you should refer back to this guide at any time. There are always going to be more and more questions that pop up the more you learn about the strings and the racket, which is why this section is dedicated to the most frequently asked questions.
Does it matter which strings I string my racket with as a beginner?
Yes! And No. You can always swap out and change the racket strings, but you definitely want to consider the strings you are using as a beginner because if they are low power and not helping you out, it may be difficult to learn. Some strings, in general, are just too expensive for beginners. It’s good to go with more generic brands that can help you out.
As you develop your style, you will be able to configure what will work better for your style and strings. As we noted, things are constantly changing, and there is a lot you can work with on string style and tension to customize your needs as you get better.
From here, you can ask yourself how much power you want the strings to give off and in terms of how much spin it will help you create!
How do I find the right string for me?
Going to the demo shop in your local club is always a great idea. They will be able to help you figure out what string is best for you to use. They also can give you samples possibly if they work with a big supplier.
Local tennis shops and even online retailers will try and help you find the right string. The best thing you can do is sample out a bunch of single packets and work from there.
Side by side comparisons if you have two rackets that work particularly well, and you can even play with two different tensions to test that out as well.
Do I have to buy single packs all the time?
It’s not always necessary to buy single packets unless you are trying something out. It’s much more price effective and efficient if you buy a reel of string that will give you many strings rather than buy one single packet at a time. However, don’t buy a reel until you are sure that you love the string you are playing with because that can be many months of playing with a sting you don’t like. They have multiple sizes ranging from 20 strings or 40 strings.
Sometimes if you end up being talented in your age division, you can inquire about sponsorship opportunities with brands to get discounts or even free string in some cases.
How do I know which tension to string my racket at?
Everyone is going to have a different tension preference. Any player who is starting out should give a few different tensions a try to see what is going to work best for them and what gives them that perfect balance of control and power. Keeping in mind that the tighter you go, the more control you will have.
Tension also changes with elements, so moving indoors to outdoors will change your tension. Also, something that has an impact on tension is an improvement. In the beginning, you may require a lower level of tension, and as you get strong and better, you may need to tighten up the reigns to give yourself more control with the ball.
Manufacturers will always give you recommended tension ranges somewhere along with the racket. It’s always best to stay within these ranges so that you don’t end up warping or breaking the racket unexpectedly.
Beginning tennis lessons are really fun. Even if you are playing with a friend, there’s no need to stress and fret about the string. Having said that, you definitely want to understand that the string you play with and the racket you have in your hand have an enormous impact on what you are doing.
Beginners need to have a little help with power for the most part, especially if they are young. Control is something that can certainly come down the road, and when you add elements of edges on the string, that automatically gives you some spin.
Enjoy the experiment with testing out the different strings and such we recommend. These are the best strings for beginners, and when it’s paired with the right racket, you will be a force to be reckoned with.