Tennis strings are just as individual as the rackets in which they are strung.
They differ in their material, their manufacturing and especially their playing characteristics. Choosing a suitable string you should look out for elasticity of ball speed, control of spin shots
, the vibration dampening for arm comfort as well as the durability of the strings, so that they meet all your requirements.
The most important characteristics of tennis strings at a glance:
- Ball speed (power)
- Vibration dampening (comfort)
But despite all these technical options for adaption and change there are a few basic differences that distinguish natural gut strings from synthetic strings.
Natural gut strings
Tennis strings made from natural gut (manufactured either from cow or sheep intestines) feature an extremely high elasticity, which allows them to absorb vibrations very well and therefore to protect your muscles. One further characteristic, and another reason why professional players especially trust natural gut strings, is their constant string tension.
A disadvantage, which in this regard has already made good progress, is their sensitivity to weather. In addition, they have a relatively short timeline and higher prices than synthetic strings, so club players are probably not the primary target group of the manufacturer.
Natural gut strings at a glance:
+ high elasticity
+ constant string tension
+ high comfort and great ball speed
- sensitivity to weather
- short lifespan compared to synthetic strings
- more expensive compared to synthetic strings
To compensate for the disadvantages of the natural gut strings, synthetic strings have been further developed. Such strings are relatively cheap compared to producing high-tech products, which differ in their structure and their material.
Nylon strings are quite cheap and are used by most recreational athletes. Nylon is a fiber that is manufactured 100% synthetically from carbon, water and oxygen.
The typical nylon string consists of a monochrome (monofilament) nylon core and a durable nylon sheath. The more layers such a string has, the more elastic it is (the nylon core is in fact virtually inelastic).
Advantages of nylon compared with natural gut:
Polyester strings are very simple in their construction, since they consist of a single strand of polyester (that’s why they’re called “mono-filament strings”) with a thin coating. Compared to nylon strings they are relatively rigid, but also more durable.
The big disadvantage of polyester strings is that they lose tension quite easily, resulting in them being profitable for players who tend to break their strings quite often. However the manufacturers have tried to overcome this with the addition of additives (carbon fiber or metal).
Characteristics of polyester strings
- moderate ball speed
- lacking in elasticity
- lose tension quickly
In order to come as close as possible to natural gut strings, numerous microfilaments are used in multi filament strings and wrapped in a durable coating.
Characteristics of multifilament strings
+ playing characteristics similar to natural gut (high elasticity, ball speed and control)
- short lifespan (the coating rips quickly)
- more expensive than nylon or polyester
Multifilament strings are manufactured in various different models, in order to use every playing and material characteristic. For example they are can be produced with a solid core, with more layers or with a structure that enhances the spin capacity.
With hybrid strings, different tennis strings are combined and a different string is used for the cross and main strings.
Due to its length, the main string breaks first (according to experience), so you should choose a particularly resistant material for this. You can choose the cross strings either from natural gut or nylon, according to your desired characteristics.
In the end you decide what properties you want your string to deliver and therefore what influence they have on the string’s lifespan.
What tennis strings do you play with?
Also interesting:How to find the ideal string pattern for your tennis racket
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Picture of multifilament strings ©tennissaite.de