There are four basic types of string.
The King of strings – powerful, responsive, elastic and comfortable on the arm. Used by many of the top pros, natural gut is the most expensive type of string, but is not recommended for playing in the wet. E.g. Wilson Natural Gut, Babolat VS Team.
Pros: Optimum playability. Holds tension the best. Easy on the arm. Playability even at very high tensions.
Cons: High priced.
Nylon string and the most commonly used in club play, synthetic gut attempts to mimic the playability and comfort of natural gut.
Pros: Economically priced.
Cons: Average overall performance and playability. Not extraordinary in any category.
Try: Prince Synthetic Gut or Gosen OG Micro
The most durable of strings, and what most professionals use. Polyester strings are hard on the arm, but allow modern players with fast swings to get control and spin.
Pros: Durable. Lots of control. Lots of spin.
Cons: Low powered. Harsher on the arm. Loses tension faster.
Try: Babolat RPM Blast or Luxilon Alu Power.
Made from hundreds of tiny fibres wound together, these strings are very comfortable and powerful, but lack durability – they can be seen to fray over time.
Pros: Very good playability. Softer on the arm. Very good tension maintenance. Closest thing to natural gut.
Cons: Less control oriented. Certain multi-filaments can feel “mushy.” Lacks durability for bigger hitters.
Try: Wilson Sensation or Mantis Comfort Synthetic.
Hybrid strings are a combination of two different strings for mains and crosses, allowing you the playing characteristics of two types of string. For example, find a good combination of durability and playability with a polyester main string and synthetic gut cross string hybrid.
Pros: Allows you to cherry-pick the playing characteristics of two types of string.
Try: Wilson Champion’s Choice (Luxilon Alu Power Rough/Wilson Natural Gut), Babolat RPM Blast with Prince Synthetic Gut DF
Find out more about hybrid stringing
Low tension = more power. High tension = more control.
When to restring
As a very general guide, the number of times you play per week is the number of times you should restring your racket per year.
You should also get a restring if:
- the strings have snapped or broken
- the strings have lost their tension
- the strings no longer return to their original position after you strike the ball