String Explained

There are basically three things that you need to consider when deciding what string to choose. The first is the material the string is made from, the second is how the string is constructed from that material, and finally, the gauge of the string. which determines the thickness of the string. All three are explained below.


STRING MATERIALS

Nylon (Synthetic Gut)

Nylon strings, also known as Sythetic Gut, are available in a large variety of blends and constructions. They are used by most club and recreational players, providing a good combination of durability and playability, as well as being affordable. They last longer than Natural Gut, however not as long as Polyester of Kevlar.

Natural gut

Natural gut strings are made from animal intestines and offer the best feel and control among all strings. They offer both excellent playability and power. They also feature a slight texture which grips the ball for enhanced spin. Natural gut is still used today by some of the world’s leading tennis players, however the generally high price means that most club or recreational players do not use them. They can be easily damaged by water, humidity, and other environmental factors, which gives them a relatively short lifespan. Due to the superior feel they offer players, they are ideal for players with tennis elbow and other such related injuries. They are most commonly used today as the cross strings in a Hybrid set-up.

Polyester

Polyester strings are very durable, however they offer less feel and power to the player. A racket strung with Polyester loses tension more quickly, therefore many players have them strung at a higher initial tension. Whilst these strings are ideal for string breakers they are being more commonly used today as part of a Hybrid string set.

Kevlar

Kevlar is the most durable string on the market, however it is a very stiff string and provides the least amount of power. Kevlar is not commonly used and is usually combined with nylon to reduce the string bed stiffness. Although used by chronic string breakers, it can be harmful for your arm and wrist, therefore it is not recommended for players with arm injuries or for juniors or beginners.


STRING CONSTRUCTION

Monofilament

A solid one piece construction of extruded material, generally consisting of polyester or polyether. Produces a durable string.

Solid Core with Single Wrap

This is one of the most commonly used constructions and consists of a thin monofilament core with a single layer of fibres twisted around the outside. The solid core gives durability and reduces tension loss, whilst the outer single wrap protects the core and improves playability of the standard monofilament string.

Solid Core with Double Wrap

This string construction consists of a monofilament core with a two layers of fibres twisted around the outside. The sold core on this string is thinner than the one with the single wrapped construction, therefore durability is not quite as good, however the two wraps give the string a ‘softer feel’ which results in greater playability than both the monofilament or single wrapped construction.

Multifilament

This string has no centre core, but instead is made up from multifibres which are then coated for added protection. Multifilament strings are very similar in construction to Natural Gut, therefore they offer both excellent playability and shock absorption, making them a good choice with players with tennis elbow. They do however tend to lose tension more quickly than a string with a centre core.

Multicore with Single Wrap

As the name suggests, this string consists of a smaller multifilament core with an outer multifilament wrap. It gives enhanced playability and elasticity, with added durability and is proving a popular construction for many of the latest strings on the market.

Composites

This string is a combination of nylon and aramid fibres, which increases durability whilst not impairing playability. Ideal for chronic string breakers.

Textured

This string is the same construction as a solid core with a single wrap, however it has an added outer wrap or wraps giving string extra texture for grip. It is therefore generally used to create more spin on the ball.

Natural Gut

Natural gut strings are made from animal intestines and offer the best feel and control among all strings. They offer both excellent playability and power. They also feature a slight texture which grips the ball for enhanced spin. Natural gut is still used today by some of the world’s leading tennis players, however the generally high price means that most club or recreational players do not use them. They can be easily damaged by water, humidity, and other environmental factors, which gives them a relatively short lifespan. Due to the superior feel they offer players, they are ideal for players with tennis elbow and other such related injuries. They are most commonly used today as the cross strings in a Hybrid set-up.

Hybrids

Hybrid strings are a combination of one type of string for the main strings, and another type for the cross strings. Generally a more durable string, such as a monofilament, is used for the mains, with a softer, more elastic string being used for the cross string, giving some playability. It is an ideal combination for chronic string breakers as the enhanced durability increases the time between string breakages.

Many of the world’s top players use their own combination of Hybrid strings.

STRING GAUGE

The gauge of a string refers to the thickness. It is usually identified by a code number, or in millimetres. Below is a table outlining the various gauges of string.

String Gauge Table