The strings on a racquet are the life and soul of the racket. However, for most people, strings are just an afterthought, as they spend months researching them, but only a few seconds choosing strings.
We're not saying you should spend months trying out every string under the sun, but you should spend a few minutes considering your string options, you may learn a lot about the strings in your racket. Not all strings (and string tensions) are correct for every player. Each player has different needs and preferences.
Here are a few guidelines to make selection easier. There are now hundreds of strings available on the market, so how do you decide which ones to go for? Over the years, strings have evolved from natural gut via synthetic gut and multi-filaments to the latest polyester strings.
- Natural Gut - the original and most playable, but not the most durable.
- Synthetic Gut / Nylon - for good all round performance.
- Multifilament strings - great for gut like characteristics.
- Durable Polyesters and Kevlars - the most popular and best for string breakers, i.e. players that play hard and fast.
- The latest "softer" Polyesters and Multifilament Polyesters - the latest innovation, less harsh on the arm and the most advanced string technology.
There is always a compromise between playability and durability, with natural gut and multifilament strings being the most playable and Poly strings being the most durable. We guess even in Tennis you can’t have everything! Pro players have decided to mix and match different types of strings. This has led to the current fashion for combining different strings on the mains (vertical) and crosses (horizontal). The classic example of this is Roger Federer, whose Champions Choice strings consist of a strong poly and natural gut. Rafa Nadal uses a soft poly string all round (Babolat RPM Blast). A good idea is to ask your Tennis pro what he or she thinks you should use. They know your style as well as anyone and finding the right string to suite it makes all the difference.