Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Marco Bitran: Tennis Strings

Everyone who plays tennis, both pros and me, your weekend warrior, understands that we all need different string preferences. Stringing is an individual choice, where some players like resilience in their strings, thus giving them more snap back on ball impact. Modern resiliency in tennis strings is the use of natural gut material, made from beef intestines. Increased durability in tennis strings gives players less elastic and resilience, but they have a thicker gauge and are abrasion resistant. If you blow through these two types of strings, then you are left with the Kevlar hybrids which are the superman of racquets. Tennis string gauges range from thickest (15) to thinnest (19), with half-gauges identified by an L, which stands for Light. Thinner strings gives us more spin by allowing the strings to embed or meet the ball more often.


• Natural Gut: this type of string is great for all players, even though it is costly. It was once the top choice for ATP and WTA players, but now it is used more as a hybrid, with a combination of polyester. Natural gut gives us a feeling of control and a better sense of ball grab for a better top spin.

• Nylon: Nylon is the "synthetic" gut for tennis racquets. Modern nylon for tennis strings is a higher grade than basic nylon. I, like nearly 98% of other non-professional tennis players, uses nylon strings.

• Polyester: Polyester provides better durability, which is why many pros today like its features. Polyester is also combined with natural gut or softer synthetics. This material is easier to string. It is also better used by pros, rather than amateur tennis players, like me, because it makes you use your arm power a lot.

• Kevlar: Wow, Kevlar gives tennis players an extremely strong, stiff string. In order to reduce its stiffness, it is often married with nylon. Kevlar is also not recommended for casual tennis players or beginners.

An example is that Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 tennis player in the world, has a very dense string patter to match his flatter and counter punching hitting style. He likes his racquets strung extremely tight. On the other hand, Roger Federer No. 2 tennis player in the world, enjoys a very heavy strung racquet, with a thin beam, sharp edges, and a small head, which is not very popular with other players.


I love tennis and it is a budget-friendly game, until it comes to the strings. This is why it is best to invest in a stringing machine, either used or new. Stringing machines, involves:

• mounting the racquet;

• pulling the strings; and

• clamping the string to hold tension.

Stringing your tennis racquets properly is what gives you power and control. You can choose between a tabletop or a floor model stringing machine. Upright models cost around $200 more than a tabletop. After this decision, you must choose between tensioners, which includes a drop weight, spring and electronic:

• Drop Weight: this machine is designed with a rod and a movable weight. Price ranges from $200 to $500+.

• Spring Tension: to use a spring tension, you must adjust your desired weight with the help of a screw, then turn the crank until a pointer shows you the desired weight. Price ranges from $135 to $3400+.

• Electronic: this type of machine is used on site at tennis tournaments. It uses an LCD display screen which is connected with the motor to give you an instant accurate tension. Electronic stringing machines do all the work for you because its tension feature is set electronically by pressing a button on the machine. Price ranges from $1,000 to $6,000.

These machines brand new are worth your investment, as are many used stringing machines in the same categories. Simply keep them lubricated, tightened, and adjusted, so that they can increase its lifetime.

Learn more about Tennis Placement & Positioning:

No comments:

Post a Comment