Useful Information about Stringing

Tennis strings have as much or more of an impact on your game than your racket, since your goal is to hit the ball with your strings, not the racket. Depending on how your strings react when the ball hits them, you'll experience different levels of control, power, vibration and shock. Understanding the differences among tennis strings will help you pick the best set for playability and comfort.

String Basics

Strings come in different materials and gauges, or thicknesses. Thinner strings break more often, but provide more topspin. Rough strings provide more topspin than smooth strings. Nylon strings are durable, provide more control and are less expensive. Kevlar and polyester strings are more durable but provide less control. Multifilament and natural gut strings offer the most control but at a higher cost.

Beginners

Beginners should start with a nylon string, in the 16- to 17-gauge range. This provides a good combination of playability, comfort and affordability. As you develop your game, you will learn if you need a string that benefits a power player or one with less speed and more spin. If you experience arm pain while playing, choose a multifilament string, or one with a thinner gauge.

Intermediates

If you have developed a consistent playing style, choose a thicker nylon string if you are a power player who breaks strings frequently. Choose a rougher string if you play or want heavier topspin, thinner strings if you don't break them frequently, or use a more durable string, such as Kevlar. Power players should choose thicker, more durable strings. Kevlar and polyester are good choices for power players who don't have arm pain problems.

Advanced Players

If you are an advanced player, you most likely have power and want to maximize control. Polyester is a good choice. If you want to maximize the power and control you get from string, consider a hybrid string job. This combines main strings of one type with cross strings of another. A typical hybrid pattern for professional players consists of Kevlar or polyester main strings and monofilament or gut cross strings.

Tension

The same type of string put in two similar rackets at different tensions will play differently. Looser strings create more rebound and power, while tighter strings provide less power, more control and more shock. If you want more power but less shock, try a Kevlar or polyester string at a lower tension. If you have enough power but want more control, string your rackets tighter.