Anytime you take to the court for a round of tennis, you want to win. Of course, no one intends to lose the game, and having the right equipment increases your odds of winning. Many people spend most of their time looking for the very best racquets—understandable–but may spend too little on the tennis strings.
But tennis strings are the life of the racquet. Investing in the right string is an important decision.
Picking the right string will help you advance to the next level, or at the very least, make sure that your equipment is not too blame for slow development. Deciding on the best string can be confusing and overwhelming, given how many options there are, especially if you are a beginner.
Not all strings are ideal for every player. A string that will work for you may not work for me and vice versa because every player has different tastes and preferences. Therefore selecting the right string for your game is not only about selecting the best quality, but choosing the best strings to suit your style of play. Of course, this means you have to know your style of play, your tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.
The simple guide below will take the guesswork out so you can narrow your options down to a few strings. It will also make you a tennis string expert in no time. Consequently, this will save you time and money.
After the guide, you can read through the five different types of strings and get a look at which strings are the best in each category.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Playability: The playability of a string it is influenced by construction, material, and thickness. A playable string snaps back quickly upon ball impact and provide a softer feel, not a whining, twanging, wrist rattling blow. A playable string is highly flexible and powerful. For playability, the natural gut is the best.
- Durability: Good strings cost money. You don’t want be running back to the store every couple of weeks. Strings with thicker gauges and abrasion resistant materials are more durable and result in greater longevity.
- Tension: different strings come in various tensions. Lower tension produces more power, and the string will snap faster. Higher tension offers more control of the ball, but it strains the elbows and can lead to tennis elbow.
- String gauge: string gauge (the diameter of the string) affects playability and durability of the string. Thinner strings are more playable while thicker strings are more durable. Thinner spring gauges are also powerful and have lots of spin potential.
Types of tennis strings
The different types of tennis strings can be broken down into two main categories: the natural gut and synthetic strings.
These type of strings are commonly accepted as the best. However, they are the most expensive strings and therefore should be taken into consideration if you’re a player on a budget.
These strings are made from the natural gut of animals (mainly sheep and cow). This structural design gives it superior performance. They are capable of holding tension for a long time to give a consistent performance over time.
They offer a maximum mix of power, control, and spin. However, natural gut strings are relatively fragile thus more susceptible to breaking. They will get soggy when wet as they are susceptible to extreme temperatures. Therefore, exposing them to wet conditions should be avoided whenever possible.
The best strings in this category are made by Wilson and Babolat. The Babolat Tonic+ Natural Gut string has been considered a superior entry in this category. The distinguishing features of this string include the exclusive Thermo Gut technology finishing. This string has been praised for its increased durability and extra resistance to humidity. It also offers excellent feel and control.
These types of strings are relatively cheap and more durable than the natural gut types. They are therefore ideal for budget players. Synthetic gut strings are designed to imitate the feel of a natural gut without costing too much.
These types of strings are produced to give the different player options like spin, power, feel, durability and many others. Synthetic strings can be classified into nylon strings, polyester, Kevlar, Multifilament and textured strings.
One of the best is Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex 16g White Tennis String. The distinguishing features of this string include its all round performance, a high power rating of 7 out of 10. It’s also the world best string when it comes to consistency and durability, thanks to its Prince Duraflex Technology.
Nylon strings: this type of synthetic gut is the most popular among amateur players. When compared to other categories like multifilaments these strings have a crisper feel and a really snappy, sharp rebound. This string is reasonably durable, and it holds tension well.
For those looking for power and control, this is the best category of strings, and it is also one of the cheapest. The best strings in this category are the Gamma synthetic gut and Prince Tournament Nylon.
These strings are best known for their exceptional all-around performance, extra playability and added durability. They are gentle to the arm, which is critical to the long-term performance of a player.
Polyester & Kevlar
This the most durable category. These strings types are ideal for string breakers, hard hitters, and players without arm problems. With Kevlar, you can expect hits whose control is above average.
This category is extremely durable and will hold its tension very well. Polyester strings have high playability. If you are looking for optimal durability and control, then this is the best category for you.
The best strings in this category are Kirschbaum Super Smash and Ashaway Kevlar. These strings are well known for superior durability, extra spin, and control. They hold tension well something that makes them ideal for the chronic and hard hitters.
These strings are often polyester based and forgiving on the arm musculature. They are ideal for beginners, but they lose tension rapidly. One of the best string in this category is Solinco Tour Bite Tennis String.
This is one of the highest performing and versatile co-polyester string. They are designed to produce extreme power and amplify an intense spin and bite on the ball. It also offers a decent feel and for an all-around string, it’s tough to beat when you consider the entire package.
This category comes second after the natural gut. These strings are made of more than one filament. They can have many nylon filaments and other materials as well. This type of string also has more elasticity than a single filament.
They offer the best playability, and they are gentle on the arm, but they may be punishing to your opponent. They are the second most expensive strings. They hold tension fairly well. If you’re looking for arm friendly, high power, and more control, then this is the best category.
The best strings in this section are the Head Rip Control and Wilson NXT. The Head Rip control is one of the strings closest to the natural gut. It is known for optimal playability thanks to its combined precision control. It also features an added topspin and excellent durability.
They offer a good balance of power and control. So, if you need to play where optimal performance beats other considerations, this is the best. The Wilson NXT, on the other hand, is popular for its softest feel and highest performance.
These strings come with an added raised band that give the string texture. This texture helps to produce more spin on the tennis ball. The best strings in this category are Gamma Ruff and Prince Topspin Plus.
The gamma ruff is a high-performance string designed for the spin-intensive player. Its double outer wraps offer extra bite for greater topspin. They are best for players looking for power and control.
The Prince Topspin is popular for its softer feel and extra texture that provide maximum spin enhancement.
These are not really strings but a mixture of two different strings on one racquet. One string is known as the main—which runs vertically–while the other string referred to as the cross–they run horizontally. In short, these are strings takes the best features of other strings to give the best mix of the individual player style.
Recently polyesters have been combined with synthetic gut for improved performance. They are popular with professional players who are looking for the best experience. Hybrid strings allow the player to fine tune the playability, durability, comfort, control and liveliness offered by the strings.
The best string in this category is the Wilsons Champions Choice hybrid string. The Wilson champion’s choice combines both the Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough and the Wilson Natural Gut to produce a perfectly matched performance and durability. This string offers the superior balance of playability and durability demanded by players.
As evident in this post, there are myriad options available in the market, each variety catering to specific style and level of play. And as mentioned earlier what work well for one player may not work the same for another player.
Nonetheless, the natural gut tennis strings are considered the best string on the market, it all narrow down to your individual needs and preferences. Besides, no string will last forever. Therefore, go for the one you think will meet your requirements.